What is the difference between pet quality and show/breeding quality?
By the time the puppies are about 7 wks old each puppy will have been "graded" against the AKC Standard. There is no "perfect" dog but the best puppies will be the closest to the ideal as described in the standard and have the highest price. Any deviations from the "standard" are "faults" and are considered according to their severity.
Several faults are described in the standard as "disqualifying" faults. These are faults that will disqualify a dog altogether from the show ring. Other faults may keep a dog from winning in the show ring but won't "disqualify" a dog totally from showing. Disqualifying faults are: entropion, ectropion, overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth, unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males, long coat, any base color other than black and absence of all markings. These are considered the most serious faults.
Puppies graded as "pets" may have "disqualifying" or other faults and are sold to homes for companion purposes only.....no showing or breeding allowed. Show or breeding quality puppies have no disqualifying or other significant faults at the time they are sold and may be shown or bred provided no disqualifying faults are present in the puppy as an adult and the dog passes health clearances as stated in the sale contract.
Show/breeding quality does not necessarily mean that this dog must be shown or bred. It is just a description of the quality of the puppy at 7/8 wks. I often let a show or breeding quality puppy go to a strictly pet home that is certain they will not show or breed however some show quality puppies are available only to homes that WILL show. A pet quality puppy will not be sold to a home intending to show or breed. It is best that you have thoughtfully considered your plans for the puppy before you make a final decision on what type of puppy you want. If you are unsure of what type of puppy would be best for you, I am happy to discuss the situation and help you make the best choice.
Keep in mind that most "faults" on a pet quality puppy are not readily noticeable to someone not use to looking at show dogs and are usually not apparent to a buyer until the breeder points the faults out. Point is that a "pet" puppy with "faults" from a show bloodline is a beautiful dog and will make a wonderful companion for someone not wanting to show or breed and not wanting to pay the higher price. "Faults" have nothing to do with the puppy's temperament or health, just with the suitability to show or breed that individual.