Anyone who’s seen the movie “Best in Show” has an insight into the lengths to which dog owners will go to show off their prized pet. But why?
Sure, there’s money involved—the price for show-winning dog semen can easily reach $2000.00, with stud fees also in the thousands of dollars. But considering it takes an investment of sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars to compete in high profile dog shows, the urge to do so can in no way be considered a rational impulse. The owner of a dog that competes and wins is going to wind up upside-down, financially speaking.
At least with the stud fees the dog presumably gets something out of it.
So what makes these owners so willing to spend so much money, and these dogs so valuable? In a word, pedigree.
Pedigree is the recorded ancestry of the dog, showing it to be purebred, meaning bred from ancestors of the same variety. The idea behind a purebred pedigree is that desirable characteristics are passed on to subsequent generations—something called a heritable phenotype. Dog show participants are eager to demonstrate that their dog possesses these desirable characteristics—more so than any other dog entered in the competition. That’s “Best in Show.’
But before any of this can happen, the dog must be one of the recognized AKC breeds—a breed officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. And the dog’s pedigree must exist in the Pedigree Database.
Now, there are lots and lots of happy dog owners who would only consider owning a mixed breed dog–perhaps even a ‘rescue-dog.’ And yes, PetMD lists all the reasons why “Mixed breeds are awesome!” Kudos to these folks… every pet deserves love and a good, loving home, and there’s a lot of science that says mixed-breeds in general make better pets.
But for those considering a show dog, they rely on the AKC– the keeper of the pedigree records—to certify their dog.
The pedigree of prize-winning pooches is of great importance to purebred dog owners and for those considering the purchase of a potential show dog. And there is another set of people who never intend to show their dogs, but like the idea that their dog is indeed a purebred. It takes official records to make it so.
The AKC has been keeping those records since 1884. That means safeguarding the records of birth and ancestry for many, many generations of dogs.
Now, consider something for a moment–the idea of exponential growth. This is the driving force behind the 80’s Faberge Organics commercial that showed when she told two people, who each told two people, and so on, and so on—it adds up fast.
As anyone who’s visited Ancestry.com can attest, tracing your own family tree back a few generations shows how quickly the number of ancestors multiplies—it basically doubles each generation (two parents, each of whom has two parents=4 each of whom has two parents =8 and so on).
Speaking from a purely mathematical standpoint, if an ancestry is traced back from now to the time of Charlemagne in the first century, everyone has about 280 trillion ancestors.
The sheer size of the numbers become problematic, with even more complications. Human ancestry records are lost, lines of heritage vanish, and you begin to encounter the idea of pedigree collapse— in other words, not being able to trace lineage back. People can hire a company like Legacies in Ink, who are personal historians, to discover and preserve stories about their ancestors.
But for the dogs? It’s pretty much up to the AKC.
In a nutshell, keeping pedigree records is important to the purebred dog industry, and it’s a lot more data than can be easily tracked. A prize-winning dog must be able to have its pedigree certified, from official Stud Book records. It’s a big, big job.
With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that today’s AKC relies on Online Record Keeping. Online pedigrees can be viewed from anywhere, are available for any AKC-registered dog, and may be viewed 24/7. The database includes complete information about all dogs in the pedigree, including titles won from competitions, related health information, and more.
Online record keeping can help your business, too. Not only can your vital data be secured safely offsite, free from potential threats, but it can be accessed from anywhere you can get onto the internet.
It can set your business as a breed apart.
5i Solutions, Inc. can help your business with innovative ideas to capture and store your important records. They can be stored in the secure Cloud Vault, with security level clearance and even encryption protection, depending on your needs.
5i Solutions, Inc. One single, secure point of intake, access, and storage. One singular solution.
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