What is the pedigree certificate in dogs?

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dog with pedigree

Surely on many occasions we have heard a friend talk about his dog’s pedigree and how important it is, or it is even possible that our own dog has a pedigree certificate and we do not really know very well what it is for or what it means.

Not all dogs have pedigree and more importantly not everyone can have it even if they request it, even if they are purebred. The pedigree is a document issued by the Royal Spanish Canine Society (RSCE) that certifies the genetic purity of the breed of some dogs, which meet the requirements.

Index of contents

  • 1 What is Pedigree?
  • 2 How is the pedrigree certificate obtained?
  • 3 Are pedigree dogs better than pedigree-free dogs?
  • 4 Can a dog without a breed obtain a pedigree certificate?

What is Pedigree?

The pedigree is an official certificate issued by the RSCE (Spanish Royal Canine Society) that certifies the purity of the breed of dog that owns it. It is like a kind of license that indicates that the dog in question is purebred, obtained from purebred dogs that also have pedigrees.

In order for a dog to obtain a pedigree, it needs to pass a series of quite strict requirements and it must be the breeder / veterinaryn who requests the certificate from the RSCE:

  • That the parents of the horse have a pedigree.
  • That they are one of the races accepted by the RSCE.
  • That they are healthy specimens free of diseases that they can transmit genetically.
  • Meet the color, height, and physical requirements for each breed.
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pedigree certificate

Unfortunately, there are many breeders who, with the help of some trusted veterinaryns, They trick litters to obtain pedigree certificates in puppies that do not meet the requirements, in order to sell them at a higher price and make a profit. Something illegal that can cost them a license and a large fine, but that unfortunately is done more than many would like.

How is the pedrigree certificate obtained?

Normally it is the breeder himself who provides the pedigree certificate when buying a breed dog. Although we can also request the pedigree certificate from the Royal Spanish Canine Society on our own, providing the necessary documentation:

  • Copy of parent’s pedigree
  • Veterinary certificate that accredits the litter of said parents with pedigree
  • Veterinary primer
  • Fees

If we buy a dog, something that obviously we do not recommend since we can adopt dogs with or without breed totally free of any of the thousands of protectors existing in Spain, we must also request the pedigree to avoid having to manage the paperwork ourselves.

Are pedigree dogs better than pedigree-free dogs?

The pedigree certificate only certifies that the dogs are of a certain breed and that their family tree contains pure specimens of the same breed. It is simply as a certificate that the breed has not been mixed with another for certain generations.

Unfortunately, when a breed remains pure many more health problems arise than when one breed crosses or mixes with different ones. This means that pedigree dogs are much more prone to disease than non-pedigree dogs.

So it can be said with total certainty that pedigree dogs are not better than non-pedigree dogs, and are even more prone to disease. The pedigree is a kind of Marketing that breeders use simply to make more money selling puppies, in reality it is not a benefit for the dog. It simply guarantees a purity of race.

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Can a dog without a breed obtain a pedigree certificate?

No, crossbreed dogs cannot obtain a pedigree certificate since the pedigree indicates the genetic continuity of a specific breed, that is, the purity of a breed. The mixed-breed dogs, being crosses of different breeds, cannot possess pedigrees.

However, no dog needs to have a pedigree certificate. Pedigree is something that humans (some of us) simply care about, since dogs are just as happy with or without pedigree.

Do not obsess looking for a pedigree dog thinking that it will be better for being purebred, you are very wrong. Mixed breed dogs have been shown throughout history to be stronger, healthier and even smarter than purebred dogs. Do you have a pedigree? Then your dog demands it.

You can get more information at:

  • Royal Spanish Canine Society (for dogs in Spain)