Dogs have family trees, too

I’ve been busy writing a book about the zany life of my late mother (stay tuned!)  In her papers I found a great deal of information about our dogs, and realized pedigreed dogs have family trees, too.

Every time an American Kennel Club registered sire is mated with a registered dam and a litter is whelped, those puppies are registered, too.  Unfortunately, I have the same issue with the way the AKC displays a family tree as I do with most commercially available family tree formats (for people):  you can’t see siblings.   That is, from this tree, you cannot tell if Duan had brothers or sisters, and if so, how many lived.  (That’s why I create my own trees.)

duan's pedigree

This particular pedigree doesn’t show in-breeding, which is not uncommon in show dogs (or race horses, for that matter).  A female can be bred with her father or grandfather to keep some of the high quality traits.

Unfortunately in the dog world, infant mortality rates are quite high, but it would be useful to know if a particular bitch has a good track record of turning out healthy pups.

Maybe someday the AKC will organize these online, as has done for people.  Since I happen to know that this dog, Messieur Duan Alt, sired many litters, his progeny would be able to go back 5 generations just from having this page alone.  But, you see my point…if he had brothers or sisters, we’d have to jump through more hoops (not impossible) to find them.

About Billie Tekel Elias

World traveler, Art Deco lover, knitter, avid genealogist, author, and tourist in my own town.
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4 Responses to Dogs have family trees, too

  1. Suzanne Fluhr says:

    What a cool avocation. At first I thought your comment on my blog was by another Billie who is a frequent commenter—except the subject of your post seemed one that would be extremely unlikely for her. Then, I clicked on your “about” tab and had my “Aha, THAT Billie” moment. When we were in Israel recently, we visited what used to be called The Museum of the Diaspora. It looked like they have a lot of genealogical resources there that I, of course, did not have a clue how to use.

  2. billietoy says:

    I am not familiar with their archives, but Yad Vashem’s resources have been incredibly helpful in tracing victims of the Shoah as you can read here:

  3. The aforementioned book is out! Available at

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