We’ve all heard purebred pet horror stories and some can even cause a bit of a chuckle like the miniature domesticated piglet that grows up to be a massive pig in a small flatlet. But is it possible that your pet pooch is also not as purebred as you thought?

A real purebred has to have parents that are both from the same breed and variety. And although you will undoubtedly love your new best friend regardless whether he/she is a purebred or not, purebred pooches can come with a pretty hefty price tag and if you are planning on showing the dog or breeding yourself finding out that there might be a little something else in the mix can be disastrous.

Determining whether your dog is a real purebred can be tricky since there are no real visual signs that can prove this. When comparing your apparent purebred to the breed standard, you still need to keep in mind that some mixed breeds can contain many of the same physical attributes as those sporting a long line of same breed ancestry.


So how can you find out whether you’ve really gotten what you paid for?

  • Compare with breeding standards (as much as you can).

Well, as much as you can and remember that this is only the first step. This not only refers to certain physical features, but also to personality and temperament.

  • Was your breeder a reputable breeder?

Do your due diligence. Did you research the breeder? Did you ask for references? Did you actually visit the kennels before purchasing your pup? Did you ask for the breeder’s KUSA membership number? If you didn’t do any of this beforehand there are a few things that could raise alarms;

  • If your puppy was not inoculated and dewormed by a registered veterinary professional as arranged by the breeder.
  • If the breeder claims to be KUSA certified but did not have your puppy micro-chipped (which is mandatory for all KUSA registered dogs).
  • If you did not receive a vet booklet detailing your puppy’s medical history.
  • Check the pedigree papers.

A purebred puppy in South Africa usually comes along with a KUSA Certificate of Registration. Due to the costs involved, many breeders offer purebred pups without certification, but then the onus is on you.

  • Get a DNA test.

Yes, believe it or not, you can now get your dog tested in order to identify which breeds are found in its genetic composition. Just ensure that you use a reputable company to do these tests and enquire about how many registered breed markers they have in their database.

Have you ever experienced a purebred pooch “faux pas”? Share your story with us in the comments below!

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