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Southern Counties Code of Best Practice for our judges 


This information is distributed to every judge in their judge's wallet


We know that for most of our judges all this information is unnecessary but for those who are less experienced or from abroad we hope you find this information useful.


It is a Kennel Club requirement and part of your contract with Southern Counties Canine Association that you write a critique of the first two placings in each class of dogs you judge and send it to Our Dogs (by post to Our Dogs, Unit 1A Boat Shed, 12 Exchange Quay, Salford, Manchester, M5 3EQ or by email to  If you handwrite your reports you may also hand them in to the Our Dogs stand if the stand is at the show 


We hope you find the following thoughts and ideas helpful in composing your critiques. Our Dogs does not edit judges’ reports  (unless they are libelous!) and will also publish judges’ thoughts on the breed as a whole before the actual report. In addition, they are prepared to accept reports for the first three places so more exhibitors can have your assessment of their dogs. You may also mention if a dog exhibits a particularly good breed characteristic even if placed lower down the line or even unplaced if for instance, it is a Boxer or Pekingese with a particularly good mouth or has exceptional movement. 


It goes without saying that exhibitors greatly appreciate and value you taking the time and trouble to submit reports but I would re-emphasise that it is a Kennel Club requirement to submit a critique to the newspaper and the KC has taken action against those who do not write a report.  Incidentally, those who do not submit critiques for SCCA are unlikely to be invited to judge at our show in the future.
Our Dogs will accept judging reports in any format but they are best sent either as e-mails or files attached to e-mails.  


At Southern Counties, you can collect a printed out sheet of your winners from the Chief Steward’s Office soon after you have finished judging on which is a space for your to write your report after each award.  It is also easy to go to the catalogue printers’ website ( (click on the Southern Counties results page)  and just copy and paste the results into your preferred word processor (or directly into an e-mail) so that you can just add your personal comments to the owners and dogs names. This enables Our Dogs to process your critique/s speedily and publish them into the newspaper and on to the Internet more quickly.

However, when the reports arrive, even by email, they come in lots of different forms so one of the things that they have to do is to go through them and make sure they conform to the house ‘style’. Doing this reduces the space required.  Please remember that if reports are received which are handwritten and/or without all the necessary details of the dogs it inevitably takes a great deal more time to prepare them for publication so they are likely to be delayed.  It would speed things up greatly if critiques arrived in the format that the paper could use to print them directly.
You will see that the class name just uses initial letters in block capitals (P, MP, and J instead of Puppy, Minor Puppy, and Junior etc) which is followed by the number of dogs and the number of absentees entered in brackets i.e. (4,1).
The next number is the placing followed by the owners’ name first and then the name of the dog before the actual report.  It is helpful if the names of the owners and the dogs are in this style which is called Title Case rather than in CAPITAL LETTERS.  
For technical reasons, Fosse Data puts the owners’ names in capital letters but this would unnecessarily take up a great deal of space in the newspaper so they must be changed to Title Case.  If you use Microsoft Word then there is a button on the title bar that enables you to change the typestyle from CAPITAL to Title Case very easily.  It is under the ‘Format’ menu and you need the link to ‘Change case’.  The easiest way to do it is to highlight the names and change the case to ‘Title Case’.
Add your name at the end of your report.

Here is an excerpt from a recent report in the style Our Dogs uses:
Bearded Collie: A very enjoyable day, a good entry with a reassuring depth of quality.  All exhibits were clean and well presented and on the whole temperaments appeared good. I did find a few with level mouths, whilst not a major concern it does need watching when breeding on. One thing that did disappoint was the very poor conditioning on some exhibits. Beardies are a working breed and as such should be shown in good hard condition. Many were excessively overweight, flabby, and devoid of any kind of muscle tone. Several exhibits that had great appeal when stacked were let down by poor conditioning and were unable to move as their construction suggested they should. I know much emphasis is put on a big glamorous coat these days and letting your dog run freely does put this at risk, but there has to be a sensible balance.  Lean and supple the Standard says and that is what I look for.
VD (4,1) 1 Christie Ch Brenriga's Give'n'Take For Ruartha JW Have liked him in the past and he remains a favourite. So well made and balanced. Very elegant outline. Super head, good pigment, and very appealing expression. In good hard condition and well handled. Moved out well, but just lacked the suppleness of the younger ones today. 2 Dumbrell and Lindsay Ch Bethlyntee Bannock Sh Ch Lovely brown boy of great appeal. Good angles, very good in ribs. Liked his head and expression. In excellent condition for his 11 years and moved very soundly and true. 3 Kedzierski  Brodarty Midsummer Sunrise. PD (3, 1) 1 Bodingtons  Braddabrook Voyager For Kitesover Very exciting youngster with much to offer. Good outline, well constructed and free of exaggerations. Lovely head and expression and very much everything as it should be at this age. Quite amazing on the move for his age, powered around the ring with big easy strides. Definitely, one to watch.  Best Puppy 2 Cornthwaite  Braddabrook  Firstfooter Litter brother to 1st and very similar in many departments. Balanced angles, correct shape of ribcage, but lacked the length of his brother. Pleasing expression. Moved soundly but lacked the drive and panache of 1st. 3 Harrison Hisnhers Diamond Geezer At Anfranjo

Angela Cavill
Secretary, Southern Counties Canine Association (2018) on behalf of SCCA Committee

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