(c) Chris Jones 2009
Talking Candidly about Showing and Show Dogs
Although we did enjoy showing for many years we
feel the term "show dog" is not necessarily a guarantee of good
quality or breeding. In
some cases, if not most cases they are not the best examples of health, temperament or quality
in the breed. Often times this term is loosely used to extract more money
for a puppy. Some unscrupulous breeders have been known to show in classes
where they know they will not have any competition so they can sell a puppy
for more money because it has a "blue" ribbon. Please don't allow yourself
to be duped. Just because a puppy is "Champion sired" does not
mean anything either. If the champion is not anything special or he does not
produce well then the puppy is only that good. Remember a "title"
is only an award - a piece of paper if you will. The actual quality is in
the genes and the animal itself. A queen and a king have titles and
they can produce a retarded child. AKC is a registry only - not a guarantor
of quality either. Don't be misled or fooled by that either. A Cadillac in
the junk yard still has a title or paper that says it's a Cadillac.
The quality of the dog is only as good as the knowledge, the "eye", intelligence, application, honesty and most of all the INTEGRITY of the breeder.
Showing was originally a way for breeder's to display their best dogs. By taking part in such competition and observation this would help improve the overall qualities of the breed. Theoretically it should. Due to many factors over the years this is not always the case. In fact we feel it seldom is the case any more.
We do believe if you have a fine specimen of the breed and wish to show it - that is good thing. If you just want to use showing as "social time", a "hobby" without responsibility, or if you have to hire a handler because the dog is not the quality it should be and can't finish without one, then go ahead. Just remember you can fool a lot of people a lot of the time but you can't fool all the people all the time.
When it comes to breeding this type of dog- you will only be fooling yourself. By showing dogs that require lots of medications and/or have other serious structural or heath/temperament problems just to make a title for your dog, a name for yourself, a record or prove something simply is not right. If you must give yourself creditability in this way, then you are robbing future generation of real quality. This type of behavior effects the overall quality of the breed over time as well. If you want to spend your money and time showing a dog that is a "show" dog but not one of breeding quality or one of great risk to the gene pool then that's your business. Please don't put this dog into the gene pool so that folks down the road who know nothing, suspect nothing and/or take no time to learn about the dogs in their pedigrees won't also fall victim to your fault in precipitating these undesirable genes into the gene pool for future serious breeders to clean up and live with. (If they can.)
Many people do this and spend a lot of money to have a "champion" for the all wrong reasons.. Don't assume just because a dog is a champion that is automatically a superior example of the breed. I freely admit that I had a least 2 champions I placed as pets. One was neutered and never bred. I will say I did not personally breed these dogs. One I bought and one I got as a puppy back. Many show dogs and indeed champions are good quality but many are no such thing. Train your own eye to see quality and to recognize fine conformation. Learn to discern serous faults and how to spot serious genetic problems. Increase your knowledge of the breed. Don't take anyone's word as gospel. I can't emphasize that strongly enough. There are many rivalries out in the show world. Many people are have no qualms about taking advantage of the unsuspecting novice. They say they paid their dues why shouldn't you. Be smart, educate yourself in dogs and the dog world. In all things, Live the Golden rule.
Remember that great looking beauty in the ring with the handler may not be at all spectacular under the coat. You would only know this if you had your own hands on the dog or could recognize certain structure and gait faults. Learn these things - don't take anyone else's word for it.
Breeding is not the same as showing. It requires a lot of dedication, RESPONSIBILITY, long term commitment and most of all it requires a few years to get to know what you really need to know to breed good healthy, sound dogs. Don't jump in too fast or purchase too many dogs. If you make mistakes - don't pass them on. Learn from them and move on. Many good pet homes are out there that will love a "failed" show dog or one who is not up to breeding quality.
Not all show dogs should be bred by any means. Some show dogs are not even good pets. Please do your homework before you embark on a show or especially breeding journey in this breed.
Take your time if you want your dogs to stand the test of time as the Chinai dogs have done. We still breed Champions after 30 years in the breed.
Champion Chinai's Show Me finished with 3 majors in 2008.
a Naughty daughter
Owner - Jan Sammons
"Naughty" boys . . . .
Champion Stars End's Trust No One
The boys owned and/or shown by Jan Sammons
We are sad to say lost our sweet little "Shorty" to Valley Fever.
I'm a "Naughty" daughter but a really good girl!
This lovely little Driver and Abby son is as delightful to live with as he was to show..
(Solo is a Megabucks son)
bred by Jan Sammons;
owned and finished by Valerie Teanie
Driver has passed on now due to heart failure.
We have wonderful memories of him and we still have his progeny.
Emmy is now 11 years old. (in 2009)
We're so blessed to have such sweet, smart and loving dogs in our lives - show dogs or not.
At Chinai we don't count champions or try to set any records. We judge each dog on his or her own merits. We look at them as a pet and then we objectively consider what they might add to our breeding program. We count temperament, health, beauty and overall quality first. We never breed for color or markings or show coats. Showing is a hobby and just frosting on the cake. Having a wonderful Shih Tzu is the CAKE. It's a gift and should be appreciated and respected over all other things.
If you can't afford to show or don't have the time or desire to do this or you don't want to send your dog off to the shows that doesn't make you a bad person or less of a breeder. That is ~ if you are TRULY sincere and really care for your dogs, treat them well and take your responsibilities seriously.
If you're new to this breed, considering this breed, or heaven forbid, back yard breeding this breed, then please consider the following message:
If you don't have time for your dog or can't afford grooming expenses then please consider another breed.
Kind regards and best of luck in all things Shih Tzu.