Judges' Code of Ethics

Judges are expected to judge dogs, not the owners, breeders, or exhibitors.  Breeding, showing, and judging are dependent on the ethics of all those involved.  Signify your agreement with this code of ethics by reading carefully. Download this document to sign.

Ethical judges will agree to practice the following:

  • Judge honestly and fairly all dogs presented.
  • Evaluate only the dog, not the exhibitor, breeder, or owner.  Any judge who, for any reason, feels unable to judge fairly a particular dog must step aside and call for an alternate.
  • Give instructions clearly.
  • Be relaxed and pleasant in manner.
  • Be patient with a nervous or reluctant dog by not approaching the table until the exhibitor has settled the dog.
  • Give each dog equal consideration and opportunity.
  • Dismiss any dog that is lame, even if the handlers report the condition is temporary.
  • Dismiss aggressive dogs.  Growling, biting, or viciousness is strictly prohibited and must be eliminated from the ring.
  • Handle dogs gently with a light touch.
  • Regard each dog as a new assignment, even if the dog has appeared in the ring before you at a different time.  Judge today’s performance, not any past appearance.
  • Allow each top dog contestant equal time for gaiting and examination.
  • Reply promptly to all judging invitations.
  • Keep a careful list of assignments to help avoid conflicts.
  • Be able to explain satisfactorily the system of points and how  it affects scoring of each dog.
  • Carefully study the breed standards for the dogs to be judged and watch for and mark any disqualifications or faults.  The reputation of the judges and of the registry depends on the judges’ knowledge of and attention to the standards.
  • Be prepared for written examinations to assess continuing knowledge of breed standards.
  • Never discuss scores, dogs, exhibitors, or owners either in or out of the ring.
  • Permit a change of exhibitors if the dog refuses to gait or set up for the original handler.
  • Be professional and courteous in judging remarks to the exhibitor, both in the ring and out.  No exhibitor will be allowed to become quarrelsome with or abusive to a judge.
  • Notify the show officials of any situation needing official attention.
  • Present a neat, businesslike appearance in any situation where APRI is being represented in any way.  No shorts, short dresses, revealing tops, extremely casual clothes, or ragged hems, please.  APRI is a professional organization, and we want all aspects of our shows to reflect that professionalism.
  • Be an advocate for APRI in all settings.
  • Be fully observant of all APRI rules and regulations regarding shows, scoring, titles, assignments of points, etc.
  • Be fully aware of any changes that affect judges’ responsibilities.
  • Be prepared to explain the scoring system at any time.
  • Be able to explain, with reference to the breed standards, any flaws, faults, or disqualifications marked on the score card.
  • Be cooperative with the media, but refer questions to the show coordinator.  Public opinion from a favorable press is of importance to our sport and our business.
  • Keep updated about changes in breed standards as they occur.  Never stop learning.
  • Study standards for the specific dogs that will be judged in any upcoming show for which you are asked to judge.
  • Be prepared to judge any class or breed.
  • Never solicit judging assignments; judges will be invited as needed.
  • Never judge dogs owned or shown by immediate family.
  • Never judge any breed class in which any member of his/her immediate family (household) is participating. 
  • Exhibit or enter any class in which he/she is judging.
  • Refer any disputes, personal or otherwise, the APRI officials
  • Never enter into situations that would be detrimental in any way to the reputation of APRI or of the judge.
  • Handle any disputes with exhibitors by referring them to the appropriate official.
  • Be professional in all ways.
Tennis Ball Torn Edge