How to judge Best In Show

25th April 2012 - in Humour

The big day has arrived and you have your first Best in Show judging appointment. Yvonne Wheeler gives some light-hearted advice on different methods of judging.

The Different Judging Methods

Just choose one of the judging methods below and you won't go far wrong.

Eeeny Meeny Miny Mo

This method is based on the assumption that all the dogs in the ring have won their groups and obviously are considered to be of outstanding merit by other judges. All you have to do is just go through the motions of judging and be sure you don’t fall over as you point to the Best in Show winner.

Safety First

Another way is the safety first method. This is done by making sure you put up a dog that has already won BIS. Once you have recognised a dog whose show record you are familiar with, you are perfectly safe to put it BIS as someone has previously backed up your decision.


This is another popular method – you simply disregard all the dogs’ owners or handlers about whom you know nothing, are not friends with, or who cannot do you and your dogs any favours. This will make for an easy selection and you can get the job done quickly !


Some prefer the "different" method – unlike any of the other methods outlines this can be quite original and give the judge some sort of feeling of individuality. To achieve this you put up a breed that has never won BIS before - preferably a breed that you and few others know anything about – you will immediately become part of that breeds history. Provided that the dog can stand up and walk up and down in the ring you can remain safe if challenged on your decision by simply saying "Wow this is one of the best of this breed I have ever seen". It is very doubtful that anyone will argue.


A great favourite is the "honest" method. To achieve this you have to put up a raw novice – someone who is quite unknown and who never had a big win before and is unlikely to ever have another. This is sometimes difficult to achieve – but the crowd will love you for it.


This method is regularly used. Using this method you can forget all about breed type. This makes things much easier as understanding breed type is one of the hardest this for anyone to achieve. Just as long as the dog appears to move soundly, all is well. It does not matter if the movement is not true for the breed so what if a Terrier moves like a Spaniel all that matters is that the dog can move, preferably the quicker the better. The advantage of this method is that a reputation can be earned for appreciating sound dogs – and everyone will agree that this is an important thing.

The Hard way

This is the most difficult method to use – using this method you just judge the dogs. This may not win you many friends or smooth your path to the top and does require some degree of knowledge and experience but is far and away the most satisfying way to judge !

  • 25th April 2012 14:26 - Posted by : Marianne Brett

    Love it!! :)

  • 25th April 2012 15:41 - Posted by : Tooolz

    You missed out.....

    OSCAR SPEECH method, often used at Crufts.
    This is where you thank everyone who has ever helped you, has promised to help you or got you the appointment.

  • 28th April 2012 18:05 - Posted by : JAY15

    :-D! Love it

  • 30th April 2012 10:18 - Posted by : cheffiuk

    Brilliant!!! Sadly it's also true.

  • 1st May 2012 19:55 - Posted by : Anne Lindsay

    Very Good Yvonne....... love it!!

  • 13th December 2012 11:45 - Posted by : Miss Julia Craven

    Sadly the last method is seldom used - the others being far easier!!