Too Many Good Dogs—& yeah, you DO want a show dog…

purebred Puli in cords.  you don't see them in pet shops. the breeders tend to be careful who they sell breedable dogs to.

purebred Puli in cords. you don’t see them in pet shops. the breeders tend to be careful who they sell breedable dogs to.


Last year, one of my old dogs died.  An opportunity to make a good choice in  adding another pet. While I feel bad for the many dogs in shelters, there were no Whippets in area rescues or shelters.    That’s what i wanted:  a dog to possibly fun race, do lure coursing, obedeince, rally.  A QUIET dog  who shed little.  I  knew exactly  what I wanted. Using my network, I located a breeder—a hobby breeder—who  is known for taking back dogs when owners don’t want them. In reality, most  Whippet breeders do this if they know a dog they bred becomes displaced, but Linda Larsen makes a special request, and has buyers sign a contract.   She often buys the dog back.

Dash  was returned because he chased the cat.  We  drove out to  nowhere (Rochelle, Illinois) to see him.   He and my other  Whippet, Bebop, seemed ok with each other, and after I returned from a brief trip, I returned for  Dash.  I always thought he was too tall to race (we measure dogs before every race, because the whole point is to breed good race dogs, and that they be uniform), so I didn’t  really think about it.  An opportunity came for a field trial (he ended up getting his preliminary title of Junior Courser, then Qualified Courser) and I decided to measure him at home with a yardstick and a comb—and he seemed  to not be oversize to me. So, I  called Linda, ans she said, “Oh, he will measure in, for sure!”

Yes, he has now measured in several times, I have no fear of driving 100 miles and being disqualified  for measuring out.  That said, why was he sold as a pet?  There are not enough people who want to show a dog in conformation.

As a groomer, I see dogs like this  virtually every day.  Mostly the popular breeds, of course, but dogs that would be show dogs if the breeders could have found  owners so inclined.  Yes, it’s expensive to show a dog between entry fees and  gas, and sometimes staying over in a hotel.  The thing is, if you saw dogs of your breed, chances are, even if they were  pet quality dogs with conformation faults, you  got a general idea of size, coat, shape, and personality.  Except for the breeds that are bred to be deformed (all the bracheocephalics:  Bulldogs, Pugs,  Frenchies, Bostons, Daschshunds), if you are getting a show dog, you are getting a  sound dog:  a dog bred to do what he was originated to do, and generally healthier than any designer dog.  I don’t know where the prejudice started  that show dogs aren’t good pets.  Most show dogs ARE pets!  They  just work, and are trained by their owners  to behave.

Why would anyone take a chance on any dog—particularly a puppy bred for the market—for money alone, when you  can get a dog bred for the betterment of the breed…especially if you are attracted to that breed?  Why would you go on Craigslist, Ebay, or another website & just throw a dart at anyone posting, trusting them to act with integrity.  I see so many unhealthy purebred dogs, mostly merles (in color), deaf, sometimes blind, bred for the market  by  what we call backyard breeders. some even proud that their puppies have blue eyes!.  Why are people so trusting of these people who are just breeding for profit?

You need to know  that  the dogs that hobby breeders keep are  often a dog kept as a show prospect that either grew too large, or not large enough, or developed a bad bite or front—BUT—the breeder worked with this dog. she groomed and trained this dog.  the breeder cared about this dog.  So, why isn’t the breeder  marketing this dog?  Or the retired show dog?  She cares too much about the dog, and  wants YOU  to do the research and  really seek out the dog!

Yes, I reel really really bad for the many dogs—particularly the Pit Bulls, but all the dogs bred by the slick  morons and thugs looking for ‘xtra income’.  & if you  have tons of money and don’t mind taking the gamble, and aren’t particular about  size, temperament, personality. or the dog’s general health, go for it, Many shelters and rescues do an excellent job of evaluating  abandonded dogs so they can find good homes for them,.  However, we have found that for every one of those, there are five who  just want to save dogs and don’t  do any evaluation.  Plus, that  dog may end up costing more than a retired show dog, or the dog that didn’t make it to show.  Be skeptical.

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3 Responses to “Too Many Good Dogs—& yeah, you DO want a show dog…”

  1. Julia Bentley Says:

    Good article, except I object to the categorization of all brachycephalic breeds as not sound. Yes, some breeds and breeders go to unhealthy extremes, but not all. The majority of Boxer breeders I know aim for a balanced nose length that fits the original purpose of the breed and allows for reasonable breathing & thermoregulation. (Actually, ACK CHF just published a study that showed body condition was an important factor, moreso than breed type.)

  2. cottonthemaltese Says:

    A slick argument – but one sided at best. What about the German Shepard show dog VS the German Shepard working dog?

    • disparateinterests Says:

      What about GSD? What about a lot of breeds. Still, there are people who breed for both conformation and performance—and want a sound dog. Unfortunately, it is still ‘buyer beware’, and I will not defend any of the bracheocephalics. Nor can I defend breeders who don’t think what we know to be genetic defects claiming they are not. There are unreputable people breeding every breed.

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