The qualities needed to be a breeder are not those of a judge and many successful breeders have not had the personality to equip them for judging. When you walk into the ring you have total power for the day and you have to be capable of wielding that power sensibly and honestly, with the confidence to do so without caring what anyone thinks. We have all met judges who do not like to give one exhibitor more than one or two prizes or who make no secret of the fact that if you “won with your dog” you cannot also expect to “win with your bitch”. There are others who do not like certain colors and will not place them, whilst others seem to overlook any flaw in the colors they prefer. All these represent minor dishonesties in people who ought never to judge. If one person handles the best dog in every class then he should win every class. If your worst enemy has the best dog then put it first.
One should be cautious of a judge who, in his own country, knows all the dogs and can judge with apparent skill – yet when dropped into the ring in another country, where the dogs are unknown to him, may exhibit a singular lack of ability to identify the best. A good judge should be capable of putting the dogs in the correct order and explaining their placings, wherever they find themselves. In many English speaking countries, if you are a tough judge and outspoken in your comments, however fair, then you are unlikely to command large entries, nor be popular. Dogs are extensions of their owners’ egos and if you penalize a dog, then some owners feel that their ego has been dented. The judges who are gentle in their criticism or eulogistic in their comments and who “share the prizes around” are often popular. But popularity does not make a judge good. Judging is about skilled evaluation, not popularity. Be honest to yourself and you will be honest for your breed – all the rest is fool’s gold. You might be invited to officiate less often but at least you can live with yourself.