National Purebred Dog Day

It’s May 1st and it’s also National Purebred Dog Day.  A day to appreciate canines who have been bred for a particular reason – and whose traits are “standardized” by various dog registries.  To be considered a “purebred” a dog must have a documented pedigree.  The World Canine Organization or Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the largest registry of purebreds in the world – and they recognize 339 different breedsThe FCI divides the dogs into 10 different groups – which generally designate why they were bred.  The 10 groups are:

  1. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs other than Swiss Cattle Dogs
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid Breeds – Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs 
  3. Terriers
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Spitz and Primitive Types
  6. Scenthounds and Related Breeds
  7. Pointers and Setters
  8. Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs
  9. Companion and Toy Dogs
  10. Sighthounds

The American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Clubs divide the breeds into 7 groups:  Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-sporting, and Herding.  The AKC recognizes 202 breeds, the CKC recognizes 175.

When you are adopted by a purebred puppy, you can pretty well predict what the dog will look like, and what behaviors it will exhibit – based on the inherent traits for which it was bred.  Also, if you get your dog from a reputable breeder, you know that care has been taken in screening the parents for health issues, so that the likelihood of your dog having those problems is significantly less.  The age old argument that mixed breed dogs are healthier does not hold true as proven by a  2013 study at UC Davis in California.  

The KEY is in getting your dog from a breeder who has taken care in studying pedigrees and in making every attempt to breed dogs who will be healthy.  Breeding healthy dogs is NOT a simple task – and something that should NOT be done without careful planning and consideration.  Just saying, Fluffy Vandercoy, a toy poodle is pretty and has papers so let’s breed her to Maxwell MacGoo another toy poodle with papers, isn’t enough.  While the breeder MAY be well-intentioned, without more serious study in the pedigrees, the puppies from Fluffy and Maxwell could have all kinds of problems. 

As an educated consumer looking for a puppy- you need to ask the breeder all kinds of questions – AND be prepared.  As well, a good breeder will ask YOU all kinds of questions!!  If they DON’T ask you questions, it’s probably because they don’t REALLY care about the puppies – they are more interested in money!  And for those who think that purebred breeders make TONS of cash by having a litter, I’m here to tell you – it’s not a money making endeavor for most people.  You have to consider the following for the owner of the female:  the costs of health screening, the costs to “use a stud dog”, the costs of ultrasound and/or x-rays before the puppies are born, and the costs of veterinary care WHEN the puppies are born – which MAY include a C-section.  Add to that the care and socialization of the puppies for at LEAST 8 weeks – and you have a pretty expensive outlay.  

Purebred dogs have taken a bad rap in recent years, due to poor breeding practices.  But just as there are poor breeders – there ARE awesome breeders as well, and there are inroads being made to improve and eradicate specific health issues in breeds.  The key is in communication – with people working TOGETHER.

Purebred dogs have been around for centuries – with some breeds dating back 2000 years!  And hopefully, in another 2000 years,  purebreds will continue to exist – sharing our unique looks and behaviors, working at the side of humans and holding a special place in your heart!

Cheers to purebreds.  Oh – and that means EXTRA treats!

One thought on “National Purebred Dog Day

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