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  • How Political are judges?   Back   Up   See All Forum Topics   ShowDays Home
    How extensive is the problem of political judging, what are the causes, and what do you think can be done about it?
    DateNameAbout the Writer
    Oct 27, 2008Linda / Keno MalamutesA malamute owner
    Very Political, most if not all judges pick top handlers, and top dogs. Leaves very little for owner handled dogs.
    Dec 1, 2008Kristi / BellagioBellagio Italian Greyhounds
    Judging can be political. It forces owner handlers to special a dog who is undeniable. Handlers in my breed do not show good examples of the breed. Most of what I see on handlers would be a neutered/spayed pet at my house. I enjoy specialing, so I\'m forced to breed an absolutely beautiful dog that even politically minded judges just can\'t deny. It \"pushes\" our breeding program to be better.
    Oct 20, 2010DoodlesOwner Handler for many years
    People always complain that the judge is dishonest if he puts up a professional handler. Sometimes the Handler actually has the better dog. You may not agree with that... but sometimes the judge actually judges the dog and likes the handler\'s dog better. It\'s like playing golf with Tiger Woods... because he beats you does that mean the sport\'s dishonest? Would you really consider playing against Tiger and expecting to win. When you play as well as Tiger... you may win as much as Tiger.... put that into dog show terms....
    Oct 25, 2010Opal Ridge
    re: Tiger Woods - AGAIN, there should be two shows - handlers and owner/breeder handler. You are CORRECT, a handler, who does nothing but handle, groom, work with and show dogs has a disadvantage...that\'s your JOB, I, however, work, groom, and try to compete with you - as a \'hobby\' - to put it in your terms, it\'s like my husband going on the golf course to have fun and finding out that Tiger and his friends are there....not too much fun....Tiger stays on his golf course and my husband stays on his. Handlers should compete with their PEERS - as should I.
    Nov 15, 2010Terry Crowe-White / Crowe\'s Nest KennelRussell Terrier breeder/owner/exhibitor
    The judges we win under aren\'t, the ones we don\'t win under are. I\'m a breeder/owner/handler with a long history in dogs. This discussion has been going on since the first dog show was held and will never be \"settled.\" MB-F did a statisical study and found that pros win more group placings and non-pros win more in the breeds - as of the date (11/15/2010) the full report is viewable on infodog.
    Dec 23, 2010Anona judge, breeder and exhibitor
    Judges should be required to test from memory (not open book) at least breeds 1-5 from their resume; subsequent years, tested on breeds 6-11 and so on. I came from horse shows, whether dressage, breed or all breed shows and there are so many different categories for class entries its not funny but AKC lumps them all together. Amateur-Owner (yes, it can be trained by a pro but still handled by an AO); Jack Benny (aged AO handlers classes), AO/BBE not allowing ANY pro handling done on the dog PRIOR to the AO going into the ring. Break down the Group placements for AO and pro handlers. Break down the group winners for BOB for AO and pro handlers. Lots of great ideas that the horse show communities have been doing for decades and still manage to retain a percentage of their entries considering showing horses is triple that in costs of dog showing.
    Aug 16, 2011anonbreeder/owner/handler for 20 years
    I\'ve been accustomed to competing on an unequal footing with pro\'s in the group ring and often when specialing in the classes. As I tell friends, \"I have to have a great dog to win against handlers\" and I do sometimes. But NOW I\'m running into handlers frequently in the CLASSES!!!! I think it\'s ruining the sport. I, and several other breeder/owner/handlers I know who\'ve been very successful, are starting to lose our interest in showing. I don\'t think the drop-off in entries is just due to the economy.
    Aug 19, 2011Guess
    Yes i have been known to use a handler in the classes, and i will tell you why. I have a really nice bitch and i can hardley get out of my class with her. I have to show against people that might as well be Handlers. With no less than 27 years showing!! Some alot more! Blame the judges not the poor saps that think they are judging dogs. I can\'t tell you how many times i have lost to some owner breeder handler, and the dog was not all that. Really.
    Aug 19, 2011Guess
    One more thing. If you are a owner breeder handler and you are loosing interest, then ask yourself why? Is it because you can\'t win all the time? Cause some newbie got tired of loosing to your porkchop, so they went and hired some experience in a skirt, and now its and even playing field! I can\'t sit and wait till i got 5, 10 years so my face looks recognizable to some judge. That\'s why people drop off after that 5 year mark and get bored of showing.
    Aug 22, 2011Anonbreeder/owner/handler for 20 years
    I think Guess convincingly demonstrates my point. Professional handlers and breeder/owner/handlers need to be in separate shows. And, no, Guess, you are incorrect. I win a lot, including against handlers both in the classes and groups. But I want to know that when I win, it\'s b/c of how good my entry is and b/c I\'m showing the dog or bitch well, not b/c somebody recognizes my face and thinks I can do something for them. And if you think having a face in the ring makes it an even playing field, think again. I MAKE the time to learn, train, take classes,read, practice. If you can\'t or won\'t do that, maybe you should be doing something else. The faces that should be winning are on the dogs, not on the people. I once heard 2 handlers leaving a group ring asking each other why the one the judge promised G1 got G2 and vice versa. When I told people back at my all-breed club about this, they laughed and said \"oh, the judge forgot which one he\'d promised which.\" A dog or bitch that wins that way is not winning; it\'s buying.
