If you go down to the (Royal Melbourne) show today....

Today the Siberian huskies are competing in the conformation judging in the Royal Melbourne Show. Unlike most dog shows, where members of the public are few and far between, today the exhibitors will also be meeting and greeting the beautiful dogs. If you happen to see a dog you like and want to ask questions about, try to come up with some good questions.

Bad questions to ask a Siberian husky breeder. 

- Do they grow bigger than this? 

All the adult huskies being shown will sit within the Breed Standard height range - and yes, that may be smaller than you expect.

- Do they shed a lot? 

Yes. A LOT. 

- Are the different coloured eyes normal? 

Yes, huskies have blue eyes, brown eyes, one of each and also eyes that are half and half. No, there is no issue with one eye colour or another. 

- Did your dogs win anything today? 

Breeders put their life blood into their dogs and if the judges don't see the strengths of their dog on the day, a show can be bitter sweet. If there are no ribbons on display, don't ask!

- Why did your dog win/loose today? Was it well/badly behaved in the ring?

This is a conformation show - the judges are looking for bone structure, musculature, and movement.  Not obedience or training. Apart from the fact that this is a really rude question, if you do get an honest answer such as "the judge liked my dog's topline, felt the depth of her chest was ok but the gait was a little lopey", will you understand it?

- Will you be having puppies soon? Can I buy a puppy from you? Can I buy a black & white, blue eyed male from you? 

Ethical breeders will want to get to know you before they consider putting you on their puppy waiting list. They often won't be breeding again this year or even be planning another litter yet. And they'll already have a long waiting list, especially if they're any good. 

Good questions to ask a Siberian husky breeder.

 - Is it ok for me/my kids to pat your dog?

Manners!! So lovely! These dogs will have spent hours getting washed and primped to get their coats looking just right. Sticky kids hands in a freshly washed coat will not be appreciated and some dogs will be nervous in the crowds. 

- Do you race your dogs?  What are you looking for in your bloodlines?

Some breeders will be aiming for high energy racing dogs, while a gentler blood line might be more appropriate for a family pet.

- What do you look for in a puppy that might go to a family/a family with little kids/a family with older kids/an energetic couple/insert your family type here? 

Ethical, experienced breeders will work hard to match a puppy with the best owners for that puppy. 

- Can I contact you to ask about your puppies in the future?

Standing around with a hundred thousand people wanting to pat your dog doesn't necessarily make for the best place to have a long chat. Respect the fact that these breeders are probably tired, having a long, intense day, and would really like to hide from the crowds.