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609 – Critiques, Communication and Common Sense in Dog Shows
27th November 2023 • Pure Dog Talk • Laura Reeves
00:00:00 00:36:55

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Critiques, Communication and Common Sense in Dog Shows

[caption id="attachment_12561" align="alignleft" width="409"] Steve Dainard judging Spinoni back in the day, when Laura was still showing dogs.[/caption] Canadian Kennel Club judge Steve Dainard is back with host Laura Reeves for part two of a probing and thoughtful conversation about critiques, communication and common sense in dog shows. “So we know that every rule and regulation that came in probably had a foundation in someone doing something wrong,” Dainard notes. “Judges need to keep their interactions in the ring, not be too conversational in nature. Well, then all of a sudden you're going to get a whole population of judges who take us to the nth degree, and they're even afraid to have any type of communication, apart from instructions to the exhibitor. “So, I think there's a fine line between having this full on getting caught up in the ring, but also having, an opportunity to be able to share meaningful dialogue. And I think that we can do that. I think that maybe we're just not trained really well to do that. So maybe we need to have a discussion about what does that look like. “I get it, writing written critiques or an oral critique or whatever can be scary for many people. People don't like change, and whether it's not because you don't have the goods or you don't know whatever, maybe that's what the fear is based in. But I think culturally, you just hit the nail on the head, it's not encouraged to have that dialogue, that communication, that interaction. And what it does, it creates silos within our sport. And this is not what we need. We need to be able to have a mechanism in place so that it's okay to have a conversation. “And that conversation doesn't need to be precipitated by the fact that I'm pissed off because Laura didn’t put me up and I'm going to take a run at her after judging. And I got the rep coming with me because she crossed a line. “Having a written critique foundation in your toolkit as the basis for how you're trained to evaluate dogs creates a much easier conversation when that's the way you’re programmed and how you're picking your winners. “I think that the fear of error is like, (exhibitors are) judging me, right? So I can see why people would be afraid of that until you get really good at it. And you have the conviction to be able to say, this is my process. I think it could be a little bit of an overwhelming concept, but the only way we rip that bandaid off is by diving in and starting to practice it.” Listen to the full episode for insights on the role of judges in promoting responsible dog breeding and ownership and much more.



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