Pedigree dogs – is a pedigree really that important?

Pedigree dogs are a source of contention among pet lovers. Some believe that the origin of the dog does not matter, while others cannot imagine buying a dog without the appropriate documents. Who is right in this dispute? Is a pedigree necessary when buying a dog?
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In the past the matter was simple. The only known organization professionally dealing with cynology was Polish Kennel Club. It was there that you could buy pedigree dogs. However, legal changes in 2011 resulted in the emergence of many organizations, often with very similar names, which suggest that they sell animals of full-breed origin. They often miss the truth, however, and while every dog deserves the love of its owner, there is also an ethical issue. The place where you buy your dog will have a huge impact on the state of breeding in Poland.

Where is the best place to get a pet? Not only pedigree dogs

It is worth realizing that a purebred dog is a luxury that not every willing owner expects. If you are looking for a great companion and do not care about specific features, contact a shelter or a foundation, where you will find many pets for adoption. You will undoubtedly find a great companion this way! However, if you have special requirements and care about raising a puppy in the right way, your attention should be drawn to pedigree dogs.

Pedigree dogs – how can they be defined?

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Pedigree dogsin Poland are not defined by law. Therefore, they are only a social construct established by the cynological community. In Poland, they are considered to be animals with a pedigree or a certificate of the Polish Kennel Club (ZKwP) or another organization that is accepted by the International Kennel Federation (FCI). Such a document gives you assurance that:

  • the parents of the puppy are purebred dogs, without admixture of another breed;
  • the parents of the puppy have been judged at a dog show and do not have significant anatomical defects or show aggression;
  • the puppy’s parents have been tested for diseases that are mandatory in the breed (if any);
  • the puppy’s parents have been bred after reaching the appropriate age;
  • the puppy’s mother has not been bred after age 8;
  • the puppy’s mother has had puppies a maximum of one time per year;
  • the puppies have been seen by representatives of the Polish Kennel Club.

Main dog breeds according to FCI

The major dog breed groups are divided into 10 categories. Below we present each of them with a brief description and characteristic representatives.

Group I – sheepdogs and shepherd and herding dogs

Shepherddogs are loved because of their activity, cheerfulness and loyalty. In addition, their characteristic is a rare bark, because they are unlikely to use it for work. The situation is different with herding dogs. Their main way of exerting pressure is just barking. For this reason, the herding breed is not suitable for small apartments. Group I dogs require physical and intellectual activity as well as patient and consistent training. The most special representatives of group I are:

  • Border Collie;
  • australian Shepherd;
  • Kelpie.

Group II – Pinschers, Schnauzers, Mountain Dogs, Molossers and Swiss Cattle Dogs

Derived from German guard and defense dogs. In the course of breeding, their original character traits and readiness to protect the subordinate territory have been preserved. Breed dogs of group II are valued among owners for their intelligence, ability to attach to the owner and the property, as well as low movement requirements. Representatives of this category are:

  • miniature schnauzer;
  • pinscher monkey;
  • appenzeller.

Group III – terriers

These are extremely mobile dogs, engaged in hunting rodents and small forest animals. It is assumed that their ancestors are hunting and fighting dogs crossed with early terriers. The described breed dogs still have a very strong penchant for finding small prey. For this reason, it is usually not recommended to take terriers into homes with smaller animals. The most typical representatives of this group are:

  • airedale terrier;
  • bulterier;
  • welsh Terrier.
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Group IV – dachshunds

These are hardy and agile breed dogs that live more than average long. Their distinctive feature is their ability to search for game on and under the ground. Dachshunds are not a young breed because they were known since the Middle Ages in different parts of the world. Until now they are very popular and appreciated by their owners. Dachshunds have different coats, from short-haired through rough-haired to long-haired.

Group V – Pointers and primitive dogs

They accompany man for hundreds or even thousands of years. Their character is conducive to constant activity, often manifested by extremely annoying barking. Group V dogs have a strong character, are determined, loyal and at the same time distrustful of intruders. They currently fulfill themselves as companion dogs. Here are the representatives of this category:

  • alaskan malamute;
  • lapinporokoira;
  • german Spitz.

They have been known for years as hunting companions. Their exceptionally developed sense of smell allows them to track down game very effectively. Due to their character, they have a strong desire for physical and mental activity. They do not do well in small enclosed spaces. Mongrel and related dogs are recognizable by representatives such as

  • otterhound;
  • polish Stallion;
  • english foxhound.

Group VII – Pointers

These are typical hunting dogs, whose task was to track and bring back game shot during hunting. GSPs are not the easiest to train, so it is not recommended to keep them by novice dog lovers. For skilled owners, training a GSP will not be a problem. The four-legged dog will return the favor with loyalty and affection. Representatives of group VII are:

  • corthalsgriffon;
  • pointer;
  • german Shorthaired Pointers.

