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UKC Judge Requirements

Guiding Principles | Conformation | Obedience | Rally Obedience | Nosework | Agility | Drag Racing | Lure Coursing | Dock Jumping | Weight Pull

Guiding principles for UKC Judges

The sport of purebred dogs depends in no small part on its judges. The sport requires its conformation judges to be conversant in the standards of the breeds they evaluate and performance judges to know the rules of their sports. As a judge, or someone seeking to become a judge, you must commit to a lifetime of learning, seeking to improve your knowledge, and understanding of the sport in which you wish to officiate. No person has a greater opportunity or ability to affect a breed and its development than the judge. The daily decisions made by a judge can have an impact on breeding programs for years to come.

Above all, the sport demands that judges comport themselves in a manner consistent with the tenets of the United Kennel Club. UKC judges are expected to be courteous and professional throughout their assignments. Behaving unprofessionally or in a manner that discredits the United Kennel Club will never be tolerated. Your manners, appearance and ring procedures are scrutinized every time you step into the ring.

Judging is about dogs, to be sure, but it is also about people. Every one of us was new to this sport at one time and we are still involved today because of the positive experiences we had in the sport. You are often the first impression of the United Kennel Club to a new exhibitor and it is of utmost importance that you present the organization and yourself as a credible, knowledgeable representative; capable of holding this position. It is your responsibility to ensure to the best of your ability that all exhibitors have a positive experience.

Remember, exhibitors are paying for your professional opinion. Each dog deserves your full attention and a fair evaluation. When explaining your choices or scores to an exhibitor, use breed specific terminology to substantiate your choice or use the official language of the rules if discussing a performance. This will help to instill confidence in the exhibitor that you were knowledgeable enough to make that decision; even if they did not win or qualify that day.
All UKC judges are expected to avoid any situations that may give the appearance of impropriety. If you have concerns that something could be interpreted or viewed as inappropriate, it is best to avoid the situation altogether. A UKC judge’s reputation should be above reproach.

Once you carry a license to judge with the United Kennel Club, your actions will reflect your ability to hold this position. This does not simply pertain to events at which you have been hired to officiate, but in your personal life as well. Your actions on social media and in public forums will also be regarded when determining your fitness to be a UKC judge. Actions that reflect the United Kennel Club, its events or its exhibitors in a negative manner may be subject to disciplinary action.

Judging is a privilege. It is the culmination of years of experience in the sport of dogs. A judge must be thoughtful, knowledgeable, and mindful of their responsibilities to the breeders and exhibitors who show their dogs to them, and accountable to the United Kennel Club for their actions. Approval of an individual to judge at events licensed by the United Kennel Club shall be at the sole discretion of the United Kennel Club.

How to Become a UKC Conformation Judge

Requirements to apply:

Those wishing to apply to become a UKC licensed conformation judge must first purchase the UKC Judges Application Kit which will include the Application, Conformation Judges Test, the UKC Judges Handbook, as well as the Most up-to-date UKC Breed Standards. You must submit a completed Conformation Judges Test to UKC with your application, required documentation and a letter of intent.

Required for All Applicants:

  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of at least 15 years of experience in exhibiting dogs in Conformation
  • Successful completion of the Conformation Judges Test (85%) - If failed, applicant must wait 12 months to retest. Applicants must wait three (3) years to reapply upon a second failure.
  • Complete documentation of stewarding at a minimum of 12 UKC Conformation shows with 30+ entries. The assignments must have been within 2 years prior to the application submission date.
  • Be 21 years of age.
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an officiant.
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club.

AND

At least 4 of the requirements listed below:

  • Have registered and exhibited dogs in UKC for at least 5 consecutive years
  • Documentation of having bred 5 Champions* from a minimum of 3 different litters
  • Have shown 8 dogs to the Champion level
  • Have shown 4 dogs to the Grand Champion* level
  • Have owned 12 dogs that have earned the Champion* title
  • Documentation of having bred the same breed for 10 years
  • Documentation of at least 25 years of experience in exhibiting dogs in Conformation

*Title may be earned from any of the following registries (United Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, The Kennel Club of England, or any FCI Registry).

Applicants are regarded more favorably if they have been active in a local dog club and can provide evidence of involvement in their community's dog related activities. This includes but is not limited to rescue groups, community dog days/walks/runs, dog washes, and SPOT evaluations.

Application packages are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant may advance to become an apprentice conformation judge. An apprentice judge must complete all apprenticeship requirements and be approved to advance to fully licensed regular status.

UKC Regular Status Conformation Judge

Once the apprenticeship requirements have been met, an apprentice judge may apply for regular status. The application for regular status is available for download on the UKC website. The requirements to apply for regular status are:

Applications for regular status are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the apprentice will move to regular status. Regular status judges may remain at this level for their entire career. Becoming a senior status judge is only for those interested in taking apprentices.

All regular status judges will be automatically approved to judge Junior Showmanship classes.

