a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: First Day of Judging Clinic

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Day of Judging Clinic

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It's 8:40 p.m. I've just gotten out of the shower, right after getting home. Dogs as expected are pestering pestering pestering. I still need to eat dinner (in the microwave) and--argh--design a masters standard course that nests into an Advanced course for tomorrow. And be back there by 8:30 (an hour's drive). I am going to be SO tired after 3-4 days of this!

But I'm learning so much! Very glad I'm there.

I don't have time to say much about it tonight--I should be memorizing the yards per second ranges for standard courses for all 3 levels in case I want to take the written judging test on Monday. We actually will do the nonwritten part tomorrow and Sunday-- as I understand it--where they check your on-course judging ability. Local people will come in with their dogs and run courses for us to try out our (often) fledgling skills.

I haven't aspired to be a judge in years. I'm still not sure I want to be one--my life is overly full and stressed enough. But, well, I dunno, maybe; there are parts of the job that could be fun.

But I must say that course design was *never* one of my interests and probably one of the biggest things to deter me from pursuing this. So I've competed in over 230 trials, most of which are 2-day events with 4-6 classes per day with 2 dogs each class, and have I absorbed *anything* about how to build a course? Not nearly as much as one might expect.

I have no clue whether I can actually create a master's course in the next hour and still get enough sleep tonight. But if I'm more or less on course with what others are doing by sunday afternoon, I'll probably go ahead and pay and take the rest of the test on Monday--I'll have invested all this time and money, and it seems silly not to take it if there's a glimmer of a chance I might pass. Or at least I'll know where I'm weak!

Dogs are going to have to wait until maybe Monday evening to get any attention from me. It's going to be a challenging next 3 days.


  1. Wow - sounds intense, but very neat.

    A few years ago I ran my dogs in a judge's clinic -- the handlers were asked in advance to do something "interesting", i.e. no clean runs. Kept the soon-to-be-judges on their toes!

    Hope your enjoying the rest of the session. Good luck with the tests!

  2. We actually got plenty of interesting things with the dogs just running the way they run! There will be more tomorrow afternoon.