I'm just asking this for my general curiosity. If a breeder doesn't show their dog in conformation, does that automatically make them a bad breeder? What if they're looking to produce good pets, but don't necessarily like to show? Or something of the sort.
In my opinion--no. A good breeder knows the standard and health tests necessary for the breed they have chosen. They know how to screen buyers and be sure the puppy has the best home. Many "show" dogs do not meet the standard. There was an article in an online dog magazine about a judge that dared to use a wicket (measuring stick) to be sure the dog were not over or under and as soon as she did that, half the entries left before going in the ring. So No, showing is not everythihg, showing is a hobby and if you get points or champions that is a nice bonus but not a requirement to be a "good" breeder of quality dogs.
A big high 5 goes out to that judge!!! Showing can be so much fun, but also very political.. Sometimes its not the dog but who is on the other end of the leash no matter what the dog looks like some judges will put them up.
This is what I would consider a 'hobby breeder'. Showing is tough, and expensive!! It takes alot of time for conditioning, training, travel, entries, etc. And some people just arent able to do it or simply have no interest in it. And to me thats fine, you have to enjoy it, and the people can be hard to deal with sometimes at the shows. Also as mentioned earlier, not all the dogs there are a prime example. I have seen just horrible dogs win due to the fact of the professional handler that was at the end of the lead, or the judge was a good friend of that breeder, or who took who to dinner the night before, etc. It can be frustrating at times.
As long as they are following the standard for that breed, aware of the health, testing for genetic issues, providing guarantees on the pups, placing them responsibly, etc. I do not mind that they dont show, and doesnt make their dogs any less just because they choose not to get into it.
I have been raising Shelties for 5 years and I JUST adopted my first show prospect. My breed has a tricky standard (which is why you RARELY see a Sheltie win BOB or his group - it's more difficult to see a perfect specimen because the standard is detailed AND there are so many natural variables in the breed - especially size, ears, and tails), Sheltie show people tend to be a difficult crowd, and it takes longer to title the average Sheltie than most breeds (more expensive).
For me, I also only have 1 show a year not 7-8 hours away so it's going to involve lots of travel, or a great handler that I'm comfortable sending my baby out with every weekend.
I place all my puppies on spay/neuter contracts (because I can't guarantee or even make a gamble at show potential without showing myself). I have outstanding temperament (I mean really great - even breeders who mention my conformation faults applaud my temperament), and I offer a stellar health guarantee. I don't ask extreme prices for my pups to reflect that I haven't shown (I'm actually cheap for what I do offer). About 50% of my puppies are competing in Obedience and.or Agility and excelling. I have 2 dogs I'm working in Obedience with.
I'm proud of what I have to offer. I also see what I can improve on and am making an effort to do so in a way that I feel is respectful and responsible to my dogs, the families that adopt them, and my program.
I think every breeder is different and the "labels" don't always match the breeder. Ch. titles don't mean as much as people think they do sometimes. And showing doesn't verify that the breeder is quality either - especially when you consider that many many breeders don't actually do the showing themselves - or for the right reasons.
Sorry, abbylynne, I'm bad for typo reading, lol... I know exactly what you mean though, we spent alot of time at the sheltie ring in the past out of potential interest for a show dog for my daughter....tough crowd indeed!
Quoted: (which is why you RARELY see a Sheltie win BOB or his group
I hope sheltie wins BOB in the sheltie ring.....lol, sorry, I had to giggle. It reminded me of a comment I made about a few certain professional handlers....they could take a GSD into the Chihuahua ring and win! (preferential treatment comment)
My vet and I just had this conversation the other day actually. It's not about which dog wins the shows because in all things like that (as already stated) there are politics behind the show that tend to have an effect on the outcome of the shows. It's really about the dog's health and temperament in my opinion (and my vet's!)
I agree that there's no question politics are involved to a certain extent in conformation, but it's not ALL about politics. The dogs have to at least meet the standard to win anything. Temperament is part of the standard. Health (genetic health), not so much.
I'm still debating with myself whether showing dogs should be a responsible-breeder protocol for me. I used to think, unequivocally, yes, but now I'm not so sure....
Very thought-provoking topic, thelifeofriley. Good question!