All 72 Judges Competency Framework ‘Eye for a Dog’ pilot assessments fully booked within three days

All 72 Judges Competency Framework (JCF) ‘Eye for a Dog’ pilot assessments, being run in an innovative collaboration between the Kennel Club and Finnish Kennel Club, were fully booked within three days of invitations being issued, both governing bodies have announced.

The Eye for a Dog assessment is a key component of the JCF and a necessary requirement to attain JCF level 3 (equivalent of current A3 list). This one-off assessment is also required in order for a judge to be approved to award Challenge Certificates (JCF level 4) to a first or subsequent breed under the JCF.

Those invited to take part in the pilot assessments were candidates who had passed multiple choice exams at recently-held pilot breed appreciation days, as well as group judges who are currently approved to award CCs in at least 70 per cent of eligible breeds in a group.

The pilot assessments will take place on April 24/25 at the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. A total of 72 candidates will take part, split into morning and afternoon sessions of three hours on both days. Each candidate will be required to participate in one of the four sessions.  

The assessments will be run by the Kennel Club and have been based on a similar concept which has been successfully organised by the Finnish Kennel Club for a number of years. The assessors will be Kimmo Mustonen, chairman of the Finnish Kennel Club’s Show and Judges Committee, and Jeff Horswell, Chairman of the JCF Working Party, and Frank Kane; both the latter are Kennel Club Board members and experienced judges at home and abroad.

The purpose of the assessment is for the candidate to demonstrate having an ‘eye for a dog’ by having their competence in canine conformation and movement examined. The assessment does not require any pre-knowledge of breed standards or breed specifics, but will seek to assess knowledge of conformation and movement at the appropriate level for a judge awarding CCs.

Nine dogs and handlers are required for the assessment, comprising at least one breed from each of the seven recognised Kennel Club groups, covering a variety of shapes, sizes etc. Candidates will be assessed on their knowledge of movement, head and neck, forequarters, body (to include proportions, coat and colour) and hindquarters. Candidates will score extra marks for the correct identification of the breed(s).

Simon Luxmoore, Kennel Club Chairman, said: “The Kennel Club is pleased that these Eye for a Dog pilot assessments were booked up so quickly. We are very encouraged that this innovative approach to judge education has been so well received and we take this opportunity to thank the Finnish Kennel Club for the assistance it has given the Kennel Club in the setting up of these assessments – we look forward to further collaboration, which can only be a positive step for judge education in the UK.”

Harri Lehkonen, Finnish Kennel Club Chairman, said: “It is our pleasure to be working with the Kennel Club on this project. The Finnish Kennel Club has been conducting Eye for a Dog assessments for a number of years and finds that they are a very useful tool in the education of championship show judges. We are very happy to be able to assist the JCF in this way.”

Further JCF Eye for a Dog pilot assessments will be held later this year once these pilot assessments have been analysed. The Kennel Club will provide details of dates and eligibility nearer the time.