UKC Senior Status Conformation Judge

The senior judge status offers UKC judges the opportunity to mentor new judges and give back to the sport. If you would like to be a senior status conformation judge and become eligible to take apprentices, you will need the following:

  • A minimum of 16 assignments completed at all breed shows with groups
  • A letter of recommendation from two separate senior status judges. (These must be different from the people who wrote letters of recommendation when applying to become an apprentice.)
  • One letter of recommendation from a UKC club with whom you've held an assignment
  • Attended a UKC Ring Procedures workshop within 12 months of requesting Senior Status

These requirements must be completed before you request the Senior Status. If you have met these requirements, you may submit an Application for Senior Status along with your letters of recommendation for approval.

Requests for Senior Status are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, you will be notified of your Senior Status and may begin accepting apprentices.

UKC Conformation Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows senior judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship Requirements

  • Apprentice under a minimum of 6 different senior conformation judges
  • Submitted evaluations on all 6 senior conformation judges
  • Attend a workshop on ring procedures offered by UKC
  • Must have apprenticed the following number of dogs from each group;

Guardian, 50
Scenthound, 20
Sighthound & Pariah, 45
Gun Dog, 100
Northern, 35
Herding, 100
Terrier, 80
Companion, 80

Occasionally, it will require additional apprenticeships to meet the minimum number of dogs needed. You are only required to submit evaluations on 6 different senior judges. You may take additional apprenticeships under the same judge to meet the minimum numbers of dogs required.

American Eskimos, Toy Fox Terriers and Belgian Shepherd Dogs will be counted for numbers of dogs within their respective groups, but will not be individually applied to a breed specific apprenticeship, regardless if the assignment was under a senior judge for the breed(s). Only regular status or senior status judges are eligible to apply for a breed specific apprenticeship.

Breed Specific Licenses

Requirements for Obtaining a Toy Fox Terrier License

Applying to judge the Toy Fox Terrier (TFT). Those interested in becoming approved to judge the Toy Fox Terrier must first be a fully licensed UKC regular status conformation judge.

Written Request for the TFT. Judges must submit a letter of intent to add a TFT license and a resume to the United Kennel Club which outlines their experience or expertise regarding the TFT. The judges qualifications will be reviewed by the UKC Judges Approval and Review Committee.

Written test on the breed standard. Upon approval, qualified judges will be required to successfully complete a written test on the UKC Toy Fox Terrier breed standard.

TFT license Approval. Judges who pass the written test (85% or higher) on the breed standard will be notified by UKC and will move to provisional status for the TFT.

Toy Fox Terrier Provisional Judge Status. Upon approval from UKC a judge will move to provisional status for the TFT. Once notified of provisional status, judges may begin accepting assignments to judge the Toy Fox Terrier. All judges must serve as a provisional status TFT judge for a period of two (2) years. Within the provisional period judges must have judged Toy Fox Terriers at least four (4) times.

Once the requirements for provisional status have been met, provisional judges will need to notify UKC. to be moved to regular status. This form is available for download on the UKC website.

Requirements for obtaining the American Eskimo license

Applying to judge the American Eskimo (AE). Those interested in becoming an apprentice for the American Eskimo must first be a fully licensed regular status UKC conformation judge and meet the following requirements:

Regional Club recommendation. A letter of recommendation from a UKC American Eskimo club is required for those who wish to become an apprentice for the breed. Members of a regional American Eskimo club who wish to become an apprentice must submit a letter of recommendation from that club to NAEDA and the UKC.

  • The letter of recommendation must be signed by three officers of the sponsoring club and sent to Show Operations at UKC. Copies of this letter must also be forwarded to the National American Eskimo Dog Association (NAEDA). Applicants who are not members of a regional American Eskimo club can seek recommendation from the nearest American Eskimo club or the NAEDA. Letters may be submitted electronically.

A resume and letter of intent to add the AE license must accompany the letter of recommendation.

  • National American Eskimo Dog Association Approval. Once an applicants recommendation and resume has been received and reviewed by the NAEDA, three Board of Directors must notify UKC that they have seen the recommendation.
  • Written test on the breed standard. Qualified Applicants will be required to successfully complete a written test on the UKC American Eskimo breed standard. Applicants who pass the written test on the breed standard will be notified by UKC and sent three Apprentice Judge Evaluation Forms. Newly approved apprentices will be listed on the UKC website as an apprentice judge for the AE. Once the apprentice receives the three apprenticeship forms, he/she may begin to request apprenticeship assignments from Senior status judges who hold the AE license.

Requesting an American Eskimo Apprentice judging assignment. An apprentice judge must request an apprenticeship assignment in writing. The request must be made to a senior judge for the breed. Email correspondence is recognized as official written documentation.

It is recommended that requests for apprentice assignments be made to senior judges well in advance of the date of the show. This allows for the senior judge as well as the host club to plan for additional time taken during judging at the event. UKC recommends requests be made at least 60 days in advance of the show date whenever possible. Requests made on the day of the event will not be approved.

Apprentice judges may not request an assignment from a member of their immediate family, anyone who resides in the same household or who they may co-own a dog with regardless if that person is a senior judge for the breed.

