It was my pleasure to be invited to judge at the Berks County Kennel Club match shows today. Once again, I had the opportunity to examine more than just Labradors. I judged the sporting group along with Best in Match in the morning. The afternoon brought with a second match. In this match, I judged the nonsporting dogs.
The nonsporting dogs were out of my comfort zone, so I had to do some homework prior to judging. Each breed has a standard of the ideal dog and as a judge, I have to picture the ideal specimen and look for the dog, that in my opinion, most closely resembles that picture. Included in this is the structural soundness to do the job it was bred to do. For example, a dog with a weak rear end is unlikely to be able to hunt all day, if that was the job it was intended for.
In the nonsporting group, I was able to examine diverse breeds including Chow Chows, Tibetan Spaniels, a Dalmation, a Xoloitzcuintli, a Bulldog and a Keeshond. Comparing one of these breeds to another is impossible. They are very different in looks and purpose. So, my job as the judge was to determine which dog was the best of its breed and then, in the group class to determine which dogs were closest to perfection.
Honestly, I really enjoy the chance to evaluate the dogs. And who doesn’t like to be able to handle puppies? I was even able to make it home early enough to spend time with my dogs and cats and take a ride on the horse.