This weekend I had the privilege of judging a match show for the Keystone Labrador Retriever Club. It’s the second time I have done this. It’s my Lab club, many of the exhibitors are friends of mine, but there are also people I do not know; I honestly wanted to do the best job I could for all entered.

I’ve attended quite a few structure seminars, have participated in a lot of shows, and seen at least my share of Labradors. But, it is different when one is evaluating dogs to pick the best examples of the breed shown that day. After seeing each class, studying the angles, coat, feet, dentition, etc, and watching the dogs movement, I picked my favorites. It came down to which dogs I would want most to take home.

Now, this process is not fool proof. Another judge may very well pick different dogs on the same day. It is pinpointing what is most important to an individual. For me, I tend to look for overall balance, no extremes, correctness in structure and a dog that not only can do what it was bred to do, but also has a body that will hold up well into its geriatric years.

A big shout out to the KLRC. Many members contributed to Schuylkill Veterinary Hospital’s Happy New Woof program. I brought home an assortment of items for Military Working Dogs along with donated cash to buy treats and toys that will be sent to some hard working dogs in our armed forces.