Judging Dogs

February 10th, 2013

The Times has an interest account of how dog show judges decide which dog should win.

Dog World magazine has described Moses as one of the industry’s best-known handlers, with “an inherent ability to pick one winner after another.”

Unlike figure skating, in which judges might have a past in the sport but are not competing, the power players in the dog world typically make money breeding as well as handling and judging dogs in the same year, although not at the same show, creating conflicts that draw criticism from rivals. In the case of Moses, he is a divisive figure among German shepherd enthusiasts, and his detractors say he often plays favorites, giving a win to a friend when a better dog should have won.

Moses, 67, dismisses the criticism about him, saying people who think his connections have influenced his judging are “crybabies” with inferior dogs.

“I know 90 percent of the people who show under me,” he said. “How can you remember all that? If your dog licks you in the face every day, how can you be objective?”