Apprentice judges may not request an assignment from an employer, an employee or business partner regardless if that person is a senior judge for the breed.
All UKC rules and codes of conduct that apply to fully licensed judges will apply equally to apprentice judges. An apprentice judge may not fulfill an apprenticeship assignment in any performance event on the same day(s) as they are serving as a conformation apprentice.

Completing American Eskimo Apprenticeships. Any American Eskimos evaluated during the apprenticeship to become a regular status conformation judge will not count toward completing the requirements for American Eskimo apprentices.

Apprentice judges are limited to a total of two apprenticeship assignments for the same breed in a single weekend (whether this is completed on one day or the same weekend). AE apprentices may not serve as an apprentice for a performance event on the same day, but may serve as an apprentice for a different breed (i.e., Toy Fox Terrier or Belgian Shepherd Dog) on the same day (or the same weekend) provided there are not conflicts of time and the senior judge(s) hold the necessary licenses for each breed.

Apprentices for the American Eskimo will need to complete the following:

  1. Serve as an apprentice judge for the American Eskimo at a minimum of three separate UKC licensed conformation shows.
  2. Complete at least three apprenticeship assignments under three different UKC Senior status judges approved to judge the American Eskimo and receive favorable recommendations from all three.
  3. Evaluate a minimum of three (3) entries from licensed classes per assignment.

Duties of an American Eskimo Apprentice Judge. Unlike your apprentice assignments to become a regular status judge, you will examine all the dogs exhibited in each licensed class. While the senior judge is making his/her placements, you should mentally place the dogs so that they can be discussed after judging has been completed. Apprentice judges are encouraged to judge non-licensed conformation classes when time permits while being observed by the senior judge.

As an apprentice, you must not enter any discussions with exhibitors or spectators. Apprentices mentally evaluate and place the dog. Apprentices do not have any deciding factors in actual placements and may not hand out awards or make any markings in the official judges book.

AE apprentices must provide the senior judge the evaluation form. The senior judge will be the one responsible for sending in the completed evaluation to UKC.

Duties of an American Eskimo Senior Judge. A senior judge must respond promptly to requests from apprentice judges and not later than 10 business days. If a senior judge must deny an apprenticeship request; the reasons for denial must be provided to the apprentice. A copy of this correspondence must be sent to Show Operations at the UKC. Email correspondence is acceptable.

If you accept the apprenticeship assignment you will need to notify the host club that you will be taking an apprentice as soon as you have accepted. Clubs do not have the authority to deny you bringing an apprentice to their event, however it is courteous to let them know so they can plan for it.

Senior judges may not evaluate more than one apprentice judge at a single event. A senior judge must evaluate the apprentice judges knowledge of the American Eskimo and on the apprentices examination of the dogs. The discussions to review the apprentices placements may be done after each class or at the end of breed judging as time permits.

When discussing placements, it should be kept in mind that the apprentices opinions and placements of the dogs presented during the assignment do not have to agree with the opinions or the placements of the senior judge. The goal of the discussion is for the apprentice to demonstrate breed specific knowledge along with familiarity and understanding of the breeds standard.

Senior judges are required to submit evaluations of the apprentice judge to UKC within 10 business days of the event. Completed evaluations can be mailed or scanned and emailed to UKC. Please contact UKC for the most current mailing or email addresses. Failure to send the evaluation form in a timely manner will hinder the apprentices ability to complete their assignments. Failure to send in an evaluation form for an apprentice judge may result in disciplinary action from UKC.

American Eskimo Provisional Judge Status. Upon approval from UKC an AE apprentice will move to provisional status. Once notified of provisional status, judges may begin accepting assignments to judge the American Eskimo. All judges must serve as a provisional status AE judge for a period of two (2) years. Within the provisional period judges must have judged American Eskimos at least four (4) times. Provisional AE judges may not take an apprentice for the AE.

Once the requirements for provisional status have been met, provisional judges will need to notify UKC to be moved to regular or senior status. This form is available for download on the UKC website.

American Eskimo Senior Status. The senior judge status offers UKC judges the opportunity to mentor new judges and give back to the sport. Senior status judges are the only approved judges to take apprentices.

Requirements for Obtaining the Belgian Shepherd Dog License

Applying to judge the Belgian Shepherd Dog (BSD). Those interested in becoming an apprentice for the Belgian Shepherd Dog (BSD) must first be a fully licensed regular status UKC conformation judge, able and willing to use the Assisted Animation with Critiques whenever possible and meet the following requirements:

Regional Club Recommendation. A letter of recommendation from a UKC Belgian Shepherd Dog club is required for those who wish to become an apprentice for the breed. Members of a regional Belgian Shepherd Dog Club who wish to become an apprentice must submit a letter of recommendation from that club. Applicants who are not members of a regional Belgian Shepherd Dog club can seek recommendation from the nearest BSD club or the United Belgian Shepherd Dog Association (UBSDA). Applicants may also be sponsored by UKC at the request of the applicant.

The letter of recommendation must be signed by an officer of the sponsoring club and sent to Show Operations at UKC. Copies of this letter must also be forwarded to the United Belgian Shepherd Dog Association (UBSDA). Letters may be submitted electronically.

