Importance of a pedigree

Importance of a pedigree

If you are a breeder, you might not fully understand the importance of a good pedigree and tracking your lineage. To most people, it seems like just a piece of paper with a few names and that’s it. But there’s a lot more going on behind that piece of paper and we are more than glad to explain the do’s and don’ts of having a pedigree and tracking your lineage. Because besides the services we provide, we also know you might want to have your own software to keep track of everything about your animals. Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long article!

The basic pedigree

As a beginning breeder, you might feel a little lost in the world of breeders, pedigrees and all of the do’s and don’ts that are involved. So we’ll start with the basics of a pedigree. This is a piece of paper with information about the animal you buy: name, birth date, color, inbreed percentages, breeder and new owner and sometimes even a registry number. There’s also a family tree with names of the parents, grandparents, great grandparents and sometimes even more. It depends a little per breeder and per club which information is shown on the animals in the background, but this basic information allows you to know which animals you buy are related and which are not. This is important, because too much inbreeding in a lineage can cause health issues that can limit the life expectancy of your hedgehog and its offspring. Inbreeding can also be used to enhance a lineage though, as you can select for specific traits to prolong to life expectancy. This is fully up to you to decide if you want to have animals with inbreeding in the lineage or not and a basic pedigree will help to see how related your hedgehogs are to each other.

Tracking weight & health issues

Aside from a basic pedigree, you might also want to keep track of your hedgehogs weights and health issues, like a check-up for worms or weights after a mating to indicate whether a female is pregnant or not. This helps to get an average weight for your hedgehog, so you can spot a hidden illness early enough to get a decent treatment, but is also helps indicating how your lineage evolves over the years. Are your hedgehogs getting bigger or smaller due to breeding generation upon generation and do you want that or do you want to go another way? It helps getting insight in your lineage and the same goes for health. Are you having more or less health issues over time, what have you changed to have caused that? Every bit of information about your hedgehogs can help you to see how well your lineage is doing.

Doing this in simple tables in Excell might go a long way, but different kinds of software also help to link the weights and health issues directly to the hedgehog in question. A lot of breeders use software for this kind of information so they have one single program to keep track of everything. But we will get back to you about software to use.

A species standard

Most species of animals have a species standard. This is a guideline about the shape of their body, so their body functions to best. Most species standards are made early on when a species is being imported as a pet or when a new breed is discovered and recognised within a club. It described how an animal should look and behave. Breeders use a species standard to compare their animals to and know which traits need to be worked on. So they know which traits to select for to better their lineage and improve the health, looks and behaviour of a species. For hedgehogs, such a species standard does exist, but hardly any breeder knows about it these days. The species standard is found on Hedgehog Central and is still used on hedgehog shows.

Animal shows

These animal shows aren’t just to show off your animals, but also have a function. These events are held to let breeders compete against each other, but effectively also to let breeders have other people look at their hedgehog to compare them to the species standard and give them a score based upon it. How these assessments work differs per club and per event but often times, organisations provide an example of what they look at and how they score the animals. Organisations often have different categories to compete in, based upon age, gender, color and/or species.

Show results

The show results can be tracked also to know how well your animals are doing and which traits need some extra attention and selection. By continuously competing in these events, breeding to get them as close to the species standard as possible and keeping track of those scores, you know just how well they look compared to their wild imported relatives upon which the species standard is based.

THPR’s extensive pedigree

THP Registry keeps track of all of the above for you and offers you the service to keep editing information on the pedigree pages. These pedigrees not only show this information to you, but also to all breeders that have a certain animal in their background. We also provide the option for pet owners to do the same with their pet hedgehogs to provide you with even more information and more insight into your lineage. We also provide breeder certificates to our members who register their hedgehogs with us, offer genetic calculations when you want to do a mating and want to know which colors you might be expecting and to our Premium Members we give even more service to enjoy tracking your lineage to the full extent.

The best thing is, after you’ve registered your hedgehog or your litter for a small fee, editing these pedigrees is free to use for as long as the hedgehog is alive!

You can track pedigree, nickname, genetic codes, inbreeding percentages, health, weights, show results, verification & breeding rights, pictures and even a list of relatives in our pedigree pages. And if you ever need anything else, you can always contact us and we will consider your ideas! We aim to be a global open platform to keep track of everything about your animals without ever displaying your personal information online. Always accessible, cheap and easy to use.

Want to become a registering member on THP Registry? Follow these three easy steps:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Apply for initials.
  3. Get your breeder certificate.

World Initials Database

THP Registry also keep track of a global database of initials and breeder names, so whenever you don’t know which breeder belongs to a certain initials on the pedigree, you can search for them using our World Initials Database (WID). This way you always know who is behind an animal. The WID is made by us, but we collaborate with different registries and clubs to keep track of which breeders are still breeding and which breeders aren’t. Or you can simply click on an animals name to display their pedigree pages and see which breeder is behind the animal. That’s how easy it works!

EMS code system

Much like the cat and dog clubs, we also make use of an EMS code system. This is a system where we use numbers and letters to indicate species, colors and patterns in a single code sentence, which replaces the often times long color names for hedgehogs displayed on a pedigree. EMS stands for Easy Mind System and everything about it is explained on our EMS code page. It takes a while to get used to, but once you know it, you never unlearn.

Other colors & patterns can be added by applying a new color standard. Read more here about the procedure to get colors recognised.


Aside from using THP Registry, you might also want to use your own software. Maybe because you find it easier to calculate inbreeding on your own, maybe because you want to keep track of additional information that you don’t want to display online or simply to keep track of a list of contacts including customers and breeders. Whatever the reason, an additional software to keep track of your lineage always comes in handy! And the software we personally want to feature is one we are very excited about ourselves, as we also use it for our pedigree tracking!

Zooeasy is a Dutch breeding software company that provides online software to track your pedigrees and share them with other breeders. They let you track everything we can track for you online, but the software also lets you make your own pedigrees to hand over to breeders or pet owners.

The best thing?

If you want to upload a completely new pedigree that isn’t registered into THP Registry yet you can export a .zoo file, upload it onto the registration form, saving you from having to manually entering all the information. Easily saving you half an hour of filling out the forms on our website. A match made in heaven!

Get Zooeasy Online

If you register on Zooeasy Online now, you can enjoy their 30 day trial and use a coupon code to get 10% off on your first 1-year subscription! The coupon code is available until the end of december 2020.

  1. Click on the logo above.
  2. Choose the single user, multi user or unlimited subscription.
  3. Make sure you have clicked the annually payment option.
  4. Click the “30 days free” button at the bottom.
  5. Fill out your information to create your database.
  6. Follow the website’s directions and enjoy 30 days for free!

Get your discount

  1. Upon logging in, click on “My subscription data” in the left menu.
    A pop-up will open with your subscription information.
  2. Click on the button “To extend” on the right.
  3. Click the “Extend with 1 year” option.
  4. Use the discount code “THP”.
  5. You will receive 10% off of your 1 year subscription.
  6. Click “Proceed” and follow the website’s directions to complete your payment.