427 – The Road to Center Stage

The Road to Center Stage

Road to Center Stage: Panel Discussion on the Process to Become a Judge

Throwback to a Friday Night Forum when we could all go to dog shows. Bryan Martin reviews the judging application process that was put in place most recently. Martin gives a thorough overview of the various systems that preceded the current updates. (Note: This event was held prior to 2020 and the temporary changes/revisions applied to this process due to the Pandemic).

Anyone beginning the judging process or moving forward will find this useful. Exhibitors will be able to understand the requirements for the judges in the center of the ring.

AKC judges Brian Meyer and Sylvie McGee share their experiences, what drives them to judge, what they enjoy and what frustrates them. This valuable input helps exhibitors understand that the judge in the ring was not hatched from an egg.

Meyer says that finding the dog nobody else has found is part of his joy in judging. “Maybe it’s a puppy dog, maybe it’s a puppy bitch. I don’t care. I really don’t care what class it came from. It could be a novice person that doesn’t really have any idea what they’re doing. You’re not judging their ability. You’re judging what the dog is supposed to look like according to the standard.”

His frustration? “You use the same pattern all day long. And your last breed of the day. Your last class of the day, the person looks at you and goes ‘did you want me to make a triangle?’ when you been going down and back all day. I mean, you have to watch what a person is doing before you walk into the ring to prepare yourself.”

McGee notes her enjoyment of assisting new handlers and her frustration at dirty dogs.

“I love the dogs,” McGee said. “I love everything about judging really. I love it when novice people come to the ring … if I could give him some encouragement or maybe say ‘you know let’s move that dog one more time maybe you could loosen up that lead a little bit.’ That’s a gift to them and it helps me to see the dog better.”

“I think if you talk to any judge, dirty dogs (are a frustration),” McGee said. “So imagine you’re the judge, standing in the middle of the ring, everyone is watching you, and you’re thinking to yourself ‘do I dare, now that I’m going over this dog who is filthy, go over and visibly use a handiwipe or use hand sanitizer before I touch this next exhibit because I don’t want to transfer whatever I just picked up on my hands. Please bathe your dogs.”

Meyer adds one important note of emphasis.

“You, as exhibitors, are not necessarily the most compassionate people with new people. Yeah, I’m going to put some of that on you people because you’re the ones that should be helping these new people that are coming in …”

To watch the video from this event, click here.


When you become a patron of Pure Dog Talk you’ll tap into an exclusive community of experts to help you and your dog be blue-ribbon best at whatever you do with your purebred dog! Your support helps keep the MP3's rolling at Pure Dog Talk!

As a supporter, you’ll immediately gain access to the weekly Pure Pep Talk SMS, Pure Pep Talk private Facebook group, and priority emails. Patrons can choose to level up to the After Dark Zoom and a Patrons Digital Badge for their website— even a private counseling session with Laura on any topic.





Leave a Comment