COMPANION Puppy vs. SHOW potential


This simply means the “breeder” has decided to place the dog with a Limited Registration. (No breeding). We do this for many reasons. Most breeders who invest in their dogs health and bloodlines are not willing to just sell a dog on Full Registration. (Breeding rights)

When a reputable breeder makes the decision to allow someone to purchase a “Full Registration” puppy, they need to know that person purchasing the pup is serious about showing, health testing and breeding to the standard. When sell puppies for showing or breeding, their Kennel name is in that dogs pedigree. We care about our puppies and where their offspring may end up. We are passionate about the breed. We are concerned about who we allow to have our bloodlines and the dogs before ours. There is A LOT of time & research that goes into breeding quality dogs. It is not simply breeding cavalier A to cavalier B. Being serious about health, type and temperament is SO important. Considering the health and type of the generations behind your dogs and the improvements you are striving for is only part of the picture.

So as you can see “COMPANION puppy” does not mean lesser quality. Your puppy will still make a wonderful family member. You also can still compete in other show venues like Agility, Rally, Nose-work, Barn hunt, Lure coursing or Obedience. If well bred, your Cavalier puppy should grow up to look like a beautiful Cavalier. It should a be relatively healthy dog. When well socialized it should exhibit a temperament that is characteristic of the breed. Friendly. (Yes, how they are socialized as a young pup does make a difference)

SHOW Potential

This simply means that the “breeder” feels the dog has the specific qualities that MAY do well in the Conformation show ring. Does this mean they will do well in the show ring? Not necessarily. Everyone has a different eye. Cavaliers are particularly difficult to judge as puppies. The saying in the breed is “Look at them at 8 weeks, then don’t look again until they are two years old”. Cavaliers change. A lot. Unlike some other breeds where what you see at 8 weeks tends to be pretty accurate about what you get as an adult. Cavaliers typically go through some interesting stages of growth. They can get pretty lanky.  They tend to come into their own around 18 months of age. Some bloodlines mature quicker and some slower. But generally they start looking nice at about 18 months. Every breeder that has done this for a while has kept a dog as a run on for SHOW that they later decided to place in a COMPANION home. Or placed one in a COMPANION  home then later they kick themselves when they see how well they have matured. So SHOW Potential is just that… the puppy shows the “Potential” to do well in the Conformation ring.

What does Pending Litter Evaluation mean?

We are breeding our cavaliers to acquire our own show puppies. There are many factors to consider when choosing a puppy to keep as a run on for show. First understand that conformation rings are very much like a beauty pageant. We are breeding to get the closest we can, to the breed standard. (there truly is NO perfect dog) Each judge has a different opinion about what is correct.  Not every judge likes every style of dog. Every judge has a different eye. You can take 1st one day, and not even make the cut on the second day under a different judge. Conformation is very subjective and each judge picks things they feel are most important.

When we are holding puppies for a litter evaluation we are keeping them to at least 8 – 16 weeks of age and then presenting them in front of a number of other breeders or show related people.  They evaluate each puppy individually based on structure, markings, breed standard and temperament. Then review the litter as a whole. Then we as the breeder weigh out the pros and cons of each puppy and the goals of that breeding. We score and evaluate how those things may effect our future breeding program. Then the decision is made about if or who to move forward with.

Understand just because a puppy is not picked to move forward as a show prospect it does not mean anything is wrong with it. It may be based on sex (Many small breeders can only keep a limited number of boys), markings (They can either help or hinder the dog in the show ring) and structure (some things are easy to improve on in one generation, some take many to fix). Regardless, your COMPANION puppy is still a quality bred dog. Sometimes there are more than one show potential puppy in a litter. So many factors effect these decisions. Many times the “PICK” of the litter may not even be the breeders favorite puppy. The reality is, if you want to do well in conformation shows, you have to be “overly” picky to move forward in your breed. You also usually have to breed your own dogs to get there. Improving a few things each time. It is not an overnight process. It takes years.