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Hey Newbies – Here’s What Judges Want You to Know – Part 2

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102 – August, 2018

by Sandy Weaver · AKC Judge

Ah,the inner workings of a judge’s brain – when you’re in the ring, wouldn’t it be nice to know what the judge was thinking? It’s with that premise that a recent survey went out, asking judges to weigh in on newbie exhibitors. Guess what – even those of us who have been around a long time can learn from these survey responses!

Last month judges shared their one best piece of advice when a newbie shows up in their ring, and this month it’s the darker side of newbies – the secret (or sometimes not-so-secret) pet peeves judges have about newbie exhibitors.

In this survey, there was one response that showed up many times – twenty-four judges stated they have no pet peeves about having a novice exhibitor in the ring. Eighteen judges referenced “paying attention” as a problem for them, and five judges’ responses reference pet peeves about seasoned exhibitors and how they treat the newbies. Ouch!

Here are some of the kinder, gentler responses:

“Don’t have one – love seeing their excitement and pride in their dog.”

“I don’t have one – I love to try to be sure that new exhibitors have a good time with their dog and want to come back. I’m happy to welcome ALL exhibitors to my ring. I love dogs and people.”

“I don’t have one. I enjoy new exhibitors and al- ways plan for extra time with them to help them relax and enjoy showing. We need them to keep our dog sport going.”

“I don’t have one. I love new exhibitors – their enthusiasm, their love for their dogs, and it’s a bonus if I can help make their early days in the ring pleasurable and something they want to come back to!”

“I don’t think I have a specific pet peeve. I some- times wish they were more prepared but that’s not something you can really be upset about.”

“I enjoy having new exhibitors in my ring and look forward to helping them go forward in this sport.”

“I have none. They are terrified, and I feel it’s part of my job to make it good for them.”

“I have none. This is a learning experience for all of us. It’s up to me to help make their experience a positive one so that we keep these new exhibitors coming back time and time again.”

“If they are really new exhibitors, I don’t have a pet peeve. Need to be very forgiving of newcomers to our sport.”

“None. I embrace their novice ability to try to make their expe- rience as positive as possible. After all, a good dog is a good dog in anyone’s hands.”

“None. Let them have fun and make them feel comfortable and wanted.”

Here are some of the instructional thoughts shared by judges:

“Be ready; have your armband on to enter the ring on time.”

“Constantly apologizing. It’s a puppy. No one including me is expecting a fully trained dog.”

“Folks that don’t have a clue about rules pertaining to dog shows. If you’re going to participate in an activity, understand the ground rules.”

“For anyone, not just newbies – being late.”

Click here to read the complete article
102 – August, 2018

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