How to Select a Puppy for Show

All puppies look sweet, but not every puppy has champion show-dog potential.

PuppyBrought to you by Showing Your Dog

Depending on the breed you have chosen, there will be a variety of factors to take into consideration such as breed type, soundness of construction and, not least, personality. In some breeds there are obvious signs, such as the amount of white on the body. In some breeds, for example, the allowable amount of white is specified in the breed standard. In these cases, it will be perfectly evident that a dog with white up to his elbows, when the breed is only allowed white on its toes, will simply not be the one to choose.

Other things are less strikingly obvious, and in some cases only the breeder will know how the puppy is likely to develop. In some breeds, especially those with a reverse-scissor or undershot bite in adulthood, the jaw placement will alter as the puppy grows and develops. This means that a puppy with a scissor bite at 10 weeks old may well have the desired reverse scissor bite by six months of age. If the bite is already correct as a baby, chances are it will be too undershot by the time the puppy is old enough for the show ring. If you do not yet have sufficient experience, you will have to rely heavily on the breeder’s recommendations and advice. Bear in mind that the breeder will not want inferior stock to represent his kennel in the ring, so it also is to the breeder’s benefit to guide you correctly.

If you read the standard for your chosen breed before going to visit the puppies, this will put you in very good stead and you will have an idea of the desirable (and undesirable) points to look for.

Next step: Puppy Personality

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