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  1. #1
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    Default *Show* dogs – breeding litters solely to produce show ring winners. Thoughts?

    There are so many dog breeders who breed litter after litter of puppies with the primary goal being to breed for *winners* in the AKC show ring.

    Although they do sell their show ring rejects (puppies who will not *make it* in the show ring) as pets, to get rid of them (and to get money – these pups are never cheap), I feel quite sad when I hear these breeders discredit the value (not monetary value) of dogs that are mere *pets*.

    What are your thoughts on this?



  2. #2
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    IMHO, the beauty pageant only breeders are in many ways even worse and possibly more unethical than puppy mill breeders. Beauty pageant only breeders have ruined the health, temperaments, and ingrained instinctive behaviors of so many breeds. I sure wouldn't be interested in buying a "pet only quality" puppy from a beauty pageant only breeder, would probably make a horrible pet due to temperament and health problems.
    Definitely would be interested in buying a "pet only quality" puppy from someone who bred for performance, health, temperament, and the beauty pageants. Such a puppy would probably make a fabulous pet.



  3. #3
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    In short, I think that there are good hobby breeders and bad hobby breeders. The best ones are trying to breed healthy, temperamentally sound dogs that will also do well in the show ring.
    While my dogs are primarily my pets, I do enjoy dog "activities." I personally, for myself, prefer obedience or agility because I don't want to turn one of my dogs over to a handler for the confirmation ring (and, with a coated breed, that is what I would have to do). It isn't that I have a problem with people who do that, it is just that I prefer to enjoy them myself.
    Most of my dogs, though, have been confirmation ring "drop outs" that I got when they were older puppies. For me, it has worked out really well. Their parents had the proper health tests for the breed, and the dogs that I have gotten this way have all been worked with and were happy, healthy puppies. The breeders have kept in contact and asked for pictures, etc., so they seem to be concerned with the welfare of the dogs even though they aren't showing. I am open to rescues as well, of course, because I like the training for its own sake and wouldn't have any issue with not being able to enter into a show.
    Most hobby breeders are not making a profit. Actually, I think that hobby breeding is quite an expensive proposition. I am much more concerned about commercial breeding (i.e. "puppy mills") where dogs are bred to be sold as pets (probably for about the same price that responsible breeders sell their pet quality puppes for) but without any health testing, veterinary care, or socialization. I am interested in animal welfare, and I think that there are so many more pressing issues.



  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=Casey09;4590479]In short, I think that there are good hobby breeders and bad hobby breeders. The best ones are trying to breed healthy, temperamentally sound dogs that will also do well in the show ring.
    While my dogs are primarily my pets, I do enjoy dog "activities."
    Most of my dogs, though, have been confirmation ring "drop outs" that I got when they were older puppies. For me, it has worked out really well. Their parents had the proper health tests for the breed, and the dogs that I have gotten this way have all been worked with and were happy, healthy puppies. The breeders have kept in contact and asked for pictures, etc., so they seem to be concerned with the welfare of the dogs even though they aren't showing.
    Most hobby breeders are not making a profit. Actually, I think that hobby breeding is quite an expensive proposition. I am much more concerned about commercial breeding (i.e. "puppy mills") where dogs are bred to be sold as pets (probably for about the same price that responsible breeders sell their pet quality puppes for) but without any health testing, veterinary care, or socialization. QUOTE]

    I have four conformation dropouts and they are truly our children. They are very typey for their breed and have been very healthy (ages 16, 12, 12, and 2).
    I like to attend dog shows and dog events also.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Not into them.



  6. #6
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    Default

    The BBC produced a documentary about all the problems with dog shows and the kennel club. It was hard to watch, but eye opening to say the least:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedigree_Dogs_Exposed



  7. #7
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    Those show breeders are EXACTLY where you get well-bred, sound, good temperament PETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And NO, they rarely do *make money* on those pets *LOLOLOL, you've gotta be kiddin' me*!!!! You clearly have no clue what it costs to produce a well-bred litter. The ones who make money are the mass-producers and backyard breeders since they don't bother to run health checks, feed proper nutrition, pay for the best in vet care, ensure a safe and enriched environment for the dam and pups to be raised in, etc.

