Reading your dogs Pedigree

This article is aimed at novice saint owners, future Saint owners  shopping around for a pet,

or just people curios to know what all the information on pedigrees mean, and to be able to

interpret info from breeders, and ask the correct questions.


Of Course all the abbreviations won’t necessarily be seen on local pedigrees, but it’s still

worth knowing.


This is also to help people to not be ‘impressed’ purely because your dog is registered/

pedigreed. As sometimes the ‘wrong’ pedigree can actually count against a dog, rather then

FOR the dog. But if you don’t know what you are reading, you might be unnecessarily

impressed, and might even be paying to much for something meaningless.


 1. Breeder:  This refers to the registered owner of the bitch at time of the birth of the litter.


2. Title:  Once a dog is titled ( at least earned 5 CC (challenge certificates) at official dog

    shows) a dog will get a Title (CH -Champion). However a puppy obviously won’t have

    any titles yet. This will only appear on the ‘new’ pedigree certificate once the Champion

    status is registered. TIP: The more CH titles you see on any pedigree the better the

   offspring will be (theoretically).  You also get dogs with multiple Champion statusses,

   which you would more often see on European pedigrees, as dogs might be a Champion

   in different countries. It will either be indicated as Multi Ch, or the individual titles will

   be shown. 

   Herewith some abbreviations:

                 CH – Champion

                 FIN – Finnish Champion

                 NUCH – Norwegian Champion

                 SUCH – Swedish Champion

                 Nordic CH – Indicates all Nordic countries

                 DKCH – Danish Champion

                 BEL CH – Belguin Champion

                 NL CH – Netherlands Champion

                 AM – American Champion

                 CAN – Canadian Champion

                 AUST – Australian Champion

                 BISS – Best in Speciality Show Champ

                 INT CH – International Champion

                 LUXU CH Luxumburg Champion
                 DT CH – German Champion


3. Hip score: Much awareness exists lately about ‘hip dysplasia’. Unfortunately it’s true

   that most ‘untested’ Saints in South Africa probably have dysplastic hips of different

   degrees. Although this is not a ‘sentence’ on your dog, it might avoid future health 

   problems if you know your dogs hip status. If breedings is planned, one should always 

   aim that the breeding partner to have a better hip score then the one you plan to breed


   The ideal  would be ‘clean’ hipscores.  Do note that hip Dysplasia is partly inhereted, and

   partly environmental and feeding, thus getting a puppy  from ‘clean’ parents won’t

   guarantee ‘clean’ puppies. 

   However, breeding from 2 dogs with bad hip scores will almost guarentee puppies with

   bad hips, therefore it makes sense to ‘know’ what the scores are, to make a calculated

   desicion to purchase puppies.

   Puppies themselves can only be tested for hip dysplasia from around 18 months and older, 

   once adulthood is reached.

4.  Registered name: This is the name given to puppies by the breeder. Sometimes

   breeders will ask new owners before registration,  if they have a prefferance, and register

   the puppy as such. 

   However long-time breeders usually work with a system to assist them in always identi-

   fying each individual litter. This is done by ‘naming’ litters either alpabetically or

   according to some kind of theme.

   The ‘name’ of the puppy will be pre indicated with the kennel name (thus you will know

   you buy from an existing registered kennel) It’s called a prefix. If no kennel prefix is

   shown,    it indicates you are dealing with novice or ‘one-time’ breeders. (‘breeders’ who

   do not have a registered affix/ kennel names). This migh indicate less knowledge about

   pedigrees/breedings  and/or the backround and lineage of breeding stock.  Also, mostly

   breeding stock from unregistered kennels would not have done any genetic testing on

  dogs, thus you will buy unknown factors such as hip dysplasia, heart conditions etc.

   If a dog don’t have a prefix, but an ‘affix’ (kennel name at the END of the ‘name’), this

   indicates that dog was purchased, FROM a kennel. In above example dog was not from a

   registered kennel, but registered INTO a registered kennel.  You might also get names with

   both a prefix and a suffix, indicating that dog was purchased FROM a registered kennel

  TO a registered kennel. This might suggeste a more proffesional approach to breeding, as

  true breeders need to introduce ‘new’ bloodlines into their breeding programme from

  time to time, and thus much thought would be given as to where this dogs will be pur-

  chased from. Often this will be when dogs are imported.  This type of naming will also

  happen when stud from another kennel was used, and the ‘agreement’ was not payment

  (for stud service) but rather a pick of the litter as payment. No 11 is an example of such, 

  and this is an indication of a good’ dog, as long-time breeders will always KEEP the best of

  any litter, and if given the opportunity to get the “BEST’ from another kennel. So a name

  with both a prefix and affix indicates puppies that probably was the pick of the litter. Not

  only was the ‘stud’ chosen (obviously for certain traits), but the best of the offspring was

  chosen.  The more such names on the pedigree, the better the lineage.


