I mailed off my final documentation to AKC to indicate that I have fulfilled the necessary five provisional judging assignments and been observed on three occasions by the AKC field rep. My name and credentials will then go before the AKC Board at their May meeting. If all documentation is approved, then I will receive notice of regular judging status soon thereafter. This has been a long process but one that I am so glad to have completed.
I truly enjoy judging and find that there is a lot of satisfaction in seeing some excellent examples of the breed. What makes it difficult is when the dogs being judged are just mediocre. Then it becomes harder to find the Labrador to give the points to. Having been on both sides of dog showing (as owner/breeder/handler and judge), I can more fully appreciate the difficulties for those judges whose primary breed isn't Labradors. There are obviously different types being shown at all breed shows. I think that it is so much easier at a specialty to find wonderful examples of the breed consistently in every class. Consistency in type among the class winners is what I strive for.
Sometimes that's easier said than done at all breed shows where there are a lot of different types. However, even though you like the type, if movement isn't good, then that creates a dilemma. A Labrador should be able to move in a true manner and with ease. I don't like to see a lot of sidewinding and crabbing when the dog moves. It is fantastic when you see a great example of the breed move with reach and drive. That makes me smile!