Derry judge Fred chooses the best dog in the world


Canine Judge Derry, Fred Jones flew to the Czech Republic last week to take his expert look at the selection who would be the “best dog” in the world.

Fred, 46, who is also a freelance carpenter, has been part of the dog show scene for almost two decades, both showing dogs at competitions and judging them.

The breed he specializes in is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier which he judges using strict Kennel Club criteria.

Last week he was at the World Dog Show in Brno, Czech Republic, where he had to choose a winner from 99 entrants in the female Staffordshire Bull Terrier category.

The one he chose was a Stafford named Chupacandra Wizard Bull, who is owned by Czech breeder Helena Mudrova.

Fred enjoys his role as a canine judge but said it’s a long process before he can cover global shows like he does.

He said, “You become a canine judge because of your peers. Basically you start by showing dogs and eventually after a few years someone will invite you to judge at lower level competitions.

“Once you’ve done that, there are the Kennel Club exams, seminars, and some criteria that you have to meet. It’s something progressive as it takes many years to progress to becoming a Championship Show Judge.

“From presentation to judging, my very first low level competition took me about four years. It was in 2006.

“In 2013, I judged my first Irish championship. I have traveled a bit now and have been to thirteen countries to judge. The World Show was very prestigious to obtain.

“All dogs are judged on their breed standard, as set by the Kennel Club, to which all who show dogs must adhere. This basically covers everything about the dog.

“I judged the Staffordshire Bulls in the World women’s show in Brno, which had a total of ninety-nine participants.

“You also had different classes such as middle class, junior class, open class, and the winners get a ticket to an international beauty title show – which a dog needs three.”

Fred knows what it takes for a dog to win a competition by having shown dogs at the highest level himself.

Fred Jones with his legendary champion dog Lackyle Diabhal Og in 2006

He added: “I myself have shown dogs a lot in Ireland and the UK. There was a dog, named Lackyle Diabhal Og, that I owned that became British, Irish and International Champion.

“He is unfortunately no longer with us. He was a very famous dog – he produced more champions than any other Stafford in Irish breeding history. He was also the best Terrier stallion in the UK in 2012.

“Two years ago I showed this dog’s grandson named Caymenstaffs Blackthorn that someone in Scotland owns and he’s become a champion. He won a Reserve CC (Challenge Certificate) at Crufts.

“I bought my first Staffordshire Bull Terrier when I was a schoolboy in 1987. I joined my local Staffordshire Bull Terrier club in 2002. I first became club secretary in 2005..

“My first appointment as a judge was in 2006, my first overseas appointment was the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Queensland Australia in 2014.

“I have now judged my breed on twenty-eight occasions in twelve countries, of which nineteen were designated shows by breed clubs and I have also awarded the CACIB (Certificates of Aptitude for the International Beauty Championship) in Italy in 2016. “

Fred with Lackyle’s grandson Caymenstaffs Blackthorn who was one of the winners at Cruft in 2018

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