Pedigrees! The importance of them and how to read and study a pedigree!
1- Look over the pedigree to see if there are any of the same common names as in a kennel name not just some name like Heidi, or Beethoven etc.
2- Once you have found some common name of a kennel or a Bloodline you may have heard of before somewhere, try to research to find out more about that kennel or those dog's that are listed in red or have CH. at the front of their names. This is important due to the fact that there are some dog's in that pedigree, that have some championship bloodlines in them or could have a couple of different Bloodlines behind those dog's in red or with the CH. at the front of the dog's name.
3- Now, just because you find one of two dog's in say a 4 generation pedigree that does have a couple of dog's in red writing or with Ch. at the beginning of their names doesn't mean that your dog is from a Championship Bloodline. It does mean that back in your dog's pedigree somewhere there were some dog's that may have come from a bloodline or several different bloodlines, BUT if the majority of the dog's in your dog's pedigree are unknown, or unheard of names, not coming from any such thing as a Bloodline, but rather just some combinations of back yard breeders dog's, who never owned a kennel or developed a bloodline of their own. Then don't declare that your dog is from championship Bloodlines, because your dog is not. Your dog, with a pedigree like I have described here, is a dog that way back in it's pedigree does have a few champions, maybe even one or two from the same kennel name. (Now, this is just one example)
So many times I have heard people tell me that their dog comes from Championship bloodlines yet they can not name a Bloodline, they can only name a champion or two.
5-Now, if you happen to have a pedigree with a lot of champions and they are in each generation of the pedigree, and kind of evenly distributed, and all carrying the same common kennel name then you can say you have a dog that comes from a championship Bloodline, or you have a dog that comes from several different championship bloodlines.
6- Then you may want to write to or call the owner or breeder of that particular kennel name, and ask if there is anyway you can get some photo copies of those dog's in your dog's pedigree, so you can see for yourself what those dog's were like. But, if you have one of those pedigrees like I mentioned above, where there are more dog's that aren't from any such thing as a Bloodline but rather just a bunch of combinations of dog's Back Yard Breeders have put together, then you pretty much know right off the bat that your dog is a combination of many different dog's with many different short-comings and of course those short-comings haven't been limited by a breeding program to elimate any of those particular problems, and yes, this also includes genetic defects.
7- Not that bad things can't happen even in the best of families, because they certainly can, but at least if you have a pedigree where there is a Bloodline you know at least someone was trying to breed for better dog's, and trying to eliminate as many short-comings as is possible, if they were dedicated breeders involved with those dog's in your dog's pedigree.
8- Once you know what exactly you have as far as a dog from Championship Bloodlines or not, you can research to find out more information about your dog's relatives behind him/her.
9- Remember the pedigree is the first determining factor as to the quality of your dog and how well did those dog's in your dog's pedigree match up to our St. Bernard Breed Standard. If your dog is not from a Bloodline or only has one or two dog's in 4-5 generations that have CH. in front of their names or in Red. You pretty well know that more than likely your dog is not of a good pedigree, and more than likely is not one of the best quality dog's. Due to there being too big a chance of it having too many faults or short-comings for it being of good quality.
10- Should you breed a dog from a pedigree like this my answer to that question would be NO, not unless there was actually a bloodline involved, through out the pedigree, yet the dog's weren't all champions. Now, then you would still want to look at the individual to see how well it as an individual matched up to our Breed Standard.
11- When further studying this pedigree, you would want to not outcross this dog any more if you did decide to breed it. What you would want to do is try to find some of the same Bloodlines that were involved in this particular pedigree. Let's call the only Bloodlines listed in your dog's pedigree, Top Dog Bloodlines or kennel name so say you have three dog's in the back of your dog's pedigree that have dog's names starting with Top Dog kennel name. Does this mean you own a Top Dog Championship Bloodline Saint????? NO< it doesn't, it only means that back in your dog's pedigree there are three dog's carrying the Top Dog kennel name.
12- Now, how much can only having 3 dog's in a 4 -5 generation pedigree do to help the quality of your dog? NOT MUCH, and yet there can be so many different Bad things that can be represented in all those other dog's or the combinations of all those other dog's in your dog's pedigree.
13-So don't be taken in by the fact someone in your dog's pedigree did care enough to finish their dog's to champions, or have a kennel name, or even try to develop a Bloodline, because all their efforts are invain with there being so many other dog's in your dog's pedigree that could be the worse dog's as far as quality goes.
14- So don't go around bragging your dog has Top Dog Bloodlines in it, because in a pedigree like this they are almost worthless. And in the same respect do not go around saying all the short-comings of your dog came from Top Dog Kennels because they for sure didn't, with all those other dog's who had owners who didn't even do as much as Top Dog kennels did for the breed. Just because there is a well known kennel name in your dog's pedigree does not mean that's where the problems came from that your dog has.
