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The Art of Critiquing

In some registries and countries, the dog show judge is expected or required to critique the entries—at least, the top-placing dogs in each or some classes. A critique is supposed to be a description of the dog that gives spectators and readers a good idea of the salient features of the dog and the reasons for its placement in the line-up in a specific competition, or its relative value to the breed overall.

The more one reads magazines published for the canine aficionado, the more one sees reference to critiques—especially in regard to foreign shows but occasionally in connection with specialty shows in the U.S. and Canada. A critique is a fairly detailed evaluation of the dog as seen through the judge’s eyes on a particular day. He has a mental picture of the ideal, and a view of the competition for comparison, but unless a judge records his observations, he will remember only a few things about a few dogs. Memory is less reliable as time passes, but written or taped words age very well. Continue reading