5. Owner/s: This will be your name, once you’ve sent in the certificate for transfer. If you

  do not transfer the puppy into your name the name that will appear is that of the breeder.


6. Kusa registration Number: If you are a member of KUSA your own KUSA reg no

  will appear here.  However you don’t need to be a KUSA member to register a puppy to

  your name, but if you want to breed/ register a litter yourself, you’ll need to be a KUSA



7. Great-Grandparents:  The 3rd colom of names indicates the dogs great grand parents.

  Starting with the sire’s side (no 7-10 on the certificate itself). Each ‘couple’ will first show

  the male  (sire) and then female (dam) of the pair.  Each name shows the particular dog’s

  registration no as well, and any titles the dogs may have, as well as prefix and suffix.


8. Grandsire: The second colom of names indicates the grandparents. Also starting first

   on the sire side and then the dam’s side. This is no 3-6 on a KUSA certificate.


9. Sire: Usually no 1 on the KUSA certificate itself. This will be the father /Sire of the

  puppies. All titles will be indicated in front, prefix and suffixes will be shown as well as

  registration no and Hipscore results.


11. Grandmother: Indicated by no 3 on the KUSA Certificate. Indicating the grandmother

  on the sire side with all other information attached like titles, pre and suffix, hipscores and

  registration no.


12. Great Grandparents: From no 11-14 on a KUSA certificate indicate the great grand-

  parents on the dam’s side. First the father, and then the mother, complete with titles, pre

  and suffixes, hipscores and  registration number.


13. Dam: This will be the mother of your dog/puppy. Complete with titles, pre and suffixes,

  hipscores and registration number and titles.


14. Date of registration:  This will be the date the litter was registered by the breeder.


15. Date of transfer:   This will be the date your dog is transferred from the breeder to

   yourname by KUSA.  


16. Member no:  This will be the BREEDERS’s member no.


17. Breed: Indicate the type of breed the certificate is for. In this instance (ofcourse) it will

  be St.Bernard.


18. Notations: This will be any breeding notations that the BREEDER will put on a puppy

   /litter.  Normally only exceptional animals should be bred from, and the rest should be

   blocked. Therefore responsible breeders might put  breed restrictions on most puppies

  (preventing unscrupulous  breeding). 

   This will be indicated by the abbreviation N/P (as per example) -meaning progeny not

   eligable for registration. Should a breeding with such a dog be attemted, the litter will not

   be able to be registered.

   Mostly puppies without breed restrictions will be sold at a higher price, thus making 

  certain only the best are bred from, and that potential buyer think twice because of the

  higher price.   It might also be that a responsible breeder are aware of certain traits in a

  specific puppy that may not be desirable (like blue eyes) and thus the need to block certain

  dogs from any potencial breeding scheme.   

  Make sure before you purchase a puppy what notations are put on pups, (and the

  reasons) depending on your plans. Ofcourse this will not matter if you were only looking

  for a pet.


19. Date of birth:  The date of birth of your dog


20. Sex: The sex of your dog.


21.  Colour: Since Saints are always ‘tri-colour’ it should never be indicated as anything

  other, although sometimes the term ‘typical’ –reffering to the ‘typical’ colouring namely,

  white, black and brown.


22. Microchip /tattoo no: Mostly hobby breeders /one time breeders will not microchip

  puppies in an attemt to safe money, as it is quite costly. Dedicated breeders will chip dogs,

  not only to adhere to international standards but it is best for your puppy. If it gets lost/

  stolen, it’s always identifyable.

  This is also handy to identify valuable breeding stock. The tattoo serves the same pur-

  pose, but  only certain breeds do both, like GSD’s.


23. Registratoin no: This will be your dog’s individual registration no for life, and can

  never be changed.  Litter mates’s numbers will follow each other.


24. Hip score:  Right through the pedigree the hip scores of the different dogs will be

  indicated.  See the article on Hip dysplasia elsewhere on this website to see the different

  scores.  The ‘ideal’  would be 0/0 or A1                 

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