I was recently asked in an interview what makes a good judge? I thought I would share my response with you.
A good judge is one who actually cares and is always learning. A thorough knowledge of the breed’s standard, origin, purpose and temperament along with a strong dose of impartiality are essentials. A thorough knowledge of breed specific conformation and movement are also essential. You need to learn how to use your hands and eyes. You must always look out for the dogs’ comfort and safety. You need to be polite with each person and exhibit no matter what you think. They thought enough of you to give you an entry. Think enough of them to pay attention. You have to have a good sense of humor. You need a quiet and a matter of fact demeanor with the dogs. You need a good examination technique for each breed and then judge them. You need to be consistent in your ring procedure and you must control your ring. You need to have clear and concise directions for exhibitors. You need to be able to make definitive decisions in a very short period of time. You need to be meticulous in your paper work. I want to add that a good judge will judge to the standard of the country they are judging in regardless of their personal opinions. Yes, the standards are different even in an ancient breed like Salukis. If invited abroad, a good judge will makes sure they have the proper breed standards and rules and regulations. To do otherwise is arrogant, possibly lazy and a disservice.