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IMHO – Judges Talk About Current Issues in the Sport

Click here to read the complete article
306 – November/December 2019

By Elaine Lessig

We asked experienced AKC judges two questions about current issues affecting our sport. Here’s what they had to say…
The Questions:
1. What specifically do you like about the current judges’ application procedure?
2. What specifically would you like to see improved in the current application procedure?

Debbie Melgreen – AKC Judge

1. What specifically do you like about the current judges’ application procedure?

I particularly like the variety of the CEU experiences within the Matrix. Not everyone learns in the same manner and it provides several methods of obtaining education. Seminars/Hands-on workshops provide one option which works well for one person, while others may further their knowledge by more of a “book study” education as available through the courses offered in the Canine College. Various methods of observation are available as well through ringside observations, kennel visits, tutoring sessions and “in the ring” experience by judging special attractions. I believe it provides the opportunity for each applicant to select the methods that work best for them.

2. What specifically would you like to see improved in the current application procedure?

While I do believe something needed to be done to slow down the speed in which some individuals advanced, I also believe we need to find a “middle ground”. I realize there are no easy answers, but I believe we tend to go to the far right and the far left, but not much in the middle! I think that the six month waiting period forces people to apply for more breeds at a time. I know for me, personally, it has forced me to re-evaluate my initial plan for the number of groups I intended to apply for. I simply don’t have enough years left to reach my original goal unless things change.

I also feel the CEU values need to be “tweaked”. One example being that to apply for regular status for a breed that is not on the low entry list, you are required to judge the breed three times with an entry of two or more judged. For a breed on the low entry list, the same applies OR you may request regular status if you have been assigned the breed 6 times (even with no entry). Why not a “middle ground”? What if we added in a low entry breed to be able to apply for regular status if you have judged the breed 3 times with 1 entry? Not in place of the above, but in addition to (3 options instead of 2).

Luis Sosa – AKC Judge

1. What specifically do you like about the current judges’ application procedure?

With the first group an applicant is working on, it should still be 1 breed for 1 breed in the application process. It takes a certain amount of time to develop a feel for judging and be comfortable in the process. Moving forward too quickly defeats this purpose. This requirement could be waived for “experienced” applicants. For your typical one breed judge, applying to judge 12 breeds after the initial breed is not wise, and I feel does nothing to improve the quality of judging. I would like to see more input from the field staff as far as who can apply, and how quickly they can move forward and apply for additional breeds. This decision should not be made by a single rep, but several reps familiar with the applicant, and could be lessened as an applicant is approved for more breeds/groups.

2. What specifically would you like to see improved in the current application procedure?

It’s pretty straightforward and at least you know what you need to work on and how much it will count for. In some of the previous systems, it was at times difficult to know exactly what was required in an application, and what you needed to work on in order to apply for a breed. The present system is pretty straightforward and allows the prospective applicant to determine what he/she needs to work on to apply for a new breed. Many applicants have limited experience outside of their breed or group, and it’s helpful to have a road map to know how to proceed and what is required in order to complete the application. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all and I believe that exceptions should be made for individuals with varying amount of experience.

Christine Calcinari – AKC Judge

1. What specifically do you like about the current judges’ application procedure?
It appears that the AKC has worked to perfect the CEU system to insure quality education is sought by each judge for each breed. It is evident that in order to complete the CEU requirements for a non-low entry breed, the most CEU value is to attend a National Specialty and participate in a hands-on workshop, along with ringside mentoring. This will provide the best education a Parent Club can provide, while having the opportunity to see very good quality specimens of the breed. This, in my opinion, while not requiring this CEU, does make it the best option to complete CEU requirements. This provides this very best education possible for each breed.

Also, within the current application process, I like the ability to request Regular Status on some breeds, while having the ability to move forward applying for breeds which you have become eligible to apply for.

2. What specifically would you like to see improved in the current application procedure?

The list of potential CEU’s includes, “Phone Tutoring for Low Entry Breed with breed expert”, which has 1 CEU assigned for its value. Many applicants, including myself, have used this CEU valuation and sent in an application only to have this CEU rejected.
It would be helpful to the process, avoiding additional paperwork, not to mention lost time, if the AKC would publish a list of the breeds for which this CEU can be used. Apparently, there are some breeds where this CEU can be applied and others where it cannot be used. It would be helpful to have this list of breeds before applying, or planning to use this CEU.

Click here to read the complete article
306 – November/December 2019

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=174429

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