When looking at a pedigree of a German Shepherd Dog you may see “holes” in the pedigree. This means that there are dogs within the pedigree that are lacking information. This could mean that the dog(s) did not have hip and elbow certifications or it could mean that the dogs were not titled and/or tested in any way.
Why does this matter? If you are looking to purchase a puppy or looking to breed your dog then this is very important. A dog is more likely to produce what is behind him than what he himself is. This means that even if the parents of a litter are OFA’s for example, if there are holes in the pedigree where dogs were not OFA’d (which could very well mean that the dogs were dysplastic), then the resulting puppies have a much higher chance of having hip dysplasia. Where as if you have a solid pedigree were every single dog has a hip certification, the resulting puppies are far more likely to have good hips.
Since there are such a high number of Backyard Breeders (BYB) pumping out puppies and so many people breeding irresponsibly, you are more likely to find a pedigree with “holes” in it than a solid good pedigree. Do not become discouraged! There are plenty of good breeders with nice well bred dogs and litters out there; you just have to know where to find them!
When you buy a German Shepherd puppy, the hope is that you will have this dog in your family for the next 10-12 or more years. Do not sell yourself short! You want to stack the odds in your favor to help ensure that your companion is healthy, sound and pleasant to live with. Finding a good breeder and good solid bloodlines will help to ensure that.
Visit my previous articles about how to find a good breeder and where to look for a good breeder.