Breeders that go the extra mile incur significant expenses. For example, getting the appropriate health checks, hip quality, elbows, etc. Looking to the future, a dog with high enough breeding stats, those for which semen is frozen, could have their genomic sequence determined. Then known disease traits could be revealed or ruled out. I would think the future would be now for high value thoroughbred race horses.
Pedigrees are to some extent overrated. Unless you can track traits that can be readily identified in the phenotype or by DNA testing.Otherwise, once you get back a generation or two, the influence of a given ancestor gets washed out, so to speak. The important traits have complicated heritability, like mental/behavioral qualities. For example, there was that study at UC Davis to identify the gene(s) that determined the pointing instinct. It was not successful as far as I know.
So I would say proof of performance, in the public view (e.g. field trials) or in a good breeders own eyes and diligent selection by the breeder for the desired qualities, make for good results and worth a bit of premium.
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