In 1974, Coton de Tulear breeder, the late LewisRussell of Oakshade Kennel, pioneered a classification for the pupshe produced. All pups were designated either "Pet Quality" or "ShowQuality." That classificatory scheme was adopted by the Coton deTulear Club of America in 1975 and has been used ever since. Thedesignation "Pet"or "Show" appears on every Coton's Official CTCARegistration and Pedigree Certificates issued between 1975 and themid-1990s. Pet Quality Cotons must be neutered cannot be bred.
In the 1990s, the CTCA switched designations to "PET" ("NOTBREEDABLE") quality and "BREEDABLE" Quality for accuracy, since manyother clubs now have "show quality" designations which maynot reflect the desirablility of the dog tobreed.
A puppy that is classified a Potentially BreedableQuality Coton de Tulear is, in the estimation of thebreeder, a puppy that will grow up to meet the CTCA Standard in allrespects. It is, in the breeder's estimation an excellent example ofthe breed. For many good reasons, few Potentially Breedable QualityCotons ever compete in a dog show (see, forexample, How narrow Standardsand the Show Game harms breeds.).
When a Potentially Breedable Quality puppy is one year old orolder, its owner may submit specialCTCAHealth Tests to the club so that the dog may bereclassified as either "NOT BREEDABLE" or "BREEDABLE" depending onwhether or not the pup failed or passed these comprehensive healthexaminations. Some Breeders will refund to the buyer the differencein cost between a Breedable Coton and a Non-breedable Coton should apup sold as "Potentially Breedable" fail its one-year HealthTests.
A Breedable Quality Coton can be bred and will contribute itsfavorable genes to the growing North American population of thebreed. About one-third of all Cotons registered with the CTCA areBreedable Quality Cotons.
A Pet Quality Coton de Tulear can be everybit the happy, healthy Coton that its fellow Breedable Quality Cotonsmay be. A puppy that is classified a Pet Quality Coton de Tulear is,in the estimation of the breeder, a puppy that will not grow up tomeet the CTCA Standard in all respects. The owner of a Pet QualityCoton cannot breed the dog and, if he or she does so in violation ofthe breeder's contract and the CTCA's Code of Ethics, the progeny ofa Pet Quality Coton cannot be registered with the CTCA. Some reasonsthat a breeder may classify a puppy as Pet Quality include, but arenot limited to:
- incompletely pigmented eye rings, lips, or nose;
- undershot or overshot jaw;
- the pup will grow too tall (or be too small) as an adult;
- the male pup has only one or no descended testicles (it is a "cryptorchid");
- the pup is too inbred (in which case it and all its litter mates, regardless of appearance, must be classified as Pet Quality).
Make certain that your breeder fully explains to you whyhe/she has classified a puppy as "not breedable, Pet Quality."
Please bear in mind that Pet and Potentially Breedable QualityCotons are all wonderful companions. The CTCA treasures each andevery Coton and maintains their registry with care. Note, too, thatmaintaining detailed records on all Cotons, whether they be Breedableor Not Breedable Quality, enables the club to decipher the breed'sgenetics and state of health and well-being.
Judging a Puppy's FUTURE Appearance is an inexact Art
Most experienced breeders can make a good educated guess aboutthe future development of the pups they whelp. But, no one in theworld can judge for certain what an eight-or-ten week old puppy willlook like when it is an adult. Cotons mature slowly. For example, ajaw full of perfect baby teeth at age 10 weeks may develop amalocclusion (under or overbite) months later when the adult teethcome in. If you absolutely want to be sure that the Coton youpurchase will be a Breedable Quality adult, then you must buy anadult Coton who has already passed his/her CTCA Health Tests.
Title and contents of The Coton deTulear News & Information Network © 1996-2005, theCoton de Tulear Club of America, all rights reserved. Celebrating theCTCA's 30th Anniversary in 2006.
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