Pam Crump Shih Tzu
One primary goal of quality breeding programs is to produce puppies that will have the greatest possible conformity to the AKC Standards for the breed since those standards define what that breed is supposed to look and act like.
When a dog is judged in an AKC show, the judge is evaluating the degree of conformity that the dog has to the AKC Breed Standards. To become an AKC Champion, a dog must have been judged by several different judges in several different shows in which the dog was judged as superior to other dogs of the breed shown. Thus, the recognition by AKC that a dog is a Champion confirms the high quality of that dog in conformity to breed standards.
Puppies can be found that will have excellent conformity to breed standards even though they have no close ancestors who were AKC Champions. However, the progeny of an AKC Champion is more likely to inherit the conformation. While having championship bloodlines does not guarantee good conformation, it is a surer route to excellent conformation.
Nearly all quality breeders talk about the number of Champions in a dog’s pedigree. Unfortunately, the raw number is of virtually no significance unless you know how many generations back those champions were in the dog’s pedigree.
Many quality breeders have adopted the use of the 5-generation pedigree to enable better comparisons between dogs when talking about the number of champions. In 5 generations there are a total of 62 ancestors, so if you hear someone say their dog has 86 champions in the pedigree, you will know for sure they are talking about more than 5 generations. The further back in the pedigree, the less significant the inherited genes are from that champion.
The genes become diluted over the generations, making any intelligent comparisons impossible when using just a raw count of champions. For that reason we have developed a formula to calculate a score based on champions in the pedigree that will give mathematically sound weight factors to the champion count by generation.
Using this formula, if all ancestors in the pedigree are champions, then the score would be 200, regardless of how many generations are included. Similarly if exactly half of the ancestors in each generation of the pedigree are champions, then the score would be 100.
Using this formula:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Dog A has 14 champions in its pedigree, with all 14 of them in the fifth generation. The score is 8.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Dog B has 14 champions in its pedigree, with all 14 of them in the first three generations. The score is 160.
So, saying simply that Dog A and Dog B each have 14 champions in a 5-generation pedigree would mislead to a conclusion that they are equal in championship inheritance. Yet Dog B has 20 times the championship inheritance probability of Dog A (an extreme example).
We have shown the scores from this calculation on our breeding moms and dads. Some other breeders have adopted this standard to facilitate intelligent comparison of championship bloodlines.
This score should never be used to replace study of pedigrees. There are other issues that cannot be seen by simply looking at a count of champions, such as inbreeding or breeding practices used for the dilute colors. Additionally, not all champions are equal. Breeders should learn the differences, based on the breeding lines (or kennels) and also on specific dogs.
We have included a calculator on our website, which you are welcome to use. It is based on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. [Since it must be interactive, you may need to enable ActiveX controls on the Internet Explorer browser to use it.] If you are unable to use the one we have provided online, we can email the MS Excel spreadsheet to you.