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Hey everybody I am looking to get a show dog and hopefully breed later down the road. I keep going between an Irish Setter and the English Springer Spaniel. Does anybody have any ideas or experience with these breeds? Or suggestions on another breed that might be a really good show dog? Thanks so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suggest you attend a dog show in your area. Talk to the breeders of the dog breeds you are interested in. Make sure you know Dog Show Etiquette (akc.org) before attending. Having a mentor to guide you through the process is important.
Thank you and yes I am going to one this weekend! I also have done dog shows In the past with my family dogs we had.
 

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Hey everybody I am looking to get a show dog and hopefully breed later down the road. I keep going between an Irish Setter and the English Springer Spaniel. Does anybody have any ideas or experience with these breeds? Or suggestions on another breed that might be a really good show dog? Thanks so much.
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

No experience with either breed, although all the ESS I have seen have been batcrap crazy. One (a relative's dog) jumped through the open car window into the car and on to my brother's lap (who, it has to be said, is equally batcrap crazy, sat the dog with his (dogs) back to him, took his paws, and pretended the dog was "driving" the car. 🤪 Daft dog seemed completely unfazed by it, too :ROFLMAO:)

But, I digress.

IMHO, you're going about this the wrong way. All pedigree dogs have show quality potential and all dogs are more than show dogs and breeding machines (sorry, I know you probably didn't mean it to, but your post did come across to me as being that cold and business-like).

So, which of these breeds best suits your lifestyle? What is it about these breeds that appeal - and why?
What can you offer the dog in terms of exercise, training, play, grooming, companionship?
How long will the dog be left alone during the day/week?
How much can you realistically afford in terms of food, vet fees, grooming fees, beds, toys, leashes/collars/harnesses? (this question is rhetorical, something for you to think about - please don't answer it). The larger the dog, the more things tend to cost.

Start with a neutered/spayed dog of your chosen breed and attend/take part in shows. This gives you an idea of what to expect in the ring, and starts getting you noticed.

Get involved in your chosen breed's club (if there is one in your country). Start talking to breeders, tell them what you intend to do, bearing in mind that the breeder may well decide to keep the puppy with the highest show quality potential for themselves to continue their own lines. Put your name on their waiting lists (ethical breeders almost always have waiting lists).

Research. Research. Research.

What are your reasons for breeding? Money? Forget it! Not if you want to do things right.

So. Now you have your bitch puppy and you hope to breed her. You start showing, and she's good. Awesome. Great.

But you're not ready to breed her yet.

What genetic health conditions are prevalent in your chosen breed? Which of them can be tested for? Health tests aren't the once-over from the local vet who checks she has a pulse and reproductive organs. They are specific tests - retinal exams, heart exams, blood tests and x-rays for hips and elbows. If she doesn't pass these with flying colours, get her spayed. DO NOT BREED from her.

What's you bitch's breeding COI? (co-efficient of breeding - how closely related is she likely to be to the stud?)

Then you start looking for the perfect partner for her.

This isn't the next pedigree puppy that happens to be male. He'll more than likely be owned by someone else, and as this will be your first time breeding, his owner should be experienced - and so should their dog. NEVER put a maiden dog on a maiden bitch.

The stud should have the gone through the same health tests and show/working trials that your bitch has gone through and the owner should be shouting his results from the rooftops (not literally, but they should be only too happy to show you their results - if not, check the AKC database. If it's anything like the KC (Britain) then they should have copies of the stud's tests and results.

You're looking for a male who complements your bitch. By that I mean he excels in areas your bitch is rather lacking (everyone thinks their dog is the best of the best, but you're hoping to bring little lives into the world. You need to know what's not so good about your bitch so that the puppies are better than she is).

After all of this, you're going to need a couple of thousand $$ in the bank in case things go wrong during the pregnancy, or your bitch needs an emergency C-section, in the middle of the night or the weekend, when normal vets are closed. Your mentor (often the bitch's own breeder, and/or stud owner) should be on speed dial along with your vet to help reassure you or advise further. Bearing in mind that it's not unheard of for a breeder to lose the bitch, the puppies, or both.

