‘Bent’ judges: (Part 6) the debate continues

Is it fair to say that the Kennel Club is not doing enough to prevent 'bent' judging?

Your chance to have your say by visiting our online VOTELINE



Fact or fiction?

Following our leading feature article, we have been inundated with comments and responses from readers.

We feature here some longer statements made either by letter or in our breed notes.

We know the Kennel Club is very interested in seeing and hearing people’s views, so why not let them know through this page. We will be featuring the best of your letters and e-mails over the next few weeks.

Constructive comments on how YOU would tackle the problem are particularly requested.

We can all give examples of the problem and say it exists, it’s what to do about it that’s the difficult bit.


We welcome all letters to the Editor by email, fax or letter.

Please reply to: ourdogsedit@lineone.net

• Tel: 08707 31 65 00 • Fax: 08707 31 65 01


This is not a new phenomenon. In the 60's I attended a Champ show with my home bred puppy (an unusual colouration of the breed) to be told by the Judge to "Get that dalmatian-cross out of my ring". The Steward did explain that there was a K.C. standard for my dog, but all the judge said was "Never heard of it". I could list more, but we are now in the present day so how about:-

a) A judge who refused to lay hands on any of the dogs entered under them. Handlers had to show the bite, then the dogs were moved. Fine for smooth coats but what about the long haired ones?

b) A judge who makes weird noises while going over each dog, so that the dog loses its normal composure and ear carriage?

c) A judge who deliberately keeps a handler in deep conversation prior to judging their dog, and then tells that handler that their dog cannot be placed as they may have been seen talking to each other?

d) Being told that you should never enter your dog where well known breeders are going to be, as their dogs must be placed, even though your dogs are much better than theirs?

e) On arrival at a show, finding that the judge is happily sitting with some of the "faces" prior to judging, or that the said "faces" have brought a couple of bottles of wine to share with said judge after the classes are finished, and said "faces" have won everything?

f) What about Breed Clubs that choose their judges, then the committee enter the show, are seen with their official badges on one minute, then suddenly there they are in the ring, minus badges,walking off with all the top placings, both at Open show level and Championship shows.

Surely the K.C. could put a stop to this sort of cheating? New judges should NOT bow down to their "proposers" and give them the top placings. Exhibitors have to consider carefully where they are most likely to get a "fair crack of the whip", the cost of travel and entries is too much to just go for the day out. So come on Kennel Club lets see some action and help the "little people" to be fairly judged. Not all the well known "faces" have the best dogs.


Yes, I do believe that there is an abundance of bent judges! Nine times out of ten you can fill in the main winners in a catalogue before the schedules have even been printed.

I really do not know why the KC don't send the CC's out directly to the judges and let them post them to their designated winners, that way it would save the majority of us the trouble and expense of turning up. Fortunately we do still have a few paragons of virtue left and it is a shame that more do not follow their footsteps.

All the problems with dog shows at the higher level, are the Kennel Club’s own doing, they have created their own monster by failing to move with the times. Dog shows are getting bigger and bigger, it has become a case of the insatiable in pursuit of the unattainable for most, the harder it gets the more the corruption festers. Some would call that human nature.

In the past the Kennel Club have failed to seek out the perpetrators of these crimes and make a few examples!

There are some very simple answers to corrupt judges. STOP making thousands of dogs, exhibitors, cars etc. cram themselves into one venue every weekend.

Where certain breeds have strong entries at Open shows, OFFER 8 classes and 1 CC. plus the reserve CC and make them available at MORE than one show on any given weekend, this way the exhibitor gets a choice; I am sure that when a judge knows that exhibitors have a choice, they will compete for the biggest entry and think twice about making a fool of themselves in future. Judges with low entries will not be asked back a second time and the word soon gets out.

The more unattainable CC's become, the more you will breed corruption. I am not suggesting more CC's, just take some away from the main shows and distribute them a little further afield by splitting them between the general CS shows.

Change the system and make those bent judges think twice!

Alison Gunson



Having been in the game since the early 1990's I have long concluded, bent judging is impossible to avoid, unless someone finds a way to legislate against human nature!

We simply have to rely on experience and avoid entries under those we suspect of being less than honest, as if those we suspect of dishonesty fail to get the entries, the societies will not invite judges who fail to attract a decent entry. Cheque book votes.

C C Harwell


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