1. What Does A Champion Pedigree Mean To A Person Looking For A Pet?        

By Arlene Scarbrough, Scarbrough Fair Danes

The following discussion is meant for people attempting to locate a nice pet to add to their family.  It is not intended for those folks looking for show puppies or breeders attempting to locate new breeding stock.

There are many breeders who emphasize the number of champions in their puppies’ pedigree when attempting to sell a puppy to a perspective pet client.  I guess the idea is to reinforce the notion that the puppies in question are “quality” pups.

What does champion before a dogs name mean as far as those characteristics deemed most important to pet owners?  The conformation ring is where dogs earn their championship titles.  The characteristics judged in the conformation ring include:  conformation, movement, color (to some extent), general overall

appearance and performance (gaiting properly, standing tolerantly while being examined, etc.), and size.  It’s almost like a human beauty contest.

So, again, what does having many champions in a pups pedigree mean to a person seeking a nice pet?  I’d say that all a pedigree boasting many champions means to a potential pet purchaser is that the dog should be nice looking (by show standards) and move well.

Health is not judged in the conformation ring.  Temperament is not judged in the conformation ring (unless an animal is so bad that it is either noticed by the judge or it injures either a person or another animal).  Intelligence is certainly not judged in the conformation ring.  The three most important characteristics of the breed to perspective pet owners are not judged in the AKC conformation ring.

Some people would argue that to be shown and do well in the ring, a dog has to be in top physical condition.  I’m sorry, but that still says nothing about genetically passed health problems that do not show up for months or even for years.  Also, since most people who show their danes like to breed their danes to others that are shown, the gene pool is somewhat limited.  Due to the amount of line breeding and in breeding, many genetic problems are stamped in or perpetuated.

Bottom Line:  None of the three most important characteristics of the breed (health, temperament, and intelligence) to perspective pet purchasers are judged in the conformation ring when a Dane is seeking its championship!

Advice:  Don’t be dazzled by a pedigree with a lot of champions!

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