Rabbit Dogs banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

Super Moderator
1,983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you were judging a bench show what are some things you would demerit or plus on a dog and what is the reasoning for your decisions. And do you have automatic disqualifiers and why? I took the UBGF Judging seminar and am a current approved bench show judge but I see judges at every bench show that judge on preference with out regards to to the standard. I will show the AKC and UBGF Scoring system below.

The UBGF and AKC Scale of Points

Head - Total 25 points
Skull 5 points
Ears 10 points
Eyes 5 points
Muzzle 5 points

Body-Total 35 points
Neck 5 points
Chest & Shoulders 15 points
Back, Loin & Ribs 15 points

Running Gear - Total 30 points
Forelegs 10 points
Hips, Thighs & Hind legs 10 points
Feet 10 points

Others - Total 10 points
Coat 5 points
Tail 5 points

Overall Total 100 points.

1,061 Posts
Great question. Show judging is always very much based on the opinion of the judge. I enjoy watching some of the big foxhound shows where there are hundreds of hounds entered. In big shows like that, you find hounds so perfect that a judge cannot really go wrong with any choice made. It’s fun to watch the owners banter back and forth as the winners of the classes are given.

Beagle shows are rarely that closely contested, even among show beagles. A good beagle judge should be able to look over an entry and quickly make decisions to place the hounds. Good judges usually have general agreement from the spectators, just like in the field.

For me, the most important quality is movement - I want to see good extension/reach from the side, and straight tracking from front and back.

Missing testicles and bad bites would probably be disqualifers for me. I would not look favorably at light eyes or kinked tails, although a nice hound otherwise might slide through with those. A lot of good hounds do not score as high as they should because they are shy, poorly trained, or too tired from running to show themselves well. A good handler will have his/her hound ready to show to its best advantage.


711 Posts
When you look at pictures of brace hounds and some of the earlier gundogs that had the old brace blood much closer up, you see a lot of hounds with terrible conformation. Unfortunately, some of those traits still hang around, but in general, the hounds I see at UBGF and Gundog Brace trials are often much better built than the old brace dogs.

I know this isn't exactly what you are asking but, if I was to judge the bench portion of the UBGF trial I would crack down on the poor legs and feet that we still see. So many judges are picking hounds based on their heads, and how pretty of shape they are. Meanwhile so many of the dogs at are trials today have terribly sloping pasterns, are out at the elbows, in at the knees, and have feet that are flat and floppy like a slice of bologna.

Sloping pasterns:
Here is a picture of one of my hound's pasterns. They aren't good, but even these are better than a few of today's top studs. His feet could be a quite a bit tighter (and his nail could be a little more clipped...). If you were to take a stick, and stand it on its end and push straight down to break it (compression force), which one would snap in half easier, a straight stick, or one that was curved like a banana? This same concept of compression force is why legs should be straighter rather than out at the knee, which we often see a lot too.

Flat feet:
These are bad, but once again, I see much worse. If the dog has running gears, the feet are the wheels and the pads the tires. Seems pretty important to a hound that can hold up running all day! Where can I find a stud with nice firm and tight feet?

Super Moderator
3,456 Posts
I was a UBGF show judge, not sure if I am anymore. I am a conformation freak. I have judged a couple shows in the last couple years.
I do my best to follow those rules, I use the ubgf sheets given to us.
What sticks out most on the bad to me:
Over/under bite
Small pointy head
Too short or long ears
No chest
Crooked legs
Bad feet
Sway back
Greesey slick coat
Weak hind end
Squatty hound looking more like a basset hound.

Instant disqualification one testical or none on a male.

Now the good is the opposite of what I listed above.

Make sure when you get down to the final how ever many, you walk them through n front of you. Some folks can stand a hound and hide some flaws.
Tell in myself! I gave a win to a beautiful hound, one of the nicest I ever saw. It was my first judging, it was windy wet and cold, I was talked out of the final walk and stand the hounds. The handler stood that hound so nice. After the trial I saw the hound again, it had such a crooked leg I about got sick knowing I gave a win to that SOB. Never again! Now I don't care how big of a hurry your in. I am taking that one last look.

1,061 Posts
Tomorrow night (Sat 6/12) at 7:00 pm on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Anyone judging should watch some of that show to see the proper procedures to follow. Note how much time is spent looking at each individual dog and how much attention is paid to movement.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts