So What About Consistent Dog Judging?

Does consistency in judging dogs show preference?

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One would think that consistency would be an admirable quality in a dog judge. At least it was when I was breeding and showing dogs. My fellow exhibitors and I would very often watch a dog judge at work before it was our turn to show under him or her. Very often we watched the dog judge do breeds other than our own, to determine if there was a certain “something” that appeared to have great appeal. 

In days of old we would spend considerable time prior to our scheduled time of judging observing a dog judge we had not shown under previously just to see what he or she was generally attracted to. Was it charisma, soundness, type? And if it was type, was type interpreted to mean head alone or was it a certain overall balance and proportion? 

More than once I went into the ring knowing full well that my only shot at winning was on the outside chance that the dog that might appeal most to the dog judge was having a bad day. This, because the dog judge at hand had consistently shown he or she leaned toward the dog if the best type or the one that showed the best, or what have you.

We would not be surprised or upset if the dog judge followed suit when judging our dogs. Actually we were pleased. That consistency in judging let us know that the judge had definite preferences and if the style of dog the judge preferred was a good one it would stand a much better than average chance of winning. It allowed us to know what kind of dog to bring to that judge the next time he or she judged.

So, that’s what today’s exhibitors also want a dog judge to be — consistent — right? Well, perhaps. Unfortunately, I think there are some misconceptions as to what the word “consistent” really means. I am afraid in the minds of many exhibitors a consistent judge is one who puts up their dog the first time and then forever more. 

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