Pedigree Dogs and Non-Pedigree Dogs

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Today we discuss Pedigree, a very important concept in the canine world. Pedigree refers to a history of an animal’s past family members or lineage, often documented to highlight impressive characteristics in the family. In animal ownership, a pure bred animal has a list of ancestors that define its origin and underlines its most marked traits.Pedigree dog

Pedigree is often represented in a chart, known as pedigree chart. This chart shows the occurrence and appearance of a particular gene or organism and its ancestors from one generation to the next. In simple English, it shows detailed information of animals making note of their characteristic traits from generation to generation. This is usually done for 6 generations and above.

The information collected about animals is recorded in an official list called breed registry. As the name suggests, a breed registry is kept for a specific breed and records are kept only for animals whose parents (dam and sire) are known. These animals are usually registered by their breeders or owners when they are still young. After registration, such registries issue out certificates for each recorded animal, called a pedigree, pedigreed animal documentation or (most commonly) animal’s papers.

You would have guessed by now or by experience that not all dogs are pedigree dogs. In Nigeria, for example, the non-pedigree dogs are popularly known as ekuke. When choosing a dog, it is very important that you know the difference between pedigree and non-pedigree dogs:

Pedigree Dogs

  • Bred from the same breed e.g. Rottweiler x Rottweiler
  • Registered with a kennel club
  • Line of ancestors are identifiable
  • Stable genetic variation(appearance, height, color, attitude)
  • Possible health issues
  • Expensive

Non-Pedigree Dogs (Ekuke)

  • Bred from different breeds e.g. Poodle x Scottish Terrier
  • Registered with the owner
  • Line of ancestors are unmatched
  • Variable genetic pool (phenotypic traits like height, length of hair or color could appear randomly )
  • Cheaper than pedigree dogs
  • May develop temperament issues
  • Healthier life due to hybrid vigor


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