BUT I DON’T NEED A SHOW DOG!
by TERRI LEWIN GILBERT
W hy do people recommend choosing a breeder who shows their dogs to folks who are just looking for a pet and have no interest in showing? Why should breeding to breed standard be im- portant to a pet home? Does it seem excessive, or “snobby”? It’s not, and here’s why. Dog shows are a means of evaluating dogs against the breed standard, to evaluate soundness, movement/gait, type, and temperament. SOUNDNESS: The state of physical and mental health when all organs and faculties are functioning properly, each in its rightful relation to each other. TYPE: Breed type encompasses appear- ance, character, condition, bone structure, temperament and move- ment; “breed type is all these things.” Breed type also includes a character specific to each breed, a combination
they’re gentle, not aggressive, they make excellent companions and love spending time with their people. That their good , silly, loyal and kind nature makes owners never want any other breed. Good, responsible breeders seek to preserve those definitive and positive characteristics. What about type and structure? How the dog is put together, able to move freely and comfortably? Would you rather buy from someone who has proven publicly, over time, that the dog they’re breeding can move well, free of limp, or a structural problem? Or just trust someone who has no in- terest in proving their dogs? It’s your puppy’s quality of life and comfort (as well as your wallet) that’s at stake. Not every dog in a well-bred litter is going to be show quality—there will ALWAYS be pet-quality puppies. Well-bred, but maybe with a slight , insignificant imperfection, and those are the puppies placed in pet homes. You don’t have to want a show-quality puppy to get a well-bred puppy! This is not about being snobby, being elitist, thinking that one dog is “bet- ter” than another, it’s about ensuring you get a puppy that acts and looks like the breed you fell in love with. It’s about ensuring that all puppies have the best start in life, and will grow into a loving familymember. It’s about loving our breed enough to want to see everything that’s good about them preserved for future generations to enjoy. If youwant a healthy dog, with a properly sweet temperament, choose your breeder wisely!
of behavior, temperament and car- riage that demonstrate an essence of the breed. GAIT: The gait of a dog is its quality of movement. You want to see ease of movement, unimpaired by illness or poor structure. TEMPERAMENT: The general attitude a dog has to- wards other animals and people. From the Pekingese Breed Standard “A combination of regal dignity, in- telligence and self-importance make for a good natured, opinionated and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect.” So. That’s a very basic intro to what goes on at a show...why does this mat- ter? You want a pet, a companion, not a show dog, right? Well, you chose a Pekingese for a reason. You’ve done your research, and have read that they’re great companions for families with older children or no children,
“NOT EVERY DOG IN A WELL-BRED LITTER IS GOING TO BE SHOW QUALITY—THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PET-QUALITY PUPPIES.”
T op N otch T oys , D ecember 2018 • 75
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