Judge's Perspective

Judging overseas

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There is nothing like an assignment in a foreign country to give a judge an adrenaline rush. In America, we are somewhat insulated and generally think that how we do things is how everyone else in the world does them or should do them. Although Canada and the United States are very similar in how dog shows are conducted, the rest of the world is not like us, and the road to a championship can be quite different. The classes are different, dogs are sometimes critiqued, and the language is often different.

In America and Canada, we are limited to judging 175 dogs a day. If it's an independently held specialty, that number is increased to 200 dogs. In Australia, 240 dogs are judged in a day, but the judge doesn't do the paperwork or hand out ribbons, making the process faster. Instead, a ring steward does all of that, and quickly ushers the dogs in and out of the ring, too. The first time I judged in Australia I told my delightful ring steward that I didn't know if I could judge 240 dogs in a day and if he noticed I was showing down to please tell me. Midafternoon, as I stook looking at a class with my hands clasped behind me, he came up and put ribbons in my hands, then said, "Love, you need to speed it up!"

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