AKC Judges work hard
to learn their craft and it is judges, not AKC, who own what they know.
August 2006 | TheDogPress
Julie Borst-Reed, Breeds Columnist
The American Kennel Club
NEVER gave me a lesson about pure-bred dogs that I didn't
pay for myself. To think the AKC staff has
the audacity to state that the AKC spends too much money in
educating AKC judges in order to PERMIT them to judge the same event
or breeds in other places is absurd from my experience.
judges actually expend more time and money to educate
themselves than the AKC probably spends to educate ten judges.
Judges travel at their own expense to attend judging seminars.
Approved or aspiring AKC judges attend specialty shows in order to
expand their education and learn more about those breeds.
They invest time, money, and dedication in developing their
talent and advancing their career. AKC only "approves"
what they have accomplished.
Kennel Club doesn't "own" judges so why should a judge have to
ask "permission" to judge elsewhere??
Great judges go to great extremes to learn as much as they can about
many breeds and how those breeds are developing and being
maintained not only in this country but in many countries and
many registries. Fred Lanting is one of the most talented and
studied judges I have ever had the pleasure of watching judge a
I have only shown under him once but have had a
dozen or so of my breeding stock brought to him with owners of
varied backgrounds in dog show experience. Fred Lanting did a
better job of judging, more than I had ever seen, knowing just
what dogs were worth the better placements - no matter the
owners' handling, etc... His kind hands and knowing nods and
overall comments of actual structural knowledge were a breath of
fresh air to everyone in the ring that day. No guessing what he
was interested in finding - he wanted the best.
I have since really enjoyed Fred Lanting's intelligent
interpretations of many dog world issues. I see that with this
recently reported action by the AKC "staff" concerning an IN THE
OPEN note he posted, that it seems that he has been unfairly
singled out. Fred Lanting is well-rounded, a world-studied dog
man. This note placed on a table to set up a possible contact for a foreign party can not for a moment compare to
an inappropriate action that AKC deems against the best interest of
In an instant after reading that information
tonight, I thought of how much junk I have had to witness that
the AKC Reps decide is no big deal while it occurs behind the
scenes or even in the open - directly to THE DOGS - AT THE
SHOWS!!! . . . . I can only plead that it is time to focus on
the real problem.
AKC should send me in as a spy for just a month and I could blow
a huge hole in the entire "what is permitted to go on and what
is really not a problem" problem. Professional handlers should
become a thing of the past if the dog show world is to thrive
again and retired professional handlers as AKC representatives
should NEVER ever be hired by AKC to be "STAFF".
That is one of the biggest problems AKC is creating for itself.
And who am I to know any of this? I'm not about sour grapes
or about how much money things cost. I have never been a
professional handler, to do that job properly takes 2 x more
energy than I have at my personal disposal. I have hired and
worked with top handlers. I have seen too much perhaps because I
am a very aware person. I have bred some great winners/producers
and then dove far away because what I witnessed was worse than I ever could
have been imagined – especially what I witnessed done to
the dogs so they would have a better chance at winning under
judges that should have excused them. But then they have
what was so obviously done to the dogs.
Only once that I witnessed, was something done to
a beautifully-trained, lovely moving bitch I owned. While
in the Open
Bitch class she zig-zagged as though she was drunk
and she was with a top handler. When I turned it into the
National's show committee, the word came back that the handler
traveled with so many dogs, he had no choice but to "medicate"
many of them for safety reasons! That was the official word.
Nothing was done because the handler just stood with arms on
hips and said to me, "Prove it."
That was a dream wrecker, the outlandish things I saw
done to the dogs. Intelligent people want something else. You want to really focus
on the problem of people jumping ship - start with the rules
already in place and enforce them.
I currently am staying an arm-lengths away because the
entire thing is stinking so badly... I know the game needs the
best foundation of good breeders, but why at my sacrifice?
with the recent decrees from the AKC STAFF to limit judging and
then this with AKC judge Fred Lanting. I am shaking my head. I try to play
in AKC now and again but with the Dog Show Rules not enforced, it just doesn't
promote good sportsmanship in my breed (Poodles). Rules, I ask,
So, because I like a fair playing field, it is
refreshing to read Lanting's accounts of
other countries' and those registries thoroughness in judging;
all around dogs promoted, those with good structure of good
bone/ligaments, good teeth and good temperament celebrated.
These features listed would be held important to me if I were a
My husband and I WANT our efforts in dog breeding judged by the
highest level. Yes, we have thought of moving to another country
for this very reason. We consider a cap on the inbreeding
percentage and mandatory health screenings passed to be an
excellent set of criteria not just as a goal but as a
prerequisite for parent clubs to achieve someday in leading
their breeders to produce the best dogs for the future. To us,
it is short-sighted not to consider some of these
Fred Lanting just helps people look and continue to think
out-of-the-box but it seems that the AKC wants everyone to stay
in their solid-sided box. "I think, therefore I am" is what I
think about when I think of Fred Lanting. You can't expect
anyone that has met Fred Lanting as a fellow breeder to believe
that he has done anything against pure-bred dogs. Quite the
opposite. Those of us speaking out about the need for the
precious new blood for breeds or for the need to breed
well-constructed, proven dogs are a good goal for the dogs.
I will be happy to support
AKC judge Fred Lanting for all that he has done
for pure-bred dogs and because he is one of the true gentlemen I
have met in over 30 years of showing dogs very competitively.
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