What is a pedigree dog?

A pedigree dog is born from two dogs of the same breed, and is registered 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 (KC) is the most well known.

Purebred dogs

Purebred dogs are the result of breeding two dogs of the same breed, but aren't registered with the KC or another registration scheme.

What does Kennel Club registered mean?

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

Does it matter if a puppy is not KC registered?

Being Kennel Club registered does not mean that a dog comes from a responsible breeder; neither will it guarantee that you are buying a healthy, happy puppy.

We believe that the term 'Kennel Club registered' is being used by breeders and traders as a marketing tool used to sell puppies because people believe it stands for quality.

Whatever type of puppy you're buying, it's important to be puppy smart.

Buying a pedigree dog

Many dogs have been bred to look a certain way and now suffer from serious health and welfare issues because of it, therefore it's important to select a dog that's free from exaggerated features and inherited diseases.

If you're looking for a particular breed, you can read about the characteristics associated with them. However, every dog is unique and their behaviour depends on many other contributing factors.

Just because you're buying a pedigree dog, this doesn't mean that the person you're buying from is a responsible breeder. To help you ensure that you're buying a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder we've put together a useful guide. From finding the puppy that's right for you, to questions to ask the breeder, we've got it covered!

Buying a puppy


Pedigree dog breeding in the UK: a major welfare concern? (PDF 885KB)

Share this...