Obedience Judges’ Section

Judges at Kennel Club licensed Obedience Shows are expected to maintain and abide by the highest standards, adhering to Kennel Club Regulations and the judges' code of best practice as set out in the Guide for Obedience Judges & Stewards. All judges should be appropriately experienced and must act honestly and impartially and judge in a customary fashion acceptable to competitors. The overall aim of a judge is to provide value for the time, training, effort and money which the competitors put into their rounds at the show.

The Obedience Show 'G' Regulations are available to download in PDF format free of charge or you may wish to purchase the printed booklets from our Online Shop. It is also important to keep a record of your judging appointments - if you are invited to award Obedience Certificates in the future you will need details of shows at which you have judged as evidence of your eligibility. The Judges Record Book can also be purchased from our online shop.

How to become an Obedience Judge

Your first step towards becoming a judge at Open and Championship Obedience Shows is to gain experience of judging at a lower level - club matches and competitions, Limited Obedience Shows, Companion Dog Shows, or Young Kennel Club events (other than YKC classes at Open Obedience Shows). You should also ensure that you gain experience of stewarding at Obedience Shows - acting as a caller or marker steward provides a valuable opportunity to observe an experienced judge at work.

Before you can embark on judging at Open or Championship Shows, you must be fully conversant with the Obedience 'G' Regulations and you must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • You must satisfy the Show Committee that you have two years' experience judging at a lower level (such as Limited shows, club competitions or companion dog shows);
  • You must have won out of Beginners at a Licensed Championship or Open Obedience Show as a handler;
  • You must have acted as a Caller or Marker Steward on at least six occasions at Kennel Club Licensed Shows;
  • You must also have attended a Kennel Club Obedience Regulations and Judging Procedure Seminar and passed the Regulations and Judging Procedure examination (see details below).

Note: A judge's first three appointments at Open or Championship shows must be restricted to Novice.


There is no minimum interval between appointments to judge classes, other than Open Class "C" which a judge cannot judge at more than 6 Shows in any calendar year (1st January to 31st December). Championship Judges will only be approved to judge one Obedience Certificate for Dogs and/or one Obedience Certificate for Bitches in each calendar year (1st January to 31st December).

How to become a Championship Obedience Judge

Once you have been judging for a number of years you may be asked to judge Championship Class C and award Obedience Certificates.  If this is the first time you have awarded Obedience Certificates it is important to make sure you meet the following criteria:

  • Judges must have at least eight years judging experience which must include 30 Championship and/or Open Show Appointments; of which at least 15 must be Open Class C and two each of Beginners, Novice, Class A and Class B.
  • At the time of judging a first Championship appointment the Judge must have attended a Kennel Club Obedience Regulations and Judging Procedure Seminar and passed the Regulations and Judging Procedure examination.
  • Judge must have been assessed by a Kennel Club assessor.

The Kennel Club is responsible for the approval of Championship Obedience Judges. All nominations must be submitted to the Kennel Club by the Society hosting the show at least 9 months before the appointment using the official nomination form.

Nominations of 'first time' Championship Judges must be submitted at least 18 months before the show date, and preferably even further ahead, accompanied by a completed Championship Obedience Judge's Questionnaire. Questionnaires must list future non-Championship judging appointments, and the Judge will be assessed at one of these before their nomination to judge a Championship class is considered.


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