Puppy Papers, Guarantees, and Contracts
by Elena Smith



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Pet vs. Show Quality

Sometimes puppy producers use the term "show quality" to get more money for a pup. They may actually have no earthly idea what true show quality is!

An experienced breeder and dog show exhibitor will rank their puppies at about six weeks of age. They will try to determine which ones are most likely to be competitive in the show ring. The most competitive pups ("show quality") in the litter will be kept or sold to people who are interested in showing; the rest ("pet qualify") are sold to people who have no interest in competing at dog shows.

Pet quality pups, which may not be physically perfect according to the published breed standard of excellence, may go to owners interested in obedience, tracking, or field work. The dog's conformation, or physical features, is not judged in these areas of competition.
Show quality pups usually cost more than pet quality pups. However, no master how good the pedigree, there are some pups in most every litter which are definitely "Pets."

You'll note that the term "pet quality" doesn't mean there is something wrong with the dog. It simply means that in the breeder's opinion, the puppy is not competitive for its AKC conformation championship.

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