Once the puppies are on the ground, you are responsible for them for the rest of their lives. If the new owners cannot keep the pups for whatever reason, at any time during the course of their lives, you should take them back - even if they're elderly. Don't add to the rescue crisis.

Sometimes, ethical breeders make a small profit. Most often, they just about break even.

I know this isn't what you specifically asked for, but you kind of did as you're interested in bringing news lives into the world.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

No experience with either breed, although all the ESS I have seen have been batcrap crazy. One (a relative's dog) jumped through the open car window into the car and on to my brother's lap (who, it has to be said, is equally batcrap crazy, sat the dog with his (dogs) back to him, took his paws, and pretended the dog was "driving" the car. 🤪 Daft dog seemed completely unfazed by it, too :ROFLMAO:)

But, I digress.

IMHO, you're going about this the wrong way. All pedigree dogs have show quality potential and all dogs are more than show dogs and breeding machines (sorry, I know you probably didn't mean it to, but your post did come across to me as being that cold and business-like).

So, which of these breeds best suits your lifestyle? What is it about these breeds that appeal - and why?
What can you offer the dog in terms of exercise, training, play, grooming, companionship?
How long will the dog be left alone during the day/week?
How much can you realistically afford in terms of food, vet fees, grooming fees, beds, toys, leashes/collars/harnesses? (this question is rhetorical, something for you to think about - please don't answer it). The larger the dog, the more things tend to cost.

Start with a neutered/spayed dog of your chosen breed and attend/take part in shows. This gives you an idea of what to expect in the ring, and starts getting you noticed.

Get involved in your chosen breed's club (if there is one in your country). Start talking to breeders, tell them what you intend to do, bearing in mind that the breeder may well decide to keep the puppy with the highest show quality potential for themselves to continue their own lines. Put your name on their waiting lists (ethical breeders almost always have waiting lists).

Research. Research. Research.

What are your reasons for breeding? Money? Forget it! Not if you want to do things right.

So. Now you have your bitch puppy and you hope to breed her. You start showing, and she's good. Awesome. Great.

But you're not ready to breed her yet.

What genetic health conditions are prevalent in your chosen breed? Which of them can be tested for? Health tests aren't the once-over from the local vet who checks she has a pulse and reproductive organs. They are specific tests - retinal exams, heart exams, blood tests and x-rays for hips and elbows. If she doesn't pass these with flying colours, get her spayed. DO NOT BREED from her.

What's you bitch's breeding COI? (co-efficient of breeding - how closely related is she likely to be to the stud?)

Then you start looking for the perfect partner for her.

This isn't the next pedigree puppy that happens to be male. He'll more than likely be owned by someone else, and as this will be your first time breeding, his owner should be experienced - and so should their dog. NEVER put a maiden dog on a maiden bitch.

The stud should have the gone through the same health tests and show/working trials that your bitch has gone through and the owner should be shouting his results from the rooftops (not literally, but they should be only too happy to show you their results - if not, check the AKC database. If it's anything like the KC (Britain) then they should have copies of the stud's tests and results.

You're looking for a male who complements your bitch. By that I mean he excels in areas your bitch is rather lacking (everyone thinks their dog is the best of the best, but you're hoping to bring little lives into the world. You need to know what's not so good about your bitch so that the puppies are better than she is).

After all of this, you're going to need a couple of thousand $$ in the bank in case things go wrong during the pregnancy, or your bitch needs an emergency C-section, in the middle of the night or the weekend, when normal vets are closed. Your mentor (often the bitch's own breeder, and/or stud owner) should be on speed dial along with your vet to help reassure you or advise further. Bearing in mind that it's not unheard of for a breeder to lose the bitch, the puppies, or both.

Once the puppies are on the ground, you are responsible for them for the rest of their lives. If the new owners cannot keep the pups for whatever reason, at any time during the course of their lives, you should take them back - even if they're elderly. Don't add to the rescue crisis.

Sometimes, ethical breeders make a small profit. Most often, they just about break even.

