Pedigree, it is a word that we hear about dogs all the time, it is even the name of a popular dog food brand. But it is something that many people who love dogs don’t quite understand or realise the importance of. A Kennel Club is something all dog owners have heard of too, but do we all know exactly what they do. So if you are thinking of getting a new puppy and what to understand what the pedigree and the Kennel Clubs do for you then find all the answers.

Pedigree - What does it mean.

The definition of Pedigree is two fold

  • It is the record of descent of an animal, showing past family generations, basically a canine family tree.
  • A Pedigree can only be for a purebred puppy so having one of these proves that the puppy is not mixed bred.

We know what it means, but what physically is in your hands?


The actual paper you will get when you receive the pedigree should contain the following information:

  • name of sire (father) and dam (mother)
  • names of other ancestors, to the number of generations required by the issuing organization, should be at least 3 generations
  • Details of the litter this animal came from
  • The colour and markings of the puppy
  • Name, address and registered number of the breeder (often defined as the owner of the female at the time of the animal's conception or birth)


The one thing that might confuse most people is the PURPOSE of the pedigree.

To understand this it is important to know where a pedigree comes from, and firstly it DOES NOT COME FROM THE BREEDER. The breeder is the one who will register their puppy with a local Kennel Club, so that THE KENNEL CLUB will provide the pedigree as proof the puppy has been registered, checked independently and proven to be purebred.

Why is a Pedigree Important For You

The simple key point of the pedigree is:

If you want your dog to be involved in sport or conformation showing then they must be registered with the Kennel Club in which they compete, and this cannot be done without having a pedigree. Your kennel club will not accept your dog without one, and you cannot, of course, show your dog without being part of a kennel club.

This in itself leads to another important point and that is the different types of pedigree and insuring that you can transfer your pedigree to your chosen Kennel Club

Most of our puppies will come with an FCI pedigree which for example is completely separate to the American Kennel, and if your local kennel club is not registered with

the FCI, then you will need to request an EXPORT PEDIGREE which will allow you to transfer and register your dog for showing at your kennel. Otherwise all you would need would be a STANDARD PEDIGREE which entitles you to show your dog with the FCI.

When do you NOT Require a Pedigree?

pet pedigree

From our experience it is clear that SOMETIMES too much emphasis and importance is placed on a pedigree, for the most part it is just a fancy piece of paper. If you are just looking for a loving family dog to walk, love and play with, as most people do, then you DO NOT NEED A PEDIGREE, and if you do get one, then you do not need to use it for anything. However it proves you get what you pay for, a pure bred pedigree dog.

What a pedigree doesn’t mean!

A pedigree is also not like a passport, it is not something your vet is ever going to ask for, nor is it important for any health or travel reasons.

A pedigree is also NOT A GUARANTEE that your dog will be a show winner, it certainly means he or she has potential as a pure bred, but nothing definite.

A pedigree sadly is also NOT A GUARANTEE that your dog will stay perfectly healthy. Not matter how good, professional and experienced the breeder is, health issues always have the chance to occur late in life.


For many of our dogs owners a pedigree is a confusing thing, with a complicated purpose, but in reality it is quite simple. The primary PURPOSE of a pedigree for a DOG OWNER is for showing their dog. Only for a DOG BREEDER is the primary purpose to prove that the dog is purebred.

Next time we will look in more detail in the world of the Kennel Club and the Dog Showing!