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

What's Good on a Pedigree?

On a pedigree, it's positive to see dogs with titles. Confirmation, Obedience, and Temperament titles may indicate a responsible breeder, and increases the chance that your dog is from a breeding program that uses genetically sound principals. For people looking for a pet, look for a dog whose parents have won Obedience or Temperament awards. This includes Companion Dog (CD), Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) or Obedience Trial Champion (OTCh). A history of obedience titles in the dog's pedigree is a good indicator that the dog's ancestors have had a trainable temperament. Other titles of value if you want a pet are temperament awards such as Canine Good Citizen (CGC), Temperament Tested (TT) or the TD/TDI designation which is awarded to certified therapy dogs. Obedience and Temperament Titles indicate the breeder emphasizes traits that are important in a companion dog. If you want to show a dog, look for confirmation titles, like Champion (abbreviated CH). A dog with a Champion title has been judged in many dog shows to display the characteristics closest to the breed standard. Getting a dog from a Championship line makes it more likely that your puppy will show well, as he is descended from dogs who closely conform to the breed standard. However, having a Champion in the pedigree isn't a guarantee that your dog will be a champion, it simply improves your chances. If you're looking for a breed because you like its physical appearance, a Champion in the dog's pedigree means the dog is more likely to exhibit the physical characteristics you like. But having a champion in the line will also make the puppies more expensive. If you do not want to show your dog, there is no reason to take on this added cost unless you want to. But it's still important to evaluate your puppy's individual temperament by using the test in Chapter 6. This way you will judge what the temperament of the puppy actually is, instead of relying on the pedigree and breed standard to determine the temperament and behavior traits your dog should inherit. However, selecting a puppy that has a pedigree the puppy's parents have been rewarded for the traits you want is another way to slant the odds in your favor of getting a pet that has the traits you are seeking.