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New judge asking questions

2950 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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No doubt others will chastise both of us, but here is my take on your post:

Ch. 1, Sec. 6, Para. 6: "Note* It is strongly recommended that only those judges with extensive background in the hunting of waterfowl and/or upland game be invited to judge an AKC Retriever Hunting Test."

Ch. 1, Sec. 6, Para. 10: "At the Master test level and each division thereof, one Judge shall have qualified a dog or dogs (5) times at the Master level. At the Senior and Junior test levels and each division thereof, one Judge shall have qualified a dog or dogs four (4) times either at the level being judged or at a higher test level. Monitoring the qualifications of judges is the responsibilitiy of the event-giving club."

As a HT Secretary, I admit that it is difficult to monitor these qualifications of judges. AKC does not track this information. An EntryExpress search can be of some help, but only so far back in time.

I'll attend a judging seminar in July to be eligible to judge Junior tests, despite handling failures at the Master level. Best of luck to you and all who are willing to volunteer to judge AKC hunt tests. As for AKC field trial judges: we're unworthy; we're unworthy; we're unworthy.
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