Getting a dog is a big step in anyone’s life. For many, dog ownership is the hallmark of independence and represents a new chapter. Although many people choose to adopt mixed-breed dogs, others have a specific dog in mind for their new best friend. Whether you’re considering a purebred puppy for cuddling to your heart’s content or a fully trained show dog, our 2022 Guide to Purebred Dogs can help you find the right dog.
What is a Purebred Dog?
Purebred dogs are those whose genetics come from the same breed on both sides. The “truest” purebreds may be able to trace their pedigrees back for many generations. Most governing bodies follow the American Kennel Club‘s standards for ascertaining how pure a dog is based on several unique criteria for each breed.
Selective breeding has been around for as long as humans have domesticated animals, but the modern understanding of breed standards dates to the mid-19th century. In the 1800s, breed and kennel clubs set standards for several breeds, including the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Pointer.
While many owners and breeders claim their dogs are purebred based on their appearance, a pedigree is the only certifiable documentation that can prove a dog’s purebred status.
Types of Purebred Dogs
The AKC recognizes 199 dog breeds, but countless others exist. There are approximately 340 distinct breeds and countless mixes. New breeds can be added to the AKC, but only if specific criteria are met. These include having at least 300 dogs spread around 20 states exhibiting the same temperament and features.
The “Hungarian Mudi” and “Russian Toy” are the two newest breeds recognized by the AKC, both being accepted this year. Many common hybrids, like “Puggles” and “Labradoodles,” are not officially recognized by the AKC but remain popular with the public.
Finding a Reputable Seller
When deciding to get a dog, many people have a specific breed in mind. This is usually based on past experiences or research into which breed could best suit their lifestyle. While ads often claim to have “pure” versions of almost any dog imaginable, finding a reputable breeder is absolutely essential when looking for a purebred dog.
Certified breeders can provide pedigree papers that ensure that the dogs are indeed purebreds. They are also bound by codes of conduct and breeding standards that all good breeders are expected to follow. These standards ensure safe, ethical conditions for the dogs.
Pedigree papers also ensure that the dogs were not inbred. In addition to being ethically questionable, inbreeding has demonstrated the incidence of serious diseases, such as inherited blindness, blood disorders, and many metabolic issues.
Testing for Common Issues in Purebred Dogs
Even with pedigreed dogs that have not been inbred, several concerns still arise when buying purebred dogs. Most purebreds tend to have weaker immune systems than mixed breeds. There are also many breed-specific issues due to size, shape, and other selective breeding characteristics.
While these concerns are real, they certainly don’t overshadow the positives of owning a purebred dog. Purebred dogs can make great companions with predictable physical and behavioral traits. However, If you have a specific breed in mind, understanding potential issues and planning can help ease your mind while taking the next step.
Many purebred owners perform genetic testing to find out whether a dog will have potential issues in the future. If you’re buying from a breeder, they tend to do this testing as a part of the breeding process. However, if you’re a pet owner with a new dog, it’s essential to test them for potential long-term issues.
Be Prepared With Orivet
A leader in genetic testing for dogs and cats, Orivet offers a range of genetic services to owners, breeders, and veterinarians. These include screening for genetic diseases, coat colors, traits, parentage confirmation, and much more. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned breeder, Orivet’s at-home testing kits provide a surefire way to understand your purebred dogs.
To learn more and see the full range of available testing kits, head to //www.orivet.com/.