Kennel Club Introduces Mandatory Online Education For Judges Of German Shepherd Dogs

The Kennel Club has announced that the Kennel Club Academy now includes a film on Ring Procedures at KC licensed shows aimed at judges of German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs). Access to the Academy for this film is free of charge.

This announcement comes in the wake of a statement issued by the Kennel Club in July of last year in which it was stated that, among a number of directives aimed at the breed, all GSD championship show judging contracts for 2018 and beyond had been suspended until such time as each judge had undertaken Kennel Club judges’ education.

The film emphasises the judge’s responsibilities in relation to health and welfare and general ring procedure and also covers breed-specific aspects such as the previously agreed escalation procedure for double handling, and the recent change to the Breed Standard.

Using the Kennel Club Academy to provide this education will allow judges to view the film at their own convenience without any financial outlay. The film comes with a multiple choice exam which is mandatory for CC judges in order to confirm their Championship Show appointment. The new education facility will allow these judges to view the film and take the multiple choice examination online and those CC judges who receive a score of at least 18 out of 20 will be permitted to award Challenge Certificates to the breed from 2018 onwards. The film and examination is not restricted to CC judges and is freely available to all.

The questions are based upon the content of the film, Kennel Club show regulations, the Code of Best Practice for Judges and Ring Stewards and other announcements made by the Kennel Club on the exhibition and judging of this breedAll this information is available via the Academy or on the Kennel Club website. A certificate is downloadable for those who have successfully passed the exam. The Kennel Club expects that all judges of GSDs will adhere to the points made in the film, which emphasise that the breed is to be exhibited in the same manner as all other large pastoral breeds, some of which are featured in the film for illustrative purposes.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The education of GSD judges through the Kennel Club Academy has come about as we needed to find a way to reach judges all over the UK as well as those living overseas who are visiting our shores to judge the breed. This facility allows the judge to view the film and take the examination in the comfort of their own home and is therefore a cheaper option for individuals than driving many miles to a seminar. In fact, the facility is free of charge at this stage, so there is no financial undertaking for the viewer.

“It was a conscious decision on the part of the Kennel Club not to include any GSDs in the film as we wanted to provide advice and guidance and to show images of the accepted custom and practice of exhibiting and judging dogs in the UK. We did not want to publicise bad practice and breaches of show regulations nor the negative aspects which have crept into judging and exhibition of GSDs over recent years. We want viewers to remember positive images which will facilitate their learning.”

All championship show judges of GSDs, and especially those who have been invited to award Challenge Certificates in 2018 and beyond, are urged to log on to the Kennel Club Academy (if they have an existing Kennel Club Academy account) and purchase the free GSD film resource on the Kennel Club Academy Shop.

For people who do not have a Kennel Club Academy account, registering an account is free of charge and anyone can undertake the education. It is not restricted to established judges of the breed – people who aspire to judge the breed and exhibitors or anyone interested in the GSD are also welcome to register an account.