    Most show breeders breed for HEALTH, TEMPERAMENT, AND PERFORMANCE of their dogs -- whether that performance is in the show ring, the obedience ring, as a working dog, or as a pet. A good show breeder preserves the breed -- maintaining the dogs' abilities as working dogs, in conformation, and in temperament. The pups that don't quite make it for the show ring are typically the BEST in health, temperament, soundness and have a good start in life. The entire litter gets that same benefits of a well-thought-out pedigree match and desirable genes, the same excellent care, nutrition, and early stimulation as the few who go on to win.

    Think about it -- to produce a dog that can make it in the show ring (AND the rest of the litter as well), the breeder has to pour incredible amounts of time, energy, and blood, sweat and tears into turning out a dog that has the calm demeanor and temperament needed to handle the frequent travel, noise of the show grounds, ability to take the attentions of the many spectators attending the show, crowded venues with thousands of dogs in a confined space, the ring exams done by an endless parade of strangers (does your dog permit strangers to open his mouth and run their hands over his entire body without moving a muscle?), move confidently over various flooring surfaces and in sometimes stressful conditions (loudspeakers with feedback, crowds, puddles, slippery or poor footing sometimes, loose toddlers, ETC.), and STILL show well, with ears up and tail waving, looking alert and happy.

    You REALLY CAN NOT SEPARATE the two -- breeding for a GOOD show dog means breeding for the qualities that make an excellent pet. And most show breeders are fully aware of that fact and breed accordingly.

    And MOST show breeders are JUST as proud of their successful pets placed in excellent homes as they are of their show pups. MANY, MANY times, a pup that is evaluated at 8 or 10 weeks as not having *show potential* will mature into a stunner -- AND end up cleaning up the show ring if the pet owners get interested. OR, that pup may become a high-scoring obedience trial competitor, a wonderful therapy dog, or even a service dog. Take a look at some of the ads placed by the show breeders -- they pay to advertise and brag about the dogs with performance titles, the therapy dogs, service dogs, and working dogs from their bloodlines too.

    I'll stop here, but seriously, your idea that a good show breeder, or even many show breeders, do not produce good pets is absolutely ludicrous.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLBGP View Post
    The BBC produced a documentary about all the problems with dog shows and the kennel club. It was hard to watch, but eye opening to say the least:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedigree_Dogs_Exposed
    And also badly researched and poorly done. They essentially *left out* the other side's argument altogether, and did a very poor job of verifying and researching what they did put on air. Sheeeeesh!!!!!



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claddagh View Post
    T

    What are your thoughts on this?

    I think your post makes absolutely no sense and is most likely intended to start a trainwreck.

    What a stupid question you asked. If someone is breeding for the show ring - they are not "discounting" the emotional value of a dog that doesn't make the cut. They find the dog a home - the dog still has emotional and financial value. Just not as a show dog.

    QED.



  10. #10
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    I still suggest people watch the documentary and decide for themselves. It's not all sunshine and roses out there. Curious what the "other side" to the story of the cavalier with the horrible genetic disease who is breeding and winning. Or the pug with the severe scoliosis breeding and winning. The shots of how canine skulls have changed over the last few decades was also compelling...and sad.

    My problem with the kennel club set up is that they make money of registrations, so it is not in their best interest to stop irresponsible breeders or puppy mills or ensure breed health and well being.

    I am certainly not saying there aren't great breeders out there who put health and temperament above all else. But it's certainly not all of them...in fact, probably the minority.



  11. #11
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    I think a reputable breeder that is breeding to the standard, with titled parent dogs, will be the first to tell you that MOST of the puppies from any given litter will not be show/competition quality.

