The bully show dog selection process
The show dog ring is one of the most rewarding activities one can engage in with their Bully. It’s not a cheap hobby, but for the ultra competitive bully owner it can be the perfect activity! It’s an opportunity to show off your Bully in an arena filled with like minded individuals.
The dogs competing are judged to the standard of their breed, by an experienced judge that generally has years invested in producing and showcasing the finest specimens of his or her breed of choice. The show itself can be a single solitary day of a multiple of shows, or spread out over a few days.
Either way the rush of competition is hard to beat when discussing Bully breeds. There are a number of aspects to consider when observing dog shows, but for now let’s start at the beginning and picking the show puppy out of the whelping box.
The first thing one should do when looking for a show dog is find a successful show breeder. Now the obvious reason to search out this show breeder is to purchase a show dog, but in all actuality what you are truly looking for is a show mentor. It is an interview process of sorts and you are the employer!
Choose wisely, because this is the individual you will annoy and bother for years into the future! Be wary of the breeder who rushes you off the phone, or the breeder who is primarily only concerned with deposits and pick up dates. You want to find a breeder that is passionate and proud of the puppies they have produced. After all you will be representing their kennel when you first step into the show ring.
They should want to place you with a winner, be cautious when you hear terms such as this is a great starter pup, or perhaps it could teach you about the ring. If we want you to become a race car driver, we aren’t going to send you out to practice in a minivan! Look for breeders that test your knowledge and show you that their name means something to them, and someone who you feel you can learn from.
After you have found your show dog breeder, the next step is to make sure you’ve educated yourself about the standard of your breed. That you know what the breed should be and even more importantly what it shouldn’t be! Find faults in the breed standard and then break down the puppies in regards to the faults you have discovered.
Compare the standard to the pups and then discuss your findings with your breeder. Listen to their advice and go from there. Coat color, eye color, or puppy smiles should have nothing to do with selecting the best show puppy, unless a color, eye color, or coat pattern is not allowed in the standard for the breed. It’s not a preference pick, it’s a production pick, this will be the pups first blue ribbon, being selected out of the whelping box and chosen as your show bully!
The best time to choose and make that puppy show dog pick is right around eight weeks. Many successful breeders choose this age because it’s been found that puppies go through a lot of gangly, ugly stages during their development, but at maturity the dogs return back to what they were at 8 weeks in regards to structure. It is now when you observe back length, rear angulation, front assembly, feet, and all aspects of structure.
Your goal is to select the puppy that best fits it’s breed standard at this young age. If the bully pup you like has feet that turn out, is overly hockey, or is sway backed it’s best to like another one. It’s hard not to fall in love with the biggest, or cutest pup, but always remember you are not there to pick the biggest, or cutest, you are there to choose the best show dog pup! Structure above all else is the motto in this situation!
Now there is an aspect that you must consider that is equal to structure and that is attitude and temperament. Don’t pick a shy puppy with good structure, because bully breeds call for a zest for life and a level of confidence that is evident in the show ring. Choosing an outgoing puppy is important! You want the puppy that already has a look at me attitude!
The blue ribbon personality that sets it apart from the other puppies in the box! It’s not always easy, in fact it’s rarely an easy thing to do, but you have to eliminate puppies from your selection process. Your breeder should be right with you pointing out attributes and detriments that your novice eye may have missed. The knowledge of a experienced breeder is priceless at this point and you will have to lean on them at this moment in the selection process.
The more you have researched your bully breed of choice and the more hands on experience you garner before picking your pup, by attending shows and observing proven show dogs, the more likely you will choose an amazing show prospect!
After you make your show dog selection, your work has just begun. Now it is up to you to make sure that your bully reaches it’s full potential. That you watch where you keep it, what surfaces, what size crates and it’s sleeping arrangements.
You must provide the right amount of exercise and the appropriate amount of rest. Nutrition will be vital, from the kibble you feed to the Bully Max supplements that you use to reach peak potential in your show Bully. Training is your responsibility and the preparation of a show dog requires patience, persistence and dedication. You want your puppy to become a blue ribbon winner, before it ever steps into the show ring! You’ve selected a mentor, a show puppy, and if you did everything right you’ve selected a winner, now it’s just reaching both of your full potential and the elusive Best In Show trophy will be yours in the near future!