If you think showing your Weimaraner puppy might be something you would enjoy, soundness, temperament and health concerns apply as well as conformation characteristics and how well he adheres to the standard. Spaying and neutering your dog is not an option if you plan to pursue showing your dog in conformation shows, though many other purebred dog activities can be engaged in with a neutered animal. And contrary to popular opinion in many parts of the world, neutering will not affect your dog’s hunting ability.
There are quite a few points to consider if you are thinking of purchasing a show dog. Firstly, the most any breeder can offer is an educated opinion on the future potential for any puppy for any activity. Conformation evaluations are usually done at between 7 and 8 weeks of age. The pups are, or should be, miniatures of what they will look like as adults. But all things not being perfect in the world of nature, outstanding puppies can grow up to be average adults, and average puppies can grow up to be outstanding adults. A breeder has no control over this. Predictions made about a particular future potential is based on their experience with prior litters that have produced outstanding performers in a variety of activities. Obviously if a breeder has produced a broad base of dogs that have been successful in several different areas, then they have a much better base with which to make predictions about a puppy’s future potential.
Show prospects are determined by how closely they adhere to the written standard of the breed. The standard for most breeds of dogs is fairly consistent from country to country. While most reputable breeders will agree there is no such thing as a “sure thing” when it comes to predicting a puppy’s future potential, they will also quickly agree that the older a puppy is the more sure your chances of making any predictions will be. The standard for a breed depicts the “ideal” animal. As there is no such thing as a perfect animal, show dogs are judged on the absence of faults as set forth in the standard. So if a Weimaraner is slightly too small according to the standard, it makes little difference to the pet owner or hunter. Neither would it make a difference if a male dog only has one testicle. But those two flaws would keep a Weimaraner from completing a winning show career.
If your aim is to buy a potential future winner in the show ring, you would do well to put yourself into the hands of an experienced breeder of top show dogs and let them help guide you to a decision of which puppy to buy. Weimaraner puppies can go through some strange growth spurts and look very unbalanced and gangly while maturing. An experienced breeder can reassure the show puppy buyer that “this too shall pass.” Breeders are always ecstatic when they find a show home for their best puppies and are willing to help you in any way they can. Remember though, cute doesn’t always equate to quality, so while a great personality and joie de vivre can be a real asset to a show dog, the correct conformation is of the utmost importance. The experienced breeder can help steer you to the best puppy for you.
Show Prospect Check List
In evaluating a litter for possible show prospects look for:
- The puppy whose condition shows he has a good appetite
- A puppy that is slightly longer than tall. The length should come from a long rib cage rather than a long loin.
- A smooth line from neck to back with a solid topline (back).
- Look for a high, rather than a low, tail set carried in a happy confident manner
- Muzzle and skull should be of equal length
- Teeth meet in a scissors bite.
- Long ears and tight feet.
- Front and rear drop straight (when viewed from the front and the rear).
- Good and balanced front and rear angulation that permits the puppy to move with easy reach and drive.
- A total impression of balance and pleasing to eye
- White marking in an acceptable degree should not eliminate a puppy from consideration. A white chest mark usually does not increase proportionally with the puppy’s growth. Other pea size white spots in other areas of the coat usually disappear when the puppy coat is shed. White on the back of a puppy’s pasterns is so common as to be considered a breed trait.
- If hunting is also in the puppy’s future, a bird wing or something similar should evoke strong interest; or at least take the breeder’s recommendation according to their preliminary field testing as well as temperament testing in deciding on your puppy.
Photo in this article is courtesy of Lani Jones.
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