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Cynosport Judge: Janet Gauntt

Find out more about 2014 Cynosport World Games judge Janet Gauntt!

The 2014 Cynosport World Games are almost here! The event kicks off on Wednesday, October 15, and concludes Sunday, October 19 in Morgan Hill, California. (Visit for live stream and on-demand details.) Judges John Zhao, Eric Quirouet, Janet Gaunt, Hisato Tanabe, Adrienne Lynch, Tim Laubach, and Dave Hanson will be presiding over the Games. Before the event, we are going to take a little time to get to know each of the judges, so watch for question and answer sessions with them in the coming days. Today, meet Janet Gauntt!

Name: Janet Gauntt
City/State: Columbia, Maryland

Tell us about your dogs.

Currently I run three Border Collies: Romance; Legend's son, Sequel; and another of Legend's sons, Johnny B. In addition to agility, all three do World Cynosport Rally and the two younger boys are also performing well in both disc dog and herding.

Do you have previous experience judging at the Cynosport World Games?

No. I've judged lots of USDAA regionals, competitions on other continents, nationals for other organizations, and an IFCS World Agility Championship, though, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Do you have previous Cynosport experience as a competitor?

I began attending Cynosport back in the early '90s with my Shelties when it was still just the Finals of the Grand Prix tournament held at Astro Hall. I have continued to attend most years since then, first with my Shelties and then with my Border Collies as the event grew into the Cynosport World Games. As this is the first time I've ever judged Cynosport, it will be the first time (not sure if ever, but certainly in a long time) that I haven't qualified dogs into semifinals. I've been in Finals twice, first with my Sheltie, Sam, then with my Border Collie, Legend.

What have you done, if anything, to prepare yourself to judge at Cynosport? 

I'm an active competitor making national Top Ten rankings with both Romance and Sequel as well as serving as one of the course reviewers for USDAA, so I like to think I stay on top of the design and handling trends.

What kinds of challenges do you expect you might experience while judging at the event? 

It certainly will be a long judging assignment; four days in a row is the most I've done before this. I expect it will be an exercise in pacing myself.

When designing Cynosport courses, what were your biggest concerns? What were your goals? 

I like to see a variety of handling and dog skills needed to win on my courses, so I try to present several different types of challenges. Handlers and dogs need to be able to shift rapidly between "technical" sections requiring collection and time-sensitive cueing to/from other sections where speed, extension, and solid lines are important for maximum efficiency.

If you could give Cynosport competitors one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Tune into your dog, tune out any negativity, and enjoy the show! And if you volunteer at least once throughout the weekend, you'll always have that good karma to take away with you afterwards.

Photo courtesy of Janet Gauntt.


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