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Pure bred – pedigreed – registered – What do these words really mean and are they relevant?


Pure bred means that the pup’s father and mother, their fathers and mothers etc are all of the same breed, obviously in this case, Labrador Retrievers. Many mixed breed dogs and dogs of indeterminate breeding are capable of providing excellent canine companionship and in some cases even human service and assistance, just as purebred dogs do. However, neither the appearance nor characteristics of mixed breed dogs are predictable, nor can they be perpetuated. The belief that mixed breeds of dogs are more vigorous, healthy, or well adjusted than carefully bred purebred dogs is a myth. The choice of a purebred dog allows you to select the size, appearance, coat type, disposition and instincts that you are looking for.  Different breeds of dogs were originally developed for different purposes and the instincts, temperament and behaviour of these different breeds vary widely. Some of the obvious traits are the necessity for plenty of exercise, stimulus and room to move in Working Dogs (Kelpies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Border Collies etc); Beagles are scent hounds, so their nose goes down and off they go, taking no notice of your desperate commands to come back! Retrievers were bred to retrieve, so don’t be surprised when all the kids’ toys, shoes, underwear etc are constantly being picked up off their bedroom floor and brought to you.


Pedigreed means that the dog has some form of record of its ancestors, usually issued by an authorised body that keeps the records of the dogs’ background. In the majority of cases, this organisation will be the state controlling body which is an affiliate of the Australian National Kennel Council, in this case Dogs Victoria. A “pedigree” is basically a family tree of  the ancestors of the dog in question.


Registered is an ambiguous word that can be used to mislead prospective puppy purchasers. All dogs, including yours,  need to be “registered” with the local council; this form of registration in no way guarantees whether the dogs are pure bred or pedigreed. In the world of pure bred, pedigree dogs the word “registered” means that the dogs and their offspring are all “registered” with the state controlling body of the Australian National Kennel Council, again in this case Dogs Victoria. The dog will have a “Certificate of Registration” which contains all the information about that dog; its date of birth, its breeder, its owner, its unique registered name, its unique registration number, its microchip number and the names and registration numbers of its parents, grandparents and great grandparents.


If you have decided you wish to purchase an ANKC registered puppy, you must receive this original      certificate from the breeder. If the certificate is blue, then your puppy is on the Main Register, which means you can do whatever you wish with your puppy, including showing and breeding. If the certificate is orange, then your puppy is on the Limited Register which means you can’t exhibit your puppy in conformation (shows) nor can you breed registered puppies from it, nor can you export it. You can do everything else, including all manner of dog sports.


I hear all the time “I don’t need registration papers, I’m not interested in showing” – this statement indicates a misunderstanding of what “papers” on a dog means. Registration papers are really  nothing much to do with “show dogs”; they indicate that your new puppy is the result of many years’ commitment to the production of a healthy, well-tempered, well reared puppy that is a quality representative of the breed that you have chosen. The breeder will hopefully be available to you as a resource for support and advice throughout the life of your new family member.


Link: The Dogs Victoria Registers

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