The main aim of any Dog Show is to identify the quality of the dog population and tendencies of the development of all breeds, - Sergey Slukin

The main aim of any Dog Show is to identify the quality of the dog population and tendencies of the development of all breeds, - Sergey Slukin This summer our team visited different International Dog Shows and besides hundreds of photos and Dog Show results we took some interviews. Here is the first one with an International FCI all breeds judge Sergey Slukin (Ukraine).

What is the main aim of the Dog Show?

The main aim of any Dog Show is to identify the quality of the dog population and tendencies of the development of all breeds that are presented on a show. Dog breeding doesn’t stay still, it develops, the dogs’ quality alters and you need to keep abreast of these changes.

What are the modern tendencies in dog breeding?

Nobody changes fundamentally modern standards and the dogs’ appearance doesn’t change because it has to correspond to the standard. There are no radical changes but more attention is paid today to grooming, handling and Dog Show culture in general.

How qualified can be an expert that judges several different breeds?

This is not a very correct question. When the organizers of a Dog Show invite an expert they know him or her not via Internet, they know the qualification of this particular expert and are sure that he or her knows good enough those breeds that are going to be judged.

When you judge different breed what is the first thing you pay attention for: head, body, movements?

You cannot judge the breed in parts, the evaluation of the performance in the ring must be complex: conformation, movements, coats’ quality – all these things are described in the breeds’ standard. So it’s not correct to pay attention at something in particular.

How the fact that the dog has not all its teeth affects your judging?

There are breeds that have to have 42 teeth according to the standard; in other breeds’ standards it is said that the dog must have scissor bite. So, I judge according to the standard.

And if a dog has additional teeth?

If it is said 42, it must be 42.

So you judge only according to the standard?

Yes, because the breeds’ standard – is a law, and we live according to the law.

What do you think about grooming? Sergey Slukin - FCI Expert

There are certain breeds that have to be groomed in certain way. So if a dog is a high quality breed member but its coat is not groomed and it’s appearance doesn’t meet the standard it cannot get the title.

Which dog will you prefer: the one that was shown very good or the one that is very good according to the standard but wasn’t shown properly?

My priority is exclusively the breeds’ standard. A dog that was shown better but has worse conformation mustn’t win. The title goes to the dog that at that moment is the best representative of this breed.

What about when a dog shows its character in a ring?

The dogs’ character is described in breeds’ standard and we judge on a base of this description. There cannot be a Terrier with the character of a Bolognese. For example, when in standard is written that a breed has to have a wavy tail (like Cockers), the dog of this breed, which doesn’t wave its tail, cannot get a high title.

Is there such a notion for you as «a dog with charisma»?

I don’t say «with charisma», a say «a dog with expression». If a dog doesn’t have an expression and it cannot present itself in a ring then, no mater how great conformation it has, this dog will be commonplace among others and won’t win.

What rules you follow when you judge Best in Show?

Best in Show (BIS) is a dramatized show where everything is important: how a hander shows a dog, how a dog looks like (grooming), how a dog is prepared to perform in a ring and, of course, the most important of all is a dogs’ conformation. In BIS participate absolutely different dogs therefore it is very important to know all the dogs’ standards and then, according to breeds’ characteristics we choose a dog.

How ethical it is to judge dogs from your own kennel? Sergey Slukin - FCI Expert

There are certain FCI rules and when a dog was put down in a catalogue the organizers of the show are responsible for the fact that it won’t be judged by its owner or breeder. Mostly, every third dog is presented by the breeder or judge that we know. I judge a lot: in Russia, in Baltic region, in Europe and voluntarily or not I know my colleagues-experts. And you have to remember that you judge not your colleagues, friend etc., but a dog itself.

How the only dog in a ring is judged, when there are no other breed members to compare with?

One, ten or twenty dogs in a ring doesn’t give any guarantee that your dog is going to win. If a dog is good, its appearance corresponds to breeds’ standard and an expert is experienced and knows the breed, then it’s very difficult to make a mistake. If you don’t know the breed – don’t judge. It is possible when on a Dog Show participate very few dogs of a certain breed, but if they are high-class dogs a judge cannot give such a dog place lower than the first one. And a judge cannot refuse to give this dog an opportunity to participate in BIS only because it was the only one in a ring. I think that everything depends on experts’ experience. If an expert doubts and didn’t judge a lot then he or her might not give a title, but if one knows a breed, its anatomy, it’s not a problem.

What do you think about a handler who greets you in a ring or asks your opinion about the dog?

I try not to talk in a ring. First of all, there is not much time for expertise; secondly, I always say that all questions can be posed when I finish judging all the dogs. I talk to people, I think that I have to answer their questions, but only after I finished judging the breed. You cannot be rude and refuse to talk to a person, who has questions for you. You must always observe the decencies.

Author: Makarov Evgeniy
Photos by: Iarovaia Nadezhda




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