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A pedigree is a diagram showing the genetic relationships between members of a family. If the pedigree is accurate, breeders can choose to use it as a tool to quickly reference and analyze patterns of inheritance for specific genetic traits and kinship. Sometimes depending on how much information is collected and displayed on a pedigree, they can be helpful when selecting which animals to pair together.
Unless you are a scientist, biologist or geneticist who use very complex pedigrees, most of the pedigrees that we are familiar with only contain the name, number, size, colour of the parents and grandparents. They do not normally contain much health history or personal information about the animals listed on the pedigree. Therefore, unless an accurate pedigree is used in conjunction with a complete and accurate database the information on the pedigree is of limited use to breeders working with genetics.
We do not give out pedigrees with any of our animals.
When dealing with small animals as a hobby there is far too much room for errors to be made when generating a pedigree. Unintentionally, people often misidentify colours, names, birthdates, etc. Being that mistakes are made frequently and because it only takes a minor error to make the entire pedigree inaccurate we choose not to offer pedigrees with any animal that leaves our home.
Even when we purchase animals from reputable breeders who choose to offer pedigrees with the animal, we always consider it as an unverified pedigree. When we enter it’s information in our database we enter it as “unverifiable”.
Note to breeders…Keep in mind that if you are breeding an animal that originates from a different breeder whose information will eventually show up on a pedigree, you are sort of breeding someone else’s pedigree. It takes several generations to produce your own pedigree. Therefore, when the accuracy of a pedigree cannot be verified, it is probably a wise choice not to pass on that specific information. Doing so could negatively impact another breeder’s breeding efforts.
If you prefer to offer pedigrees, if there is anything questionable or something that you are not sure about or if there are gaps in the pedigree, it is your responsibility to point that out to the purchaser.
A pedigree is only one of the tools that breeders might use for referencing when they are selecting animals for breeding but if you offer them to other breeders, they really do need to be accurate.
If you are a breeder who like us rely on lots of information to help make a decision on which animal to breed to one another, I suggest that you not rely solely on anyone else's pedigree when you are making your decision. Introduce the new bloodline to one or two of your own unrelated animals to see if you achieve the results that you are hoping for. Of course, you will need to wait until the babies mature before you will truly know if these babies have the traits you want, but if you do get the results that you were hoping for than you can move forward. If you do not get the results that you wanted then don't do it again. After all no two breeders are the same. We all have our own breeding goals and objectives.
Registration (Specialty Club Registration Papers)
We do not register our animals with any specialty clubs or live animal affiliations. There are several well organized clubs but we prefer to remain neutral and not to endorse any of them.
Nowadays, it is not hard to find a specialty club or an individual trying to earn a bit of extra cash by providing registration papers for your pet. For a small fee, they are willing to register nearly any animal at any age, including some with unknown lineage and sometimes even animals with mixed breed lineage, can be registered by some. However, if an animal does not have a microchip or a permanent way to identify it there is no way to guarantee that the registration paper / number has been matched to the proper animal that it is supposed to represent. If this is the case then the registration paper is pretty much useless.
We feel that in some instances when certain clubs, breeders and other individuals assign a number to an animal and send out a numbered certificate, they may be unintentionally sending the wrong message to people and may in fact be contributing to irresponsible pet ownership. Registering pets is not expensive and the actual registration paper is very cheap so, there is no reason to justify a price increase based on registration status of any pet and yet there are still a few people who believe that because their animal has been registered that it will automatically increase the value of that animal. This is simply a misconception! Registration papers are certainly not something that should be used to dictate the price or value of any pet.
When people promote registering pet animals they are sometimes, inadvertently making people think that because an animal is registered it is somehow more valuable and worth more than an animal that is not registered. Often people who are trying to promote a breed go too far and over emphasize the importance of registering animals. Oddly enough, consumers wanting to trust all breeders, are often seduced and misled into believing that when an animal is registered, that they are in fact buying an animal from an ethical breeder; that registered animals are healthier or somehow better than an animal that is not registered. This is simply not the case. Just look at how many registered animals are produced and registered in farms and “mills” every year.
The reasons a person might choose to register a pet may vary from person to person or breeder to breeder. Occasionally breeders choose to register animals to promote their breeding facility. Other times breeders attempting to gain acceptance by their peers (other breeders) may decide to register their pets, hoping to be considered as a “progressive breeder”. We do not register any animal that we sell but we certainly consider ourselves dedicated and progressive breeders. We know that a registration paper does not verify that the breeder has good breeding ethics or that he or she practices good animal husbandry, nor does it guarantee that the animal is healthy.
Showing (Small Pets)
We have been enjoying the hobby of keeping and learning about specialist animals for a long time. We work closely with professional people and pet enthusiasts who share our interest and we are constantly communicating with others who are dedicated to improving all breeding practices as it relates to animal husbandry. We are very selective when breeding any animal and plan each breeding with a specific goal in mind.
Occasionally, we have participated at confirmation shows and quite a few of our pet animals have competed against other animals in their class where they were judged on appearance (confirmation). Some of our pets have won ribbons and we were flattered whenever one of our animals won us bragging rights. Sure, we appreciate the nice things that people say about our animals but we are not that insecure that we need a stranger to tell us our animal is pretty and if we really need a judge to tell us we have nice animals, then perhaps we should not be breeding.
We still attend pet shows, fairs and trade shows as spectators but for the most part we find that animal shows are (for lack of a better word) hokey and most often not very important to us. For some people, animal shows are a bit of a social outing and a way to come together with others who share similar interests but being that confirmation shows are not that different than a beauty pageant, we can think of a ton of other more fun ways to spend our day.
The animals at a show are put on display to be judged by a few individuals (club members) who are supposedly the people who know what we all want our own animals to look like. Those few individuals decide on a standard which is usually based on their own animals, then they judge other’s animals based on the look that they personally prefer. Of course, there is often a bias and confirmation shows can get a bit political. The judges do not judge the breeders or their breeding ethics nor his/her commitment to the species and they are not usually aware of the level of care the breeder provides to their animals outside of the show-ring.
Showing animals can cause unnecessary stress to the animal and it can put its’ health at risk. Imagine an animal that is mostly a creature of habit and likes familiarity, being packed up and driven across the country to be put on public display for a day or two, risking being "poked and prodded at" by people it has never met and subjecting them to potential health risks by exposing them to animals of unknown origin. Rather than exposing our animals to various parasites, viruses, bacteria, various types of fungi or potential injury, we feel that it is in our animals’ best interest not to bring them into a show-ring and therefore we will gladly give up a few bonus points or a ribbon or even a title of “champion “in exchange for knowing that we have done everything we can to ensure that our animals remain healthy.
Modern day technologies have made it easier for everyone who is looking for a new pet to make an educated decision before they purchase a pet. Most people who have been considering getting a new pet already have somewhat of a preconceived idea of what they expect in a pet and they already have a notion of what their pet should look like so they do not really need to attend shows. They will likely be more interested in a pet’s good health and they will want to know where and how it is raised and they will want to meet and get to know the breeder.
There is so much more to breeding than showing animals. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the practice of showing pets for the sole purpose of being judged on their appearance is slowly going the way of the dinosaur.