How to Do a Pedigree Chart

by Simon Foden
For breeders of purebred or working dogs, pedigrees backed by accurate records are vital keys to improving a breed.

For breeders of purebred or working dogs, pedigrees backed by accurate records are vital keys to improving a breed.

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A pedigree is the ancestry of a person or animal. A pedigree chart for a dog generally gives information on the last four or five generations in the ancestry of that dog. Pedigrees are vital tools for breeders who seek to make the best breeding decisions to improve the breed. For potential buyers of puppies from the resulting litter, the pedigree helps to predict the likely appearance, soundness and character of those puppies. Accurate records backing the pedigree confirm the lineage. Official pedigrees are generally available from dog registries. You can easily create your own pedigree chart on a dog for informational or advertising purposes.

Step 1

Create a table on a piece of paper. You can do this by hand or on a computer, using a word-processing or graphics program. Click “Insert” and select “Table” to use such programs.

Step 2

Enter the number of columns you need in the dialog box that pops up. You need a column for each generation you plan to fit on the chart. A pedigree should have at least two columns, one for the parents and one for the grandparents of the subject dog. Three or four generations is more informative. Print out a copy of the table if you created it using a computer.

Step 3

Obtain registration information for the ancestors in the generations you intend to include on the chart. If you don't have this information and the subject dog is registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), you can obtain a four- or five-generation online pedigree for $10 or $12. Certified four-generation AKC pedigrees are mailed, and cost $32 in 2012.

Step 4

Draw a single line in the center of the leftmost column to divide it into two rows. This is the column for the parents of the subject dog.

Step 5

Divide the second column into four equal rows. Divide the third column into eight rows, and the fourth column into sixteen rows.

Step 6

Write the full registered name of the dog for whom you are writing the pedigree at the top of the sheet. If you wish, you can also include the dog's "call name." If a dog is an AKC Champion, place "CH" before the name. Any working titles follow the name.

Step 7

Include under the name the dog’s registration number, date of birth, breed, gender, color and markings, and the name of the breeder. This information all can be found on his registration papers.

Step 8

Write the name of the dog's sire in the top row of the first (left) column of the table. Add his registration number and date of birth. If you possess information about show championships and working titles, include this as well.

Step 9

Place the same information for the dam (mother) in the row directly under the sire's row.

Step 10

Complete the remaining columns in the same manner. For each generational column, the male of each breeding pair is listed above the female. Because each successive column has twice as many rows as the preceding one, parental entries will line up exactly to the right of the names of their offspring.

Items You Will Need

  • Registration details of ancestors
  • Paper
  • Computer with word processor program (optional)
  • Pen
  • Ruler

Warning

  • If a dog is not registered with a recognized breed registry, a pedigree chart is not based on provable information. This typically influences the stud and sale value of the dog and all future generations.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.