A resume outlining experience with the BSD and letter of intent to add the BSD license must accompany the letter of recommendation.

Recommended Qualifications to apply for the Belgian Shepherd Dog (BSD) license.

  1. Judging experience specific to the Belgian Shepherd Dog
  2. Breeding and owning the BSD
  3. Titles earned on BSDs from any UKC recognized registry (UKC/AKC/Canadian Kennel Club)
  4. A minimum of two years of other active involvement with the BSD when seeking to add the BSD license
  5. Attended at least one National Specialty hosted by United Belgian Shepherd Dog Association within the previous three years
  6. Scribing experience for written critiques on the BSD under an approved BSD license judge
  7. Attended a BSD breed seminar approved by UKC or UBSDA or hosted by UBSDA at the National Specialty
  8. Letters of recommendation from BSD breeders and/or judges

Once the applicants recommendation and resume, has been received, UKC will send an email notice to the UBSDA Officers regarding the receipt of the applicants sponsorship. USBDA will have up to 30 days to review the applicants credentials and submit any reason the applicant should be denied the BSD license to UKC.

UKC will consider UBSDAs recommendation; however, the final decision regarding the applicants request for the BSD license will be that of UKC. Should UKC not receive any notice from UBSDA regarding the applicant, then UKC will continue forward with the licensing procedures.

Written test on the UKC breed standard.
All approved BSD applicants will be required to successfully complete a written test on the UKC Belgian Shepherd Dog breed standard, administered by UKC. Applicants who pass the BSD breed standard test (85% or higher) will be notified by UKC and be accepted into the apprenticeship program. Apprentices will be sent 4 evaluation forms to be provided to the senior BSD judge. Upon notification, the apprentice judge may begin schedule their apprenticeship assignments.

Requesting a Belgian Shepherd Dog Apprentice judging assignment. An apprentice judge must request an apprenticeship assignment in writing. The request must be made to a senior judge for the breed. Email correspondence is recognized as official written documentation.

It is recommended that requests for apprentice assignments be made to senior judges well in advance of the date of the show. This allows for the senior judge as well as the host club to plan for additional time taken during judging at the event. UKC recommends requests be made at least 60 days in advance of the show date whenever possible. Requests made on the day of the event will not be approved.

Apprentice judges may not request an assignment from a member of their immediate family, anyone who resides in the same household or who they may co-own a dog with regardless if that person is a senior judge for the breed.

Apprentice judges may not request an assignment from an employer, an employee or business partner regardless if that person is a senior judge for the breed.

All UKC rules and codes of conduct that apply to fully licensed judges will apply equally to apprentice judges. An apprentice judge may not fulfill an apprenticeship assignment in any performance event on the same day(s) as they are serving as a conformation apprentice.

Completing Belgian Shepherd Dog apprenticeships. Any Belgian Shepherd Dog evaluated during the apprenticeship to become a regular status conformation judge will not count toward completing the requirements for Belgian Shepherd Dog apprentices.

Apprentice judges are limited to a total of two apprenticeship assignments for the same breed in a single weekend (whether this is completed on one day or the same weekend). BSD apprentices may not serve as an apprentice for a performance event on the same day, but may serve as an apprentice for a different breed (i.e. American Eskimo) on the same day (or the same weekend) provided there are not conflicts of time and the senior judge(s) hold the necessary licenses for each breed.

Apprentices for the Belgian Shepherd Dog will need to complete the following:

  1. Serve as an apprentice judge for the BSD using the customary judging procedure or assisted animated critique procedure at a minimum of four (4) different UKC licensed Conformation shows and received favorable recommendations from a minimum of three (3) separate senior judges.
    • When the Customary Judging Procedure is used, there must be a minimum of three (3) licensed class entries per apprenticeship for the evaluation to be credited as an apprenticeship.
    • When the Assisted Animated Critique Judging Procedure (AA/CP) is used, there must be a minimum of five (5) licensed class entries for the evaluation to be credited as an apprenticeship. It is highly recommended that an apprentice judge complete at least one assignment under a senior judge using the AA/CP.
  2. Scribing at a Regional or National BSD event may be used for one customary apprenticeship credit.
  3. A UKC BSD Breed Education Seminar where a verbal and hands on examination is offered for the BSD may be used for one AA/CP apprenticeship credit. (only one seminar apprenticeship credit is allowed for the breed and is only valid for three years after the seminar). The three additional apprenticeships must be obtained using the apprenticeship assignments at UKC licensed events.

Duties of a Belgian Shepherd Dog Apprentice Judge. Unlike your apprentice assignments to become a regular status judge, you will examine all the dogs exhibited in each licensed class. While the senior judge is making his/her placements, you should mentally place the dogs so that they can be discussed after judging has been completed. Apprentice judges are encouraged to judge non-licensed conformation classes when time permits while being observed by the senior judge.

