The Breeder judge and the Handler judge for the Top 20 are selected by a nominating committee that is newly appointed every year. Nomination guidelines are followed to assure impartiality of the judges. The AKC All-Breed judge is selected by the Top 20 organizing committee years in advance, well before the eligible Top 20 dogs are known.

Once the eligible Top 20 dogs are determined, the chairman of the nominating committee selects up to 7 committee members who will nominate breeder judges and handler judges. These committee members must not have any connections with the Top 20 dogs eligible for that year, with their owners, with the breeders, or with the sires. The committee members are chosen from different geographic regions of the country and serve on the committee without knowledge of who the other committee members might be. This avoids any possible collusion in the nominating and voting process. Committee members are asked to submit 3 nominees for a Breeder judge and 3 nominees for a Handler judge who may come from their region or elsewhere. Individuals who have judged the Top 20 within the last 5 years are excluded as nominees. The nominees must not have any personal or business relationship with the owner, breeder, owner of the sire, or handler of any of the Top 20 eligible dogs and cannot be contacted to ask about a willingness to judge if selected. This becomes a difficult task given the many possible ways that individuals in the Boxer community may be connected via joint ownership of dogs, purchase of puppies, dog breeding, or other personal or business relationships. Also, nominees who are AKC judges must not have judged Boxers in the last 6 months.

The committee members send their confidential nominations to the Secretary of the Top 20 who then prepares and sends a first ballot to the members of the nominating committee. These members are then asked to identify any further conflicts of interest between the prospective judges who have been nominated and the Top 20 dogs, owners, breeders, sires, or handlers. If any possible conflicts are identified by any committee member, these names are removed from the ballot to assure impartiality.

Once a final ballot is prepared, each member of the nominating committee submits 5 votes for a Breeder judge and 2 votes for a Handler judge. The confidential votes are sent directly to the Secretary of the Top 20 who tallies votes to select a Breeder judge and Handler judge. With 5 votes to submit, each member of the nominating committee is forced to consider candidates beyond his/her personal 3 nominees. The selected judges are then notified and asked if any unknown situations exist with the Top 20 dogs that could cause their impartiality to be questioned. The final selections are kept confidential from the entire nominating committee until the night of the Top 20 event.

The chairman and members of the nominating committee look forward to the announcement of the selected judges and are honored to have these individuals judge our Top 20.