How important is a pedigree?
I know that this topic has probably been discussed to death but we don't have a thread for it on POTN yet so I thought I'd start one and get some personal opinions.
How important is getting an animal's pedigree to you? How much of their lineage do you want to know? Does it really matter to you? Is it essential for breeding (for you, personally)?
As a pet owner, not a breeder, pedigrees don't mean anything to me. If I were getting a purebred pet, I would be more worried about hereditary conditions are the breed is prone to because of inbreeding to keep the line pure. I also tend to think that mixed breeds tend to be stronger, after all, Nature did not program dogs to breed with ONLY those that look like them, humans want dogs to look a certain way and keep looking a certain way so they breed to keep certain characteristics in a line.
It is nice to know who the parents and grandparents are, but for me it's just words on paper, I'll probably never get to see their parents or grandparents on a regular basis once I have the puppy/kitten/chinchilla/guinea pig/rat etc.
I can see why records need to be kept in terms of keeping track of genetics and hereditary conditions, but I also tend to think that these hereditary conditions would not be an issue if the line did not need to be kept pure through inbreeding and I know that breeders are working hard to keep these conditions to a minimum.
I am certainly not bashing pedigrees, the result is beautiful dogs/cats/chinchillas/guinea pigs/rats that are great examples of their breed. Would a pedigree be important if you were purchasing a hamster? Or a mouse?
So what do you think? I'd love to get both perspectives, breeder and pet owner.
I am a pet owner, & after all the recent h*ll around Cub's malocclusion, I think I'll be sticking to pedigreed chinnies in the future. When there's a pedigree, it usually means that somebody actually put care & planning into the mating, rather than just thinking "hey we have 2 chinchillas, let's make money".
Does Hank have a pedigree too?
I can see your point because of all you are going through with Cub right now, it has to be tough on you
It's not really that important to me since I'm not planning to breed my boys. Snurr has one but that doesn't mean I know anything about his grandparents or other relatives....
I think it depends on the animal. A hamster I wouldn't care about. I would never breed them and they have a short life span. I suppose that sounds cruel, but hamsters don't rank very high with me.
My dog I completely cared about. I researched like crazy and found a dog that is 'genetically' one of the best. I didn't see the point of risking potentially pricey health problems. I reduced the risk by getting a pure bred dog. However, I would never buy a pure bred dalmation. They have a high chance of going blind. With Spencer's breed (a Vizsla) it is required to have x-rays and dna testing done on all dogs before you are allowed to breed them. If they are not tested then those pups will not be purebreds. They have very strict breeding regulations. However, because of this their breed does not have any hip dysplaxia, blindness or other eye problems that are common in pure bred dogs.
For my chin I also made sure I knew her history. I'm not sure if I would ever breed her, but they live a long time and wanted the option.
I would NEVER breed an animal that I didn't know their history. I would breed only if breeding a certain animal would improve or maintain the current line.
Honestly, I don't even think I would breed myself (human ) to someone who didn't have a sound genetic history. I would not want it to be 'my fault' that my children receive a genetic disease.
I am a bit skeptical of pedigrees myself. I would like to know how much of a pedigree is accurate or just (like Diana said) "words on paper". I know the background of my chinchillas but it doesn't go back more than 2 generations. There are some people that have 10 generations on their pedigree for their chinchillas but I don't know if it is absolutely necessary for it to go back that far.
Another aspect to chinchilla pedigrees is that malocclusion usually does not appear until the chinchilla is a few years old. So, the breeder/rancher may think they have a completely healthy chinchilla and not even know it is a maloccluder (spelling?) So, you have this "pedigree" and know the background of your chinchilla but there is a possiblity that chinchilla could have malocclusion down the road. This is one of the reasons why I won't breed anymore. You truly never know the potential health problems a chinchilla has when you breed it.
I also tend to think that mixed breeds tend to be stronger, after all, Nature did not program dogs to breed with ONLY those that look like them, humans want dogs to look a certain way and keep looking a certain way so they breed to keep certain characteristics in a line.
Diana, I completely agree with you. I also think mixed bred dogs are overall healthier than pedigree dogs.
Great points everyone!
Don't people who intend to marry have to take blood tests before getting the marriage license? I am clueless about the process and I'm not sure that all places require a blood test. And I also agree with not having children if I or my partner had a hereditary debilitating(sp?) condition that would be passed on to them, but I also know that having children could mean a lot to others who would take the risk to have a child and hope that they do not inherit the genes for the condition. It all depends on the individual and how they feel.
I can also see the point of going to a reputable breeder instead of buying puppies from a backyard breeder (someone who breeds their dogs without records or papers, not the puppymills where dogs are abused) because a breeder has the records, but I am wondering about the fact that purebred dogs that have papers seem to be the ones that are sought after. I think that all puppies, regardless of papers or not, deserve a good home.
This might be a sidenote, but I read that all the breeder has to do to get their puppies certified with papers is pay a fee to the CKC or AKC and have parents that are registered. I might be wrong, someone please let me know. So, in a sense, simply being registered with the CKC or AKC doesn't mean you are getting good quality puppies.
No Hank is not purebred but she is spayed & my next cat, when I have a decent job, is going to be a purebred. I think I would like to try showing. I love a lot of cat breeds but I especially lean towards Singapuras & Abyssinians. I don't think that non-pedigreed cats are necessarily healthier than purebreds: it all depends on what's in the gene pool.
If you have a colony of feral cats with congenital defects who are breeding (& inbreeding), you can have health defecits develop that are as bad as any purebred defect. Mind you, I think that some breeders knowingly perpetuate breeds/types that are inherently flawed, such as Persians with their deformed faces & excessively angular Siamese, & this is perverse. THe registries should be leaning towards favouring healthier cats in shows & breeding programs. This can be seen in the revival of some healthy breeds, like the applehead (traditional) Siamese & the Tonkinese, a Burmese/Siamese hybrid that combines the best of both breeds.
Denise, I see what you are saying about malocclusion, but don't most good breeders offer a new chin if one has to be destroyed due to malocclusion? It's a small consolation of course, but it's something. I just can't see Pets Unlimited doing that somehow......
When I used to breed rats, the pedigree was important so I would know:
- which rat I could breed with another
- the types of rats the ancestors produced
- possible health problems
I made sure to know all I could about the rats I was considering to breed before I bred them, to better understand what genes were hiding in them and to know what kinds of rats I could expect.
For pet ownership, the pedigree did not interest me at all. For my cats and my dog, it wasn't a consideration. For the rats I kept as "pets", the pedigree didn't concern me.
Just my two cents!
Out of my 13 cats, I only have 3 purebreds
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