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HOW CAN EXHIBITORS IMPROVE AFGHAN HOUND JUDGING? Dick & Georgie Guthrie
Exhibitors can do a whole range of things to help improve judging, beginning on the more obvious level and extending to the more subtle. In the first place, an exhibitor should bring a well behaved and well trained dog into the ring, as it is very hard for a judge to do justice in his evaluation of a dog if the animal will not stand or gait properly.
Many exhibitors slow up judging or irritate the judge by not reporting absentees or by picking up their armbands and then wandering off about the time their class is called. If an exhibitor is showing dogs in more than one class, he should have other handlers lined up to take dogs into Winners or breed judging in the event he has more than one dog in the finals rather than delaying judging by looking for someone to take his dog in or changing armbands back and forth, etc. Many exhibitors do not follow the judge's instructions as to gaiting patterns, moving up, keeping corners clear and so forth. All of these things tend to irk the judge and must influence to some extent the quality of his judging, and no judge who realizes he is falling behind can do his best judging if he is hurrying.
Exhibitors who have any influence or input with a kennel club regarding selection of judges would do well to suggest those people that they know are good judges or those whom they know would be fair and objective in their judging, rather than putting in the names of judges under whom they think they can win.
Every judge no matter how knowledgeable will make mistakes and when exhibitors critique someone's judging they really should try to be fair rather than just vent their annoyance. When someone has done a bad job, it would be good if the exhibitors would talk with thatjudge. We don't mean stamping back into the ring after being dumped, but later on during group time or at another show or social gathering, trying to have a friendly discussion with the judge. Pointing out something about part of the breed standard or finding out how the judge interprets a certain part of the standard should be very helpful to both exhibitor and judge.
Since judges generally don't seek out exhibitors the latter should take the initiative and try to make contact with the judges. All judges can always learn more about the breeds they judge, and many, through increased knowledge can be influenced to change their interpretations of the standards, and hence become better judges.
Long time breeders and exhibitors can be extremely helpful to new judges of their breed if they would make an effort to educate these judges.
Lastly, judges can only work with the dogs that are brought to them, so if the exhibitors would only show their very best rather than inferior dogs who are flashy, showy, pretty, etc., both the judging and the quality of a breed could be improved
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