Chapter 4
How To Know What Type Dog Is Best For You

How to Read a Pedigree

A typical AKC pedigree goes back three or four generations. Each registered name typically consists of a kennel name plus the dog's name. A typical pedigree might contain names like: CH Mystical Kennel's Crazy Dude — (the sire) Mystical Kennel's Special Lady (the puppy) Starfire's Little Froggy CGC — (the dam) In this example, the first part of the name is the kennel name. Notice in the first two names, the kennel is Mystical Kennel. In the third name, the kennel name is Starfire. The sire's (the male) pedigree is always listed on the top half of the pedigree, while the dam's (or bitch, which is the female) pedigree is listed on the bottom half, with the puppy in the middle. Sometimes you'll see an abbreviation either before or after the name of a dog. These are indications of an award the dog has won. These awards, or titles as they are called, are attached to name of the dog on its pedigree. In this fictitious pedigree, the sire has a "CH," before his name which marks the dog as a confirmation Champion. This means he has been judged in a series of dog shows as conforming to the written description of the breed (called the breed standard) better than other dogs of the same breed competing at the same show. The dam shown on this pedigree has "CGC," after her name. This is a certification (called the Canine Good Citizen) which is won by passing a group of temperament tests.