Pleasant manners and a willingness to do everybody any good turn in your power, go a long way to turning the wrath of your fellow exhibitors. Of course I do not mean that you should be weak-mindedly soft and allow yourself to be bullied. For instance, if you hire a chair and pay for it, don't let the first stranger take it away and sit on it instead. Stand up for yourself firmly, but always be as courteous as possible. It is never necessary to raise your voice unduly. Occasional quiet sarcasm is more effectual than blustering. Maintain your dignity but without bluster. Many people err by being ridiculously stand-off or grossly familiar. It is best to steer a middle course.

When I judged for the first time, I was much amused by one well-meaning elderly gentleman with a pipe, who would keep patting me on the back. This was instance of ill-directed familiarity, but was so obviously kindly meant that it would have been absurd to resent it. I hear that when King Edward won the Derby, several excited bookies patted him on the back, and that he appeared quite to enjoy it! Circumstances alter cases.

If anyone makes disparaging remarks to you about someone's dog, do not immediately repeat it all to the owner. Don't believe more than one-fourth of what you are told. If someone comes and advises you as a friend not to show at such and such a show, because the judging is all a "put up job," and you will lose, remember that your "friend" probably has his own irons in the fire and may have his own reasons for keeping you away. This trick has several times been attempted in my own case, but only once succeeded, i e., the first time! Don't go about the shows needlessly running down other people's dogs. Your remarks always get round (much embellished) to the owners, and you must not be surprised if they resent it. If someone comes and tells you that So-and-So has said that your dog ought never to have won, hesitate before you believe it, and weigh in your own mind the possible motives of the tale bearer. They are seldom dictated by philanthropy. Do not listen to scandal. The private lives of other exhibitors do not concern you.

You will meet in the ring many folk about whom gossiping tongues are very busy, but three-fourths of what you hear is not true.

After the Judging

After the Judging

Fanciers are inclined to believe a good deal in luck, and cling to some superstitions which I must say Fate does its best to foster. It is always supposed to be unlucky to refuse a good offer, and certainly in many cases the dog seems to come by some unexpected accident immediately afterwards, which makes the owner regret the refusal. One dog of my acquaintance seems to bring disaster to every judge who puts him back. It is a patent fact that some dogs are lucky and others unlucky. Some are born by mistake, win by accident, and get over distemper by a fluke. Others have all the bad luck. They are entered in the wrong classes under the wrong judges, they go out of coat at the most important moments. They scratch their eyes on the only rose tree in the garden, and get shut into doors by the wind. Whether there exists such a thing as "luck" or not I have always found it best to get rid of these dogs, as they never do any good.

Before leaving the subject of luck, I must mention that there is such a thing as "novice's luck." This usually has the prosaic explanation that the novice is being used by the judge as a stick with which to beat a more powerful rival, or is being otherwise exploited. One hears judges say," So-and-So wants stopping" and a novice is generally used as the stopper because he can be ignored conveniently as soon as the political wind changes. When "So-and-So" has been sufficiently humbled, or the novice sucked financially dry, the latter relapses into his normal position. Meanwhile, however, he suffers from an inflation of self-conceit which must make the relapse remarkably painful.

If a dog holds an unbeaten record, some judges will maliciously and wantonly put him down just to spoil his record, knowing that the defeat will be recorded in the K. C. S. B., and that the elated winner will publish his victory to the four corners of the earth. Novice judges are very prone to indulge in this sort of showing off. Being for the first time in a position of trust and power, their heads are turned and they cannot resist abusing it

It is impossible for an expert not to feel a passing irritation at the silliness or spite of Jacks in office, but generally it is a case of: "I pities their ignorance and despises them."