Thinking of buying a pedigree dog?

(c) RSPCA/Chris Brignell - Chocolate Labrador

Our Q&As help puppy buyers understand what ‘pedigree’ stands for, and more importantly, what it doesn’t.
 

What is a pedigree dog?

A pedigree dog is the offspring of two dogs of the same breed, which is eligible for registration with a recognised club or society that maintain a register for dogs of that description. There are a number of pedigree dog registration schemes, of which the Kennel Club is the most well known.


What does Kennel Club registration stand for?

The Kennel Club's registration system is simply a record of a puppy's birth. Around 250,000 puppies are registered on the Kennel Club’s breed register every year.

 
Does Kennel Club registered mean that I’m getting a puppy from a responsible breeder?

Being Kennel Club registered does not mean that the breeder is responsible; neither will it guarantee that you are buying a healthy, happy puppy. In fact, the Kennel Club has a second tier of registration, called the Assured Breeders Scheme (ABS), for which membership is based on breeders meeting a set of criteria that the Kennel Club deems to be an indicator of responsible breeding. There are approximately 7,500 breeders registered with the ABS, which equates to a small percentage of the total number of puppies registered with the Kennel Club every year.


How do I buy a puppy from a responsible breeder?

Before buying a puppy, pedigree or otherwise, it’s vital to do your homework first.

This includes:

  • finding out where and how the puppy was bred
  • making sure you see a puppy with its mother in the place where it was bred 


Read our guide on what to check when you’re choosing a puppy.


Because many dogs have been bred to look a certain way, many suffer from serious health and welfare issues. Therefore it’s important to select a dog that’s free from exaggerations. Read our fact sheet about dogs with exaggerated features.


In addition, a responsible breeder should want to know as much about you as you do about them and how they’ve bred the puppy.


Download our Pedigree dogs Q&A (PDF 40KB) for the full list of Q&A's.