I know this isn't what you specifically asked for, but you kind of did as you're interested in bringing news lives into the world.
Thanks for your reply and input, No I am not in it for the money either I love dogs and it has been a dream of mine to do show dogs and eventually be a breeder. I was planning to do background checks, meet the people before they could get one of my puppy, also make them sign a document saying they must give the puppy back to me if they can't take care of it, and also follow up with them after get their puppy. All the dogs I have ever owned have been more then just show dogs and I have given them all good life's lol. I already have done much research spend time asking breeders, been to many dog shows, and have close friends that are ethical breeders. I already have an active hunting dog a GSP who is spayed who I adopted at a rescue. My post wasn't really cold I was just asking opinion on the breeds, and yes some dogs may have show potential but some breeds are way better then others in the ring and easier to handle. I already have been planning this for years and know everything you just said :ROFLMAO:
 

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First I'd suggest picking a breed not just for its looks whose behavioral characteristics are most suited you your preferences. Dogs just weren't bred to look a certain way but to behave a certain way ... And while "showing" is the thing most folks are familiar with there are many skill oriented endeavors such as agility training which you all might want to pursue.


Don't get discouraged .... We had a Dobie that won 100% of the competitions he entered. We got him shortly before we were married and our breeder offered to take him for 2 weeks after the wedding. I should not that "the way it worked", at a certain age she would start to cull the ones from each litter ... we got the 1st pup culled... in other words "the pup least likely to succeed". When she came to pick up the dog the thursday before the wedding, she asked if it was OK to take him out of state to a show in another state. We were fine with that .... when she brought him back, she handed us a "blue ribbon" ... he was entered in the puppy class but she got stuck in traffic and missed it...so she entered several of her dogs in the "open class" and our pup won. She asked us to attend a local show and we did. He made it there on time and won the puppy class. She wanted us to continue to show him but it wasn't our kinda thing.... too much work :)

We follow her exploits over the years and we'd visit them often as they owned an aquarium where we got our lizards and fish pets and supplies... and every time she'd laugh and berate herself for letting the dog go .... His name was Spock after the Star Trek chacter (same ears) ... we were going thru some ole pics a few days ago and found one with him where my son climbed into the dog crate with Spock with her ears taped up .... too cute for words,

She did well ... be prepared for some lifestyle changes.... she had a room with 9 crates when we picked up Spock ... stacked an a 3 x 3 configuration, 3 crates wide by 3 crates high. When we went to that show, was surpised at the "drama". There were cliques who didn't like each other ... I was surprised that she didn't "handle" her dogs and she explained that, as 'family dogs" she was not in the best position to do the handling being to "forgiving" when they didn't do what was expected of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First I'd suggest picking a breed not just for its looks whose behavioral characteristics are most suited you your preferences. Dogs just weren't bred to look a certain way but to behave a certain way ... And while "showing" is the thing most folks are familiar with there are many skill oriented endeavors such as agility training which you all might want to pursue.


Don't get discouraged .... We had a Dobie that won 100% of the competitions he entered. We got him shortly before we were married and our breeder offered to take him for 2 weeks after the wedding. I should not that "the way it worked", at a certain age she would start to cull the ones from each litter ... we got the 1st pup culled... in other words "the pup least likely to succeed". When she came to pick up the dog the thursday before the wedding, she asked if it was OK to take him out of state to a show in another state. We were fine with that .... when she brought him back, she handed us a "blue ribbon" ... he was entered in the puppy class but she got stuck in traffic and missed it...so she entered several of her dogs in the "open class" and our pup won. She asked us to attend a local show and we did. He made it there on time and won the puppy class. She wanted us to continue to show him but it wasn't our kinda thing.... too much work :)

We follow her exploits over the years and we'd visit them often as they owned an aquarium where we got our lizards and fish pets and supplies... and every time she'd laugh and berate herself for letting the dog go .... His name was Spock after the Star Trek chacter (same ears) ... we were going thru some ole pics a few days ago and found one with him where my son climbed into the dog crate with Spock with her ears taped up .... too cute for words,

