Researching a pedigree.
I don't know how other people do it, but what I did was do a search online for any pedigrees of my breed. Save them because you will probably find out that at least one or two dogs on a pegree are related to your dog. Save as many as you find. You can also try going to www.pedigreedatabase.com , keep in mind these pedigrees are people entering their pedigree manually, so it may not be exactly accurate but it will give you a place to use. AKC will also sell you pedigrees of dogs for research, at http://www.akc.org/register/online-pedigree/ . These should be accurate. Make sure when entering a dog's name, that you use the full name and that it is spelled exactly right. Sometime's a dog's name will not be spelled how you think it should be spelled.
Begin with the pedigree of your dog. Get a 5 generation pedigree if you can. From that point you can search the pedigrees that you found online and see if you can go farther back or not. If you can't find anything, go and get a 5 generation pedigree from akc that will take you further back. Then I started entering in names of the champions that were in the line in my internet search. I started with champions because they are more likely to be online with a picture. Find as many pictures of as many of the dogs that you can find. Once you find champions work on finding the other dogs.
Get yourself a good pedigree software program or family tree program where you can start entering all of your information in with pictures and notes. I would try to find the name of the breeder or kennel as well. Make note of the colors too. We use http://www.breedmate.com/ . I believe we have the pedigree explorer and it was 80 dollars when i got it. Not sure what it is now. From that point you can start to try and contact the breeders for each dog. Explain why you are calling, ( researching the pedigree ) and ask if they have pictures, any health information that they may have, temperaments and any other information they can give you. It is a long drawn out process. Most breeders will love to talk to you about their dogs though so this part can be a lot of fun. Some of this may be time sensitive. Dogs get old and breeders retire or pass away. So you need to get a hold of people as quickly as you can.
Look at the traits of each dog, temperaments and what their grandparents and parents look like. As far back as you can. Nose length, hair length, hair quality, teeth if you can find pics or get information on it. Legs, back, topline, ears etc... Once you have your pedigree together, and it's never ending because you always find more information lol.... learn about genetics. Get some good books like Genetics of the Dog by Malcolm Willis, there are more but I can't think of what I have at this time. If I think of them I'll post them here as soon as possible. Also check out dog coat color genetics http://www.doggenetics.co.uk/. Learn about what traits are dominant and what are not. I highly recommend also learning about dog anatomy and physiology. If anything goes wrong you are going to need to know some of this. Find good dog breeding books.
Now, make a breeding plan. Taking the pictures and notes of your pedigree and
research and knowledge of dogs and genetics. Go look up the breed standard and
history of what your breed used to look like and what they were bred for. Some
times you may need to make a decision if you want to produce a working dog,
having it bred for traits that excell in the job it was bred for, or for show.
Most times the two will coincide but not always. Now a days some of the dogs
are losing the traits they were originally created for. Decide what you want
your dog to look like, what traits you want to lock in, and what you want it
to act like. This takes a long time. But in the end you will have a great plan
and lots of knowledge to go off of. Also decide how many dogs you can have at
your house. You may only want to have three live in your house. You may want
to have the stud and dam on property or have the stud live with someone else
so you don't have to worry about accidental breedings. There is more and I'm
sure I can go on forever lol. But that is a good start I think. You know, a
lot of people will tell you to research the pedigree, but then you find out
they only have looked at the 4 generation pedigree they got from akc or something
and really never looked hard into the pedigree, genetics and history of their
dog. Anyway, hope that helps those that are looking on where to start researching
their dog's pedigree.