Equal Time

To one of the judges from the weekend show:

I have had some fairly half-hearted examinations of my dog in the past, but this marks the very first time that I have not even been permitted to stack my dog, either by hand or free-stack. I regret that we didn’t provide sufficient entertainment for you to spend any time actually judging him, which is what we were all there for.

Sure, you like having movement first, and we went around the ring as soon as we entered, as instructed. But you were on my dog’s head for the teeth exam before we had fully stopped, and told me “don’t bother stacking him, I can’t see his legs anyway.”  Really?  Then how did you plan to make any kind of informed decision on what he looks like?

When we did the down-and-back, I looked up to see you facing in the opposite direction, checking out the next ring.  Getting bored with your own ring, were you? When we approached you and slowed for a free stack, you told us to go around right away instead, without stopping. And as I did, you pointed to the other dog in the ring as your choice.

This was one of the most blatant examples of lack of professionalism I have ever experienced in the show ring.  I have a piece of paper on my wall at home certifying my dog is a champion; he is not some mediocre pet dog that you can dismiss out of hand.  Yet you barely touched him, twice refused me the opportunity to stack him, and couldn’t be bothered to watch him move at the trot.  I spent my money, drove for hours, and stayed in a cheap motel in order to get your opinion.  I think I have the right to it after appropriate consideration of my dog against the standard, not an off-hand glance or two and a cursory touch.  Behavior like this is what drives people away from showing.

As I left the ring area, a bystander, clearly not involved in the show world, asked to pet my dog.  She looked up as she was scratching him and asked: “How come you didn’t get to stand your dog in line for the judge to see, like the other dogs?” What an excellent question, and how sad that even someone uninformed about ring procedure picked up on this.

Your preferences, you’re entitled to.  Your rudeness, you are not. My letter of protest is on its way to the AKC.

Sincerely, a competitor

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  • jeanne

    Hmmmm….you never mentioned the judge by name – sounds very much like one I recently showed to who obviously did not like natural ears – when another lady was gaiting her uncropped bitch he turned aside and used his finger to pick his teeth, and when I was gaiting he never even looked at us………..same scenerio when we were going around the ring – he turned his back – pointed at the other dog and we were invisible.

    Hugs Alxe, I agree with you, we spend hrs driving and hard earned money to attend these shows, to be treated in such a way is insulting.

    • jeanne

      I should have added that we were the only uncropped danes in a class of 6 – The other 4 all received complete exams.

  • lynda

    Look forward to hearing if you receive a reply from AKC.
    And you’re 100% correct..no judge has to put up your/my dog..but the common courtesy of actually judging the dog IS necessary.

  • Kelley

    I have had the same experience on one occasion in particular but to some degree MANY times. I wish judges would remember that we all paid the same amount to be there and should be allowed our 2 minutes of professional, courteous exam! They are not being paid to be rude and inconsiderate! If you don’t prefer natural ears, keep it to yourself! Be polite, do your job, then you can point to whomever you please.

  • Valerie

    I would like to hear who this judge was as well.
    From the beginning of your post I suspected it was an issue of showing the judge a natural entry.