Judging my first Bull Terrier Specialty shows

Best of Variety/Best of Breed Winners

My first Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier specialty judging assignment was in Pasadena CA on June 1, 2019. I was invited by the Golden State Bull Terrier Club and judged concurrent specialties for both Golden State and the Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America.

What a Nice Entry!

Wow, what an overwhelming experience! I had a total of 60 dogs entered, 32 minis, 13 whites, and 15 coloreds. It was quite a task keeping notes for critiques, it was like the whole entry was competing for attention in my brain. I got them sorted out and drafted ready for final edits within a few days. Then “life happened” so the final critique went out for publication after I finished my specialty judging assignment on June 15th in West Virginia.

Minis were the biggest challenge for several reasons. One, I rarely watch mini judging and never an entry this big. Second, they have not only all the variations of type found in the larger Bull Terriers, but some twists that evolved from breeding for small size. Speaking of size, that varies widely as well, and in that breed it does need to be factored in, while in Bull Terriers it’s not mentioned in the standard at all.

Lessons Learned

The things I learned are the importance of getting good notes taken right up front, I had to double check mouths the next day, and one of my winners wasn’t entered the next day, but I had scribbled notes about him, so that plus the photos I took had to do. In the past I’d used my phone to not only take photos but also make a voice recording, I’m going to go back that next time, even if it takes a bit more time, my scribbled notes were not easy to decipher later!

I also had a very large and uneven outdoor ring, I tried to keep exhibitors in the flatter parts of the ring, but they were not always easy to “herd” that way. I ended up walking back and forth a lot, and I think I looked over a few too many dogs when making final decisions, especially for Winners. I wanted the exhibitors to feel like I really examined every animal, but there were times I knew the decision was between only a couple animals in the ring and I could have focused my attention there.

I Had Fun

Overall, it was a positive experience. Skip Greaney, who had judged earlier on Saturday had rented a car and made sure we all got where we needed to go. The other two judges, Brian Smalley who judged Sunday, and Linda Jones who judged sweepstakes and Skip and I spent a lot of time together, and it was fun. The host club was attentive to judges hospitality and made sure I got fed and had transportation options.

Tourist Photos

Cleo Parker

Cleo Bio

Cleo has been showing Bull Terriers in AKC events and working with dogs and dog clubs since she was a teenager. She has been showing Bull Terriers since her teens, started breeding in 1985 and was approved as an AKC licensed and Bull Terrier Club of America ROM-approved conformation dog show judge in 2018. Her foundation bitch, Rachel was the first dog to receive the BTCA Versatility Award, and her Silverwood winner, Marley was one of the first Bull Terriers to title in Barn Hunt. Her professional career has been spent working in marketing insights and analytics in a variety of industries, including automotive, advertising, and pet specialty retail.

2 thoughts on “Judging my first Bull Terrier Specialty shows”

  1. We really enjoyed having you Judge our Miniature Bull Terriers! Thank you. We are glad that you had a great entry and the day was so nice.
    Yours, Linda Lethin
    Show Chair
    President MBTCA


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