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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I had a great weekend judging the Open at River King with Andy Whiteley, and with our head janitor here - Chris Atkinson - as our apprentice.

First, like Chris, I marvel at folks like Steve and Kate Miller, who busted their butt all weekend, and didn’t have a dog in any of the four stakes. Every weekend at field trials across the country, folks like Steve and Kate, are sacrificing their weekends so that others can have fun. Kudos to all of them.

Second, judging is a pleasure when you have a co-judge like Andy, who is kind, generous, understands dogs, and keeps his cool under pressure. Andy and I - with input from the head janitor - set up a triple that we all thought would challenge the dogs. We were wrong. The first five dogs got our birds clean. If we had continued, we likely would have called 50 of 60 back - or more. And we would have been forced to come back with some nasty poison bird land blind.

So we scrapped our test - and blamed it all on the janitor. What good is an apprentice, if you can’t blame him for your mistakes? Or the weather? Or the no-birds?

Well, when you lay an egg, the pressure is really on. Andy and Chris kept their sense of humor through it all, even after a rain delay really put us under the gun.

But, I think we recovered with four good hard tests and as fun a pair of land blinds as I can recall. (For those of you that know Paul Sletten, ask him how Sally bailed him out by giving him a cast that was simply breathtaking)

It really helps when you have two good dog men - like Andy and Chris - with you.

Third, nothing beats watching good dogs and handlers on good grounds. It’s a real joy.

Fourth, what do I think of the apprentice program? I think you need to ask the head janitor about that.

But, I can tell you that I had a great time with him and Andy.

 

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It's sounds like of worked out good for Chris getting to see a bad test set and scraped and seeing the other judges NOT fall In love with it and do the right thing.
Never been at a trial with a apprentice but I've only heard.The apprentices that I have heard about didn't seam to be present to make a difference with the learning part of judging. I don't disagree with apprenticing if the apprentice is present and learns.
 

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Well, if that SOB Chris can't learn to stop thunderstorms, how is he ever going to get to be one of the "little kings in lawn chairs" (as my wife calls judges)?

I don't know how the AKC apprentice program works (and I don't have much interest in FTs any more), but over the years the best learning experiences I've had about judging were from working with good ones (like Loren Morehouse in FTs.) Clinics really can't do much. The points requirements were the old apprentice program. Good luck working out a new one.
 

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"little kings in lawn chairs" Brilliant!
 

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Well, if that SOB Chris can't learn to stop thunderstorms, how is he ever going to get to be one of the "little kings in lawn chairs" (as my wife calls judges)?

I don't know how the AKC apprentice program works (and I don't have much interest in FTs any more), but over the years the best learning experiences I've had about judging were from working with good ones (like Loren Morehouse in FTs.) Clinics really can't do much. The points requirements were the old apprentice program. Good luck working out a new one.
This I totally agree with. In my opinion the old way of having a senior judge mentor a junior judge is a better apprentice program. I remember judging a trial years ago with Judy Rasmussen, we got along well, set up nice test, Judy made a point to be sure I was 50% of the process, we had really interesting philosophical discussions about dogs, and at the end of the weekend she pointed out that, with this being my fifth major stake, technically I could be the senior judge next time I judged. This was when it hit me how far I had come from my very first judging assignment, and how thankful I was to all the really good "senior" judge mentors I had along the way.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I prefer the apprentice method.
I liked judging with an experienced judge like Andy, particularly when we scrapped our land test. It's nice to have an experienced hand by your side when you are judging. And when there are two of you, it is easier to take the time to make sure that the apprentice understands why you do what you do
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So do you think a judge who apprentices is just as qualified as a judge who has competed and had some success in the all age stakes?
I think it depends on the individual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Not to you
OK not for me..... but perhaps some of the others viewing this thread might find this answer to be in need of some further clarification.

john
 

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Care to elaborate ?

john

I'll take a crack at it.

This question:
So do you think a judge who apprentices is just as qualified as a judge who has competed and had some success in the all age stakes?
is pretty much like asking this question:

"So do you think a racecar is faster than a motorcycle?"

I think Ted's brief response was adequate. It depends upon several other factors applicable to the judge in question.

If someone wants to discuss the qualifications of the apprentice in Ted's example, and why that person did an apprentice gig, I'll gladly address it - since I'm that guy. I'll put even more effort into it if someone asks me sincerely and politely. :cool:

John, I hope you have a pleasant evening. It's sunny and beautiful here on the part of the East Coast where I'm spending a few days. I hope it's equally nice where you are.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·


It is often said that the best judge is one that trains his/her own dogs. Yet, I have run under some judges who train their own dogs who were terrible.

It is similarly said that the worst judge is one that does not train his/her own dog. Yet, I have run under some judges who do not train their own dogs that were great.

The point is that generalizations do not apply to the individual.

