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Attention UKC Judges: Application Process, Judges Tests, Ring Procedure Workshops, and Apprenticeships

The following applies to UKC judges licensed through the Show Operations Dept.

May 1, 2017

Source: UKC Show Operations Department
Phone: 269.343.9020
Email: judges@ukcdogs.com

The new conformation judges test is now available!

All current UKC judges who have requested the test by sending an email to judges@ukcdogs.com will be receiving an electronic PDF file of this test. Any currently licensed UKC judges who have not requested the test must send the request via email with your name, current address, phone number and valid email address to judges@ukcdogs.com. All UKC judges are now required to have a valid, working email account.

After you have printed the test and answered all the questions, the test may be returned via email as an attachment to judges@ukcdogs.com or the hard copy can be mailed to:

United Kennel Club
Attn: Judges Test
100 E. Kilgore Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49002-5584

Judges will need to have on-hand the following rulebooks to complete the test:
Official UKC Conformation Rulebook (free PDF download from UKC website)
UKC Misconduct & Discipline Guidelines (free PDF download from UKC website)
UKC Junior Rulebook (free PDF download from UKC website)
Judge’s Handbook, which must be purchased from the UKC store.

The deadline to return the test is September 1, 2017.All conformation judges must pass the test with a minimum score of 85%. If the test is returned and graded prior to September 1 and a minimum passing score was not achieved, judges may request to take the test again. Any retests must also be submitted by the September 1 deadline date. UKC licensed judges who fail to return their test by September 1 will not be able to maintain their UKC judging license.

Judges who do not return the test by the deadline date or do not attain a minimum passing score by September 1 may finish out any assignment they have for 2017 but will not be able to accept assignments for 2018. Any assignments that have already been accepted for 2018 will need to be cancelled and clubs will need to find a replacement. In these cases, a 12-month waiting period will be mandatory before another test may be requested.

The new Conformation Judges Application Kit is now available!

The application kit includes the new Judge’s Handbook, the conformation judge’s test, and a USB with all the current breed standards. If you would like to apply to become a conformation judge, you may purchase the application kit.

2017 Ring Procedure Workshops!

Ring procedure workshops are a direct result from the Judge’s Education Seminar survey sent out in April of 2016. Overwhelmingly, UKC judges responded that UKC rules and proper ring procedures such as bringing dogs in to the ring, approaching dogs, touching dogs during physical examination and moving dogs through the classes needed to be a major focus for all UKC judges. It was also felt by most judges that these procedures would be best learned in a hands-on style learning environment.

The first of these Ring Procedure Workshops will be held on Wednesday October 25, in conjunction with Gateway Nationals in Gray Summit, Missouri. The workshop will be scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with light refreshments provided. More details will be announced separately regarding pricing and availability. Additionally, details are forthcoming for the workshop scheduled at the UKC California Classic in 2018.

Priority for workshop spaces will be given to UKC judges who wish to take apprentices followed by UKC judge applicants. At this time, ring procedure workshops are not a requirement for any UKC judge who does not wish to take apprentices.

New UKC Conformation Apprenticeships!

Being a conformation judge requires constant learning. There is always knowledge to be gained, no matter what stage of licensing a judge is in. To impart knowledge to anyone, one must be willing to continue learning themselves and be receptive to the questions asked of a novice.

Apprenticeships for all new UKC judge applicants was formulated based on a combination of responses from the Judges Education Survey sent April 2016. Many expressed that they wished they had more hands-on judging experience available to them before having to take official assignments, but rather they needed to accept assignments to gain experience and exposure to many different breeds.

Allowing judges to accept official assignments before they had the opportunity to gain the experience necessary to make sound judgements put UKC exhibitors in a precarious position. A judge is perceived, and rightly so, to be an expert on purebred dogs. Judges are expected to know, understand, and apply the breed standard to dogs in their ring, consistently and confidently. Exhibitors pay for a judge’s professional opinion of their stock. UKC and the inexperienced judge are doing the exhibitor a disservice when there is a lack of education displayed regarding UKC rules, procedures, and breed standards.

The all-breed apprenticeships were the answer to address this need of gaining experience before being able to accept assignments. These new apprenticeships will require apprentice judges to have apprenticed for a minimum number of dogs within each group before receiving a UKC conformation judge license.

The procedures for these apprenticeships are different from the breed-specific apprenticeships for the American Eskimo and Belgian Shepherd Dog and formerly the American Pit Bull Terrier and Toy Fox Terrier. The new all-breed apprenticeships do not have the apprentice physically examine any dogs.

The apprentice judge will shadow the Senior judge throughout the assignment. The senior judge will go over the topics found on the apprentice form that is to be filled out by the Senior judge. The apprentice judge may take a small note pad and writing utensil into the ring and will mentally evaluate the dogs presented to the Senior judge.

The note pad may be used to place the dogs in each class so that the apprentice and the Senior judge can discuss placements after judging is over. Apprentices do not interact with exhibitors and the merits of the dogs presented are not discussed during judging.

The details of apprenticeships can be found fully in the new Judge’s Handbook and will be discussed extensively on how to conduct them in the new ring procedure workshops. We look forward to sharing these new procedures with everyone and believe that moving in this direction will be addressing the long-standing concerns of UKC judges and better meet the needs of our exhibitors.

For any questions regarding these new procedures, the new application process and apprenticeships, please email judges@ukcdogs.com

A Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company founded in 1898, United Kennel Club is the largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. Celebrating the unique Total Dog philosophy, UKC events highlight the instincts and heritage of dogs that look and perform equally well, as more than 60 percent of its annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training, and instinct. United Kennel Club prides itself on its family-oriented, friendly, educational events, welcoming both purebred dogs and dogs of unknown ancestry.

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