To show or not???

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Gordiesmom
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To show or not???

Post by Gordiesmom » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:41 am

First I will apologize if I didn't post this question in the correct thread.

Secondly I didn't purchase my Belgian with the intention of showing him. He was brought into our family to be our pet and a much loved memeber of our family.

I have thought about showing him more and more lately as he comes from show dogs and everyone tells me how beautiful he is, even at 5 months.

I purchased a book about showing dogs and it looks like it would be a fun thing to do with Gordie. We are also building him agility equipment to start working with him. Agility training we plan on doing even if we don't show him as I think it is something fun to do that will keep his mind stimulated. He is already getting pretty good at the go find game. He loves when I hide things for him to find.

My biggest issue with showing him is that he can't be neutered. I have never had a male dog that wasn't neutered and the horror stories I have heard about them makes me very leary. I have had two different folks contact me about him being a stud dog for their females and I am unsure if I even want to go that far. As I don't know exactly how having a stud works.

I would love to hear feedback on the subject.

ladybug1802
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Re: To show or not???

Post by ladybug1802 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:51 am

Hmmm....I cant advise on showing or not showing as I have never done it,. But I always end up feeling a bit 'sorry' for show dogs you see on tv....I dont know why, seeing as I dont have any insight into the way they are cared for, but I think its that because showing is SO fixated on each dog being a so called 'perfect' example of that breed. So I haver heard about dodgy breeders killing pups that arent 100% perfect....and that could be as simple as having a white spot of fur in the wrong place. Humans arent all identical, why should dogs have to be?

And if I ever see anytihng of Crufts, which I avoid, it seems sad that they are made to stand in a ridiculous way, and it all seems very 'clinical'.

Just my uneducated view....as I say, I have never had any involvement in showing, but have no desire too!

Agility on the other hand - i do that with Dylan and its GREAT!! It has boosted Dylan's confidence, he adores it, and its just great fun! On top of that it buildas the bond between dog and owner. Highly recommend agility when he is over a year old!

Sarah83
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Re: To show or not???

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:09 am

If you got him from a good breeder and he was sold to you as a pet quality puppy then chances are he won't be show standard as an adult. Of course, they can make mistakes but generally a pet quality puppy wouldn't cut it in the show ring. Please do NOT allow just anyone to use him as a stud dog, chances are these people will be looking to make a quick buck. A good breeder would want to make sure all relative health checks are done (not sure what tests are relevent for Belgians but if I'm not mistaken they're prone to epilepsy) regardless of how good the dog looks or what lines it comes from.

An intact male is no different to a neutered male in my experience. I personally wouldn't have a male neutered unless it were for health reasons.

jacksdad
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Re: To show or not???

Post by jacksdad » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:00 am

Not into showing my self and not even sure what goes into preparing a dog for the show ring. However my first concern would be to find out what is required of the dog and some idea of the sensory input the dog will have to deal with while at the show such as maybe being in a crate for hours. or having to deal with lots of barking and possibly stressed dogs, lots of people coming and going. can he deal with cameras being pointed at him. the sights, smells, and noises that kind of thing. Then ask your self would Gordie first be able to deal with all that, then ask would Gordie enjoy it all. What little I know of showing, it seems to me to be far more for the human's enjoyment than the dogs. which isn't to say some dogs may enjoy the whole experience, but to me showing is more about us than the dog.

activities like agility provide benefits to the dog as well as the human. more balanced.

as for the "horror stories" of un neutered dogs? I would bet money most of them are based on myth or misunderstandings. It's important to remember un neutered dogs are in their NATURAL state. they aren't "broken", they aren't monsters. With the huge drive to spay and neuter dogs to try and reduce the numbers of homeless dogs in shelters and rescues less and less people have experience with intact dogs. which naturally leads to lots of myth being perpetuated as fact as this knowledge and experience becomes rarer. So, if you choose to pursue showing don't fear the "un neutered" aspect of it.

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Nettle
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Re: To show or not???

Post by Nettle » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:01 pm

I show - and judge - and as long as you realise it isn't important, just a bit of fun, and that you go home every time with the best dog, it's good. If, however, you are competitive by nature, then stay away from the show ring because it's only one person's opinion on one day but people can get very worked up and nasty on occasions.

