HOW CAN EXHIBITORS IMPROVE AFGHAN HOUND JUDGING?
Edith Nash Hellerman
First since judges are on a schedule time'wise, exhibitors should be on time at ringside. If a dog is absent it is only courteous to report this to the Steward beforehand. Armbands should be picked up in advance and, if an exhibitor, or handler, is going to be busy in another ring at about the same time, this should be mentioned to the Steward and the dog should be at ringside with another person who could, if necessary, bring the dog into the ring. Most judges, if notified ahead of time, would be cooperative enough to allow the regular handler to take over, unless, of course, he or she is so late arriving that the Judge has already examined the dog, in which case change of handlers cannot be allowed.
Exhibitors should know that any Judge is anxious to see a dog at his best Therefore, care should be taken that the dog is on a proper lead-not a very thin chain, or thin nylon cord, that cuts into his neck A dog in pain often fights the lead or balks for which you can hardly blame him. Also, exhibitors should realize that placing the lead to the side of the neck under an ear is fine- if the dog goes along willingly on a very loose lead. However, as soon as any tension is put on the lead this has a tendency to twist the head sidewise to spoil the dog's appearance.
Furthermore, no dog should be encouraged to gait with food! When a dog turns his head sidewise and looks at the handler this spoils his front movement He should be tamed at home to gait without food When standing at attention for the final judgement using food to bait is acceptable for some breeds. In others, it tends to spoil the outline. know your breed and your dog!
Last but not least it is a good idea for an exhibitor to visit a Judge's ring before time for judging his breed to note the Judge's routine in gaiting and examining. Most judges stick to the same pattern when gaiting. You then know what to expect even if it is so noisy it is difficult to hear the Judge's instructions.
Please remember that the main purpose of a Show is to IMPROVE the breed and it is a Judge's responsibility to put up the best dog as he or she sees it Exhibitors can help by knowing and showing their dogs at their best-happy and willing.
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