Registered, Papered, Pedigree, Purebred
Dog registries are organizations that keep a record of the lineage of the dogs in their club (think Ancestry.com). They set strict rules and regulations to insure that the dogs listed on their books come from the parents they claim. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the most well-known registry in the U.S, although they are far from being the only one. Sometimes a dog from one registry may be entered into another registry. It required a lot of documentation (proof) be presented and must be a peer group. For instance, AKC will allow dogs from the United Kennel Club (UKC) in England to be entered into their records, as they view this club to be of the same caliber as themselves. However, they will not accept dogs from registries they deem inferior to themselves.
When a litter is born to registered parents, the breeder must provide the registry with documented proof that both parents are part of the registry. Once this is done, the breeder will then receive “papers” for each puppy in the litter (think of as a Birth Certificate and SSN). These papers are carefully controlled by the registry and include a unique ID number that will stay with the puppy throughout its life and a form to give the new owners for entering the puppy into the records of the registry identifying them as the owners.
A pedigree is the family tree of your dog. It will list the past ancestors for both the Dam (mother) and Sire (father). Additionally, on an AKC pedigree you will see information such as ID number, color, titles earned, etc. for each dog listed.
A purebred dog or one that is advertised as “unpapered” is one that has no proof of ancestry. They may indeed be from parents that are a part of a bona-fide registry. Registry papers are sometimes legitimately lost or destroyed, for example in a fire. It’s not an easy process to have them replaced but it is possible. Most registries work with their breeders to insure records are kept safe and are available. So a dog without papers may be just what the seller is claiming it is however there is no proof and you are relying on the seller being truthful.
Starfire Schnauzers are AKC registered dogs. You will receive all the proof and documents you need to register your dog.
Dog Shows – Conformation and Performance Sports
Dog shows are sponsored by registries, clubs and organizations. They fall into 2 broad categories, conformation and performance sports. Below is a short, high-level summary of dog shows. It is intended to give you some ideas of what you can do with your dog. For a complete explanation of all the avenues available to you through AKC and their rules please consult the AKC website.
Conformation – These shows are focused on insuring that the breed standards of the dog’s registry (AKC) are met. They judge a dog’s bone structure, head shape, ears, height, color, coat, gait and so on. Conformation shows help guarantee that each breed maintains their distinctive characteristics. These are the Miss America Pageants of the dog world, the most beautiful and best built. They are extremely competitive and can be very biased. These are the shows where titles such as Best in Breed, Best in Show, and Grand Champion are earned. Dogs winning these shows will have a designation such as Champion (CH) added in front of their names on their pedigrees. West Minister Kennel Club is the most prestigious one for the AKC and is televised annually from Madison Square Garden, NY. This is what most people think of when they say a dog is a SHOW dog. Puppies from conformation champion parents sell for thousands of dollars and the criteria for owning one can be quite high.
Performance Sports – These shows are judged on what a dog does; i.e. how he performs at a certain task/skill. The focus is taken away from how a dog looks and placed on what he can accomplish; his heart and mind are on display. These shows abound and are growing every year as people realize how rewarding it can be to train and work with their dogs. Here is a short list of some of the show/competition choices available to you:
- Rally Obedience
There are many different venues for these shows so your dog could earn multiple titles from multiple organizations. The titles differ slight from one to the other, but most follow the same pattern of Beginner or Novice skills to more advance skills, Excellent/Master. If you compete your AKC dog in AKC sponsored shows the titles they earn will be added after their names on their pedigrees. For instance Fido On A Roll, AX shows that my dog, Fido On A Roll, has earned the advanced title of Agility Excellence.
Show Quality Puppy or Pet Quality Puppy
You may have seen ads stating that the puppy for sale is a SHOW Quality or a PET Quality and wondered what that meant. The breeder, based on their experience, the puppy’s pedigree and it’s over all look, is making an educated guess has to the dog’s future in the show ring, most often the conformation ring. They are trying to stack the odds in their favor by starting with the puppy they perceive to have the best chances of winning in the future. For instance, AKC views white as a non-standard color for Miniature Schnauzers. So someone wanting to show their dog in Conformation would automatically be disqualified if they entered a white dog. A white puppy would not be a SHOW Quality for the Conformation ring, where as a black puppy would be.
PET Quality is one that the breeder does not believe has what it takes to make it to the winner’s circle in Conformation. It does not mean the puppy is inferior or is not a registered, pedigree dog; it simply means the breeder thinks there are other dogs that more closely represent the “ideal” Miniature Schnauzer. Remember we are dealing with a beauty pageant situation. Puppies are living creatures and what someone thinks they see or don’t see at 6-8 weeks of age may be accurate or it may not. A Pet Quality dog that doesn’t have any obvious faults may surpass everyone’s expectations and go on to win Best in Show.
Either dog is eligible to show/compete in Performance Sports as long as they are healthy and physically able to perform the tasks.
At Starfire Schnauzers all of our dogs are AKC registered. We breed our Miniature Schnauzers to be of sound body, conforming to the AKC standards in height and square frame. We focus on producing dogs that have a stable temperament. We breed for all of the naturally occurring colors; for this reason and others we choose not to compete in conformation shows with our dogs.
We strive for performance dogs. We love training and competing in the Performance Sports venues. We like trying out new sports and finding the activity that each of our dogs enjoys the most. We want you to enjoy having a dog that will hang out on the couch with you but will excel at the dog sport of your choice.