We all like to think our puppies are special. And, to us, perhaps, they are. But what makes them so special to other people, people who judge not with just their hearts. .
It shouldn’t matter to us, of course; that little accident on the rug will not smell any sweeter coming from a champion bloodline. Could it? Who’s to judge?
What Does Champion Bloodline Mean?
The term “champion bloodline” may be less impressive than it would seem.
Purebred dogs are judged by certain standards, as defined by breed organizations and uniformly recognized by governing bodies. Representatives of the breed must meet these rigid standards in order to be shown and compete in dog shows.
Each litter may contain a mix of desirable and undesirable characteristics. One or two dogs may meet or exceed show standards and qualify for the competition, while their siblings are left behind, destined to become someone’s lovable family pet, but precluded from strutting their style in public.
In fact, it is not unheard of for an entire litter, produced by show-stopping champions, to be composed entirely of Quasimodos, lovable but not up to standards.
So, what, exactly does the term “champion bloodline” mean? It means that at some point in time, perhaps generations removed from that little puppy in the kennel which you are considering purchasing, a true champion contributed to his genetic makeup. That champion met, and surpassed, all the breed standards and these qualities may be expected to appear in subsequent generations.
But it is, after all, a gamble, the luck of the draw, exactly what genes will be passed along. The good one certainly, but the lesser, more ordinary ones are there aplenty. Think of it in human terms. Just because great-grampa climbed Everest doesn’t mean you don’t have trouble walking to the bus stop.
What Does Dog Bloodline Mean?
A dog’s bloodline is nothing more than it’s a family tree, listing parents and grandparents for generations back.
A pedigreed dog must have at least five generations listed in its bloodline. But a pup’s bloodline will tell more than just parentage. It contains information on temperament, characteristics, and the number of shows the animal has won.
A conscientious breeder will consult bloodlines when looking for prospective mates. If he is looking for competition quality puppies, he will know to look at the number of show wins list, and know that the more recent they are, the more likely the animal is to produce more show winners.
In addition, a puppy’s disposition is highly influenced by family genetics. Gentle and affectionate pups tend to breed gentle and affectionate puppies, qualities highly prized in pets.
Consulting a well maintained and annotated bloodline will also help to filter out congenital health issues in the breed by preventing these inheritable deficits from being passed along to future generations.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Is A Champion?
So what does it take for a dog to be noted as a “champion” on the bloodline?
Quite a bit.
A single win at a major dog show will not do it. The dog must appear in multiple competitions, and rack up sufficient points to achieve the status of a champion. The points necessary are decided by the governing body of the country in which the animal competes, and vary around the world. But they are all rather stringent.
A pup who has succeeded in achieving the title of “champion” which is then added to his registered name, is a truly great representative of his breed.
And it should be noted that there are two different kinds of the champion.
A conformation champion is one who has displayed close proximity to the ideal standards of the breed in looks, temperament, and health. A performance champion has demonstrated physical abilities above and beyond the norm.
These physical competitions may test obedience, agility, weight pulling, hunting, flyball, tracking, coursing, and herding. There is even a competition championship in disc catching. (Think Frizbee!)
What Does Sired Mean For Dogs?
In dog breeding circles, the term “sired” means “fathered”. The male parent is referred to as the “sire”, while the female parent is called the “dam.” Simply a fancy term for a simple biological function.
What Does Champion Sired Mean?
As the term implies, “champion sired” means that the father of the puppy has earned the title of champion.
If that phrase means a lot to you, you should look even further into the puppy’s bloodline. What kind of champion does it mean?
A conformation champion would mean that the father has exceeded the standards for the breed as established by the governing body. A performance championship means that the animal has exhibited above-average ability in a specific area.
Any reputable breeder will be able to provide far more information than simply the phrase, “champion sired.” They should be willing to provide a detailed pedigree of both the sire and the dam for multiple generations back, listing titles earned and any health issues involved.
He should be able to tell you why, exactly, he bred this litter of puppies. Is he truly attempting to enhance the breed and produce superior animals, or simply trying to sell puppies?
And remember, that cute little puppy in your arms today will be a full-grown canine tomorrow, subject to all the behavioral and health issues as indicated in his pedigree.
It may sound a bit cold to judge a living, breathing thing by such rigid standards, but this pet will become a part of your life, and your family’s lives. Look for the best match possible.
How Can I Find My Dog’s Bloodline?
It’s easy enough to find your dog’s bloodline if you have purchased a purebred dog from a reputable dealer. You should have been provided with a copy of its pedigree at the time of purchase, but if you have misplaced this, or wish to verify the information, you can do so.
A pedigree contains information about your pet’s ancestry. Think of it as Ancestry.com for canines.
You can find your canine’s parents, grandparents, etc, and a wealth of other details, such as championships won and health issues.
Your dog’s pedigree is registered with the kennel club governing the country in which he was bred. For example, in the United States, this is the American Kennel Club (AKC), and in the United Kingdom, the Kennel Club (KC).
The AKC offers a hard, printed copy of your pet’s pedigree for $32. You can obtain the same record online for $15 for a four-generation review, and $17 for five generations.
The KC offers the same service for 10 pounds for three generations and 23 pounds for an enhanced five-generation copy.
It should be noted that not all breeders see fit to pay the cost of registering your puppy, so your first step should be to make sure that this is done. If the breeder has not done so, you can do it yourself at the appropriate governing kennel club website.
How To Read It?
Reading your pup’s pedigree can be a bit of a challenge, as it contains so much information, but it shouldn’t prove too difficult to follow.
The first thing you will see is your pet’s official name, which may bear absolutely no resemblance to what you actually call him. Breeders will name puppies, often by the formula.
Sometimes, the kennel name is the first thing to appear, followed by anything the breeder may consider appropriate, dignified, or a personal favorite. “Summerwynd Mother of Dragons” may turn out, in your home, to be Miss Poopy Pants.
Some breeders will allow the purchaser to name the puppy, but how many would choose to allow “Miss Poopy Pants” to appear on their beloved pet’s official documents?
The pedigree will also contain your pup’s official registration number and list any titles he has earned. Of course, if you have purchased a puppy, such titles may be well into his future, but the pedigree will contain any titles earned by his immediate ancestors.
It may be enough to make your puppy’s chest, and yours, swell with pride.
Next, you will see his sire and dam, with subsequent listings of their sires and dams, back multiple generations. You will probably wind up knowing more about your puppy’s family tree than you know about your own! And you won’t find any black sheep.
If you plan to breed, or show, your puppy, the information contained on his pedigree is of vital importance.
First, make sure that the pedigree contains an official seal from the governing kennel club.
It is possible that you may see the notation “conditional” in regard to your dog’s registration. This means that according to DNA testing, there is an unknown contributor involved in the bloodline. This does not necessarily mean that your puppy is not a purebred, simply that the ancestor is unknown.
Such a conditional registration may be removed by the kennel club after a few generations.
Speaking of DNA testing, the AKC offers such testing to confirm your pup’s suggested bloodline, and give you an extra measure of confidence.
So, now you know about your canine companion’s bloodline. Whether you plan to breed, show, or simply love your puppy, it may be to your advantage to know as much as you can about him.