"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!