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But My Dog Has Papers! See What This Really Means

“Has Papers”

What do these two words mean? They mean that the dog has been registered as a purebred with a breed organization. In the United States, “has papers” usually means that the dog has been registered with the American Kennel Club, or AKC. There are alternative registries such as the United Kennel Club and the Continental Kennel Club. To be considered and registered as a purebred, the dog’s parents and grandparents should all have been the same breed, meaning that the registered dog is also the same breed. However, in the United States it’s important to understand that the breed registry/organization doesn’t usually see the dog, doesn’t evaluate its quality, doesn’t evaluate the quality of its parents and grandparents, doesn’t verify that the parents look and act typical of the breed, doesn’t check the animal’s health clearance and never evaluates the knowledge of the breeder. In order words, the seller probably paid money to have the dog registered in the breed registry without having the animal checked out. That’s all. There’s no real guarantee of quality. When it comes to knowing about the dog’s working ability, temperament, health and conformation, these “papers” mean nothing.

What about the dog’s pedigree? The dog’s “papers” impressively outline three or four generations of descendants, all registered with the breed organization. It’s important if you are looking for a particular breed of dog. The pedigree is used as a record of the dog’s descendants, but it’s only as valuable as the genetic heritage passed down generation to generation. As we’ve already pointed out, simply having pedigree papers from a breed organization isn’t a guarantee of the genetic quality, health and temperament of the dog. The pedigree of a dog is often used to trace whether or not certain traits will be passed between generations. These traits include the overall health of the dog, including hips, elbows and joints, the color of the dog’s coat and the dog’s working ability. These aspects are all recorded in the “papers”, except in situations where the title comes from Europe or a different organization that is not associated with the American Kennel Club. The breeder should have extensive knowledge of this genetic legacy and that information should be recorded on the dog’s pedigree papers. If you come across a breeder who lacks knowledge of the breed you are interested in, run! Be very careful when selecting a puppy, because you might come across one that shows generations of untested and untitled dogs who lack health clearances. What are you getting in this circumstance? You might be getting an animal that’s registered as “purebred”, but that also comes from a line with a history of breeding with any available purebred, regardless of that purebred’s title, health certification, etc. The end result is a “purebred” puppy lacking the specific qualities and traits that the breed is known for and valued.

Just because the dog has pedigree “papers” doesn’t naturally or immediately mean that it’s worthy of being bred. The American Kennel Club’s current policy states that it’s acceptable to mate together any two purebred dogs and their offspring can also be registered as “purebreds” and receive their pedigree “papers”. Health checks, conformation titles, working titles and temperament tests are NOT required prior to breeding. Unfortunately, this means that two dogs with health problems, hip dysplasia and undesirable temperaments can be joined together and that their puppies, which are likely to inherit many of those same traits, will be considered purebred. A dog that is afraid and an indiscriminate biter with aggressive temperament can be bred with a timid, nervous dog. Yet all the puppies will be registered purebreds with their pedigree papers. All you can really count on with “papers” is that the animal will be the same breed as its parents. You can’t count on anything else, nor can you take the papers as a quality of breed guarantee.

If the breeder focuses on claiming that the puppies and their parents are purebreds with papers, buyer beware! It’s a myth that papers offer a guarantee of the quality of the dog. The true quality of the dog is determined by carefully examining its traits. You must selectively breed for overall quality, including health, temperament, conformation and working ability. These traits just don’t happen. They will disappear rather quickly, usually within just a couple of generations, if the animal is bred indiscriminately.

Source: Internet

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