Monday, February 7, 2011

Judging Clinic

We went to the 4-H Judging Clinic on Saturday, it was fun to see a lot of people from all over. One of the more exciting was someone I had seen at ClickerExpo last March....she has a fabulous golden and they do obedience. I saw her at a few 4-H events, and finally caught up with her last August. She's given me a name of an obedience instructor that I'll probably be doing some privates with.

Last year was my first time judging with 4-H. Our club did two fun shows (I did the showmanship judging) and I got to judge Obedience, Showmanship, and Rally at a county fair.

During the clinic I learned a lot about what I could be doing better, but I also learned about all the things I was doing well. I disagreed with the presenters at times, but that's the great thing about judging.... unless it's in the rules, it really is up to the judge.

I learned about some new systems for scoring, like flipping up your paper and using the opposite side for making notes about the patterns and noting crookedness, lagging, forging, etc. This will provide more info for the exhibitor and help me keep on track.

I learned how important it is to read and know the rules. It appeared that others did not.

I really like how we do discussions at the end of our fun shows. We talk about what we saw, what the kids really need to work on, what judges are looking for, how things will be the same or different at other fun shows, at county fair, and at state fair.

I learned how to better prepare our kids for events. Some of the things I'm teaching because it's how things are done. Some of the thigns I do because of the project books listing xyz as being important. But some of the things we do are superstitious. I thought I had gotten rid of most of those...but some are still present (too much eye contact to the judges).

Ultimately they had enough demo dogs for the time frame, so Griffin didn't need to work. That may or may not have been a good thing. But he was adorable when he came in for a visit later.

I realized later I should have gotten some of my doggy friends to go, that they could be very good judges. I also wished that the instruction at the clinic had a piece on teaching and how to appropriately interact with youth.

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