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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 8 month old Vizsla bitch and I'm trying to decide whether or not to try and show her. She's on a limited registration right now, so it's more complicated than just taking her out and seeing how she does. I didn't get her with the explicit intent to show, but I took her out to a fun match when she was about 4 months old (mainly for socialization), and we both had a good time. I've been to a handful of handling classes, and visited dog shows since then.

Her conformation strengths are her topline, profile, and movement (in addition to simply being beautiful and having a great personality, obviously :p). Her bite is really good too. What I'm worried about is her size. She's in standard, but not in the ideal range. She may reach that range by the time she's a year old (I'd wait until that age to show her in any case), but she'll definitely always be on the small side. She also has a little white on her chest, which is again in standard but not ideal. I haven't had much luck finding information online about trends or how judges prioritize these things.

For example, Vizslas are a hunting (HPR) breed and hunting/showing duality is encouraged in the standard. Since the white is not a detriment to hunting, I wouldn't expect it to be treated as negatively as her small size (if negatively at all).

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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The best thing to do is contact your breeder and have them evaluate your pup. If they explicitly sold you your pup as "pet quality" there is likely a good reason they made that determination. Of course there's always pups that can have unexpected results and turn out to be fantastic show dogs, especially if the breeding was an outcross. If your breeder I located far away then you may consider going to a local show and asking if any of the breeders or handlers would be willing to give you an honest evaluation.

Do you have any stacked pics of your pup? Do you have any experience showing dogs? Where are you located? Some parts of the U.S. can be overwhelming for inexperienced handlers to compete because of how competitive it is or the region is dominated by a particular type within the breed.
 

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Agree with the above ask your breeder. They're the experts on the breed usually. You can trust them to be honest because if a dog is show quality they'll want you to show because it reflects very well on them.
 

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Totally agree with asking your breeder, and if she can't help then going to a local show and asking people there for help. There may also be a local breed club for your breed. You could also try contacting breeders who live near you and see if they would be willing to help (at least in my breed that is an ok thing to do).

Generally, in the sporting dog breeds (though not all of them), minor things like being slightly small or large, or a small patch of white are overlooked in favor of other attributes. If she is otherwise put together well then those things shouldn't stand in her way. However, standards are often written in a fairly vague manner and it takes someone more knowledgeable about the breed to really compare a dog to standard.
 

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Ask your breeder for her opinion, especially since you'd need her blessing before having the registration changed from limited to allow showing. If she doesn't think the puppy is show quality the odds of getting the papers changed are slim, but there's no way at all to know unless you inquire. If the breeders is within a reasonable driving distance you should meet up if possible so she can evaluate the dog firsthand. If not, have someone help you take some good quality stacked photos to send to her for evaluation.

Other people to ask would be other Visla breeders- they can perhaps give a different and unbiased opinion of your dog than your breeder would. Other show owners or handlers familiar with the breed could give their opinions as well. Some pet quality puppies do grow up to be nicer than originally anticipated, and sometimes the reverse is true. As such, it can't hurt to ask your breeder!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone! (and sorry for disappearing --- it was one of those weeks.)

Based on your replies, I will try to get the breeders' input first. They are pretty far away, but I can definitely email them stacked pics and videos of her gaiting. My understanding of their process is that their default is to put their puppies on limited registration, so unless you specifically tell them you want to show, that's what you're going to get. Their puppies mostly go to hunting and/or companion homes. I hadn't given showing any serious consideration when I picked up my pup, and didn't even know that it wasn't allowed on limited registration.

To answer some of the other questions, I'm in the midwest and have essentially no experience showing dogs (i.e. enough to understand ring procedure and how to access help with learning more about how to effectively show my dog but nothing more). From what I've seen, there are some specialty shows throughout the year a reasonable distance from me, but at a typical AB show, 2-4 Vizslas (usually only one of which is female) is the norm. Field trials and hunt tests are much more heavily populated and are the focal point of the local breed organization.
 
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