    But I also think that most breeders out there are not reputable. The majority of breeders put puppies out into the world because they have a dog that is purebred and a nice pet. If I had a dime for every time someone has commented to me that their dog is registered and therefore of breeding quality, I would have several dollars by now. Ask that same person what the standard is for their particular breed and you'll be in for a lecture about "elitist" breeders with an eye out only for the conformation ring, and who totally ignore the need to provide "pet dogs for the average home".

    Once that argument gets trotted out, I stop listening. Winning dogs are few and far between. The rest of the puppies end up going to pet homes, so the lecture on back yard breeders providing pups for pet homes is a cop out. What is really being said is "I don't have the time or money to do this correctly, but I still want to do it and here is how I rationalize it".

    Tell me what would happen if we were talking about horses right now and someone stood up and said that they have been breeding their horribly conformed mare to the neighbor's untouched, never broke stud, but we shouldn't worry about the outcome because the resulting foals are not meant to be show horses?

    Why is it okay to make that same argument about dogs and have it accepted as okay?
    Sheilah



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altag View Post
    Those show breeders are EXACTLY where you get well-bred, sound, good temperament PETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yep...

    To the OP: "Show dogs - breeding litters soley to produce show ring winners"

    Like the horse breeders aren't doing the same thing and that's okay, right?



  13. #13
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    Default What Altag said!

    I just purchased a lab puppy from a private breeder (I use breeder loosely, as they have only ever had 2 litters). They thought long and hard before they bred the female, and I had requested a pup from them over a year ago. These are very, very well bred show pups, and I paid a higher price to get myself a dog with an exceptional temperment and health guarantee. I was very up front about not having a desire to show, or breed, but that this would be a much loved companion for hubby and myself. Pup came with a 2 year buy-back guarantee that if anything happens, they would like first chance to repurchase the puppy for the original price. I've had the pup a month now, and we keep in close contact via email AND they've come to see him twice (and brought his remaining littermate to play). It was difficult to spend so much money on a "dog" (more than any horse I've ever bought), but I have only good things to say about the "transaction". I don't think they made hardly any money, considering the conception was done AI, scheduled c-section for delivery, first shots, worming, and microchipping done. I have utter piece of mind that our pup has had the best start to life, and now it's in my hands to maintain his life in the best way possible.
    Cindy



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claddagh View Post
    There are so many dog breeders who breed litter after litter of puppies with the primary goal being to breed for *winners* in the AKC show ring.

    Although they do sell their show ring rejects (puppies who will not *make it* in the show ring) as pets, to get rid of them (and to get money – these pups are never cheap), I feel quite sad when I hear these breeders discredit the value (not monetary value) of dogs that are mere *pets*.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Most of these folks don't breed more than one, maybe 2 litters a year - at least all of those I have ever talked to, not too many, but I think I got a good average.

    The show part is their thing as we do horses and shows. Just with horses you get one foal a year and have to wait a long time before you know what you got. Plenty of show breeders have 'pet' animals they produce.

    Anyhow, the majority of these show breeders is excessivley obsessive about who even gets a pet from them, and if you think they are making money, you are dead wrong. They are LUCKY if they are breaking even

    There is a laundry list of tests they perform before committing to the first litter, many involve a big vet bill.
    Not to mention some breeds have an affinity for certain defects the puppies with be checked for, like BAER tests to determin that predominately white dogs like Dalmatians are not deaf

    Most will not breed a non Champion dog, which means about a year on the road showing.

    The breed for the next Champion, to continue the breed down the line, according to standard, many also participate in the original breed purpose with their show dogs.

    And they keep close taps on their get, even offering to take the 'pet' back at any stage of their life or help rehome it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  15. #15
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    Most show breeders breed for HEALTH, TEMPERAMENT, AND PERFORMANCE of their dogs
    where are your stats? my experience is most show breeders breed for looks, period. Lots of prize-winning conformation dogs are rumored to have horrible temperaments that would never be acceptable in a pet dog, or even a working dog. As for "performance", just look at the many breeds that have been clearly split between "show lines" and "real dog lines". For example, try comparing "hunting setters" to show setters. They barely resemble each other. You don't really think those pretty setters in the show ring can hunt or exhibit a proper setter temperament do you? they can't and don't. So many breeds have been ruined by the show-only breeders.