You get lousy and crooked along with fair and just :wink: you get cliques and shockingly bad treatment. You can also make some great friends.

Why not go to a few shows without your dog and see if you think you'll take to it? Not all dogs like showing, and as jacksdad says, they'd rather be doing fun things with you instead. You don't have to show your dog in order to enjoy shows.

Regarding the neutering, jacksdad makes a very important point:
jacksdad wrote:as for the "horror stories" of un neutered dogs? I would bet money most of them are based on myth or misunderstandings. It's important to remember un neutered dogs are in their NATURAL state. they aren't "broken", they aren't monsters. With the huge drive to spay and neuter dogs to try and reduce the numbers of homeless dogs in shelters and rescues less and less people have experience with intact dogs. which naturally leads to lots of myth being perpetuated as fact as this knowledge and experience becomes rarer. So, if you choose to pursue showing don't fear the "un neutered" aspect of it.


My unneutered dogs are beautifully behaved. Anyone's can be - it's all a matter of training.

Regarding using your dog at stud, this is one to think about very carefully. Only the very best dogs should be bred from, and lovely as yours is, he might not be of breeding quality. Putting dog and b itch together is no game for the inexperienced: a LOT can go wrong. It isn't just a matter of introducing them and saying "Go". I have a stud dog (retired now) and he's a gentleman, but some dogs can change character once used for breeding, becoming obsessive over b itches, and you never know if they will until they have.
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ladybug1802
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Re: To show or not???

Post by ladybug1802 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:17 pm

Actually Nettle your post made me realise something.....that in my head, when I think of dog showing, I automatically think of the big scale Crufts type of thing and seem to forget the smaller scale or even the local dog shows....which can be good fun!

Sarah83
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Re: To show or not???

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:07 pm

ladybug1802 wrote:Actually Nettle your post made me realise something.....that in my head, when I think of dog showing, I automatically think of the big scale Crufts type of thing and seem to forget the smaller scale or even the local dog shows....which can be good fun!
Same here, that's why I said about a dog sold as pet quality not really being able to compete against dogs of show quality. Not that that really matters if you just want to do it for the experience and for fun.

Rupert would probably LOVE showing if he were a pedigree. Give him an audience and he immediately turns on the "Look at me, how wonderful am I??" attitude.

Gordiesmom
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Re: To show or not???

Post by Gordiesmom » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:30 pm

Second time I am writing this reply. ugh......
Thank you all so much for the feedback. Here is a little more background.

Gordie was purchased as a "show quality" puppy. The breeder I bought him from has a wonderful reputation in the Belgian Community. Gordie was temperant tested, the breeder woudln't even let anyone SEE the puppies until after their first shots at 6 weeks. We made two trips across the state. One to pick him out and the other one to bring him home for good. I felt like I was waiting to give birth lol. Gordie's mom will be showing again in the fall and I plan on attending a few of the shows she is in just to get an idea if I would enjoy it. I think Gordie would because he is a total HAM! And trust me if he never won a ribbon he'd still be the most beautiful dog on the planet, yes I'm very biased.

As for the Studding part of my question, my biggest question is how I would stud him because there is only one breeder in Michigan that breeds Belgians and that is his mother. We almost had to go to Arkansas to get a puppy. So that is my puzzling question how do folks stud a dog across states. I also don't think I'd be able to deal with him being gone to another home for even a very short stay.

As for neutering verses un neutered is there a health reason NOT to neuter a male. I have always been under the impression that unneutered males wander. We do not have a fenced in yard as we live on 2 acres and half of it is wooded. There are 25 homes on our street and ALL of them have dogs many of them two. Our dogs our boundry trained not to leave the yard, our Golden Emma is 2 and doesn't roam. Gordie is getting the hang of it, but every once in awhile he can't help himself and wanders to our neighbors. We do keep a VERY close on him when he is in the yard because he is still so young.

Thank you all for your input and help. I just love this site.

jacksdad
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Re: To show or not???

