As it’s December……

….it’s time to look back at how judges have performed with their critiques in the UK.

It’s been a very good year with only two missing. It’s three if you count the Glen Association Show but as that was only last week no worries at all as the judge, Val Harley, is a breed person and knows what is desired. Unfortunately though the same can’t be said of the two judges with no critiques up to yet. Jeff Luscott (Belfast) and Tom Johnston (SWKA) are serial offenders across many breeds. Glen of Imaal Terrier folk aren’t known for being subtle and a loud “why haven’t you done the critique?” across the judges’ dining room at a show four and a half months on caused, surprise, surprise, a critique to appear.

Things have changed since then and the Kennel Club now has a rule regarding the length of time critiques should be submitted. As can be seen by the advice below it’s three months so, before the fingers come out to count, there is full acknowledgement that there is still time. Hopefully both gentlemen will be running it to the wire and their critiques will appear before complaints start to go into the Kennel Club. We’ll love to be able to add their names to the list of judges who have felt honoured enough by the time, effort and money exhibitors have spent to show their dogs under them.

Kennel Club website for judge’s critiques

It’s been asked why the KC website to upload critiques hasn’t been mentioned? Frankly we weren’t sure what to say as the possible politics of it all are outstanding-and truly wonderful for the conspiracy theory devotees-and as we try (most of the time anyway) not to go along that route with anything it was, well, difficult to actually write anything that wasn’t boringly bland beyond words. A thought though was had, why not get somebody else to do it? Somebody even-handed, very level in thought and acknowledged as such by all. So we got the in-house lawyer to put finger to keyboard and it’s here below

On the 3rd of May 2018 The Kennel Club launched with a fan fare a new web site A place where critiques could be instantly uploaded & with the avowed intent of  making it possible to “view critiques in one place” . It obviously was  felt after the demise of Dog World that leaving breed club websites and Our Dogs together with other  commercial websites to  provide a critiques service was not enough even though Kennel Club rules still only ask for a critique to the dog press.

The KC site though raises a number of questions.  The launch announcement also said it was for breed judges, however it  does seem to be for all judges, breed or all-rounder. Nit picking perhaps but sloppy writing.

It assumes that all judges use computers and submit their critiques by email. Many do but there are still a lot who do not . Are they are excluded therefore from the KC site unless they can find someone to do it for them?

The Privacy Rules for the site, a hot topic under new Data protection regulations, are not really very clear as they appear to be the general rules that apply to the KC as a whole. Copyright in all text is said in the terms and conditions “except where expressly stated to the contrary” to belong to the KC ,so all judges really need to indicate the critique is their copyright. If they do not, the KC may choose to argue that it cannot be used elsewhere so forget about the year book, breed website, personal annual advert that often has highlights of a dog’s critique. As the originator of the material copyright belongs to the author and who they allow to use it and at what cost is their choice.

The site requires judges to register and provide email where they can be contacted. It also has complaint processes and warnings about defamation all of which seems to open up the opportunity for criticism of critiques rather than a frank discussion of opinions.

From an exhibitors perspective there may be some merit as critiques are listed by show and, given the search tools on computers, may be easier to find a particular show and also discover who the serial non critique writers are. Only time will tell how successful it will be and whether the Kennel Club will use their new resource to crack down on judges who let exhibitors down time and again.

From the Kennel Club…

….maybe 3 Glen of Imaal Terrier judges from last year might like to take note that a critique IS required if judging under KC rules!

The Kennel Club would like to remind judges at Championship and Open breed club shows that a written critique for the first two placings in each class must be submitted to at least one of the weekly United Kingdom canine journals.

The Kennel Club has been made aware of instances of judges submitting critiques to other outlets, including Facebook pages, assuming this complies with Kennel Club Regulations, and would like to remind all judges of the correct procedure as stated in Kennel Club show regulations, which is as follows:

Regulation F(1)22d

‘All judges at Championship Shows and Open Breed Club Shows must produce a written critique for the first two placings in each class, and will dispatch these to at least one of the weekly United Kingdom Canine journals.’

The Kennel Club has published a set of FAQs which cover the most common questions addressed to the Kennel Club by both exhibitors and judges in regard to show regulations, which can be viewed at and respectively.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Whilst the vast majority of judges are following the correct procedure, there have been instances of critiques being submitted to various places online, including Facebook pages and club websites, rather than to either one of the weekly dog papers which should be the case.

“Judges are welcome to add their critiques to social media and other outlets but must also remember to send them, preferably first, to either Our Dogs and/or Dog World as required by Kennel Club regulations.”

The Kennel Club’s regulations can be found at


Speaking of critiques.

Looking back over 2013 Glen of Imaal Terriers didn’t do bad for critiques but four still seem to be missing! If anybody has seen anything of Midland Counties, Darlington, Leeds or Crufts do let us know. Jamie and Jeff (Midland Counties and Darlington) you are still within the 6 months period so how about a bit of writing? If you’ve done it and somehow its been missed apologies are wholeheartedly offered and do reshare it with us all. Allan and Nick (Leeds and Crufts) the above applies to you of course but have you realised that it is now OVER SIX months? Kennel Club rules, plus courtesy to exhibitors that have paid over £20 for your opinion, indicates that you are both now officially considered “naughty boys”.

If either of the Breed Club secretaries-or any of the exhibitors on the relevant days-would like to Kennel Club and remind them of the breach of rules we’d love to see the reply…..if you get one.