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Unofficial Standard for Judges


Not Approved by the American Kennel Club nor the US Kerry Blue Terrier Club

General Appearance

The first impression of a good judge should be that of a tough-minded but fair, alert and gentle specimen. Muscular fitness and nimbleness are desirable but not mandatory as soft living seems unavoidable in the breed.

The judge should be stamped with a look of nobility and justice -difficult to define, but always unmistakable after the show. The good judge has a distinct personality marked by a direct and fearless - but not hostile - expression of self confidence and that certain aloofness which does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships... or at least does not admit to such friendships until later back at the motel.

Secondary sex characteristics should be strongly marked lest, when the judge hands you a ribbon, you say "Thank you , sir" to a lady or vice-versa. The question of monorchids or cryptorchids should be left to your florist.


In cold climates the judge should be equipped with a double coat. Underwear may vary with the season. At no time, however, may a judge shed in the ring.


Let's not get into this again. ALL colours are permissible!


The judge should be neither too tall nor too short. As a rule of thumb, if he must sink to his knees to pat the dog, he is probably too tall. On the other hand, if he must jump into the air to test testicles, he is probably too short. Measurements should be taken from the top of the head, with the hair parted or pushed down so that it wilshow only the actual height of the judge's frame or structure. A judge of desirable sex and proper flesh should average between 70 and 340 lbs, depending primarily upon sex and how fat he or she is.


Judges who tend to motivate on all fours should be avoided, as should those who stagger and fall down a lot. Forward motion should be achieved by placing one foot in front of the other... hopping is also permitted and, in fact, often makes for better showmanship.


While viewing the dogs, the judge should stand in the centre of the ring, feet spread as at "parade rest", the right hand held firmly in the left armpit with the left crossing over under the right armpit... the chin must be tucked solidly into the chest, eyes squinting. Once the judge has assumed this position, the steward should count the number of times the class circles. If that count should exceed 20, he might then unobtrusively poke the judge in the ribs. Older, more experienced judges have been known to doze off in this position while younger specimens, particularly members of the party-going set, might be still so grassed from the pre-show festivities that they have passed out.

Minor Faults

Muteness: It is preferred if a judge can speak in audible tones, but his vocabulary may be limited to phrases such as "Loose leads!", "Walk them!", "One more time around" and the number one to three must be heard. If this is impossible, a set of flash cards should be provided.

Deafness is no fault in a judge, in fact slightly impaired hearing faculties are a distinct advantage as the judge cannot hear the rude comments from the ringside and will be able to literally turn a deaf ear to whispered propositions, suggestions, etc., from the handlers.

Blindness: It is an advantage if the judge has full use of both eyes, however, some of best-known specimens manage to get by without any apparent eyesight at all and, as this does not seem to hinder their careers in the least, perhaps sight requirements are due to be revised and excluded fro the standard.

Disqualifying Faults

Judges who whoop, holler and point, or who laugh hysterically at an exhibitor entering the ring with a particularly poor specimen should be disqualified. Likewise, a judge who delays proceedings while handlers make cheques out to him in the ring is not permitted to participate further. Any judge who attacks a handler in the ring is warned three times in writing after which he must be dismissed

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Question of the Week

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Today is October 23, 2016

On this day in 1987:

The Southern California Kerry breeder, Ray Perry, was murdered on his way back from a dog show.

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