What Is A Pedigree?
A pedigree is simply the documented family tree of your dog. This shows the sire and dam, as well as multiple generations of their heritage. Pedigrees can be purchased in various depths, typically covering 3 to 5 generations.
They provide the basic information of the parents, grandparents and earlier ancestors, including their registration number and coloring and markings. This is also where you will find if they descend from any Champion dogs.
Dogs that have earned championships in the show ring will be labeled with a CH in front of their name.
Why Do You Need A Pedigree?
Pedigrees are critical to anyone with an interest in breeding. This avoids any potential inbreeding or other undesirable pairings.
The best available pedigree are those issued and certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC has been documenting and registering the heritage of dogs for many, many generations and provides the most reputable registry available.
How To Read A Pedigree:
Taking a closer look at Liam’s pedigree below, you will see that, reading from the left, his information is provided first. His registered name is found on the first line, with his AKC registration number directly below.
The third line is his breed, as well as color. The fourth line shows his date of birth, followed by the original breeder, who in this case, is Tammy Koehler.
The next branch is the sire and dam. The sire will be located on the first branch, at the top position. Again, in Liam’s case, it’s Papa Smurf Koehler. His registration number, first breeding date (not his birth date) and coloring are provided under his name. Here you will see GR FN MKGS, meaning gray with fawn markings, as Papa Smurf is a Blue Tri.
The dam is shown on the first branch, lower position, where you see Moosey On The Loosey. The same information is provided below her name as well, with her registration number, first whelped litter and her coloring. Being a black tri, her documented coloring is BLK & WH FN MKGS, or black and white with fawn markings.
As you can see, each generation is shown with the same general information, with males on the top position of each branch and females shown on the lower position.
For more information on pedigrees, as well as how to order one for your dog, visit AKC.org.