Tracking Judge - Michael J. Caputo, USCA/SV
Michael has been a member of United Schutzhund Clubs of America since 1979. He began his Judging career in 1985, received his USCA license in 1987, UDC license in 1992 and became affiliated with the SV in 2009. As a performance judge, he has presided over hundreds of trials and dozens of National and Regional events in all three performance phases. Over the years, he has trained and titled seven dogs of his own with performance titles and two dogs to V-1 in the show arena. In 1983, Michael became a member of the Schutzhund III club and in 1986, he became the holder of the Masters Sports Medal in Gold. During the early years of his career in the sport he also served several local clubs as a Helper, Training Director, Officer, Tattooer, and Breed Warden.
As field competitor he was able to realize modest success. He and his dogs trialed in eight consecutive USCA Nationals from 1984 through 1991, finishing in the top 10 on three occasions. In 1987, Michael and his dog, Ingo vom Horsatal, won the FH Championship held in Lafayette, IN. From 1985 through 1990, he and his dogs went forward to win five Regional Championships in the Mid-Eastern and Mid-Central regions. Later in 1997 and 1999, he proudly served as USA’s the team captain for the WUSV championships.
Throughout his 30 year judging career, Michael has enjoyed most his seminars on teaching trainers and handlers the various standards and performance elements of showing their dogs in a performance (Schutzhund/IPO) trial. This training seminar “How to Maximize Your Points” has been attended by hundreds of dog sport enthusiasts and kept them updated on the various changes in the performance rules and the Judging expectations that are built into the guidelines. Driven to continuously learn, improve and assist the USCA Judges Program, Michael is a member of the USCA Judges Committee and actively participates in the continuing education process for the USCA Judges College.
Professionally, Michael is employed as a healthcare executive and resides in Bowling Green, KY. He and his wife Linda have raised seven children and boast twenty-two grandchildren and one greatgrandchild.
As the Tracking for this year’s 2017 AWDF Championships, Michael expresses: “It is a pleasure and an honor to serve the AWDF as this year’s Tracking Judge. This event has grown substantially since we all met for the first national competition in 1991 in nearby St. Louis with just a few competitors and a single Judge. Thank you also to Raino Fluegge and Pentii Rapila for joining us and your work in the stadium. I wish all participants much success and look forward to being out there with you all here in the beautiful Bluegrass State.”