Do you have any suggestions on showing that is emotionally safe, while preserving a responsible breeding program?
I need a direction and being a homemaker and new empty nester the time is right for me to focus 100% on a breeding program and show or therapy specialty.
Sorry darls, I forgot to come back in here.
Im not really sure that you can be emotionally safe unless you go home with the attitude that regardless of the outcome you are taking the best dog home. It can be upsetting at times if you know you have a lovely dog on your hands and someone out there that is what we call a face (known to judges) wins because of who they are.
You have done the testing so you are set to go.
Now this is how I do it, first and foremost, when you are picking a pup in your litter say around 8-10 weeks old its a must to go for the one with a strong temperament, without a good temperament the most beautiful dog in the world is no good cause it drops it tail, too scared to let the judge put his hands on your dog. So temperament first before you look for anything else. Then look for the one with that hey look at me attitude. Nothing looks better in the ring than a show off dog that holds itself tall and proud.
Then when you have sorted that part out, then pick the pup to pieces. Look at if it has a nice short to square back, nice topline, good angulations, good feet, ears and head, good front. But always remember, there in no dog in the ring that is perfect. Every dog has faults, its impossible to have a perfect dog. There are some things I just cant forgive on a dog, so you look at minor things like say it has a perfect body but you dont like the head so much, thats ok, cause you can always breed a better head next generation. Bodies are harder to fix when breeding. Basically when you start breeding, look at what you think your bitch lacks or you can improve on, find a dog that has those qualities, it still has to be nice in other areas ofcourse.
Do you have a mentor that can help you choose a pup, if not, just look for what I have written here. Noone wins all the time, but you have a better chance if you have these qualities in your poodle. Hope this helps.