Group VIII – fetchers, retrievers and water dogs

Fetchers are excellent hunting companions and are good at bringing back hunted birds. Retrievers focus on small forest animals and disperse them from bushes, exposing the hunter to the target. Water dogs, on the other hand, are very good at wading after fish and other aquatic species. They are not even afraid of cold water. Group VIII breed dogs are:

  • labrador retriever;
  • englishcocker spaniel;
  • barbet.

Group IX – ornamental and companion dogs

This is by far the most extensive category of all those mentioned in the article. It has as many as 11 distinct sections. They do not have a single character pattern, but can be both calm and composed as well as impetuous. Breed dogs from group IX are usually obedient and easy to arrange pets that are willing to learn. There is no objection to owning them even by less experienced owners. What dogs fall into this category? These include:

  • chihuahua;
  • bichon frise;
  • large poodle;
  • chinese mane;
  • tibetan spaniel.

Group X – greyhounds

Greyhounds are a real gem among all groups of dogs. They are very characteristic in terms of their conformation and personality traits. Dogs of this category are characterized by great physical strength and character. They have great eyesight, are fast and sometimes their hunting instinct is hard to control. On the one hand, they love soft household bedding, on the other hand, they are difficult to tame on a walk. Here are the representatives of this group:

  • afghan hound;
  • scottish Greyhound;
  • polish Greyhound.

Pedigree not equal to pedigree – a problem with organizations

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Pedigree dogs bred under the name of the Polish Kennel Club must meet a number of requirements in order to be allowed to breed. This organization not only guards the purity of the breed itself, but also cares about its quality and animal welfare. Unfortunately, many other organizations existing in the country do not observe this type of restrictions, which can lead to negligence on the part of the breeder. So if you are going to buy an animal from another organization, check that:

  • its bylaws mention animal welfare;
  • it sufficiently allows breeding dogs and what age they must be;
  • has requirements related to anatomical structure and character of puppies;
  • has breed standards;
  • has pedigree databases available online.
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Why is access to a pedigree important?

A pet pedigree is not just an invention of dog breeders. It not only helps to verify its origin, but also makes it possible to control the population. It makes it possible to reduce inbreeding, which has a positive effect on the health of the dogs. In addition, access to a pedigree usually allows you to determine what diseases the dog’s ancestors carried and to rule out genetic defects. Pedigree dogs can usually be checked against online pedigree databases, so that as a buyer you are well aware of the exact animal that is coming under your roof.

Pedigree dogs, but not quite..

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There are some dogs that look like purebreds but don’t have FCI-approved papers. Most cynologists call them breed-type dogs. So they can’t take part in dog shows and shouldn’t be breeded, but sometimes they almost completely resemble those animals that are bred under the banner of the Kennel Club. If you bought such a dog, pay special attention to diseases that often occur in the breed. Remember that paying for a dog in a breed type, you may as well just… adopt a pet from a shelter.

Do pedigree dogs get sick more often?

There is a belief among pet owners that pedigree dogs are more prone to disease. Does such a statement relate to reality? It is difficult to unequivocally answer this question. On the one hand, a person who owns a purebred dog, often gets to know his ailments characteristic for the breed beforehand. This makes them sensitive to even the smallest symptoms. On the other hand, owners of popular mutts do not always pay enough attention to their pets’ ailments.

Vets often state unequivocally that pedigree dogs fall ill more often. This can be attributed to genetic factors that have remained unchanged since the beginning of the breed. Another reason is the specific arrangement of breeders to achieve selected characteristics of body structure. In this respect (and not only) purebred dogs are the same and if they suffer from diseases, it certainly affects a large group of them. Mongrels, on the other hand, are very different in terms of genes and body structure. So it is difficult to determine the typical disease entities for them.

Before you buy a purebred dog for your home

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It’s clear that for some prospective pet owners, purebred dogs are the only right choice. However, what should be taken into account before the purchase is made? Some dog breeds are not suitable for apartment life. Their nature requires providing plenty of physical activity and human presence. If you get yourself a hunting dog and lock him in a small pen, he will be rather sad and apathetic. Very busy dogs don’t do well in apartments on housing estates. The lack of daily activities triggers destructive tendencies in them.

Dogs have very strongly developed instincts. Some are easier and some are more difficult to train. Breed dogs with hunting tendencies are difficult to turn into home-makers and couch potatoes. So it is best to look among such representatives, whose character will be consistent with your expectations.

Pedigree dogs – support only responsible breeding

People struggling with this dilemma often seem to forget that the most important thing in this whole process is the welfare of the dog. By buying an animal from an unverified source, you are supporting irresponsible animal breeding. So if you don’t want to spend too much money on buying your foster, adopt a pet from a shelter. Do not forget that choosing a kennel registered with the FCI is only the first step. Then you yourself must find reviews about the person engaged in breeding animals and check the conditions in which they live. In every organization there may be scammers and people who are not guided by the good of the four-legged animals, so each time it is necessary to scrupulously verify the conditions of sale.

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