What a great weekend my niece, Hailee, and I had at the Michigan Sporting Dog Association’s Judges Seminar!
This is the 9th year that my friend Michelle Keehn, her husband and I have participated in this very important event. Through this event the future AKC Judges of the Sporting Dog’s are taught how to judge each perspective breed.
The Judges are given a presentation first. Michelle does this portion for the Chesapeake’s along with at least one other person who has been in the breed for a number of years. Our presentation consists of covering the things in our breed standard in more detail. The Judges can ask questions at any time. They are also given a booklet that has our breed standard, information about our breed, bio’s of the presenter’s, and several articles written by long time Chesapeake breeders. The Judges are also given a CD with the whole presentation in PDF so they have something they can refer back to.
After the presentation the Judges get a hands on demonstration. This is really the highlight of the session, the opportunity to actually go over the dogs in a similar setting as a conformation ring. The dogs are supplied by other Chesapeake owners, if not for their dedication to the breed this really wouldn’t be possible for the Judges to have this opportunity.
Each Judge gets to go over every dog and take the time to really get their hands on them and ask questions. We move the dogs around the ring just as if it was the real deal. They critique the dogs, so as I say “don’t bring your dog if you don’t want to hear the bad with the good”.
The whole seminar was well received by the Judges and they commented on what a great job we did and the nice quality dogs we brought for them.
A great deal of hard work goes into putting this together not only by the MSDA but each individual breed. The weekend is long for everyone, including the dogs, but in the end it is all worth it to make sure the future Judges have this wonderful opportunity to be educated on each breed.
Some random photos from the weekend…