As an apprentice, you must not enter any discussions with exhibitors or spectators. Apprentices mentally evaluate and place the dog. Apprentices do not have any deciding factors in actual placements and may not hand out awards or make any markings in the official judges book.

BSD apprentices must provide the senior judge the evaluation form. The senior judge will be the one responsible for sending in the completed evaluation to UKC.

Duties of a Belgian Shepherd Dog Senior Judge. A senior judge must respond promptly to requests from apprentice judges and not later than 10 business days. If a senior judge must deny an apprenticeship request; the reasons for denial must be provided to the apprentice. A copy of this correspondence must be sent to Show Operations at the UKC. Email correspondence is acceptable.

If you accept the apprenticeship assignment you will need to notify the host club that you will be taking an apprentice as soon as you have accepted. Clubs do not have the authority to deny you bringing an apprentice to their event, however it is courteous to let them know so they can plan for it.

Senior judges may not evaluate more than one apprentice judge at a single event. A senior judge must evaluate the apprentice judges knowledge of the Belgian Shepherd Dog and on the apprentices examination of the dogs. The discussions to review the apprentices placements may be done after each class or at the end of breed judging as time permits.

When discussing placements, it should be kept in mind that the apprentices opinions and placements of the dogs presented during the assignment do not have to agree with the opinions or the placements of the senior judge. The goal of the discussion is for the apprentice to demonstrate breed specific knowledge along with familiarity and understanding of the breeds standard.

Senior judges are required to submit evaluations of the apprentice judge to UKC within 10 business days of the event. Completed evaluations can be mailed or scanned and emailed to UKC. Please contact UKC for the most current mailing or email addresses. Failure to send the evaluation in, in a timely manner will hinder the apprentices ability to complete their assignments. Failure to send in an evaluation for an apprentice judge may result in disciplinary action from UKC.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Provisional Judge Status. Once a judge fulfills the apprenticeship requirements satisfactorily, they will be approved as a provisional judge for the BSD. Provisional BSD judges may not take an apprentice for the BSD. During the provisional period a judge must complete the following:

  1. Serve as a provisional judge for a minimum of two years after licensing and judge the breed in at least four shows with a minimum entry of three (3) dogs entered in the licensed classes.

A judge who successfully completes the provisional period must move to the regular status/ A request for Regular / Senior Status form is found on the UKC website.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Senior Judge Status. In addition to fulfilling the Provisional requirements to become a regular judge, the following additional judging assignments must be completed to be eligible to apply for senior judge status for the BSD.

  1. Judge the breed in at least one licensed event (with entries of at least five (5) dogs) using the Assisted Animation Critique Procedure.
  2. Please keep in mind that your assignment using AA/CP must be documented. To do so, the club must list the BSD breed as being judged using the AA/CP form of judging. After the event, the club must submit a copy of the completed AA/CP form, all BSD entry forms and a copy of the BSD judges book to the editor of the Belgian Beacon (contact UBSDA for contact information). To receive credit towards the Senior BSD Status, the judge must submit a copy of their completed AA/CP forms to UKC.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Senior Status. The senior judge status offers UKC judges the opportunity to mentor new judges and give back to the sport. Senior status judges are the only approved judges to take apprentices.

How To Become A UKC Obedience Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Owned, trained, and handled a dog to a UUD title or a recognized equivalent title
  • Owned, trained, and handled an additional dog to a UCDX title (must be a UKC UCDX title)
  • Active in the sport of obedience for a minimum of five (5) years
  • Active in UKC obedience for a minimum of three (3) years
  • Have earned the title requirements within ten (10) years of the date of application
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an official
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Applicants are regarded more favorably if verifiable experience, involvement, and activity in the sport other than the required titles to apply is provided. The sum of the experience and individual merits of the applicant will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Verifiable experience, involvement and activity in the sport include but is not limited to:

  • Currently teach or have taught obedience classes or seminars.
  • Member of an active obedience club, preferably a UKC club.
  • Currently holds office in an obedience or training club or have done so in the past.
  • Recommended by a UKC licensed obedience or training club
  • Attended obedience related seminars.
  • Able to provide letters of recommendation from UKC obedience judges/clubs/active exhibitors

Applications to become a UKC obedience judge can be downloaded from the UKC website and must be submitted with a letter of intent to become a UKC licensed obedience judge. Along with the application a resume is to be provided which summarizes:

  • Training and handling experience
  • Number of obedience trials attended annually
  • Obedience titles that have been earned (including other venues, if applicable). Please provide a UKC number or if titles were earned in another venue a copy of the highest titled earned.
  • Obedience training/judging seminars attended.

Applications are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant will be sent a written test on the UKC obedience rules and procedures. Successful completion of the test with a minimum score of 85% is required to become a UKC apprentice judge for obedience. Once the test has been successfully completed the applicant will be approved to become a UKC apprentice obedience judge and be notified by UKC. Three Apprentice Judge Evaluation forms will be sent via regular mail or electronically (upon request). Apprentice obedience judges may begin to apply for apprenticeship assignments once the evaluations forms have been received.