As a general proposition, I think that - all other things being equal -

The more you train dogs
The more you run dogs

The better judge you are likely to be

However, although that general proposition is appealing, it does not tell you much about the individual

All things are never equal
- Some people learn more quickly
- Some people work harder
- Some people take pride in their work product
- Others do none of the above

"Want to" is a big factor in whether someone maximizes their potential

And let's not forget some general characteristics of a good judge that have nothing to do with successfully competing with dogs or training dogs. Such as:

- A good sense of humor
- A pleasant disposition
- Honesty and Integrity
- Kindness towards workers and contestants
- Good Time Management Skills

So, I don't accept the general proposition that a person who places in the AA stakes will necessarily be a better judge than a person who simply apprentices.

 

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I'll take a crack at it.

This question: is pretty much like asking this question:

"So do you think a racecar is faster than a motorcycle?"

I think Ted's brief response was adequate. It depends upon several other factors applicable to the judge in question.

If someone wants to discuss the qualifications of the apprentice in Ted's example, and why that person did an apprentice gig, I'll gladly address it - since I'm that guy. I'll put even more effort into it if someone asks me sincerely and politely. :cool:

John, I hope you have a pleasant evening. It's sunny and beautiful here on the part of the East Coast where I'm spending a few days. I hope it's equally nice where you are.

Chris
Ahhhh Chris--you are a tactful and kind soul. I- on the other hand hope that John falls into a large pile of dog crap, while trying to outrun a skunk and has a 4 hour drive home in the pouring rain with windows that won't go down and a broken air conditioner. :) But thats just me. I'm working on the "nice" thing. Really I am.
 

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Ahhhh Chris--you are a tactful and kind soul. I- on the other hand hope that John falls into a large pile of dog crap, while trying to outrun a skunk and has a 4 hour drive home in the pouring rain with windows that won't go down and a broken air conditioner. :) But thats just me. I'm working on the "nice" thing. Really I am.

OMG, you owe me a large diet Dr Pepper that I just spit on the screen, thanks for bringing a smile to an otherwise dark sullen day :D:D:D
 

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I have had the good fortune to judge with some very experienced judges and found each of them to be thoughtful, interactive and NOT overbearing. I think mentoring is an important tool for judging prospects and I agree with Ted that some good characteristics may not necessarily be dog skills. I suspect that most apprentices would be inexperienced vs the actual Judges and would benefit from seeing first hand how to approach an assignment. There are always exceptions to the rules but I believe mentoring is the best possible way to relay this information. I have also had the good fortune to train with some very experience people, including Ted, and I like to hear the discussions on concepts and/or setups or tests. Every little bit helps and I would bet if you had a chance to judge with someone like Ted, it would be quite a positive experience. My dogs are not with a pro, although I do train with one on a weekly basis. Still I tend to do a lot on my own or with our club members. I feel that is important as brought up earlier in that you tend to see how dogs react to situations. That helps in setting up challenging tests. I feel I have much to learn still and try to absorb as much as possible when I with an experienced co-judge. I judge because I feel it is important to give back to the sport and I "want to" make it as positive experience for the handlers, workers and club by doing my part efficiently, fairly and to the best of my abilities. I feel it is a great responsibility that should be taken seriously as the club is the host, the handlers pay good money to compete and placements should be well deserved! Sorry I'll get off my soap box now.
 

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Nancy, Nancy,

Please be kind.

I think that Mr. Fallon sometimes may not see the way his style impacts others' opinions of his intentions. I try to give Mr. Fallon the benefit of the doubt - that he really means well.

I wish John a peaceful sleep with great dreams and a very positive attitude tomorrow morning....and then his heart will grown 4 sizes larger (in a healthy, non-hazardous, Cindy-Lou-Who way).

All's awesome here in Whoville.

Be nice...please? :cool:

Chris
 

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Nancy, Nancy,

Please be kind.

I think that Mr. Fallon sometimes may not see the way his style impacts others' opinions of his intentions. I try to give Mr. Fallon the benefit of the doubt - that he really means well.

I wish John a peaceful sleep with great dreams and a very positive attitude tomorrow morning....and then his heart will grown 4 sizes larger (in a healthy, non-hazardous, Cindy-Lou-Who way).

All's awesome here in Whoville.

Be nice...please? :cool:

Chris
Tomorrow morning is the second one of my 70th year... we will see what it brings;-)

john
 

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Nancy, Nancy,

Please be kind.

I think that Mr. Fallon sometimes may not see the way his style impacts others' opinions of his intentions. I try to give Mr. Fallon the benefit of the doubt - that he really means well.

I wish John a peaceful sleep with great dreams and a very positive attitude tomorrow morning....and then his heart will grown 4 sizes larger (in a healthy, non-hazardous, Cindy-Lou-Who way).

All's awesome here in Whoville.

Be nice...please? :cool:

Chris
Yeah...... you know, I woke up the dogs laughing.... that's just not right. :D:DNancy, Nancy.... yes, please be nice.. ;);):D
 
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