I want to start this post by congratulating Janice Hayes and everyone involved with Buddy Holly’s Best In Show win at Westminster this week. I don’t have cable and didn’t watch judging, but I know enough about this team to know that the public would have seen a happy confident dog who has a great relationship with his handler. 

Almost immediately after seeing the results of the group, I started seeing posts about how this win was going to make our breed “too popular” and the doom and gloom “PBGVs aren’t for everyone” sentiment. This is what I want to talk about here. 

No breed of dog or mix of breeds is for everyone. As a dog trainer who works with the public, I can also assure you that pet owners can do much worse than a well bred PBGV. Realistically though, there aren’t that many PBGVs out there for the people who may develop an interest in the breed based on Buddy’s win. This means that breeders may have to field more inquiries than usual and that the really committed people will probably have to wait for a puppy to become available. Many of these people will give up and buy a something-doodle or adopt a mixed breed that is misrepresented as a PBGV by a rescue. Others will wait for the right dog and hopefully take the time to learn about our breed and love them as much as we do- these are the people we need to encourage. Not everyone is born into the dog world. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if my ten year old self hadn’t begged my parents for a Golden Retriever like the one on Punky Brewster.  Someone just like myself may have seen a PBGV for the first time on TV last night. 

Popularity may not be a great thing for a breed, but neither is scarcity and that is the path that PBGVs are on right now. Instead of hiding our amazing breed from the world, why not use whatever platform we have to share them?  For me this means sharing my Clever Hounds on social media, educating about preservation breeding whenever I can, and attending high profile performance events, even if everyone there is faster than us. For those who enjoy the dog show game, it might mean campaigning a special. For others it might mean taking the time to tell the person at the park that your PBGV isn’t a beagle-doodle or answering questions about why you chose a purpose bred dog from a preservation breeder. We can all do something to protect our breed’s future by sharing our awesome dogs with the people who really want to get to know them.