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New judge asking questions

2948 Views 25 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  ChrisRobt
Okay, despite it being over 90 degrees today, I'm wearing my full camo outfit (flameproof) and carrying a stick which is supposed to be a gun. I see a group of RTFers sitting in the shade under a tree and walk up to ask them a couple judging questions; I did my apprenticeship in April but have yet to judge and like to discuss things I see which I believe to be out of the ordinary. When I post my query I am criticized publically (and privately) for asking such a question (new master judge and all that); I'm also criticized about how my dog works and the clothing I am wearing. I thought this forum was supposed to be a good place to discuss training and judging issues.

Many of you do not know that in "real life" I am a primary care physician-now retired. I have found throughout my 35+ years in practice that I can always learn something new from others (not just physicians as other health care workers also have valuable insights and ideas). Thank goodness when I was an intern (a newly certified doctor, if you will), when I asked another physician for an opinion about a patient I was dealing with, I was met with an open mind and not criticism for not having the answer. There is alot to medicine which is not in the books and I have always found it valuable to consult with others over new or difficult issues. As I've become the "experienced" doctor, I've enjoyed passing my knowledge on to those who are new. When we consult with each other, we are careful to protect the identities of our patients (unless they are shared) and do not ever purposely denigrate them

I approach this forum in the same manner but guess I may be wrong about it. Yes, I am relatively new to this sport having qualified my first master dog only last September. I am not a hunter so according to many on this forum have no business even considering becoming a judge. I'll
do as good a job as I can. I can read all the rules but there is still alot to learn about how to interpret them. I believe that I learn best by discussing particular issues which I have encountered with those who have more experience. I know the AKC rules but am interested in how experienced judges interpret them.

So, is there a place on RTF to ask questions about judging issues without the severe criticism? Is this a "good old boys" club to which I can never belong because I don't run a black dog? Because I don't hunt, am I not a suitable candidate to become and AKC judge??
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There are more then a few Field Trial judges that haven't hunted. In recent years there seems to be an influx of some who have never hunted at the Hunt Test level of judging. (I can only speak for AKC)

I have judged, trained and socialized with some of these judges. For the most part most if not all of the better judges, who train thier own dogs and/or seek help from a professional trainer at least for a portion of thier dogs training show a high degree of the "art of judging dogs" . Some have followed in a spouses, parent or friends footsteps while they are hunting. If you train enough, sometimes years, have thrown your share of birds, have fired tons of popper shells from a shotgun, have been out in all kinds of weather, have handled birds not quite deceased and dispatched those birds in a humane way! Have set up tests in training showing a knowledge of wind, terain, bird placement, AND have set up the tests in training, then WHY on Earth should you not be allowed to judge!?

Conversely I have trained, hunted, judged with terrible people, when confronted with even the basic knowledge of the art of judging dogs, are a complete failure! They were for the most part hunters and former hunters. Thier tests lack soundness, are shallow, technocrat types who beat you up with the rulebook and play King or Queen for the day!

Everyone, including myself are complaining about the state of judging, perhaps we need to get some involved maybe who "don't have extensive experience hunting" but, have extensive experience training thier own dogs, setting up tests, shooting shotguns/blank pistols, working in all types of weather , all that resemble hunting. If you have fired a diversion shot with a 12 gauge shotgun while blowing a duck call, it seems to me not much different then a days hunt when some hunters "miss thier birds" ?

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