HOW MY SHOW PROSPECTS ARE SELECTED

I breed each litter with the goal of improving upon that litter's parents.  I breed so that I may have another excellent pug to love and show to continue this goal.  While I have a litter primarily for me to have another pug to show, I am also willing to place the best Show Prospect I have with an individual who is serious about showing the puppy to its AKC Conformation Championship.  Although fairly easy to do, showing does require serious dedication, persistence, financial resources, and commitment--either to show the dog yourself or by hiring a professional handler to do so.  

When people who have never shown a dog before inquire about adopting a Show Prospect, I recommend they ask themselves if they seriously want to have a beautiful, healthy pet that they will make a champion show dog, or do they simply want to have a beautiful, healthy companion pet that looks like a champion to them?  If the answer is the latter, then rest assured that most people cannot tell the difference between my Show Prospects and my Companion Pets because of the quality that has come from my years of careful, selective breeding. However, I am VERY picky on what dogs I allow to continue to be Show Prospects and carry on my pedigree's line.  In order for one of my puppies to become a Show Prospect, the puppy must undergo and pass 4 evaluations:


TEST 1 OF 4:  THE BREED STANDARD CONFORMATION EVALUATION

When?  8 weeks of age

As a serious dog show exhibitor, my goal is to breed and show pugs that have proper conformation and structure.  As such, I conduct conformation evaluations using the AKC Pug Breed Standard on my entire litter at the age of 8 weeks following the Puppy Puzzle "approach to evaluating the structural quality of puppies", created by Bob and Pat Hastings.  Only those puppies who receive a grade of B+ or higher get to move on to the next evaluation.  Puppies who receive a grade under B are made available as Companion Pets, and must be spayed or neutered.   



TEST 2 OF 4:  THE PHYSICAL STRUCTURE EVALUATION

When?  8 weeks of age

Puppies who receive a Conformation Evaluation of B+ or better undergo the physical structure evaluation, which is performed by Dr. Wendy Wallace, DVM.  Dr. Wallace and Pat Hastings co-authored the book, Structure in Action:  The Makings of a Durable Dog.  Only the puppies who Dr. Wallace evaluates as having proper structure move on to the third evaluation, which is a CERF Eye Exam.  Puppies who unable to pass the physical structure exam are made available as Companion Pets, and must be spayed or neutered.  


TEST 3 OF 4:  THE CERF EYE EXAM

When?  Between 8 and 16 weeks of age

Puppies who receive a Conformation Evaluation of B+ or better and pass the Physical Structure Exam go on to the 3rd evaluation, which is an eye exam.  Only the puppies who pass the eye exam get to move on to the final evaluation, which is an OFA preliminary consultation for hip dysplasia.  Puppies who unable to pass the CERF eye exam are made available as Companion Pets, and must be spayed or neutered. 


TEST 4 of 4:  THE OFA PRELIMINARY HIP DYSPLASIA EVALUATION

When?  4 months of age

Puppies who receive a Conformation Evaluation of B+ or better, pass the Physical Structure Exam, and pass the CERF eye exam, go on to the 4th evaluation, which is the OFA preliminary hip dysplasia consultation.  This evaluation is conducted by submitting an x-ray of the puppy's hips to the OFA for reviewing and grading.   Only the puppies who pass the hip dysplasia consultation with a preliminary grade of MILD or better become Show Prospects.  Puppies who unable to pass the hip dysplasia consultation with a grade of MILD or better are made available as Companion Pets, and must be spayed or neutered.  The OFA consultation results usually come back within 3-4 weeks after the x-rays are submitted.  At that time, the Show Prospects can begin to go to their new homes.  Before they leave, I conduct the:


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ADOPTING A SHOW PROSPECT VERSUS A COMPANION PET

All individuals who adopt Show Prospects from me sign a written agreement that persons wanting to adopt a Companion Pet never even see.  For the most part, there are additional terms and conditions in the Show Prospect written agreement that is provided in Step 3 of the Adoption Process that state that the adopters will commit to and devote the required time and financial resources needed to train the dog, travel to dog shows, and show the dog in the AKC conformation competitions (either handling the dog themselves or by hiring a professional dog show handler).  

It can take from 6 months to 18 months or longer to make a dog an AKC champion when the dog is shown at least 4-5 times per month, and it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000 to show a dog to its championship.  For example, CH Starvue Celestial Return By Pegasus (Kelani), was professionally handled.  Kelani was on the East Coast with her handler for 11 months.  It cost me approximately $6,000 to pay for the handler's fees and dog show entry fees.  My professional handler charged me $60 each time she showed Kelani in the ring, plus $20 for gas for each weekend that she took Kelani to a show.  It also cost approximately $35 for each entry fee per show.  There are usually two to four shows per weekend on average, with one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  The costs add up quickly.  Showing can be less expensive if a person is willing to show the dog in the ring themselves since they would save having to pay for a handler.  With that said, a professional handler has vast experience showing dogs and can usually make the dog a champion quicker than a novice owner-handler.  And, if you have hopes of showing your dog on national television, you could spend much, much more.  

Besides the mandatory conformation showing stipulation, there are additional requirements in the written agreement that is  provided in Step 3 of the Adoption Process for persons who adopt a Show Prospect from me that people who adopt a Companion Pet never even have to consider.  

The point I'm hoping to make by telling you all of this is that I would be happy to place the best Show Prospect with an individual if that individual is willing to commit to and agree to making the dog an AKC champion. I provide life-long mentoring and assistance in this regard.  That is why persons waiting to adopt a Show Prospect are given preferential position on my waiting list. 

On the other hand, please note that I have made it a life-long commitment to avoid taking reservations for Show Prospects from people who really just wanted a beautiful Companion Pet, but who wanted to guarantee their place in line for a puppy by agreeing to pay more.  I know other breeders might have no problem taking extra money from someone to guarantee them a puppy, but that is not my personal practice.   

Rest assured that if you decide that a Companion Pet puppy rather than a Show Prospect is better suited for what you truly want, it is very difficult for the average person to see the difference in the quality between my Companion Pets and my Show Prospects.  That is because I have reached a point in my breeding program where any of my puppies could become champions, but I am extremely picky about which dogs will actually get to carry on their ancestors' legacy.  


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