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Tattoos on dogs? Most likely a dumb question, but...

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  • Tattoos on dogs? Most likely a dumb question, but...

    Does anyone know if there is a way to find out what your dogs tattoo means? is there a registry in Canada that will explain it, like the breeder, litter, birth date.
    I know this must sound dumb, but I would like to find out more about one of my rescues.
    Any info would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Like Microchip

    Tatoos are a way of identifying a dog if it gets lost from its owners. At least thats how it is in the US. It was used alot before Microchipping and a lot of people still use it.


    • #3
      I googled around a bit and found this:

      Canadian Kennel Club (CKC): (416) 675-5511. Dogs bred in Canada and registered with the Canadian Kennel Club are generally tattooed in one ear or the flank. The tattoo is made up of three parts. First is a three character letter-number sequence which is the identification code of the breeder. This is followed by a number which is generated sequentially and refers to the number of dogs the breeder has registered that year, this is followed by a letter representing the year the dog was born. These letters are determined by CKC and some letters are not used. The most significant part is the initial, three character letter-number sequence. This identifies the breeder. An example of a CKC number: 7MR 1 C.

      I tried to look at Teddy's, but he's lying on it right now!


      • #4
        That's a really good question. I wonder if it's like the VIN on a car...
        Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
        George Sand (1804 - 1876)


        • #5
          If the tattoo is a CKC registration tattoo, the first three letters/numbers will identify the breeder and the remaining letter/number(s) will identify the puppy and year of birth. There are also tattoo combos belonging to veterinarians and other organizations which are registered with the SPCA, Humane Society, etc... You can contact the CKC or these organizations for info, but often a dog changes hands a few times before the info is updated.
          "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza


          • #6
            There should be a registry,, here all tatoos are linked to the rescue or the governing registry. Where and what is the tat? And what is the rescue? More info needed.
            ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~


            • #7
              Mannyman's Tattoo...

              Ok, Mannyman is the rescue that I took from his owner after she showed up at my door stating that she was putting him down at 9am the next morning. He was to be put down that day however the vet tech asked her to come see me first to see if I would take him on, as he was less than 2 years old, and he had aggression issues which I have dealt with for years.
              I took him, and love him to death LOL! however I never thought to ask about the tattoo, and the lady who brought him here, really thought I was insane for wanting a dog that was in her words "insanely vicious", she basically handed me his leash and walked away.
              So, I don't know what he is, or where he came from, but his tattoo is SS 28 and then O or Q
              it is located inside his right thigh.
              I live near a town called Summerside, so maybe I will check with the vets in town and see, who knows, maybe it is my vets tattoo, I just never thought to ask before now, and nobody mentioned it. Just thought with all the breeders and groomers on here, it would be a good place to ask about it!
              Thanks for all the info and I'll let you know what I find out, and what he actually is, a mutt or a certain doesn't really matter, after all, he's my boy and I will love him no matter what they tell me.


              • #8
                I know that the College of Veterinarians of Ontario had/have a tattoo ID program. Each clinic was assigned a code, each year was a difference letter of the alphabet and then the clinic kept a record of each animal given a tattoo.

                Perhaps you could contact your province's Vet Assoc. to see if they have a similar program. If they do, they could give you the clinic name.

                Keep us posted on your progress.
                "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." ~Dr. Seuss


                • #9

                  Cat Crazy, never thought of that, we have the Atlantic Veterinary University in PEI so that could be too, and the dog could be from Summerside, but gotten the tattoo there. I'll call around on Tuesday ( Monday is a holiday here - Islander Day) so nothing is open!
                  I will keep you posted and when I find out where he came from and what he is, oterh than my cubbybear, I'll be sure to let you all know!
                  Thanks again for all the great ideas!


                  • #10
                    It might also be nothing more than a i.d tatoo put on by the "breeder" (or puppy mill) to keep track of which pups belong w/which parents.....etc

                    At least that is my understanding of most of the tatoos that you now see on dogs are for. Seems like the more reputable breeders use the chips now.

                    This is just something I have heard and I could be totally
                    SheilaB from SC


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gluergirl View Post
                      Monday is a holiday here - Islander Day Lisa
                      I learned something new today. I didn't realize this new holiday would have different names in different provinces. Here in Ontario, Monday is "Family Day". Now I'm wondering, what's it called in the other provinces???
                      "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." ~Dr. Seuss


                      • #12
                        I had my English Setter tattooed. I had it done by Tattoo-a-pet. The numbers were just random id numbers. I think it was a combo of 9 letters/numbers, it was on his belly (ears can be cut off), it took about 3 minutes, he fell asleep during the process. The service came with a tag with the registry 800 phone number on it. I'd consider having future dogs of mine have this service.


                        • #13
                          tattoo's and microchips

                          Hey guys and gals,
                          I would be really happy to find out about the tattoo just so I know what kind of dog I have LOL! My other 2 I micro chipped as soon as I got them and had them "fixed" and needles and their check up. I am the forever homes for my dogs, so I really want to get any information on that tattoo so I can make sure all of Manny's info is under my name. I will be getting him chipped this spring at his appointment though. I don't want to run into a problem if the tat has different info on it that I am providing them with, so I want to do it soon.
                          Thanks for all the advice and all the meanings, and I will get on this on Tuesday and let you know what I find out about him and what breed/ or mix he is.
                          His previous owner is not helpful, she had him crated 24 /7 for the first year and a half she had him, so he has issues. I knew someone who knows the family and she explained it to me before she passed away. Manny was a runner, if the door opened he would run out, an I guess one of the times he got loose, he tried to bite the person who grabbed him by the tail, it was a stranger, and that's when they decided to put him down. However his fears are really bad. Thunder and lightning terrify him, he tries to climb into the refrigerator every time a storm comes. His crate was in front of the patio doors, so he was cornered in a cage while these storms went over and he must have been terrified being trapped. I also want to help him get over that, and we are making progress. So, wish me luck finding out more about him! Oh, and the only person Manny has bit since he came here was my husband, who was playing with him, but I told him to stop, Manny was getting mad, and Rob growled into his face and Manny grabbed him...think that would teach him a lesson, ut he has made the same mistake twice more ...some men never learn, not offense meant to the smarter guys out there though LOL!


                          • #14
                            Even though many people are now micro-chipping their pet for identification, there's a really important reason to tattoo a pet, even if you never register the tattoo number. That being that reasearch laboritories that buy pound seizure dogs, or dogs from brokers, absolutely will not but a tattooed pet. It is illegal for them to do so.

                            Tattoo your pet on the abdomen; never on the ear or inside of the thigh. It's easy to lop off an ear. A little harder to remove a leg, but still possible, and the dog can still be used for research. But it's pretty hard to remove a belly.