Because I hear these words all the time I thought I would include this on my site. Hearing "I only want a pet" is like nails scratching on a chalkboard because the "pet" puppies I place are from the same planned litters, from the same Champion parents, fed the same high quality food, socialized the same way, loved and cared about just as much as the show puppies I keep for myself. Just because the puppy is not considered a winner for the ring does not lessen that puppies ability to be a winner for your heart. With that said I found these few paragraphs on www.poodlesofcasalastrega.com and thought she said it better than anyone could: "We only want a pet" This phrase is heard so often. I think what most people do not understand is that "just a pet" has to be as close as possible to the written breed standard as the show dog. The most important thing that makes a good pet is over all good health. This includes mental health (good temperament and personality) as well as physical health. For good physical health a puppy needs a strong immune system. Proper structure and movement are also neccessary so the bones and joints do not develop problems later in life (such as hip dysplasia or loose patellas) . "Just a pet" should be the dogs in a well bred healthy litter that may have minor faults in structure that are strictly of cosmetic value.
Perhaps a slightly rounder eye than desired in the breed ring, or a tail carried slightly lower or higher than perfect. It may be a personality conflict since sometimes the most perfectly structured and moving dog just does not have that moving out strut your stuff look at me aren't I beautiful attitude needed for the "show dog" to be truely competitive, yet is the ideal mellow pup to be the perfect family companion.
"Just a pet" should not be a dog of inferior breeding, poor conformation, poorly raised or of bad temperament, but should be as well bred, socialized, properly fed & carefully nurtured as the finest show dog to give you the best possible family companion. It is our aim to breed beautiful healthy dogs, as close to breed standard, for you to enjoy as family companions or in the conformation ring. We do the best we can to provide the healthiest dogs possible, both mentally and physically for those of you who want "just a pet".