15- Your dog has gotten genes from all those dog's back in it's pedigree and especially those combinations of dog's behind your dog. And sometimes certain combinations just don't work that doesn't mean there is someone to blame. Most breeders or for that matter I don't even think some Novice would want to deliberately reproduce problems if they knew how not to. But, I do think it's wrong for people who do not know or have any idea what they are even doing when it comes to a pedigree to combine any two dog's, until they have at least done more studying of the different faults, short-comings this breed is not supposed to have and the Qualities this breed is supposed to have as per our Breed Standard.
16- Now, after you have studied your dog's pedigree and found out that he/she is really not that good a quality over all then DO NOT EVEN THINK OF BREEDING A DOG WITH THIS TYPE PEDIGREE> Okay so say you still want to show your dog anyway, okay ask for other peoples opinions if you want to or just jump right in and start showing, it shouldn't take you long to either quit, or you will be winning because no one is going to waste their money on entry fees for long, if their dog just keeps on loosing.
17- Okay, let's say now that you have another dog that has a totally different pedigree and it looks like this, it is filled with champions, I mean there are more champions than there are dog's that aren't champions. Is your dog then to be considered champions quality too? NO, not always, not just because your dog comes from a (as the saying goes)(Long Line of champions) it really doesn't matter how long a line of champions there are in your dog's pedigree if your dog as an individual doesn't match up to those words described in our Breed Standard.
18- This is why again the Pedigree is so Important, how well did those dog's behind your dog match up to their Breed Standard. Oh NO, some of them may be champions but yet weren't the best quality or, they shouldn't have been shown if there is some very common faults through out all those dog's in that pedigree none of them should have ever been shown. Or maybe this is just a one time thing where your dog got a bunch of different problems that weren't that common to the lines he is from, that can happen too.
19- Find out if you dog comes from an Outcross breeding, a Linebreeding or an Inbreeding. Hopefully he/she is not from an Inbreeding, that's where a brother or sister was bred together, or a sire to a daughter or a son to his Dam etc. This type of breeding should only be done by an experienced breeder and one who is trying to bring any of the faults or short-comings to the surface to know them well. This kind of breeding should never ever been done by an inexperienced person, that is just working with one generation or one litter. So most folks must stick to the Linebreeding and the Outcross type breedings.
20- How do you know if your dog is linebred or outcrossed? A linebreeding is when there are dog's of some of the same common lines or names on both sides of the pedigree, where some of the blood will be the same and some may be other bloodlines, and a breeder may have wanted to introduce a new Bloodline, but yet also do some linbreeding of his own lines in the same pedigree. An Outcross Breeding is where there is no common relative on either side of the pedigree. Now this can be in one generation or many generations of outcross breedings. To maintain good qualities you would want to monopolize on those good traits, therefore you would want to linebreed, to try to keep those good outstanding traits. Then you may also want to introduce some other traits that are good and outstanding from another Bloodline, so you would want to do a total outcross to bring in these new and different qualities that maybe your original lines were not so strong in.
21- All these things are very important to the quality of your dog and if you think that the pedigree doesn't matter you need to start all over right now, and get you another St. Bernard before you even think about producing a litter or calling yourself a Breeder. Or better yet get into another breed because this is a giant size breed and it only needs people who care about it's wellfare, and the Betterment of this breed we already have too many people in this breed who are not asking enough questions about these things and PEDIGREES is one of them.
It's Like this It is Good To Own A St. Bernard!
It is Better To Own A Good St. Bernard!
But, IT is a Great Accomplishment To Have Produced The Best Type St. Bernards!
You wouldn't think of buying a Mercedes, and not caring about getting the Title to it where it proves the make and model etc. Or for that matter you even want the Title to a Ford. But, without that Title to the Mercedes, you have no proof, it's yours, or it's Make and Model, even though it looks, is comfortable and drives like a Mercedes. Trust me you need that Title when or if you ever want to trade it or sell it. And everyone knows it's going to be worth more than any Ford of the same year. Why because it's supposed to be made better than the Ford. And think about the fact the Ford could be much newer even than the Mercedes, but because it's still just a Ford, or so says it's Title, it's just not as good a quality of a car, so no it will not be worth as much as the Mercedes.
In recent years it has become very Popular to Rescue Dog's, and of course all our heart go out to those dog's who need rescued. But, if you are wanting the best quality St. Bernard you can get, you must decide to buy the best possible puppy or dog, a breeder will share with you and therefore it must come with a good pedigree, that shows you it at least comes from good quality dogs through out it's pedigree. Therefore you shouldn't have as many things to be concerned about as you would getting a dog that had no pedigree what so ever or was a mixed breed, or even one that has AKC papers but the pedigrees shows it came from dog's that have never achieved anything when it comes to the Betterment of this breed.
Remember the Pedigree is the Number one thing that determines how good or how bad the dog is. It's the Priority when looking for a well bred St. Bernard Dog. With the only other consideration being the individual dog. If you get a St. Bernard that has a bad or not so good a pedigree, then it's a very rare thing for your dog to be that good. And even with a really good pedigree you still may not have a good individual dog. But, you will have a better chance of having a good dog if it's got a good pedigree, coming from some kind of a Bloodline, than no Bloodline at all. And hopefully with a good pedigree you will have less chances of problems with your dog.