UKC Obedience Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows senior judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship Requirements

  • Apprentice judge thirty (30) dogs from the Novice class
  • Apprentice judge eighteen (18) dogs from the Open Class
  • Apprentice judge nine (9) dogs from the Utility Class
  • Apprentice a minimum of three (3) separate obedience trials
  • Apprentice under at least three (3) different judges and receive favorable recommendations from all three

Obedience apprentices may be required to complete more than three apprenticeships at the discretion of UKC or if the total of number of dogs in each class was not met within three apprenticeship assignments.

How to Become a UKC Rally Obedience Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Owned, trained, and handled a dog to a UROC title or a recognized equivalent title
  • Owned, trained, and handled an additional dog to an RO3 title (must be a UKC RO3 title)
  • Active in the sport of rally obedience for a minimum of five (5) years
  • Active in UKC rally obedience for a minimum of three (3) years
  • Have earned the title requirements within ten (10) years of the date of application
  • Submit one (1) course map for each level of rally obedience RO1, RO2, and RO3
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an official
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Applicants are regarded more favorably if verifiable experience, involvement, and activity in the sport other than the required titles to apply is provided. The sum of the experience and individual merits of the applicant will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Verifiable experience, involvement and activity in the sport include but is not limited to:

  • Currently teach or have taught rally obedience classes or seminars.
  • Member of an active rally obedience club, preferably a UKC club.
  • Currently holds office in a rally obedience or training club or have done so in the past.
  • Recommended by a UKC licensed rally obedience or training club
  • Attended rally obedience related seminars.
  • Able to provide letters of recommendation from UKC rally obedience judges/clubs/active exhibitors.

Applications to become a UKC rally obedience judge can be downloaded from the UKC website and must be submitted with a letter of intent to become a UKC licensed rally obedience judge. Along with the application, a resume is to be provided which summarizes:

  • Training and handling experience
  • Number of rally obedience trials attended annually
  • Rally obedience titles that have been earned (including other venues, if applicable) provide UKC number or copy of highest title earned in another venue
  • Rally obedience training/judging seminars attended

Applications are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant will be sent a written test on the UKC rally obedience rules and procedures. Successful completion of the test with a minimum score of 85% is required to become a UKC apprentice judge for rally obedience. Once the test has been successfully completed the applicant will be approved to become a UKC apprentice rally obedience judge and be notified by UKC. Three Apprentice Judge Evaluation forms will be sent via regular mail or electronically (upon request). Apprentice rally obedience judges may begin to apply for apprentice assignments once the evaluations forms have been received.

UKC Rally Obedience Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows Senior Judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship requirements

Apprentice a minimum of three separate UKC licensed rally obedience trials

  • Obtain a cumulative total of 100 dogs judged while serving as an apprentice
  • Apprentice under at least three (3) different judges and receive favorable recommendations from all three
  • Submit three (3) course maps for each level RO1, RO2, and RO3 for the senior judge to review (no later than 10 days before the trial)

Rally obedience apprentices may be required to complete more than three apprenticeships at the discretion of UKC or if the cumulative total of 100 dogs was not met within three apprenticeship assignments.

How to Become a UKC Nosework Official

Certifying Officials. A certifying official will oversee the hides. Certifying officials are the official in charge of the briefings. They monitor all elements of the Full Element Novice-Elite Trials and are required for all individual element trials except container trials. If a club is hosting an individual element trial, they will only need to hire a certifying official, and they will not be required to hire a hide official.

Requirements to apply:

  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and physically able to perform all duties of an official
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Any of the following qualifications (with documentation) are required for an applicant:

  • Approved NW judge through NACSW
  • Trained and handled a dog to the UKC Master Nosework (MN) title, or trained/handled a dog to a NW3 title
  • Trained and handled dog(s) for a police department, military, or privately owned company in detection work
  • Trains and provides detection dogs to police departments, military, or privately owned companies
  • Trained and handled dogs for search and rescue
  • Successful completion of a written exam (85% or higher) of the UKC Nosework rules and procedures.

Hide Officials. Hide officials are the individuals overseeing an individual element of a Full Element Novice-Elite trial. These officials are also eligible to officiate for Pre-Trial classes, and all levels of container trials. A hide official is the individual responsible for scoring an element at a Full Element Novice-Elite trial. Hide officials must be able to recognize when a dog has identified the scent, recognize the alert behavior, and compare the demonstrated behavior to the behavior as provided on the score sheet for each dog. It is also the responsibility of the hide official to know when a fault shall be assessed in all instances.