Post by jacksdad » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:49 pm

my two cents, to neuter or not to neuter is about birth control. period, nothing else. neutered dogs can still feel the need to try and "mate", they can still be rude, they can still be aggressive, they can still wonder, and on and on and on. they can still have heath issue too. what they can't do is get a female dog pregnant and get testicle cancer simply because they aren't there anymore. that is really about it as far as benefits.

here is a good article that puts the heath aspect of neutering in perspective. http://www.homeopathicvet.co.uk/pdf%20f ... 0links.pdf

not to side track this thread on showing too far, my personal opinion, to neuter or not is purely about preventing an unwanted litter and taking this step make sense for most people.

As for studding, nettles is really our resident expert on this, but I would urge you to put some thought into this, a lot of thought into this before doing it. While there is no doubt that well planned breeding is important, what is actually more important is that we pass on only healthy genes and traits such as confidence and not aggression and not make the choice to breed purely on looks. not putting health and temperament and ability to do the job of the breed first has lead to a lot of problems over the last couple decades.

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Nettle
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Re: To show or not???

Post by Nettle » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:31 am

For stud work - normally the b itch comes to the dog, the deed is done and the b itch goes home with the owner. Any arrangement outside this risks the wrong dog getting across the b itch, the b itch panicking when the owner leaves, or pining when left, any of which can halt ovulation in its tracks. If you have an unfenced yard, no way can you accept on-heat b itches.

I travelled my stud, but this is fairly unusual. I did it because it was not convenient or desirable to have strangers coming to my home, and the arrival of an on-heat b itch causes mayhem among the residents, especially other b itches. There is no way I would have let him out of my sight - although I was careful about whose b itches I accepted for him, you can never be 100% about people, and it would have been easy for him to have been stolen, 'lost' :roll: or put over more than one b itch for a single stud fee. (On one occasion the deed had been done and I was having a cup of tea and chat with the b itch's owner not realising that my dog was being fed in the kitchen by her brother-in-law. By the time I realised what was going on, my dog had a big fat belly full of cheap dried food, and he was not at all well afterwards.) You cannot risk leaving your dog with anyone, and even nice people can do dumb things, and have visitors who leave doors open etc.

I say once more that the actual breeding process is NOT straightforward and there is considerable risk attached. You DO need to have some experience before you start, and it's hard to get. You need two people who know what they are doing. I and a friend travel stud dogs all over, and we are very slick at getting the deed done, but quite often we have to go two days running as the b itch isn't always ready. My record is nine days before the stud would cover, but at least that was local!

Regarding the neutering: it's as jacksdad says (and the link provided). It doesn't stop anything except pups and testicular cancer. I'm a great believer in fences: they stop animals getting in as well as animals getting out. All of ours are contained behind a 7 foot fence within the property, and they are always supervised when outside it.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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emmabeth
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Re: To show or not???

Post by emmabeth » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:28 am

I would say have a go at showing first.

It isnt the be all and end all - IF he does well in shows (as an adult, doing well as a pup is not that meaningful) then think about potentially breeding him, but I am talking at the age of four/five years old, and if by then you HAVENT had reputable breeders who you know of, if not actually know, enquiring about him by that stage I would say he hasnt got anything to offer.

You will always get someone who likes the look of a dog asking that sort of question, but if they are not working, or showing their animals, their opinion is pretty much worthless as far as the quality of your dog and the 'worth' to breeding from him.

Sadly there are far too many people out there interested in making money and not interested in their responsibility for the pups they produce.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

horza
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Re: To show or not???

Post by horza » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:42 am

i thought about showing Tasha when i first got her, but then i went to a local show and seemed way to competive for me. but i would say it depends on the cutlure of the show around you. i only went to a localish dog show and i never wanted to go back to a real dog show.

but then in my little village we have a jamboree kind of thing once a year. and this year the local kennels put on a "dog show" with prizes for things such as waggiest tail, most unusal expression, judge would most like to take home. then the winner of each category was in for a chance of best in show which the veiwers vote for. that was sooo much fun, i spent few weeks before teaching sheba to do a shy face, putting her paws over her ears and looking down, but then when we got there sh was a overwhelmed so she went home. but Tahsa won best condition, and best in show, this was great fun, not competive and i hope they do it next year.

Gordiesmom
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Re: To show or not???

Post by Gordiesmom » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:51 am

Thank you all! You have given me a lot to think about. I am leaning heavy on NOT studding, it seems like a bigger hassle than I want to deal with. Not sure about showing him I will have to decide after I go to a few shows and see what they are like.

Again thank you for all the information.

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