Visit a Local Dog Show
We receive puppy inquiries on a fairly regular basis. They seem to peak around Christmas and in the spring. Often I try to encourage those who write to us is to attend a dog show near them. Before they go I suggest that they research how a dog show works either through our website or through the AKC website.
Dog shows are where the general public can see some outstanding dogs and meet some of their owners and breeders. Dog shows are meant to be a place where breeders and owners can have their dogs judged by licensed judges according to their breed’s AKC written Standard. As a result breeders and owners tend to have their best examples of their breed in the show ring. Outside the ring after judging the general public can meet and speak to the owners and breeders of the dogs they liked.
Most of the people who are holding their dogs or standing by their crates once the judging for their breed is finished are the owners of the dogs, their breeders or professional handlers. While the handlers may be off to show another breed the people left behind are the ones that people who are interested in the dogs can usually talk to. Just give them time to gloat in their win or mend their wounds after a loss. Remember you have just witnessed a competition with winners and losers.
When you approach someone at a dog show be cordial and respective of their time. Your first words should be some complements for their dog or dogs, not “I’m interested in a puppy.” Ask about the breed and the particular breeding of their dogs. Spend time petting the dogs if possible and show the person you are talking to that you are truly interested in their dogs. Your actions say a lot about you and your relationship with dogs.
Don’t try to do everything at your first show. Speak to one or a few people and then go on to watch another breed at the show. Watching the other breeds and how they are shown may provide you with some additional questions that you may ask at the next show even if they aren’t a breed you aren’t interested in.
Yes, you need to attend several shows. By doing so the owners and breeders will start to recognize you. They will also be more open to talking with you and willing to take more time to explain what’s going on at a show as well as their dogs. You’ll also won’t always see the same dogs at the shows. Owners and breeders don’t always enter them in every show.
If you are truly looking for a puppy the relationship between you and a responsible breeder may start at a show. You’ll have an opportunity to see the breeder’s dogs in the show ring and a chance to get to know them better after the show is over. When the breeder has a litter you may just be the first person they notify because they already know you and have seen how you react to their dogs.
For a true dog lover there is nothing like a dog show. You’ll be surrounded by many different breeds and possibly there will be a large number of examples of the breeds you are interested in. If you go to what we call a specialty show, one in which just dogs of a particular breed are shown you’ll see even more examples of that breed than at an all breed show.
If you live in Southern California I hope to see you at a dog show. Don’t hesitate to step up and introduce yourself and to check out our dogs.