A pedigree dog must have a birth certificate and provinence called a Pedigree.This document tells a new owner the last four maternal and paternal generations were also pedigree and of consequence the purity of the breed is assured. For a dog to get pedigree status in Italy the national body ENCI manages this, but whichever country your are reading this from, there will be a national body that will be the authorizer of a dogs pedigree status. If you are in any doubt you can contact the Fédération Cynologique Internationale which is the international body for pedigree status!
The pedigree dog has a few distinct rights over their non-pedigree but just as beautiful equals. One such right is that pedigree dogs can participate at national and international dog’s shows. It’s the equivalent of no martini no party, only this time to get in you need a pedigree certificate. It’s an exclusive club and is not without its scandal. In 2012, the BBC produced a documentary that provided harrowing evidence (it’s not nice) that pedigree dogs were suffering essentially because the gene pool for breeds was not big enough.
For the non-pedigree dogs that want a spot in the limelight there are plenty of shows where dogs of seemingly pedigree status (they look amazing!), or even those where dogs that are a mixed bags of breeds, can still get the satisfaction of prizes and being selected as the best in show or best in category.
Defenders of the realm will say that because a pedigree dog has a family history and the dogs behaviour is therefore more predictable because as a breed it will have had its own style of life. The trouble is that while this may be the case, their non-pedigree chums are winning hands down against the metrics of illnesses (more resistance than pedigree dogs), level of calmness (also beating), intelligence and affection. Consider for a moment a problem that many German Shepherd dogs suffer from later in life, dysplasia, that is largely seen as a product of breeders seeking to get the low curve on their pups backs, pretty much for design purposes.
Let’s finish with a reminder of just how different dogs can be, whatever their status!
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