6 Difference between Purebred and Pedigree (With Table)

Purebred and pedigree are words used when referring to the genetic or breed of pets. The words have been used interchangeably without really knowing the difference between the two.

Purebred refers to an animal having a known ancestry. It refers to animals from the same members of a recognized breed, strain, or kind without admixture of other blood over many generations.

Pedigree is a record of the descent of an animal showing it to be purebred. It means that the animals’ breeding history has been recorded over a long period of time.

So, what is the main difference between purebred and pedigree? Purebred means that the animals’ parents are of the same breed while pedigree means that the animals’ breeding history has been recorded.

This article is going to give you a clear difference between purebred and pedigree in tabular form and you will also learn about some of the similarities between the two.

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Comparison Table (Purebred vs Pedigree)

Basic TermPurebredPedigree
DefinitionIt is used when animals’ parents are of the same breed.It is used to mean that the animals’ breeding history has been recorded.
UseIt describes the parents of the animal.It describes the entire genetic background of the animal.

What is Purebred?

Purebred is used to describe animals whose parents are of the same breed. Purebred animals are developed and they are as a result of selective breeding.

In selective breeding, offspring of two individuals in the same breed will show consistent, replicable, and predictable characteristics.

The term purebred is used when describing pets such as dogs, cats, and horses and also livestock such as sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.

Purebred animals are susceptible to a wide range of diseases as they are limited to the gene pool. The problem is common among dogs and horses.

Breeding from too small a gene pool can lead to the passing of undesirable characteristics and this can lead to the collapse of a breed population due to inbreeding depression.

What is Pedigree?

Pedigree refers to when animals’ breeding history has been recorded. It is a genetic representation of a family tree that shows the inheritance of a trait or disease through generations.

It shows the relationship between members in a family and shows which individual expresses or silently carries the trait.  It gives all descriptions of the genetic background of an animal.

The records of animals’ history are normally available in a breeding registry. The registries issue certificates of pedigree for each recorded animal.

Not all purebreds have their lineage in written form hence they necessarily do not qualify to be pedigrees.

Most pedigree dogs tend to be purebreds as they must be produced from registered pedigree parents and to be eligible for pedigree statues.

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Main Difference between Purebred and Pedigree

  1. Purebred means that animals’ parents are of the same breed while pedigree is used to mean animals’ breeding history has been recorded.
  2. Purebred is used to describe the parents of the animal while pedigree describes the entire genetic makeup of the animal.

Similarities between Purebred and Pedigree

  1. Most pedigree dogs are purebreds and purebred dogs are pedigrees.
  2. Purebred and pedigree are used interchangeably.
  3. Both terms are used to describe some inherited characteristics.
  4. Both purebred and pedigree involve the parents of the animals.

Conclusion

Purebred and pedigree are terms that are used interchangeably by people but they are used to mean different things.

The main difference between purebred and pedigree is that purebred is used to mean animals’ parents are of the same breed while pedigree is used to mean animals’ breeding history has been recorded.

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