"Just" a Pet
by Christine Grether of Ebbullient French Bulldogs
from her blog Good Bloggie
On a walk or out-and-about, people will often come over to meet one of our guys and spark a conversation about Frenchies. Many times you hear how they love the breed and always wanted a Frenchie of their own. If we mention we show, the quick response is “Oh. I’d only want a pet-quality Frenchie,” in a tone which implies they are willing to settle for second-best.
So you have to think, why do people think pet-quality pups should be less valuable than show-quality pups? Let me explain. If the only difference between a show-potential pup and a pet pup, are some conformation faults, what about the rest of the pup? The planning, the health care, the nutrition, the time spent by the breeder, the careful matching of pedigrees and body type to ensure the best match for a healthy pup. The socialization and training that goes into a quality pup with a personality YOU’D want to own?
When it comes to selecting your new four-legged, furry friend, would you want to get one that had been raised in a mass-breeding environment with minimal care, socialization, and hard goal toward profit from Breeder A, or one that had been essentially hand-raised by a caring breeder with an eye to the betterment of their line from Breeder B? And if Breeder A is selling a pup at price X, and Breeder B is selling their pup at the same or a slightly higher price, divide that by 10–12 years and compare how much per year the cost of that pup/dog will average. Not much difference is there? And if the pup from Breeder B has a better chance at a healthy life, and the breeder is there for you when you have questions, the value gets even better.
When our girl got her championship last year, did some fast and loose math. Of all the AKCFrenchies registered, only 3–5% go on to get a title. (If someone had hard facts on this, would love to see them!) That leaves the majority of Frenchies in the pet category. Not all Frenchie breeders show, and showing is not an absolute guarantee of a good breeder, however, it has certainly helped us. We’ve learned how to view a Frenchie by the breed standard, which lines are recognized for their quality, and have gotten to tap into the wealth of info available from other show breeders. But showing is a lot of hard work and can easily see why some would pass on showing. But even a non-show breeder should be trying to breed for health, soundness, and to the breed standard. Whoever you get a pup/dog from, they should know their lines, know any health issues within them, and be attempting to maintain their quality or improve it. After all, you do want a Frenchie that looks and acts like a Frenchie!
So pet or show, Frenchie or other breed, a pup deserves the same chance to excel in health and life, because while only a very few pups go onto show, they all go on to be a pet. And don’t you think you deserve that for yourself, and for your future new friend? Reward those who do care about the breed and breeding a healthy pet. Take the time to find a breeder who does health-testing on their dogs, nurtures their pups, and tries to produce a healthier pup so you can say with pride, “This is my pet and he/she is just the best!”