How to Become a Judge

New breed judging applicants may apply for up to a single group or its numerical equivalent on their first application.
The following forms must be completed, signed and returned for processing: Questionnaire, 12-5-4 Form and/or New Breed Alternate Method, Synopsis and exams.  These forms are available to download HERE.

The following criteria are mandatory to apply for initial breed(s): 

  • Complete 6 stewarding assignments at AKC member or licensed shows in the three years immediately preceding application. Stewarding assignments should have entries of (75+) and predominately been completed at All Breed Shows.  Breed shows are preferred.

  • Complete 6 judging assignments at AKC sanctioned matches, specialty matches, sweepstakes, open shows or futurities. Sweepstakes, futurities, open shows and specialty matches count as two. Fun Matches, Junior Showmanship or Obedience assignments are not acceptable.

  • Must attend a Basic Institute prior to requesting regular status but not earlier than two years prior to submission of initial application.

  • Meet AKC’s occupational eligibility requirements as indicated in Chapter 7, Section 1.

  • Successfully completed Anatomy and Procedural “open-book” exams.

  • New breed judges who wish to judge Junior Showmanship must pass an “open-book” exam and meet the  requirements stated on the JS application.

Only those breeds in which the applicant has documented experience in the owning, breeding and exhibiting category will be granted on the first application.

12-5-4 Method - Must have 12 or more years exhibiting in conformation in at least one breed applied for and fulfill the litter and champion requirements. 

  • Have 12 or more years experience exhibiting in Conformation in at least one breed applied for (Documentation must include date of exhibiting and club membership, this documentation must be included in order to process application).

  • Have bred and raised 5 or more litters on your premises in each breed.

  • Have bred 4 or more champions in each breed (whether or not owned or handled by the applicant).

Litters and co-owned litters must have been whelped and raised on applicant’s premises. The required four champions must be from litters whelped and raised on applicant’s premises.

However, if applicant does not meet litter/or champion requirements under the 12-5-4, the New Breed Alternate method may be used.

New Breed Alternate Method – Must have 15 or more years experience in conformation in at least one breed applied for and must be able to document having accomplished any combination of four of the following components in each initial breed.
  • Bred and raised four litters in each breed(s) requested on his/her premises.

  • AKC Breeder of Merit for the breed applied.

  • Bred at least two champions in each breed requested.

  • Owned at least one dog in each breed requested, that sired four champions (Dog must have resided at applicant’s home while used at stud).

  • Owned or maintained for the duration four dogs in each breed requested that earned championships while  residing at applicant’s home.

  • Personally exhibited four dogs in each breed requested to their championships, earning all 15 points and both majors (this requirement is the same for owners and professional handlers).

  • Personally exhibited two dogs in each breed requested as specials for a minimum of two years or approximately 60 shows (this requirement is the same for owners and professional handlers).

To become a Bulldog Judge contact a Mentor in your area.