In the years that I have competed in Agility and Obedience I have encountered several different breeds of judges.  These are my findings.

The “Good Ol’ Days” Judge

This is primarily an Obdedience judge category, though it can go both ways.  These are the older folks who have been competing for centuries (you heard me) and are not pleased with the current lack of effort the new generation puts forth.  They judge with a sharp pencil and would like to give an ear pinch to at least half of the exhibitors (and more of their dogs).  They judge with a frown on their faces, and treat their weekend job as a chore that they for some reason continue to participate in.

The “Sleighted” Judge

These are primarily Agility judges who own a less-common breed (Scotties for instance) and design their courses so that wicked-fast dogs or dogs with big strides need not apply.  They basically want to weed out the borders and jacks because they feel sleighted.  I say, love the breed you love and play the sport you want to play.  If you love scotties, then figure out what makes your scottie tick and go with it!  If you want a dog with more ease-of-motivation then go get one, but quit acting like you’re some martyr because you run scotties (or whatever).

The “I Can Design It But I Couldn’t Handle It” Judge

This happens in Agility and Obedience alike with a few differences.  In both, these are the judges who have met judge qualifications but have not acheived any huge levels of success in the sport.  They love to be involved, can design a good course (or can judge a heel pattern with accuracy), but if you saw them show their own dogs you’d be shocked at the lackluster performance.  I don’t particularly mind these judges, unless their courses are ridiculously technical or their pencil is outrageously sharp. 

Bottom line is, if you want to judge the sport, you better love the sport, for whatever reason.  You better like dog people, and it would be nice if you liked dogs (not just Scotties) too.  Judge us fairly, and with a smile on your face, it’s all we ask.

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