English Springer Spaniel Club

Notes judges1

ESSC Notes for Judges

Notes judges2

In respect of all dogs being ‘Fit for Function: Fit for Life’, the Kennel Club website advises that:

  • Judges, especially those judging at Championship Show level, strongly influence the development of a breed, and that winners at shows could be bred from to produce future generations of show dogs.
  • All judges, in assessing dogs, should penalize any features or exaggerations which they consider would be detrimental to the soundness, health or well-being of the dog.
  • Judges should never award prizes to dogs which are visibly suffering from any condition which would adversely affect their health or welfare. For example:
    • lameness
    • inappropriate temperament whether this is excessive timidity or aggression
    • irritation or discharge from their eye
    • breathing difficulty
    • skin irritation
    • exaggerated features that would make them unsuited to their breed’s original purpose
    • significantly over or under weight

Dogs with such problems are not healthy dogs and should not win prizes.


The Kennel Club’s required training programme for new Show Judges i.e. Judges Education Programme (JEP) consists of a number of compulsory seminars. The content of all these seminars contains material relating to Fit for Function: Fit for Life

Judges should, as part of their ongoing development, keep themselves up to date on breed standards and any changes to KC rules and regulations that have an impact on canine health and welfare.