Requirements to apply:

  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and physically able to perform all duties of an official
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Any of the following qualifications (with documentation) are required for an applicant:

  • Nosework Instructors for all levels
  • Tracking judges
  • Trained and handled a dog to a TDX and/or VST or equivalent title
  • Trained and handled a dog to a UD title in any organization
  • Licensed as a Schutzhund, French Ring, or Mondioring judge
  • Trained and handled a dog to a SchH1, Ring 1, or MR1
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and physically able to perform all duties of an official
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

How to Become a UKC Agility Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Trained and handled a dog to a UKC Agility Champion (UACH) title, or trained one dog to the UKC Agility II (UAGII) title and a different dog to the UKC Agility I (UAGI) title or higher.
  • Served as an agility trial secretary or as a table steward for a UKC agility trial at least once.
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an officiant
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Applicants are regarded more favorably if verifiable experience, involvement, and activity in the sport other than the required titles to apply is provided. The sum of the experience and individual merits of the applicant will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Verifiable experience, involvement and activity in the sport include but is not limited to:

  • Currently teach or have taught agility classes or seminars.
  • Member of an active agility club, preferably a UKC club.
  • Currently holds office in an agility club or have done so in the past.
  • Active participation in UKC agility events.
  • Recommended by a UKC licensed agility club.
  • Attended agility related seminars.
  • Able to provide letters of recommendation from UKC agility judges/clubs/active exhibitors.

Applications to become a UKC agility judge can be downloaded from the UKC website and must be submitted with a letter of intent to become a UKC licensed agility judge. Along with the application a resume is to be provided which summarizes:

  • Training and handling experience
  • Number of agility trials attended annually
  • Agility titles that have been earned (provide UKC registration number or a copy of the highest title earned, including other venues, if applicable)
  • Agility training/judging seminars attended.

Applications are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant will be sent a written test on the UKC agility rules and procedures. Successful completion of the test with a minimum score of 85% is required to become a UKC apprentice judge for agility. Once the test has been successfully completed the applicant will be approved to become a UKC apprentice agility judge and be notified by UKC. Three Apprentice Judge Evaluation forms will be sent. Apprentice agility judges may begin to apply for apprenticeship assignments once the evaluations forms have been received.

UKC Agility Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows senior judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship requirements

Apprentice agility judges must complete three apprentice assignments at three different UKC licensed agility trials under three different judges. Apprentices must receive favorable recommendations from at least two of the three judges. Each trial must have a minimum of number of dogs in each class.

  • Agility I (AGI): 20 dogs
  • Agility II (AGII): 20 dogs
  • Agility III (AGIII): 8 dogs

Agility apprentices may be required to complete more than three apprenticeships at the discretion of UKC.

How to Become a UKC Drag Racing Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Trained and handled a dog to a United Drag Race Champion title through UKC, or a recognized equivalent title
  • Already approved to judge events similar to Drag Racing in another venue
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an officiant
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Applicants are regarded more favorably if verifiable experience, involvement, and activity in the sport other than the required titles to apply is provided. The sum of the experience and individual merits of the applicant will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Verifiable experience, involvement and activity in the sport include but is not limited to:

  • Teaches or has taught Drag Racing classes or seminars
  • Currently belongs to a club that hosts regular Drag Racing events
  • Currently holds office in a club that hosts regular Drag Racing events or have done so in the past (UKC preferably)
  • Actively participates in UKC Drag Racing events (including other venues, if applicable)
  • Recommended by a UKC Licensed club that is licensed to host Drag Racing events
  • Letters of recommendation from UKC drag racing judges or active exhibitors

Applications to become a UKC drag racing judge can be downloaded from the UKC website and must be submitted with a letter of intent to become a UKC licensed drag racing judge. Along with the application a resume is to be provided which summarizes:

  • Training and handling experience
  • Number of drag races attended and where
  • Drag racing titles that have been earned (including other venues, if applicable)
  • Drag race training/seminars or learning opportunities attended

Applications are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant will be sent a written test on the UKC drag racing rules and procedures. Successful completion of the test with a minimum score of 85% is required to become a UKC apprentice judge for drag racing. Once the test has been successfully completed the applicant will be approved to become a UKC apprentice drag racing judge and be notified by UKC. Three Apprentice Judge Evaluation forms will be sent via regular mail or electronically (upon request). Apprentice drag racing judges may begin to apply for assignments once the evaluations forms have been received.

UKC Drag Racing Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows senior judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship requirements

Apprentice drag racing judges must complete three (3) apprentice assignments at three (3) different UKC licensed drag racing events under three (3) different judges. The apprentice must apprentice judge all classes at each event. Apprentices must receive favorable recommendations from at least two (2) of the three judges.

Drag racing apprentices may be required to complete more than three apprenticeships at the discretion of UKC.

How to Become a UKC Lure Coursing Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Trained and handled a dog to a Lure Champion title through UKC, or a recognized equivalent title
  • Already an approved judge through another recognized coursing organization
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an official
  • Be in good standing with the United Kennel Club

Applicants are regarded more favorably if verifiable experience, involvement, and activity in the sport other than the required titles to apply is provided. The sum of the experience and individual merits of the applicant will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Verifiable experience, involvement and activity in the sport include but is not limited to:

  • Currently belongs to a club that hosts regular Lure Coursing events
  • Currently holds office in a club that hosts regular Lure Coursing evens or have done so in the past, (preferably UKC)
  • Actively participates in UKC Lure Coursing Meet events (including other venues, if applicable)
  • Recommended by a UKC licensed club that is licensed to hold Lure Coursing events
  • Letters of recommendation from UKC lure coursing judges or active exhibitors

