Responsible breeding programs 

Animal Shows – Dogs, Cats and Horses

What is the purpose of animal shows? 

The purpose of animal shows is to create a breed standard which for the American Kennel Club “dog shows”  is also known as “conformation”. The purpose of confirmation is to create and identify dogs that fit the ideal for “overall appearance and structure”. Judges look for aesthetic qualifiers like correct color, coat texture and markings as well as health qualifiers like clean straight teeth, patella’s that don’t pop, a straight and strong gait and more. This “Champions” that are chosen, serves to promote a healthier standard for responsible breeding programs. 

Who runs animal shows? 

The organizations in charge of creating, running and judging the various animal shows differs from country to country. Some countries even have different standards regarding the aesthetics and ethics of things like ear and tail cropping. 

Breeding Certifications

What other things should I look for? 

The AKC isn’t the only certifying program that serves to differentiate the best breeding programs. While show judges can choose animals based on exterior qualifications, organizations like the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) help to identify and prevent genetic disorders.  

Pure Paws and Animal Shows

Why does Pure Paws care about this? 

Pure Paws has always cared about creating a safe and loving world for the animals we love. The truth is, without breeding programs, the dogs, cats and horses that we love would cease to exist. Unfortunately, not all breeding programs are created equal. Puppy mills do exists and they contribute to the 25% of purebred  dogs that are found in animal shelters. 

However, media’s habit of focusing on the negative has led the general public automatically assume “puppy mill” when they hear “breeding program” and this is not necessarily the case. Just like there are groomers who are choosing to self-regulate through certification programs, other pet professionals are doing the same.

The best advice we can give when looking for an ethical breeding program is to look for affiliation with these certifying entities. Also, visit the programs in person. Look for cleanliness, general organization and documentation and of course the health and temperament of the animals. Ultimately, it’s up to you to take responsibility as a pet parent and choose to support those who are taking the time and resources to do the right thing. 🙂