    There are very few "show breeders" who care in the least about health, temperament, or performance (by performance, I DON'T mean prancing around in the show ring looking pretty, I mean racking up titles in something like obedience, agility, hunt tests, schutzhund, etc.).



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Fish View Post
    Yep...

    To the OP: "Show dogs - breeding litters soley to produce show ring winners"

    Like the horse breeders aren't doing the same thing and that's okay, right?
    Absolutely agree.



  17. #17
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    Well, there are plenty of problems with 'pet only' breeders - just look at the proliferation of 'designer' mutts. OTOH, I think it's criminal the amount of genetic problems and diseases that have been bred into animals because of fashion. My family has had Boston Terriers for 50+ years & it's very sad to compare the dogs I grew up with & my mom grew up with to the smashed nosed, bug eyed, small framed little creatures today. There's something wrong when my pit bull mix looks more like what a Boston SHOULD and used to look like (although much bigger, of course!) than Boston Terriers winning in the show ring.

    But I don't see a big difference between dog breeding & horse breeding - just look at HYPP, SCID, etc.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
    Well, there are plenty of problems with 'pet only' breeders - just look at the proliferation of 'designer' mutts. OTOH, I think it's criminal the amount of genetic problems and diseases that have been bred into animals because of fashion. My family has had Boston Terriers for 50+ years & it's very sad to compare the dogs I grew up with & my mom grew up with to the smashed nosed, bug eyed, small framed little creatures today. There's something wrong when my pit bull mix looks more like what a Boston SHOULD and used to look like (although much bigger, of course!) than Boston Terriers winning in the show ring.

    But I don't see a big difference between dog breeding & horse breeding - just look at HYPP, SCID, etc.
    I suppose it's a bit tougher to resist when the breed has no other purpose than be happy and sweet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    I suppose it's a bit tougher to resist when the breed has no other purpose than be happy and sweet.
    Well, there are plenty of breeds that have no other purpose than to be happy and sweet - that doesn't excuse, IMHO, breeding in cardio-pulmonary problems (or whatever) for fashionable purposes. And there are plenty of 'working' breeds who haven't resisted so well when it comes to show ring types (e.g., the plethora of breeds with hip dysplasia issues).

    Our working bred Cairn (terrier trials) & our show bred Westie both suffer(ed) from the same health issue that's somewhat common in terriers, but it wasn't exacerbated by breeding for overexaggerated features & it didn't impact their quality of life until they were quite aged. I can't say the same for crippled dogs with hip dysplasia I've met, or smashed nosed breeds who suffer from all sorts of problems throughout their life (which is similar in smashed nosed cat breeds, as well).



  20. #20
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    Default

    I'm a bit baffled by this thread.

    I grew up showing Samoyeds and Smooth Collies and switched to Ridgebacks as a young adult. I worked for a vet who had the top Brittany kennel in the country (anyone remember Dennis Jordan and Ch Jordean's All Kidding Aside?) and knew lots and lots of show dog breeders in different breeds.

    ALL of the serious show breeders bred for temperament and health. They all carefully evaluated their puppies and pet and show homes. Many of them made a point to get their dogs titled in something other than the conformation ring. Most had one litter a year and had a long waiting list for puppies. Hips and eyes were certified.

    The people who had the dogs with poor temperament, with health issues, who were bred on every heat cycle were the idiot BACKYARD breeders. The people who thought that a champion three generations back meant their dog was obviously capable of reproducing, and hey--the neighbor has an intact dog that's the same breed! Those aren't show dog people

    As with everything, you've got to do your research. I have no doubt there ARE bad show breeders out there, and yes--there are breeds that are going down a slippery slope...but that sort of breeding isn't limited to the show ring How many people out there are breeding weird designer breeds, or are breeding giant Shepherds or ?



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