Take the time to sit at ringside and watch judging taking place at as many shows as possible. It is a wonderful learning experience all by itself.
To assist you in your learning observations:
_ Setting up the ring, (Review Chapter 1)
_ Check ring size, location of gate and table (move if needed).
_ Double-check jumps by measuring. 1/2 inch deviation is okay.
_ Material of jumps, flat white, weight of wood, check the bar for weight for wood.
_ Placement of jumps, pay attention to lighting and ring enclosures from the DOG’s line of sight. If mats are necessary they must be at least 4’ width under the jumps.
_ Make note of the place for out of sight stays (Graduate Novice & Regular Open).
_ Mark the ring for all your classes prior to the start of the first class--saves time.
_ If deficiencies cannot be corrected, note in Judge’s Book.
_ Managing the ring - Heeling pattern(s) & Postings.
_ Is your pattern choppy or does it have a smooth flow for ALL breeds?
_ Is the heeling away from the ring gate and table, if possible?
_ Is the Figure Eight out and away from obstructions (gates – jumps)?
_ Have you preplanned adequate space for the physically challenged handlers?
_ How do you plan to inform the exhibitors of your heeling pattern (tell, show, post)?
_ Post required information for the class(es) to judge 45-minutes ahead of start time.
_ Steward’s instructions.
_ Thank your stewards for volunteering their time.
_ Review their duties and make sure they are understood before the class starts.
_ Having printed instructions works best as you will then not forget items to cover, plus they will then have a hard copy to refer back to, if needed.
_ Have leashes available for the Group exercises (Graduate Novice & Regular Open) and additional instructions for how you want the Group exercises handled.
_ Judging positions - for all exercises.
_ Give serious thought to the best positions for each exercise for observing the team in action. Keep your distance; be aware of your movements so as not to interfere.
_ Stay on the dog’s side as much time as possible, especially for the Fast and Slow during the heeling exercise.
_ Watching dogs, handlers and scoring (Create habits).
_ In a class with jumps, first look at the jumps to make sure they are set correctly before the team enters the ring. Then look at the dog entering the ring to make sure (in your mind) the jumps are set for at least the minimum standard height and/or distances for that breed. Know how to measure to verify height.
_ Bring the team into the ring ONLY when you are ready to proceed.
_ As the team enters the ring, do a quick visual check of the collar, leash and for forms of identification, making sure all items conform to the Regulations.
_ Check the armband; first to make sure there is one and it matches your worksheet.
_ Keep your eyes on the team once they enter the ring and until they leave the ring.
_ Exercises where the handler leaves the dog, keep the DOG in your vision and the handler in your peripheral vision until the handler reaches where they are going. If any scoring is to take place during this timeframe it most likely will be the DOG.
_ After the last exercise (individual in particular) refrain from too much conservation with the handler. Let them concentrate on getting the leash on their dog and exiting under control. Do not be a distraction to the team which could end up causing a scorable fault for which YOU may have been the cause.
_ Watch the team exiting the ring before you enter data in the Judge’s Book.
_ Make sure the leash is attached or slipped through the collar as the team exits; otherwise a scorable fault is warranted under Miscellaneous Penalties.
_ Use the WORDS in the Obedience Regulations.
_ Know and use the correct words in the Regulations if you are giving information or feedback to the handler. For example, do NOT inform the handler the dog “bumped.” The dog “crowded” and did not allow the handler “freedom of motion at all times.” The handler should be able to go to the Regulations and find exactly what your comment was all about.
_ Awards ceremony.
_ The AKC considers this a BIG deal, so practice in getting procedure down.
_ Make sure your ribbons are at ringside well before the end of the class and double-check to be sure they conform to the Regulations (Chapter 1, Section 18).
_ Bring all the qualifying handlers (Regular, Alternative or Optional titling classes) back into the ring.
_ You are required to inform the spectators that a perfect score is 200 points.
_ You have the choice to present the placement ribbons in the order of 1st > 4th
_ or 4th > 1st.
_ As you announce the placement and score, bring that team forward and have them STAY forward. Speak UP so the spectators OUTSIDE the ring can hear you!
_ Bring the next placement forward (etc.) and line them up next to the team previously brought forward. The objective is to present to the spectators the placements and separate them from the other qualifiers in the ring.
_ After the placements are presented, next go down the line of qualifiers and YOU hand them the Qualifying Score ribbon and announce to them their score.
_ Judge’s Book entries.
_ Know how to fill out a Judge’s Book. Refer to the Judge’s Guidelines (Chapter 5) for samples.
_ When you go to the table to enter data in the Judge’s Book do it efficiently and move on to your next team. Precious time can be lost at the table resulting in running late.
_ Write neat and be precise, plus double-check your addition.
_ Keep in mind, there are new abbreviations to be used (NQ-R & HLR).
_ When writing in the book know the differences between “Excused” and “Released” and when to use the correct word in your entry.
_ Make SURE all the boxes are filled in, including absentees, Miscellaneous Penalties; write in the Regular Open B/Utility B and Preferred Open/Utility exercises and the Roman numeral for the chosen exercise order.
_ If you made a correction in the book make sure it is initialed.
_ Double-check to see you have the times started and stop entered in the book.
_ Double-check to see the placements, scores and catalog numbers are recorded.
_ Double-check to see all information is carried down to the Total Score and Final Qualifying Score boxes.
_ If there was a run-off did you add in the plus (+) sign(s) to indicate the winner(s)?
_ If there were discrepancies or explanations needed, write those in on the inside cover of the Judge’s Book. Carry a piece of carbon paper in your briefcase so you can make a copy of what you wrote on the cover for your records.
_ Sign the book!
_ If a dog was disqualified or a dog-on-dog attack, complete those forms and make sure they are also turned in.
_ If you hand off the book to be turned in, give the book ONLY to the Obedience Chairman, Superintendent or Show Secretary. Your “worksheets” are not to be given out, that would include photographing.
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