Choosing a dog: a look at pedigrees.

Selecting a dog can be a big task for some.  This article looks at the subject from the pedigree side of things.  Are pedigrees important?  What should I look for?

Use a dog’s pedigree as a tool.  Keep in mind that a pedigree is not a guarantee that your dog will perform like its predecessors.  Buying a pup/dog from a show line of dogs doesn’t guarantee your dog will become a show champion.  However, it certainly increases your dog’s chances of winning in the show ring.  Purchasing a pup/dog from a pedigree full of Schutzhund titles doesn’t guarantee your dog will become a Schutzhund champion, but it does increase the likelihood.

Bear in mind that a pedigree is a piece of paper.  Therefore the paper is only as good as the information printed on it.  Some pedigrees are fake.  Seek to verify it via AKC or European certifying agencies.  But even this is not fool-proof.  Bottom line – make sure you have a considerable amount of trust in your breeder of choice.

As a piece of paper, a pedigree cannot promise your dog will have the desired qualities present in the parents.  Choose your dog on an individual basis, not by paper.  Make your selection because that particular pup/dog exhibited the qualities you’re looking for.  There may be pups of varying colors in the same litter (proof that the genetic makeup is different).  All have the same pedigree but difference genetic code.  Therefore, choose the pup based on what you’re looking for, not on what the paper says.

Buying by paper can leave you disappointed.  Out of a litter of eight puppies, several may be fine, with one or two being super, while one or two may be flops.  Again, choose a dog based on its individual temperament etc and not just because it has a paper with his/her name on it.

Many happy dog owners have no idea what their dog’s pedigree is.  Pedigree is important but not the most important.  What is most important is that you get the kind of dog you’re expecting.  You will want the pedigree to be loaded with the qualities you desire but also be aware that those qualities do not pass on to every single pup.

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