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The Policy

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74 – April, 2021

By Wayne Cavanaugh

While often misattributed to Mark Twain, it was Charles Dudley Warner who made the famous remark, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”. Well, in our sport, everyone complains about the Judging Approval Process. Unlike the weather, however, much has been done about it over many years.

Changes are made to ensure the process is equitable. Is it fair, is it too difficult or too easy? Changes are also made in an attempt to improve the quality of judging. Then again, can a judging approval process improve the quality of judging? It may help to first discuss some basics of the judging approval process, or as it is officially referred to: “The Policy”. Besides, shouldn’t everyone know something about how judges earn their stripes before they complain about them?

When it comes to creating the perfect Policy, the AKC is in the unenviable position of being the HVAC specialist in an office building. Half the workers say it’s too hot, the other half claim it’s too cold. The HVAC specialist knows full well it’s not possible to please everyone, but they keep trying anyway because, well, it’s their job.

Just as the software engineer is too hot while the purchasing director is too cold, there will always be outliers in the judging ranks, cases that won’t fit the format. What questions did the AKC rep ask Peter Green about terriers? The AKC and the entire sport knew the only question that should have been asked of Peter was: “when can you start?” But there wasn’t a playbook for that situation. In an attempt to appear fair, there is one set of rules for everyone. In some cases, that’s a shame.

Click here to read the complete article

74 – April, 2021


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  • May 2021