Show Quality Puppies

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"Show Quality" puppies

There are LOTS of breeders in classified ads and on the Internet advertising "show quality" puppies or puppies from "Champion" bloodlines - but what does that really mean?

A TRUE show quality dog is one who is not only "showable", but one who will be able to compete successfully in the show ring. A TRUE "show quality" puppy is a puppy who - in the best estimation of a reputable breeder with extensive show experience - is more than likely to mature into a dog who will be able to win in the show ring. The puppy will more than likely have one or more parents or grandparents who are AKC or Canadian Champions (in North America that is - in other countries, look for championships or points from the main national kennel club). The breeder should be someone who has exhibited successfully at shows. It takes experience, extensive breed knowledge, a little luck and a lot of work to produce show quality puppies. Less than 10% of all purebred dogs born in the U.S. are truly "show quality".


Show Quality or Pet?

So should you ask for a show quality puppy? If you're planning to show the dog, then obviously YES!!! But be prepared to convince the breeder that you are serious about showing.  The breeder may want to co-own the puppy, to ensure that you stay in contact so the breeder can mentor you.

if you're just looking for a beautiful, healthy pet then it doesn't have to be show quality!

Real show breeders want ALL their  puppies to go to wonderful, loving homes - but for the best puppies they also usually prefer that they go to people who intend to show them.  This isn't just for ego-boosting or vanity although there may be some of that.  But reputable breeders spend a lot of time and energy watching and evaluating other dogs entered in shows.  To see what crosses seem to work, and what don't work.  To see what certain family lines are like.  It's all part of the education process, and also part of the complex process of selecting the best animals to continue the breed.  So of course they want to try to be sure that their best dogs get "out there" to be seen, and evaluated in thier turn.  That is only reasonable.  And it's why a reputable breeder may refuse to sell you the "pick of the litter" when all you want is a nice pet. 

But sometimes in a nice litter there will be many truly show quality puppies, and since not very many people want to show their dogs you can still wind up with a show quality dog even though he'll never set foot in a show ring.

WARNING: there are many unscrupulous breeders out there who are happy to claim that a puppy is "show quality" just so they can charge top dollar for it.   That's why you have to be careful about asking for a show quality puppy.  If a breeder is advertising "show quality" puppies, but that breeder doesn't show - and there are no Champions in the first generation or two of the pedigree (parents or grandparents) then it's a scam.

But maybe you're afraid that a "pet" quality - i.e. a non-show-quality - puppy will be inferior in some important way. It's important to remember that even a "pet" quality puppy from a well-bred litter will still be a beautiful dog - in fact, you may not be able to tell the difference between your "pet" and his "show quality" sibling. The differences are often very subtle and require an expert eye to see them. And reputable breeders put just as much time, effort and love into socializing and training and raising their "pet" quality puppies as their "show" quality pups.  

 Think Rescue!         

   Better yet, consider adopting a wonderful Great Dane from a Great Dane Rescue.  Rescues occasionally get young puppies, but more often get young adult dogs who had the misfortune to belong to people who didn't think ahead, and weren't prepared for life with a Giant breed.  These dogs are usually housebroken and often past the chewing stage, so can be easier to live with than a young puppy.  They just want someone to love!
You can do a search for a Dane Rescue in your area, or visit the GDCA website for a listing.


Finding Show Quality puppies

Only a breeder who has actually SHOWN his or her dogs can reliably recognize - much less produce - show quality!!

A breeder who has never shown a dog can NOT know what specific characteristics are required in order to win in the show ring. Don't be fooled by those who say "Oh, our dogs COULD win, but showing is too political" etc. If the breeder won't put his money where his mouth is, then YOU shouldn't give him YOUR hard-earned money!

Do a little research - the more you learn about Great Danes (or any breed) before buying a puppy, the happier you will be with your purchase. The "Links" pages on our website will direct you to informative websites and reputable Great Dane breeders.