She did well ... be prepared for some lifestyle changes.... she had a room with 9 crates when we picked up Spock ... stacked an a 3 x 3 configuration, 3 crates wide by 3 crates high. When we went to that show, was surpised at the "drama". There were cliques who didn't like each other ... I was surprised that she didn't "handle" her dogs and she explained that, as 'family dogs" she was not in the best position to do the handling being to "forgiving" when they didn't do what was expected of them.
Thanks for sharing that is awesome! I am also planning on getting this puppy after I get married to my fiancé later this fall. Yes I agree with you that different dogs have unique traits and personalities and not just go for looks. Showing dogs and all the politics in it can be frustrating from my experience as well. I may also do some rally and obedience competitions as well as showing! Also awesome name for your dog I love star trek :)
 

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All pedigree dogs have show quality potential
Sorry, I disagree with a lot being posted in this thread and very much with the above. All "pedigree" dogs are not show quality potential. Assuming parents of the quality to produce show quality, which means successful show dogs with generations of the same behind them, and health clearances appropriate for the particular breed, only a few puppies in each litter are going to be show quality. Some litters may have more and some may have none. Experienced breeders evaluate their puppies before deciding which homes they should go to. They're wrong sometimes about which are pet and which are show, but usually have a good idea at the 7-8 week age.

Also, you can get a puppy the breeder and third party experienced evaluators believe is show quality and have it not turn out for something that only shows up later, like incorrect dentition for the breed.

Start with a neutered/spayed dog of your chosen breed and attend/take part in shows. This gives you an idea of what to expect in the ring, and starts getting you noticed.
You cannot show a spayed/neutered dog in conformation, at least not in American Kennel Club shows. You can trial them in things like rally, obedience, and agility, but decent breeders want breeding stock that succeeds in the breed ring because it shows knowledgeable, experienced judges believe the dog is of superior conformation.

Similarly there may be some venue where you can enter a dog in a conformation class the day of the show, but you can't do it in AKC shows.

Also, the use of the word "cull" for a pet puppy gave me an unpleasant start. Traditionally, when talking about breeding stock, cull meant killing inferior animals. Good breeders care about the pet quality puppies they produce as much as the show puppies, know they can bring a pet owner as much joy as the show dog brings the show person (and can show off ability and temperament in other venues than the breed ring). No breeder I know would use the term cull or have that attitude toward pet puppies.

I do agree with the advice to choose a breed that suits your lifestyle. You spend a lot more time with your dog just being a dog than being a show dog. However, there are some breeds that are easier for an owner handler to do well with in the conformation show ring. It can't hurt to take that into consideration if showing the dog yourself (as opposed to hiring a professional handler) is your goal. And yes, try to find a mentor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, I disagree with a lot being posted in this thread and very much with the above. All "pedigree" dogs are not show quality potential. Assuming parents of the quality to produce show quality, which means successful show dogs with generations of the same behind them, and health clearances appropriate for the particular breed, only a few puppies in each litter are going to be show quality. Some litters may have more and some may have none. Experienced breeders evaluate their puppies before deciding which homes they should go to. They're wrong sometimes about which are pet and which are show, but usually have a good idea at the 7-8 week age.

Also, you can get a puppy the breeder and third party experienced evaluators believe is show quality and have it not turn out for something that only shows up later, like incorrect dentition for the breed.


You cannot show a spayed/neutered dog in conformation, at least not in American Kennel Club shows. You can trial them in things like rally, obedience, and agility, but decent breeders want breeding stock that succeeds in the breed ring because it shows knowledgeable, experienced judges believe the dog is of superior conformation.

Similarly there may be some venue where you can enter a dog in a conformation class the day of the show, but you can't do it in AKC shows.

Also, the use of the word "cull" for a pet puppy gave me an unpleasant start. Traditionally, when talking about breeding stock, cull meant killing inferior animals. Good breeders care about the pet quality puppies they produce as much as the show puppies, know they can bring a pet owner as much joy as the show dog brings the show person (and can show off ability and temperament in other venues than the breed ring). No breeder I know would use the term cull or have that attitude toward pet puppies.

