Mark Whitehouse says: When buying a pedigree puppy you need to see the Kennel Club official owner registration certificate and the Kennel Club official five generation pedigree certificate, as these are the only documents that truly count.

What is misleading, however, is that a lot of hand-written or computerised owners’ copies have abbreviations in front of the dog’s name – for example, FTAW (field trial award winner) or FTW (field trial winner). Although these dogs may well have gained these awards in official Kennel Club field trial competitions, they are not recognised at the Kennel Club and therefore not printed on the registration certificates.

In fact the only recognised abbreviation that is printed on both the official Kennel Club registration certificate and the five generation pedigree certificate is FTCH – which stands for ‘field trial champion’. To gain this prestigious abbreviation next to your spaniel’s name, you must have competed in and been the winner of two open qualifying stakes.

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