Who owns a "grade" dog here? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Who owns a "grade" dog here?

What are some advantages of a GRADE animal over a strict purebred?

How can the puppy purchaser tell if an animal is GRADE?

Are papers so labeled for GRADE animals?
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 08:32 AM
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A grade animal is an animal that is not eligible for registration in a breed association or registry. There can be many reasons for that. They have a color or markings not in line with what is acceptable. Do not fit size or conformation requirements. In those two cases you would likely have a letter saying that registration was refused. You would not be issued any papers. Or, one or both of the parents are not registered.



There is nothing wrong with a grade animal. If they suit your wants and purpose an unregistered animal has the advantage of not coming with the cost of a registered animal. If the puppy comes without papers it could be considered grade. Unless they are purebred and registered puppies don't come with papers.

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post #3 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 08:53 AM
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"Grade" dogs are called mutts. Even so-called purebreds should be assumed to be mutts if not registered because how can you PROVE there isn't a Poodle 5 generations back in your Labrador's pedigree without proof of bloodlines?

When buying a mixed puppy, DON'T get it from a breeder unless it's a sport-bred mix from health tested, proven parents. Breeding should always be done with health and purpose in mind. If you don't know how to tell or can't be bothered, get your mutt from the shelter. Shelter dogs are great (I have two, a mutt and a purebred ex-racing greyhound).

If buying a purebred puppy, ALWAYS insist on papers, and keep looking if the parents aren't health tested AND titled (conformation is a start, I like at least one sport title as well). The only part of this that doesn't apply to sport-bred mutt pups is the papers part.

And don't fall for the "hypoallergenic" marketing with mixes. Most doodlemutts aren't.

"But I just want a pet, I don't need a show dog!" I hear you say. Even the very best breeders WILL produce good pet puppies. In fact your chances of getting a good pet are higher if you choose a good breeder than they are if you choose somebody who bred their dogs because they were cute and "good pets", because many show breeders have extremely high standards for temperament and health, whereas Fluffy's owner who bred to Bingo down the street because they wanted cute puppies has not put so much thought into the litter. If you're lucky you'll get a good puppy from Fluffy and Bingo. If you're not you'll get something with genetic health/temperament problems.

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post #4 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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I guess if somebody is advertising a "grade" animal for sale, you are taking their word for it that one parent is a "purebred". GRADE designations are often seen in classified listings for variants of "American Foxhounds" in southern states. So now I know GRADE means a mutt of some sort. If I were to buy a German Shepherd or any retriever breed, I would insist on a pedigree and eyes/hips/elbow certs for both parents.
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 11:21 AM
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I don't register my dogs so I guess they are grade. I know both are purebred, one lab and one ACD. The lab is from hunting lines on both sides that are well proven but the breeders were just a family I know who wanted some more personal hunting dogs from their male and female and sold off the pups they didn't keep to people they knew who wanted hunting dogs. Nobody registers cattle dogs around here you just buy them from proven working lines and save yourself the headache of paying extra for papers. I have personally met all the parents and grand parents of my ACD. Her grandmother is one of the best little dogs I have ever met. She works and lives at the ranch of the next brand inspector east from me. She definitely gets her aggressiveness from her grandfather on the mother's side. But anyway, I see no issue with buying grade if the parents have what you are looking for in a dog, who cares if it is registered?
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpreston95 View Post
If I were to buy a German Shepherd or any retriever breed, I would insist on a pedigree and eyes/hips/elbow certs for both parents.
This is the minimum for basically all breeds. They should also be genetically clear (or carrier to clear, NEVER carrier to carrier) of all breed-appropriate genetic diseases, and some breeds need yearly ECGs to check hearts of all breeding stock. Most spaniels, giant breeds and some retrievers come most immediately to mind.

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post #7 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 11:57 AM
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The advantage of a non-purebred is that they MAY be genetically healthier, due to not doubling up on traits that need inbreeding to manifest. This isn't true of hip dysplasia, which is common in many breeds and mutts, but it is true of a lot of things. Also, hybrid vigor may be a factor although that is mostly true of crossing two inbred breeds (all AKC breeds are inbred, some astonishingly so).

There is no real other advantage, despite what the Designer Dog, Hybrid Dog, etc. people claim.

The disadvantage is that the offspring of two different breeds will be hard to predict except where the two breeds are similar. A Lab x Golden will generally like everyone, be easy to train, and love to fetch. A Lab x Basenji will have a short coat but anything else is anyone's guess.

Registering a purebred dog is just like a purebred horse: want to breed or show? Register. No? Then it is just paper.

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post #8 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 12:43 PM
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I’ve rescued dogs my entire life. Some were easy to tell they had had papers at some point, others were easy to tell they didn’t even know who their grandparents were.

I could care less, the dogs AND cats show up, I find them in a ditch, or I get a phone call. I have taken in everything from Beagle/mixes to registered Rottweilers, to my neighbor’s aged Weimaraner and Labrador who would have ended up at the local dog pound when they moved to town.

I cared for them until their end times (including vet bills), then laid them to rest in my Pet Sematary so they would be home. Our farm was their farm the same as their own as they had been here since they were pups.

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 12:54 PM
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-23-2020, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AndyTheCornbread View Post
I don't register my dogs so I guess they are grade. I know both are purebred, one lab and one ACD. The lab is from hunting lines on both sides that are well proven but the breeders were just a family I know who wanted some more personal hunting dogs from their male and female and sold off the pups they didn't keep to people they knew who wanted hunting dogs. Nobody registers cattle dogs around here you just buy them from proven working lines and save yourself the headache of paying extra for papers. I have personally met all the parents and grand parents of my ACD. Her grandmother is one of the best little dogs I have ever met. She works and lives at the ranch of the next brand inspector east from me. She definitely gets her aggressiveness from her grandfather on the mother's side. But anyway, I see no issue with buying grade if the parents have what you are looking for in a dog, who cares if it is registered?
Here is the formal definition of GRADE in the animal context:

an animal resulting from a cross between a parent of ordinary stock and one of a pure breed
to cross (an ordinary or low-grade animal) with an animal of a pure or superior breed

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/grade?s=t

So, technically a GRADE animal must only be "half purebred".

How to verify this scientifically is anyone's guess.
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