A few weeks ago, I was at the Central Oklahoma Toy Dog Club's 2-day specialty show, showing a long-coat Chihuahua dog. The Chihuahua specialty sponsored by my club had been the previous night, and that was all over. I walk into the juniors ring with only two pieces of competition- a girl with a toy poodle and a girl with a silky terrier. We walk and we each put our dogs on the table. The judge places the silky, the toy poodle, then me. Why? Because "I didn't pay enough attention to my dog, and you made too much eye contact with me. I know they say to do that at classes, but don't do it." What the...?
Look, you're supposed to judge junior showmanship THE EXACT SAME WAY YOU JUDGE CONFORMATION, with the exception of judging the handler instead of the dog. Do you ever see professional handlers GET ON THE FLOOR AND STACK THEIR SMALL DOG? NO. See, that's what all the judges want you to do nowadays. Actually, let me scratch that. I can't do a thing about improving in juniors! Why? Because I have no honest to God clue of what judges are looking for! They're all so different in their judging! Floor stack or free stack? Bair or no bait? Eye contact or no eye contact?
Seems ridiculous, huh? Here's the icing on the cake.
The next day, I got first because I "was very professional-looking." She made us do every single gait pattern, which I idolized her doing because you'll never know what the judge will make you do in conformation or in juniors.
Now for the all-breed bull!
If you ever go to an all-breed show and watch juniors, look what dogs are placing! They're all big dogs. All the top juniors? Not a single small dog in that pick. Why? It takes more effort to show a small dog. Yet all the judges are picking juniors with big, finished dogs. I know a junior who also shows Chihuahuas, and what does she take into the juniors ring? A smooth collie! And she went to Westminster! Not with a Chi, but with a big dog.
Does anyone else smell foul play? I'm calling AKC and talking to the head honcho there and I'm going to have the judges come together and create a single "breed standard" for juniors. Plainly, I'm sick and tired of it.
Correct. But it's gotten very VERY corrupted these days, to the point where some judges even look at the quality of the dog, and then they make excuses on how they didn't like the other handers. I may take my ILP'd Beagle (who is fixed) in the ring, just for effect and because I can! I'm very concerned about those novice juniors because I don't think it's hit some of them yet that "all judges aren't the same." I'm so glad I'm in open!
Is your show kid gonna be in Oklahoma City for the Mid-Del-Tinker and OKC-KC show?
***Edited By: Allie on 6/11/2005 8:18:18 AM*** Reason: add
Allie, all judges don't judge the same way in conformation either, why would you expect them to all be the same in juniors?
Some judges don't even look at puppies, some do. Some judges are huge fans of nice heads, some prefer movement, some prefer rear end carriage. Some go for the pro-handler dog virtually every single time. Some prefer men handlers.. some prefer women.. ANyway at the end of all things it's important to remember judges aren't clones, but are human too, and there literally is no way to make them all judge the exact same way. Many experienced show people try to show their dogs to judges that like their dog's best features, because it's a waste of time and money to show to a judge that you know will not. They actually keep 'lists' of judges that they like to show too, and often will ask other people for their opinions of the judging styles.
He is in Chicago and then there is a small break untill the end of the month. You may want to look for my handler however in the future. He is a great guy and very helpful with juniors. He may have as many as 4 dogs to show in one breed so he needs GOOD juniors who can work a dog, and hes rather sucessful.
Allie, I have to agree with Minniyar. Each judge judges differently. Our friend who's a JH (open) has done quite well with her Mini Poodle. She also finished him in the breed ring. You may already do it, but take notes after a JH show as to what the judge has told you and what they were looking for. Keep track of the judges you show under and you will know what they are looking for and adjust your handling to fit the judge.
At least in JH they tell you why they judge you/dog the way they do. Most judges in breed don't unless you ask them (in a cordial way, not defensively).I would suggest not free stacking your dog in JH. It may be considered show boating, and your actually showing off your dogs skill instead of yours (by hand-stacking). Yes, some pro handlers do get on the floor and hand-stack their dog if neccessary. Not all dogs will free stack. Some judges also look at how difficult the breed is to handle.
Judges are human (most of them anyway) and they're going to have preferences. It's not always fair, you won't always agree. I don't think a JH would go to Westminster just because of the dog.
A friend of ours tells us, "when it stops being fun, when you stop enjoying showing your dog(s), it's time to stop showing."
I wish you the best in your showing, and don't get to cynical about it!