I do agree with the advice to choose a breed that suits your lifestyle. You spend a lot more time with your dog just being a dog than being a show dog. However, there are some breeds that are easier for an owner handler to do well with in the conformation show ring. It can't hurt to take that into consideration if showing the dog yourself (as opposed to hiring a professional handler) is your goal. And yes, try to find a mentor.
Thank you for your reply I agree with all that you said! I appreciate you backing up what I thought before. I have been talking to breeders about wanting a female show dog and they said I would have first pick because I am contacting them 5-6 months in advance before the litter will be born, and they have had 48 champions in their bloodline and they would identify a good show dog for me. They have all the paper work and family tree of the dogs with all the championships. Also they said they would be my mentor and give me tips and advice along the way. I'm a very active person and I love the working/hunting dogs because they do have energy so I can play with them, take them hiking, and swimming.
 

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. All "pedigree" dogs are not show quality potential.
I didn't say all pedigree dogs were show quality - I said they had the potential to be. Puppy farmed and backyard bred dogs aren't likely to be show quality, but all the breeds do. That' the point of the kennel clubs and breed shows.

Perhaps I should have said all breeds.

only a few puppies in each litter are going to be show quality
Obviously. But again, I didn't say all puppies were show quality. I said all pedigree dogs had the potential to be.

Semantics, methinks.

Also, you can get a puppy the breeder and third party experienced evaluators believe is show quality and have it not turn out for something that only shows up later, like incorrect dentition for the breed.
Again, I didn't say that - I said the breeder may choose to keep back the puppy with the highest potential. Of course it doesn't always work out.

You cannot show a spayed/neutered dog in conformation, at least not in American Kennel Club shows.
I was going by the original KC in Britain, which says you have to apply for a neuter licence or something, but can show, so thanks for that.

Also, the use of the word "cull" for a pet puppy gave me an unpleasant start
Are you quoting me here? Because I never said anything at all about culling.
 
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Sorry, I disagree with a lot being posted in this thread and very much with the above. All "pedigree" dogs are not show quality potential. Assuming parents of the quality to produce show quality, which means successful show dogs with generations of the same behind them, and health clearances appropriate for the particular breed, only a few puppies in each litter are going to be show quality. Some litters may have more and some may have none. Experienced breeders evaluate their puppies before deciding which homes they should go to. They're wrong sometimes about which are pet and which are show, but usually have a good idea at the 7-8 week age.

Also, you can get a puppy the breeder and third party experienced evaluators believe is show quality and have it not turn out for something that only shows up later, like incorrect dentition for the breed.


You cannot show a spayed/neutered dog in conformation, at least not in American Kennel Club shows. You can trial them in things like rally, obedience, and agility, but decent breeders want breeding stock that succeeds in the breed ring because it shows knowledgeable, experienced judges believe the dog is of superior conformation.

Similarly there may be some venue where you can enter a dog in a conformation class the day of the show, but you can't do it in AKC shows.

Also, the use of the word "cull" for a pet puppy gave me an unpleasant start. Traditionally, when talking about breeding stock, cull meant killing inferior animals. Good breeders care about the pet quality puppies they produce as much as the show puppies, know they can bring a pet owner as much joy as the show dog brings the show person (and can show off ability and temperament in other venues than the breed ring). No breeder I know would use the term cull or have that attitude toward pet puppies.

I do agree with the advice to choose a breed that suits your lifestyle. You spend a lot more time with your dog just being a dog than being a show dog. However, there are some breeds that are easier for an owner handler to do well with in the conformation show ring. It can't hurt to take that into consideration if showing the dog yourself (as opposed to hiring a professional handler) is your goal. And yes, try to find a mentor.
Also, if for some reason you don't have AKC papers for him and you do plan on neutering him you can still participate in all but the Conformation events via the PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing) program. Another great resource to find out what fun things you can do with your is the Collie Parent Club Web site
 
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Sorry, I disagree with a lot being posted in this thread and very much with the above. All "pedigree" dogs are not show quality potential.

Also, the use of the word "cull" for a pet puppy gave me an unpleasant start. Traditionally, when talking about breeding stock, cull meant killing inferior animals.
I agree with the first line.... our 1st Dobie was a stray left tied to tree. I was the most perfect specimen of a dog I have ever seen from the aspect of beauty and form ... the problem was his size... he far exceeded the allow able size and weight range for a Doberman.