    Oct 18, 2011Susan Nikkel / Clear Sky Papillonsbreeder/exhibitor since 1964
    The National Canine Association set up a judging system in which handlers and owners competed separately. Have you researched this option? Have you supported a NCA show? Also, UKC does not allow professional handlers unless they show dogs that they own. Have you enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of a UKC show yet? The trend that I am seeing in toy dogs is handler co-ownership of dogs. We are beginning to see Pro\'s in the BBE class. I am unsure what can be done about this if the owner\'s sign over their bitches to the handlers.
    Dec 22, 2011Elizabeth Heckert / Silhouettepomeranian breeder/owner/handler
    I have been an owner/handler (and then a breeder/owner/handler) from the very beginning, 10 yrs ago when I was 19 yrs old... and I have won and been fairly successful in the classes from the beginning too. The reason being I took a lot of time (2-3 yrs) studying my breed before purchasing a dog, and then spent a lot of time going to shows, handling myself and learning how to be a better handler. Am I as polished as the top pros? Or recognized by many judges? Absolutely not, but the trick is... if you have better dogs, in general, than what the pros are showing, you WILL win... but you do have to have the BETTER dog. (Isn\'t that the idea of dog shows anyway). I do run into some judges that appear to be playing plain old politics, and have lost in the classes with future specials to dogs I would have petted out that pros finished in 10 shows, and have run into other judges who apparently wouldn\'t know a good dog if it bit them on the nose... but I win enough to keep myself happy and I realize, I can\'t win ALL the time, or nobody else would ever compete against me *g* Now I have started specialing some of my nicer dogs and the group is a whole other ball game... you usually can look around the ring and tell, there is no room in those mere 4 placements for little old you... but it happens once in awhile.
    Jan 17, 2012anonowner/breeder/handler
    i find alot of the judges are very political. having been a owner/breeder/handler , i used to show my dogs all the time, now i feel sometimes i have to hire a handler to do something in the show ring, when u need that pt to finish it seems like if u know the judge or do alot of advertising your dog will do alot in the show ring, even if u have the better dog. It is very sad for the owners who have nice dogs and want to show, . u hear so much about the clicks with the judges, going out to dinner with dog owners then having the dogs show under that judge, it is so sad, I acutally love showing UKC!!!! no pro handlers allowed!!!. i dont think u will ever change this, this has been going for many years how can u? What can the AKC do? that is what i would love to know.
    Apr 3, 2012 Olsen\\\'s FrenchiesOwner / Handler
    I seen something very awful. Date was 4/1/12 Non-Sporting French Bulldog Judge Dr. Donald Schwartz. He awarded winners dog to # 5. Okay onto bitches. Went in for winners bitch. They were all lined up. He said and pulled #14 and said your my winners bitch. She went to winners line up and ring steward wrote #14 down as WB.. She left ring with award ribbon in hand. Judge was calling #18 who went 2nd in bred by class. We were saying NO that bred by class did NOT win. So Judge said I made a mistake I was to give to bred by bitch. Onforio Rep. came over and a decision took place and they call #14 back into ring and took award away and gave to #6. Then he did not even give her res. A very confused and very sad judge. Again this show was at ScottsBluff NE. April 1, 2012 Judge was Dr. Donald E. Schwartz.
    Aug 5, 2012Marty Huck / Nightwatch KeeshondenBreeder/owner/handler
    Showing since 1981, I\\\'ve experienced leaving the ring ribbonless,winning my class but not the points, winning the points AND BOW, Best of Breed &/or Best of Opposite. On infrequent occasions, I have hired a professional b/c I feel it behooves me to watch my dog in the ring from a distance to get another perspective of him or her at least once. It\\\'s a completely different view from standing above my dog while holding the leash! :) However, in the case of one of my Keeshonden, it took four shows to get the two major wins to finish her title. I decided to hire a professional handler. It took four shows b/c she won 50% of the time! So I don\'t really think hiring a professional handler proved to me that, at the class level, the judges were hugely political.
    Aug 28, 2015Bob Isaacks / Satan Creek
    I have a dual-champion Labrador (UKC & AKC). I hired a handler for the AKC events when it became apparent that it was the ticket to an AKC Championship. I am relatively \"new to the game\" but caught on to the political side of judging. It happens, live with it or find another sport. This website will help you study the judges BEFORE you spend money on entry fees. Take advantage of it and keep your own book on judges that are fair and the ones to avoid.
    Jul 4, 2016Political or Inept JudgingExhibitor
    I think many of the Judges are inept, so it is just easier for the judges to point to the most notable handler in that breed. There is a double standard for judging. The professional handler, most notable breeder, or the judge exhibitor, must be right, so lets find out what is wrong with the other entries. A judge who is knowledgable and confident in the breed they are judging will be able to stand their ground when questioned or pressured by a professional on their winners. Most non professionals will never confront the judge on their decision.
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