Ways & How

How to Become a Dog Show Judge

How to Become a Dog Show Judge

How to become a dog show judge requires you to gain some experience.  You have to become an expert in the field to be able to judge a dog competition fairly. There are guidelines to study and basic principles to follow. Here are directives for you to consider in this endeavor:

  1. Research on breeds of dogs. You can search for information online, from books and from people who are dog experts.  Speak to the judges and breed club members to gain as much insight as you can.  It is best to find out the distinctive qualities of each breed. Distinguish one from another and know what it takes to pick a winning dog. If dogs are your passion, this will definitely be a joy for you to do.

  2. Raise and breed dogs yourself.  If you want to be a dog show judge, surely you have passion for dogs. It is always best to have a hands-on experience. Train your dog to join dog competitions and study the mechanics. Win or lose, you will learn a lesson or two, and the experience will add to your credentials.  It is mandatory for a dog judge to have at least 12 years of experience in raising, breeding and handling dogs.

    ot stick to only one breed.  You have to be familiar with at least five and closely observe their characteristics and behaviors.

  3. If you intend to progress professionally in this field, you have to start by becoming a judge in a match first. Gain the respect of dog handlers, dog owners and trainers as this is important for recommendations later.  It is good not to have any negative comments against you, so you can be closer to your goal of becoming a dog show judge. Be a member of canine associations in your area and be visible during their events.

  4. Stay updated with the latest changes on the rules and regulations of the kennel clubs. It is also helpful to attend seminars and canine workshops to enhance your knowledge further. If your target is to be an AKC or UKC judge, you should be able to raise about four champions.

  5. If you have completed all the necessary requirements to become a dog show judge, it is now time to apply.  You have to submit an application along with your proofs of experience and education.  You will be scheduled for an interview and written exams, which you need to pass before you can be given your first assignment.

  6. Once you are already a dog show judge, you will have to remain updated with the latest in the changes on the rules of the two major kennel clubs.  Continuing education is required and attending a seminar for judges every three years is mandatory.

The procedure on how to become a dog show judge is tedious and will require most of your time, perseverance and efforts.  The goal here is not monetary gain, but to be trusted on your expertise and fairness. Prestige and respect will follow.  Just be patient and work hard to be competent in the field. See to it that you are enjoying what you are doing in the meantime, and you will be closer to your goal before you know it.  It is indeed a career you can truly be proud of.


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