491 – Show Dogs or Breeding Dogs: the Same Dogs?

Dale On...

Show Dogs or Breeding Dogs: the Same Dogs?

“We’re not breeding dogs for ribbons, we’re breeding dogs for their purpose.”

Dale Martenson, breeder of the famed Touche Japanese Chin, joins host Laura Reeves for a conversation about the “bitches we breed and the bitches we show.”

“Whether that’s a companion dog or that’s a hunting dog or service dog. These dogs have to be able to go into their environment. Just the idea that they can be fed by hand and get up to weight doesn’t really do much for the home that is going to struggle with trying to keep this dog in condition.

“Pat Trotter says they’re all pets. Ultimately, they’re all pets. So that’s gotta make a good pet before it can make a good show dog. And that’s where we’re starting.”

Fix it in the whelping box, not the tack box

“In my breeding experience, I have found that you have dogs that are a good starting point. They’re good specimens of the breed and you’re gonna breed them into more type, more style, more what you’d want extreme for show. But at one point, you get to the ending. You get the finished product. You get that perfect little show dog, that perfect everything. It is truly usually an ending.

“That’s why when people talk about a lot of these really big winning dogs, that they weren’t very dynamic producers. Well there was really not a whole lot of place to go. Those were the finished product and at some point you have to kind of almost start over again.

“Everything that makes them necessarily a great show dog, like being able to go to 120 shows a year, to be able to (have the) stamina to show and show and show, that doesn’t necessarily translate into being a great breeding animal.

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“We like to comfort ourselves, all this certification (means) my puppies will have to be perfect now. (It) doesn’t work that way.

“My A list faults, that’s stuff that you work around. That stuff that’s inconvenient. That’s something I wish wasn’t there, but this will not make the dog live one day longer or one day shorter. This will not affect the dog to be a companion, to be its purpose. Those are things that you keep and you work around. And then you have your B list faults. I don’t care how pretty it is, it’s from a poisonous tree.

“Really, at the end of the day, only you care if your dog is a champion. The dog doesn’t care.”


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