The Kurz Korner

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A STANDARD FOR JUDGES
By Richard C. Kurz


"... Show in undt show out ve are asked about der judgink dat takes platz. ... How can ve giff objectif opinion? ... Ve hat notink mit vich to compare. ... At least das judge hat ein schtandardt to use ven efaluatink der hundten. ..." 

Dese ... I mean ... These words really struck home. The late Wolfgang Klegg, then the president of the Orville County German Shepherd Society, spoke them at the annual convention last year. The place was the Grand Ballroom of the Night Night Motor Inn and Truck Stop in Wadsworth Ohio. ...

"... Why not?" ... I remember thinking then, and I just did it again now. ... "Why not? ... Our fine judges should have at least as good a shake as our fine dogs." For this reason I have assembled the following guide. ...

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FIRST AMERICAN STANDARD FOR JUDGES
 
 

General Appearance:

The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog judge is that of a tough-minded, but fair; alert, but gentle man or woman. Muscular fitness and nimbleness are desirable, but not mandatory. ... Soft living seems unavoidable.

The judge should be neither too tall nor too short. If, as a rule of thumb, he must sink to his knees to pet the dog, he is probably too tall. On the other hand, if he must leap into the air to check testicles, he is probably too short. Measurements should be taken from the top of the head with the hair parted or so pushed down that it will show only the actual height of the frame or structure of the judge. A judge of
desirable size and of proper flesh should fall between 70 and 340 pounds depending primarily upon gender and upon how fat he or she really is.

The judge should be stamped with a look of nobility and justice, difficult to define, but unmistakable after the show. The good judge has a distinct personality marked by a direct and fearless, but not hostile expression of self-confidence and that certain aloofness which does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. ... At least it does not belie such friendships until later back at the hotel.

Secondary sex characteristics should be strongly marked lest, when the judge hands you a ribbon, you say, "Thank you, sir. ..." to a lady, or conversely.

The question of "monorchids" and "cryptorchids" should of course be left up to your club florist and to just how much you can afford.
 

Coat:

In cold climes the judge should be equipped with a double coat. The underwear may vary with the season. At no time however should a judge shed in the ring.
 

Structure:

I personally prefer lady judges built along the lines of brick chicken houses. ... As for the gentlemen, ... well, ... I just never have paid that much attention.
 

Proportion: 

The most desirable proportion for a judge is 38- 23-36. You may
have to settle for 23-23-23 or, as I have at times, 22-35-48.
 

Pigment:

Let's not get into this again. ... All colors are permissible. ... I have not personally seen a blue one, but there is always that first time.
 

Gait:

Judges who tend to motivate on all fours should be avoided, as should those who stagger and fall down a lot. Forward motion should be achieved by placing one foot in front of the other. Hopping is also permitted and, in fact, often makes for a much livelier show.
 

Stance: 

While viewing the dogs, the judge should stand in the center of
the ring, feet spread as at "Parade Rest". The right hand should be held firmly within the left armpit with the left hand crossing over under the right armpit. The chin must be tucked solidly into the chest, ... eyes squinting.

Once the judge has assumed this viewing posture, the ring steward should begin counting the number of times the class circles. If that count should ever exceed twenty (20), he then might unobtrusively move out from his position at ringside to check on the condition of the judge. Older, more experienced judge specimens have been known to doze off in this position, while members of the younger, party-going set might still be so gassed from the pre-show festivities that they may have passed out.
 

Minor Faults:

Mute:

It is better if a judge can speak in audible tones. His vocabulary may be limited to phrases like: "Loose leads!";  "Walk them."; "One more time.", and the numbers one (1) through four (4). If this is impossible, a set of flash cards should be supplied by the sponsoring club.
 

Total Blindness:

Using a totally blind judge really complicates show preparation. The ring must be set up on concrete so that he can hear the animals gait ... and even then some "wise guy" might show up with a mongrel and take the points.
 

Disqualifying Faults:

Judges who point, whoop, and holler; or who laugh hysterically at an exhibitor entering the ring with a particularly poor specimen are disqualified. Likewise a judge who delays proceedings while the handlers make checks out in his name is not permitted to participate further. Any judge who attacks a handler in the ring (Be it he/her, she/him, he/him, or whatever) is warned three times in writing after which he must be dismissed. As in obedience competition, a judge who relieves
himself in the ring is excused therefrom. This rule has recently been broadened to include ring stewards, so watch out this year.

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I have forwarded this first draft of my standard to the British and the German associations. To date I have received no official response, other than one invitation to speak at a rally in Bosnia, and a mysterious note in German making veile reference to my relatives in the old country.


 
 
 
 

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