Versatile Hunting Dog Federation of Canada (VHDF-Canada) Judge's Page
Table of Contents
This webpage was mounted on September 6, 2015 and last updated on April 9, 2019 by Sheila Schmutz
Introduction. A professional and capable judging core is integral to VHDF-Canadaís operation. The two types of judges, Field- and Blood-Tracking Judges, enable VHDF-Canada to serve hunters through game conservation and ethical hunting practices. VHDF-Canada does so by providing a practice-based dog testing system for dogs in field and water on the one hand and blood tracking of big game on the other. Hunters are able to prepare their dog in advance of the hunting season and have their training success evaluated by experienced judges. Dog breeders are served by the opportunity to have their chosen dams and sires evaluated for heritable ability and response to training in a system of hunting-dog tests similar to those in use since the creation of versatile hunting breeds in Europe over a century ago.
Judges volunteer their time, but expenses incurred to travel to judge at tests away from their home "club" are paid for by the club hosting that test.
The field judges approved as of Fall 2015 are listed below. (Lead) indicates that the person can serve as a Lead Judge in a team of three judges.
- Vance Lester, Purdue, SK. firstname.lastname@example.org (Lead)
- Lawrence Pellerin, Saskatoon, SK email@example.com
- Byron Pugh, Port Alberni, BC (Lead)
- Joe Schmutz, Saskatoon, SK. firstname.lastname@example.org 306-382-8964 (Lead)
- Rick Schryer, Saskatoon, SK email@example.com 306-230-3019
- Craig Wilson, Saskatoon, SK firstname.lastname@example.org 306-244-1008
Note all judges approved by VHDF in the United States are also approved to judge VHDF-Canada Field Tests.
Blood Tracking Judges will undergo a separate approval process, still under development. As of June 1, 2015 these judges include: Brent Grabowski, Saskatoon; Matt Walpole, Saskatoon; Joe Schmutz, Saskatoon.
Craig Wilson, Oksana Moshynska, Todd Shury, Derek Oderkirk, Tyler McKay, Les Piecowye. Seated: Lawrence Pellerin & Rick Schryer.
The five apprentice judges shown in the photo have read the required material, attended a 6-hr workshop, answered a 72-question exam and attended a 2-hr exam review in March 2019. They are well on their way to becoming "VHDF-Canada judging professionals". Three approved judges assisted with judge education in the workshop, also shown in the photo.
Key characteristics of professionalism include:
- 1. Ethical behavior
- 2. Altruistic attitudes
- 3. Responsible conduct
- 4. Theoretical foundations
- 5. Intellectual development
- 6. Committed convictions, skills and knowledge competence.
The apprentice judges have learned the differences between:
- A) Refereeing, which is a yes/no decision and plays only a minor role in VHDF-Canada;
- B) Evaluating the dogís ability that is presumed heritable, i.e. what a dog is, not merely what a dog does;
- C) Analytical judging, using extra time and a set-up, where needed, to ascertain the full nature of a dog's behaviour.
VHDF-Canada judges rely on three pillars for their work.
- i) ample experience in hunting with a dog;
- ii) understanding VHDF test procedure and having run a dog in at least two VHDF tests;
- iii) grasping basic biology and behaviour of hunting dogs along with practices and dog development through history.
Requirements for becoming a VHDF-Canada Field Judge
- Before becoming a field judge, applicants must have ample experience hunting upland birds and waterfowl.
- Aspiring judges must have trained their own dogs and entered these in VHDF tests. As an alternative to ample experience in testing dogs, an applicant can work with the Director of Judging to devise a learning program based on apprentice judging.
- Applicants will attend a 6-hr workshop that covers the history of versatile dog development, VHDF test guidelines, dog behaviour and genetics, dog conformation, and test safety. In future, this may be available via SKYPE during evening sessions.
- Applicants will complete an open-book, 50-question test on the above topics.
- As a capstone, applicants will attend a mock test where the above principles are applied under the guidance of experienced judges.
How to apply to become a Field Judge
The Field Judge Application Form is available for download.
Canadian judges are expected to maintain their membership in VHDF-Canada, and U.S. judges their membership in VHDF in the United States.
The following is a list of background reading that judges are expected to be familiar with.
- Test descriptions and rules for the HAE and AHAE
and PE are available for download on the U.S. VDHF website.
- Pointing dogs. Pages 2-23 in Koshyk, Craig. (2011).
"Pointing dogs, Volume one: The continentals." Dog Willing Publications, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; 365 pp.
- Frame, R. (2002). "And the bird dog world changed... 1874." Pointing Dog Journal January/February:31-33.
- Bailey, Ed. (1997). "Der Jagdgebrauchshund / The versatile hunting dog." Gun Dog Magazine: 28-30.
- Bailey, E. (2007). "Temperament: Itís the single biggest problem in our dogs today." Gun Dog Magazine: 28-30.
- Bailey, E. (2010). "Fixing behavior problems: Prey drive? - sorry, folks, there is no such thing." Gun Dog Magazine 29(2): 36-37.
- Schmutz, J. K. (2007). "Hunting dog ingredients." Pointing Dog Journal 15(2): 28-30.
- Schmutz, S. M., and Josef K. Schmutz (1998). "Heritability estimates of behaviors associated with hunting in dogs." Journal of Heredity 89: 233-237. (pdf available for download)
For more information on the U.S. VHDF, visit Versatile Hunting Dog Federation
Back to VHDF-Canada Homepage