Why do people assume show breeders don’t…?

Pittman & Davis

Question by Annie: Why do people assume show breeders don’t…?
Why do people assume show breeders don’t do working events, therapy visits, and/or rescue?

I’ve hit this many times — where people accuse show breeders of being snobs, not doing obedience or other “real” activity, and of not doing — or worse yet – being against rescue.

However, myself, and most people I know not only extensively show their dogs, but do all sorts of activities with their dogs. Many work with rescue, and most give money even if they don’t do the leg work of rescue.

Just recently, someone on here quite haughtly told me that she does “competitive obedience” and that I, as a show breeder, am “what’s wrong with breeders today” because I breed dogs for show…and yet there hasn’t been a year in recent memory where I haven’t gotten at least one obedience title, and in some cases up to 5 obedience titles in a year, not counting other performance event titles (sheep herding, draft, water rescue) as well as the show championships I get on my dogs.

I guess my question is, why are people so willing to believe that people are only one thing — just pet owners or just obedience people or just performance people or just rescue people? I don’t know any people who are just one facet, most people have many sides, many abilities and many activities. Life’s not simple and neither are the people living it.
Why do I assume — because I’ve heard it time and again on here and in other forums. And I didn’t state “everyone” or even “most”. Just “people”
Raven if I wanted to post my successes to brag, it wouldn’t be in vague terms. I specifically did not mention the high profile shows won, the versatile titles, the “X” dog of the year awards…If I wanted to brag I certainly could do a much better job of it!

Best answer:

Answer by •Poppy• 4 Days ‘Til ND23!
Because there are a handful of breeders (in many breeds) who simply don’t, and give others a bad name. Usually those who have fallen in love with the ‘look’ of a breed but not the working aspect, which is often how you get a split between working vs. show.

Of course there are breeders who do both. And/or volunteer in rescue. And/or have dogs titled in agility, obedience, etc. Those are the breeders *I* admire, and those are the breeders I respect.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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7 comments on “Why do people assume show breeders don’t…?

  1. Single Worker 1230

    For me maybe it’s because the last dual champion in English springers was awarded in 1947. A dual champion is a dog that is a show champion and a field champion. When I read through the show catalog and watch the dog show programs on TV, I rarely see any working/performance titles listed. I receive the weekly winners gallery through the AKC in my email. Rarely do I see working/performance titles there. Sadly I also see this going the other way. Rarely are the top performance/working dogs also conformation champions. You are one of the rare breeders who want your dogs to have titles on both ends of their names. If there were more breeders like you, there would be fewer breed splits and in essence fewer problems within the breeds. I’ve always felt that conformation champions should have to prove that they can do the work that they are bred for and that performance/working champions should prove that they can follow the written standard as far as conformation goes.

    As far as ethical breeders being against rescue, that is hogwash. It was the ethical breeders that started breed rescue. The breed clubs took over from that hand full of breeders that started rescuing dogs of their own breed from the pounds and shelters in the local area. It is also the ethical breeder that donates their hard earned cash to canine medical research, like the Morris Animal Foundation, Rabies Challenge Fund and OFA.

    Notice I mentioned ethical breeders. An ethical breeder isn’t necessarily a person who breeds dogs only for the show ring.

  2. Annie…..because many people are “reverse snobs” 😉

    Because “average pet owners” don’t like to hear that their pet should not be bred.

    Breeders vary as much as pet people do. I know breeders who will not breed a dog until it has titles on both ends. I know breeders who actually focus on performance, but all dogs must at least be near their CH before breeding. And…I know breeders who are only focused on conformation and haven’t a clue, nor do they care, if their dogs are mentally stable.

    Curtis: shame on you. You do not win a flawless victory today. Though I do understand the “point” you are making (see my last sentence above, and I have a Border Collie and cringe at “show” BCs), your answer simply has no correlation to the question, nor the examples that conformation show dogs are still companions, pets and can do more than trot around a ring looking pretty.

    I don’t think Annie has German Shepherds. Nor Border Collies.

  3. Curtis M WINS! FLAWLESS VICTORY!

    Because they don’t…there’s no breed with a “show” and “working” split where the show line works better than the working line…

    …hence why they’re called show line, and better dogs…or should I say, dogs with a real purpose, or should I say, dogs with a higher degree of utility are called working line.

    If there’s no split, great. If there’s a split and your show dog works, great. It’s cute to watch a show line animal attempt to fulfill their original purpose. If your show dog works as hard as working line…congratulations…you’re lucky…unfortunately, if there are a show/working line in your breed, and your show dog can work, he’s A: A genetic freak who can’t reproduce himself…or B: When bred to other show line dogs, their weakness will impart on his pups…the chances of his working drive being passed on in other words is slim to none. The chances of his working drive being passed on, and then continuing when his offspring are bred to other show line dogs = None without even the possibility of “slim”…you would literally dilute his genetic working drive by breeding him to show dogs of lesser drive until it was no more.

  4. Annie, I get the same type of emails, and it is exasperating. I have rescued nearly as many sighthounds as I have adults from my own breeding or purchase.. For every litter, I donate to local rescue efforts, and I volunteer as much as I am able.
    I’m not aware of any reputable breeders who are not involved in rescue of some sort, in some way.
    I am certain that I do not add to the numbers of homeless dogs. I accept any dog/pup back, no matter what the reason. My hounds excel in lure coursing, and have all breed traits intact.

    I don’t know where they get their ideas, but assume it is just one of the many Old Wives’ Tales, which have been gobbled up by the general populace for many years. Sometimes, ya just have to “consider the source”.

  5. I dont know.

    I have always resisted peoples efforts to make breeders and rescuers adversaries, because I know responsible breeders do not contribute to the rescue problem, and often do breed rescue themselves.

    Conformation showing is something that holds no interest for me, but if someone else wants to do it, why would I care?

    I dont see what obedience titles have to do with anything….seems to me that any dog could title in obedience if someone is willing to do the training.

  6. I have always found that those that give of their time or money for truly altruisistic reasons dont need to brag about it.

    PS: I give a rats crap about how many show titles or obedience titles you have. Posting your “successes” here on YA in the form of a question is tasteless and incredibly boorish. Just when I thought the pond couldn’t get any shallower.

  7. Because the idiots believe that just because you are showing the dog it is somehow not still a dog. These are the same ones who think because you show the dog it cannot be a pet as well.

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