What Is a “Pet Quality” Puppy?

If you’ve ever heard someone say they “just” want a “pet quality” puppy, chances are they are hoping to get a purebred dog (potentially for a lower price) to keep as a pet, as they’re not looking to enter the dog in shows. They simply like the breed and want to have one of their own, but they’re not hung up on having an ideal representation of that particular type of dog.
As breeders, our responsibility is to breed healthy dogs with good temperaments. Good breeders not only take care of their dogs, but offer contracts and health guarantees as an acknowledgment of their commitment to breeding high-quality examples of a specific breed.

“Pet quality” can mean several things

Obviously, anyone who plans to show their dogs wants the ideal representation of that kind of breed. Sometimes when people say “pet quality,” they mean that the dog has certain breed abnormalities that would prevent it from doing well in a show ring, but the dog would make a perfectly good pet. Most people who adopt purebreds as family pets are more interested in healthy, happy and well-behaved dogs rather than needing them to conform to an exact color, size and shape. Many times, the color alone is enough to disqualify a puppy from being shown—and as a pet owner, you likely wouldn’t care about that.

Other times, though, pet quality means “a dog who shouldn’t have been bred,” whether their parents were genetically flawed or there was another issue involved. It’s very important that you distinguish what a breeder means if they refer to a dog as being pet quality.

Is there anything wrong with “pet quality” puppies?

A good, responsible breeder will not sell you a dog that has any known medical or temperamental issues. “Pet quality” should generally refer to an inability to be shown for cosmetic reasons, not because the dog is prone to health problems or has an unsuitable temperament. Should a breeder refer to a dog as being pet quality, ask why and what kind of contractual obligations the breeder might have. Working with breeders that offer medical histories, contracts and other guarantees is a smart way to get around this problem.
Show dogs are merely ideal representations of the breed. Dogs who are well suited to the tasks they were bred for (for example, Presa Canarios were originally bred to work with livestock and act as guard dogs) need to conform to the breed standards—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t buy a show-quality dog as a pet. In fact, most responsible breeders would prefer to see even their finest breed representations go to pet homes as long as it means their dogs have a chance at a happy, loving home and a comfortable life.

At Cabeza Grande Kennel, we pride ourselves on breeding great specimens of the Presa Canario breed. We’ve been working with this breed for over 20 years and are proud to offer puppies as well as adult Presa Canarios for sale. Learn more by visiting our website or calling us today.

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