Measuring a Dog
By Stephen Wiggins
All recognized breeds of dogs have official standards. One of the features of these official standards is height. The American Kennel Club (AKC), for example, has strict regulations on heights for purebred dogs. It officially recognizes two separate sizes for beagles. These two sizes are the thirteen-inch and the fifteen-inch classes. The 13-inch variety includes those hounds whose height does not exceed 13 inches. The 15-inch variety includes those hounds whose height is over 13 inches but not exceeding 15 inches. Whereas some dog breeds have separate measurement restrictions for males and females, this is not the case with the beagle. The AKC registry recognizes the 13 and 15 inch classes for both genders.
The measuring of a dog in order to obtain its height is significant because in AKC Field Trials hounds compete in different classes; and one of those determining factors for being qualified for competition in a given class is the height of the dog. For AKC field trial competition, the actual measuring of all hounds is to be done by the judges. They measure the particular running class of dogs that they are to judge. Since measuring dogs is such an important part of the judges’ function at a field trial, the more proficient they are the better it is for all involved. Following is some advice for judges when measuring hounds. I hope that every AKC judge will accept these suggestions in the spirit they are intended—which is only to help make us all better with our dogs and the sport of field trialing.
1. Be Honest. One should sincerely attempt to obtain an accurate measurement on the dog. There is no legitimate reason why any judge should want to manipulate the measuring process in order to see that a dog runs in a certain class. The judges’ job is simply to secure an accurate measurement thereby determining that the dog competes in the class that it is qualified to run in; and then to evaluate the hounds in order to place them in their respective order of performance, from the first place winner down to the NBQ. The judges are to make certain that fairness prevails for all the participants at the field trial. If a judge alters the true measurement of a dog in order to show favoritism to a buddy, then that judge has allowed his integrity to be compromised. He has therefore disqualified himself as being an impartial judge in a sporting event. Integrity is the key concept here. Don’t ever sacrifice it. Always possess a high, ethical standard. This being said, we all recognize that inadvertent mistakes can be made. Measuring a dog is a human effort. And, as humans, we often err. There are times in which mistakes will be made much like it happens for umpires and referees superintending a ball game. If the judge honestly does his or her job and a miscalculation still occurs, at least the judge can take satisfaction in the fact that the mistake was unintentional. The honest person will acknowledge his mistake and profit from it. Learn from the mistake and go forward. One will become a better person for it and gain the respect of those who know you. The old saying rings true for all of life’s endeavors: “honesty is the best policy.”
For the remainder of this article, please refer to page 55 of our November issue!