What Is a “Pet-Quality” Puppy?

Getting a new puppy is one of the most joyous experiences that a family can have. Maybe your kids have been asking for one for years, or maybe you’ve just wanted one yourself since you were a child. No matter the reason, it’s important to be an informed dog owner.

You first want to make sure that you’re getting a breed that’s a good fit for your lifestyle and your family, and you also want to be informed about what makes a pet-quality puppy.

What does pet quality mean, exactly? And what are pet-quality puppies?

Read on for some more insight to be a better-informed and more confident dog buyer.

The basics of pet quality vs. show quality

The first thing to understand is the difference between show-quality and pet-quality puppies. There are a few different criteria that we use to determine this, but, typically, what pet quality means is that the dog would simply make a great addition to the home of most people as a loving companion.

While this can also certainly be true of show-quality puppies, those dogs usually hold a bit more potential as dogs that could be entered into a competition and could likely do well there. Additionally, show puppies can have such attractive characteristics that they could hold appeal for those hoping to breed their animals. For that reason, show puppies can sometimes cost a bit more since the qualities that help predict a show-quality dog are a bit rarer than just making for a good pet.

Meeting breed standards

The most obvious physical characteristics that separate show- and pet-quality puppies is their adherence to breed standards. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is one organization that sets the standards for how different types of dogs would be judged in competition depending on what they determine are ideal characteristics. For example, when it comes to the head of a Presa, pet quality means that the dog might have excessive wrinkling in the skin or a disproportionate skull and muzzle. It is likely still a perfectly fine companion, but it’s not quite up to show standards.


Another difference between the two quality tiers when it comes to Presas is their temperament. These are traditional guard dogs with imposing physical features, but they are friendly and affectionate with those that they love and trust. They should be great with both kids and adults, and this temperament is something that is also closely judged in show quality dogs.

An unstable temperament is a characteristic that judges worry about, and this would also likely mean that the animal isn’t suitable for a home with children in it either. Pet-quality puppies should be able to seamlessly integrate into your home and life, and we take pride in the caliber of dogs that we breed here.

If you’re in the market for a Presa as a pet or as a show dog, it helps to know what pet quality means. A show dog will still make for a great pet, but it might not make sense to pay the premium if you have no intention of entering it into competitions or breeding it.

Our team at D&G Kennels has almost 25 years of experience in this field, so we can help you make this decision for your home and family. Call us today for more insight.