Applications to become a UKC lure coursing judge can be downloaded from the UKC website and must be submitted with a letter of intent to become a UKC licensed lure coursing judge. Along with the application a resume is to be provided which summarizes:

  • Training and handling experience
  • Number of lure coursing events attended and where
  • Lure Coursing titles that have been earned (including other venues, if applicable)
  • Lure Coursing training/seminars or learning opportunities attended

Applications are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant will be sent a written test on the UKC lure coursing rules and procedures. Successful completion of the test with a minimum score of 85% is required to become a UKC apprentice judge for lure coursing. Once the test has been successfully completed the applicant will be approved to become a UKC apprentice lure coursing judge and be notified by UKC. Three Apprentice Judge Evaluation forms will be sent via regular mail or electronically (upon request). Apprentice lure coursing judges may begin to apply for assignments once the evaluations forms have been received.

UKC Lure Coursing Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows senior judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship requirements

Apprentice lure coursing judges must complete three (3) apprentice assignments at three (3) different UKC licensed lure coursing events under three (3) different judges. The apprentice must apprentice judge all classes at each event. Apprentices must receive favorable recommendations from at least two (2) of the three judges.

Lure coursing apprentices may be required to complete more than three apprenticeships at the discretion of UKC.

How to Become a Dock Jumping Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Recommended by Ultimate Air Dogs, Splash Dogs or Super Retriever Series
  • Already approved through another Dock Jumping venue
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have full mobility and able to physically perform all necessary duties of an officiant
  • Be in good standing with UKC

To apply to be a UKC licensed dock jumping judge you will need to complete the UKC Judge’s Application Form that is available for download on the UKC website. Send it along with a letter of recommendation from UAD, Splash Dogs or SRS.

Please include a brief resume that summarizes your experience in the sport of dock jumping. This resume should include how long you have been active in the sport, number of titles earned along with your general involvement.

How to Become a UKC Weight Pull Judge

Requirements to apply:

  • Owned, trained, and handled a dog from a UWP to a United Weight Pull Champion Excellent (UWPCHX) or recognized equivalent title
  • Owned, trained, and handled an additional dog to a United Weight Pull Champion (UWPCH) title (must be UKC UWPCH)
  • Active in the sport of weight pull for a minimum of five (5) years
  • Active in UKC weight pull for a minimum of three (3) years
  • Have earned the title requirements within ten (10) years of the date of application
  • Letter of recommendation by a UKC club licensed to host UKC Weight Pull events

Applicants are regarded more favorably if verifiable experience, involvement, and activity in the sport other than the required titles to apply is provided. The sum of the experience and individual merits of the applicant will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Verifiable experience, involvement and activity in the sport include but is not limited to:

  • Currently teach or have taught weight pull classes or seminars.
  • Member of an active weight pull club, preferably a UKC club.
  • Currently holds office in a weight pull or training club or have done so in the past.
  • Attended weight pull related seminars.
  • Able to provide letters of recommendation from UKC weight pull judges/active exhibitors.

Applications to become a UKC weight pull judge can be downloaded from the UKC website and must be submitted with a letter of intent to become a UKC licensed weight pull judge. Along with the application, a resume is to be provided which summarizes:

  • Training and handling experience
  • Number of weight pulls attended annually
  • Weight pull titles that have been earned (including other venues, if applicable)
  • Weight pull training/judging seminars attended.

Applications are reviewed monthly. Upon approval, the applicant will be sent a written test on the UKC weight pull rules and procedures. Successful completion of the test with a minimum score of 85% is required to become a UKC apprentice judge for weight pull. Once the test has been successfully completed the applicant will be approved to become a UKC apprentice weight pull judge and be notified by UKC. Three Apprentice Judge Evaluation forms will be sent via regular mail or electronically (upon request). Apprentice weight pull judges may begin to apply for assignments once the evaluations forms have been received.

UKC Weight Pull Apprentice

Apprenticeship is an ancient tradition and system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or skill. Learning by doing is an effective method for teaching new skills. The UKC believes strongly that our experienced judges have much to offer those who wish to become UKC judges. The apprenticeship program allows senior judges to impart their experience and expertise to future judges and fosters a sense of mentorship and collaboration among all UKC judges.

Apprenticeship Requirements

  • Apprentice for all weight classes at three (3) separate UKC licensed weight pulls
  • Apprentice under at least three (3) different UKC licensed senior weight pull judges and receive favorable recommendations from each

Weight pull apprentices may be required to complete more than three apprenticeships at the discretion of UKC.

Conformation Judge's Application Kit

Purchase the Conformation Judge's Application Kit

Judge's Handbook

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Judge Applications

Conformation Judge Application (PDF)

Performance Judge Application (PDF)

Nosework Officials Application (PDF)

SPOT Evaluator Application (PDF)

Request for Regular/Senior Status (PDF)

Conformation Apprentice Evaluation and Checklist (PDF)

Conformation Senior Judge Evaluation Form (PDF)

Conformation Apprentice Group Record (PDF)

Steward Volunteer Form (PDF)