The Judges Approval System: Falling on Deaf Ears

The Judges Application and Approval process is not working, will not work, and in most cases is insulting and degrading to the people whose knowledge and experience are held in highest regard.

If there is one thing that the ever-changing, ever-challenging, ever-maddening Judges Application and Approval process seems to have accomplished, it is to unite the major movers of the dog fancy against it. Whether it be the dog judges advocacy groups, breeder-applicants or major writers in the various purebred dog publications, they have all responded in a single voice: This is not working, will not work, and in most cases is insulting and degrading to the people whose knowledge and experience are held in highest regard.

Either the AKC — meaning those actually in charge of the whole judges approval debacle — is more interested in how many $25 checks can be collected or, in its infinite wisdom, cares little about the ever-widening gap that exists between us and them — the grassroots of the dog game and the current administration. There are too many intelligent people involved in the current administration of the AKC to have not noticed just how much it has become about us and them in the past few decades. One of the final blows has been, of course, The American Kennel Club’s decision to eliminate judging applicants’ names and locations from submitted curriculum vitae. The very essence of this biographical request is to explain how the applicants’ involvement, accomplishments and successes reflect who they are in the sport and what they have to offer the sport in return.

Key writers throughout the various dog publications (with possibly the exception of two) are unanimous in their dismay with the ever-worsening AKC Judges Approval process. They have made intelligent independent suggestions, which are simple and amazingly workable. And not even an eyebrow has so much as been lifted on the part of the American Kennel Club. There must be a reason.

There are those people, of course, who spend their entire lives scratching and clawing their way to the middle, and judging, at least in their minds, elevates them another rung higher. These are the people who would crawl on their hands and knees over crushed glass for another breed and wouldn’t utter a word of objection to whatever antics they might be requested to perform. Are there more of these people than we want to believe?

The judges advocacy groups speak on our behalf and the dog writers speak for us, but how many individuals stand up and speak for themselves? Now, at this late stage, a few have taken up the cudgel and spoken out in honesty, in anger and in disappointment. Will their impassioned pleas also fall on deaf ears?

Read more about the Judges Approval Process>>


From the March 2014 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine, or call 1-888-738-2665 to purchase a single copy.

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