As part of its ongoing commitment to the Fit For Function: Fit
For Life campaign, the Kennel Club has announced a new requirement
for Gundog judges prior to their approval to award KC Challenge
Certificates (CCs) for the first time.
For questionnaires received on or after 1st January 2011, the
provisions for the approval of show judges for each breed in the
Gundog group will include a mandatory requirement that he/she
attend a Kennel Club Field Trial at Open Stake level, or an Open
Gundog Working Test for the relevant gundog sub-group, before being
considered to award Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for the
(If a judge moves on to award CCs in more than one sub-group
then it is preferable but not compulsory that acceptable events for
the relevant additional sub-groups should be attended. Also,
for judges already approved to award CCs to a Gundog breed and who
have not attended an acceptable event, it is recommended, though
not compulsory, that the judge attend such an event before moving
on to judge further Gundog breeds.)
Ronnie Irving, Chairman of the Kennel Club, commented, "This is
a very important step forward in the Kennel Club's commitment to
the health and welfare of dogs through the Fit for Function: Fit
for Life campaign. It is aimed at ensuring that show judges
in the Gundog group have a clear understanding of a breed's
function and are able to use this understanding to interpret Breed
Standards in the show ring. This should ensure that only fit and
healthy dogs are rewarded. I also hope that it will help lead to a
lessening of some of the exaggerated features that occasionally
appear even in some gundog breeds."
As well as supporting the Fit For Function: Fit For Life
campaign by giving judges an insight into the work which gundogs
carry out, this initiative is in line with two of the Kennel Club's
key objectives: recognising the importance of canine health and
welfare, and encouraging the development of all those concerned
with dogs through education and training.
The Kennel Club wishes to ensure that Gundog judges at shows
fully understand the link between the working function of a breed
and its construction and fitness, and that they judge dogs
according to whether they are healthy and fit for function, as well
as adherence to the Kennel Club Breed Standard. In the case of
Gundogs, all breed standards now draw attention not only to health
and welfare but also to 'the dog's ability to perform its
In addition to the new requirement as detailed above,
prospective show judges may also find it advantageous to attend a
tutorial or display run by those with experience in the sub-group
concerned, and/or to view a training video for the breed in
question where such is available.
FURTHER INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE JUDGES
It is stressed that it is an understanding of the nature and
manner of the work performed by the dog that is the object of the
prospective show judge's attendance at a Trial or Test, not an
examination or critique of the working dogs' structure or
appearance. It is considered important that attendance at an
acceptable event should give the prospective CC judge ample
opportunity to observe dogs working, and to obtain answers to any
question which may arise.
The organisers of Field Trials and Working Tests are being
encouraged to enable the prospective CC judge to derive maximum
benefit from his/her attendance by, for example, walking 'in the
line' (or, in the case of Setter and Pointer Trials, with the
judges) where appropriate.
The following guidance notes are offered for prospective CC
- Judges will need to select a suitable event to attend.
The Field Trials Diary - www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/767
- and Field Trial Secretaries list - via www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/469
- are available on the Kennel Club website to help with the
selection of a Field Trial. It should be noted that dates for
working gundog events are not fixed as far in advance as dog shows
and therefore there may only be a limited number of events to
select from at any given time.
- Working Tests are not advertised as they do not need a KC
licence. However in the meantime local breed clubs may be
able to provide details of local tests. A list of Gundog Working
Tests to be held next year will be available on the KC website
early in 2010.
- Judges must inform the Trial or Test organiser of their
intention to attend.
- Suitable attire for working gundog events should be worn.
- Observance of the spectators' 'red flag' position must be
followed as a safety precaution.
- There is a need for a basic level of fitness - some field
trials in particular can cover difficult terrain.
Judges will be required to obtain a copy of the event's card
(programme/catalogue) signed by the event's Chief Steward
indicating how long the judge was at the event. A copy of
this document and signature is to be kept in case verification of
attendance is required by the Kennel Club's Judges
Sub-Committee. There will be an additional requirement on the
Kennel Club's CC Questionnaire which judges will be required to
complete. Updated questionnaires will soon be available from
the Canine Activities Department. Any gundog breed
questionnaire received on or after 1st January 2011 which does not
include details of the Trial or Test attended will be returned to
the show society.