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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.


The earnest 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.


The American Kennel Club doesn't "own" judges so why should a judge have to ask "permission" to judge elsewhere??


Julie Borst ReedGreat 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 dog show.


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 pure-bred dogs.


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 probably witnessed 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. W
hile gaiting 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?  And 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, what rules?


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 dog!

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 "OUT-OF-THE-BOX" ideas.

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.


Write letters if you care!




Dig For Gold:

Judges Debate Solicitation Should they solicit assignments? Even they can't agree.

Judges Are Independent Contractors! Should judges be allowed to advertise?

Fred Lanting on The Evil Empire - Part 1, in his own words.

The Purloined Poodle, is the WKC Group winner a judge "trafficking in dogs"?

AKC's Suspended list includes Fred Lanting 15 to Life.



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