Just A Hoot

by Richard Miller

Quite some time ago I judged a significant entry of our breed. The following day another judge had a similar number to judge. I saw one of the exhibitors several months after the assignment. This person said to me, “I could follow everything you did in the ring. I could predict your winners nearly 100 percent.” I was feeling good about these comments, when a comment like the following was made by this same person: The exhibitor said, “I could not follow the judge the second day, and predicting the winners was like tossing a coin.” I still felt good until the following statement was made: “The judge the second day is such a hoot in the show ring. Showing dogs to this judge is always a fun experience.”

These quotes are not verbatim, but they are very similar to the comments made to me.

I wanted to ask which of us the two judges awarding championship points meant the most. Do points coming from a breeder judge that is easily followed and predictable in his/her choice of winners carry more significance? Or are points awarded by a judge who is difficult to follow, but a “hoot” in the show ring has the same importance to exhibitors?

When I was actively showing dogs, I always entered under judges whom I felt knew our breed standard. The opinions of these judges were much valued by me as I worked toward a championship certificate. Once the certificate was awarded, I felt that the animal was a sound candidate for my breeding program. Judging and awarding championship points should equate to selection of breeding stock for exhibitors. I did not even consider how much fun it was to be in the ring of judge XYZ. For me, I wanted the money I invested to enter shows to be well spent on judges who really knew my breed.

Early on in my exhibiting career I kept track of which judges awarded the single point and the majors. I wrote this kind of information on the back of a championship certificate. For some unknown reason I ceased doing this, even though I found the information of much value. I don’t ever recall thinking that a particular win was awarded under a judge who was a “hoot” to whom to to show. If this ever happened (I don’t recall that it ever did), I would have felt the point was of less merit.

I have to ask the question of readers, and I would appreciate e-mail responses to mrichchi@laharpe.us. The question is: Do you value wins under judges who really know the standard and are predictable more? Do you ever enter a show based on how much fun the judge is in the show ring while judging?

Finally, I have yet another question. That question is about reading articles in the GAZETTE. I often ask other judges if they read the GAZETTE now that it is not hard copy. More often the response from others is that they seldom if ever read Gazette articles. Please consider sending me an e-mail to allow me to know if you seldom, always, or sometimes read these articles.

Richard Miller
Chihuahua Club of America

Credit: This article appeared in the December 2017 issue of the AKC Gazette and is reprinted with the permission of the author.