As far as the word cull, I'm sorry if it upset you. However, in the instance used, as a verb, it is grammatically correct; the Oxford Dictionary says:

(verb) "select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources ". The example used here was "anecdotes culled from Greek and Roman history"

(noun) "a selective slaughter of wild animals" as in "fishermen are to campaign for a seal cull"

Merriam Webster's listed example was: "culled the best short stories from the author's body of writings " and among the synonyms are "cherry-pick, choose, elect, handpick, name, opt (for), pick, prefer, select, single (out), tag, take"

Free Dictionary (here we have 2 definitions specifically relating to breeding stock, only one of which involves killing) some of which have positive intent and others negative ... cull can mean picking the best flowers for your wife's bouquet or a flower shop picking the wilted flowers out and tossing them before the store opens. Their definitions include:

1. to choose or gather the best or required examples
2. (Agriculture) to take out (an animal, esp an inferior one) from a herd
3. (Agriculture) to reduce the size of (a herd or flock) by killing a proportion of its members
4. (Horticulture) to gather (flowers, fruit, etc)
5. to cease to employ; get rid of

Put in the simplest words to my reading would be "picking the best ones that meet the intended purpose". It can be used two ways as in "cull the litter to pick the dogs you want show (most suitable) as well as pick the ones you want to sell (least suitable).

But I would hope that we can focus on the overall point which remains the same regardless of the semantics because the intent is clear .... no dogs were being killed. What was relevant is that she started to cull (her choice of words by the way) / select which puppies she was going to keep / sell between 2 and 3 months old .... which is the point where they have had their vaccinations, had socialization experiences with heir siblings and no longer were dependent on the Mom. After that, with subsequent dogs we got from this breeder (there were 3), we waited 4 to 4-1/2 months before she would make that decision.
 

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Also, if for some reason you don't have AKC papers for him and you do plan on neutering him you can still participate in all but the Conformation events via the PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing) program. Another great resource to find out what fun things you can do with your is the Collie Parent Club Web site
The OP seems to be talking about wanting to show a dog as in show in the breed ring - conformation - which is pretty much where you need to show to prove a dog is breeding quality and garner interest in puppies. You cannot show a spayed or neutered dog in AKC conformation. Yes, as in your quote, you can show in AKC companion and other events, and good breeders also do that. A lot of people like to see "titles on both ends," i.e., both conformation and working titles on the parents of their puppy.

No, I realize you weren't the one who used the word "cull" and apologize if my way of setting out that post gave that impression.

So as to the one who did:

As far as the word cull, I'm sorry if it upset you. However, in the instance used, as a verb, it is grammatically correct; the Oxford Dictionary says:
What the dictionary says (and your quote of that does give the killing usage) isn't as important as common usage in a particular world, and in the animal world it generally means killing. As a noun it means inferior. I'm not going to argue about it, just stated my opinion, and it is that I wouldn't deal with a breeder who talked about culling puppies that weren't show quality. It speaks of an attitude toward other than show puppies I don't admire or agree with.
 

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The OP seems to be talking about wanting to show a dog as in show in the breed ring - conformation - which is pretty much where you need to show to prove a dog is breeding quality and garner interest in puppies. You cannot show a spayed or neutered dog in AKC conformation. Yes, as in your quote, you can show in AKC companion and other events, and good breeders also do that. A lot of people like to see "titles on both ends," i.e., both conformation and working titles on the parents of their puppy.

No, I realize you weren't the one who used the word "cull" and apologize if my way of setting out that post gave that impression.

So as to the one who did:


What the dictionary says (and your quote of that does give the killing usage) isn't as important as common usage in a particular world, and in the animal world it generally means killing. As a noun it means inferior. I'm not going to argue about it, just stated my opinion, and it is that I wouldn't deal with a breeder who talked about culling puppies that weren't show quality. It speaks of an attitude toward other than show puppies I don't admire or agree with.
Right, I get you. Thank you for clearing that up. :). I think there’s been wires crossed somewhere. I was talking about showing a neuter/spay to get a general feel for showing - not showing with the intention to breed. Clearly you can’t show a dog for breeding if it’s neutered/spayed. 😁
 
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