Now for my rant. I view a pedigree almost like a recipe. If you LOVE chocolate chip cookies and you have searched long and hard to find the best possible recipe then you will most likely want to stick with it. You may come across someone who swears by putting Jalepenos and Peanut butter and cream cheese and glitter into your recipe that you will end up with an Uber fantastic Chocolate Chip Cookie. It could possibly even be the latest trend. But deep down, common sense is telling you... stick with your recipe.
Learning to read pedigrees becomes really clear with a little bit of effort. In the past I have seen a really nice looking animal and thought OOOOH! Then I looked at the pedigree and thought, EEEEEW! Another great thing about a pedigree is, it speaks volumes about the breeder. Someone who lacks in the "Art of Pedigree" usually doesn't care much about the breed in general.
Here are a couple of made up Pedigree Charts I put together as an example.
Another thing I wanted to point out was a common thing I have seen in pedigrees. I will use a key term here, "Lurkers". Lurkers are people who search for the best ingredients out there. They think if they can get the best ingredients then they will have the best also, even if they don't follow the recipe. They think that if their Pedigree has the best even once or twice on there, that it makes their pedigree much more valuable. People experienced in the Art of Pedigree know this is not possible. Responsible breeders also look out for "Lurkers" and try hard to never let any of their stock into their hands.
Sadly, as much as everyone loves the Chocolate Chip cookie, they are becoming harder and harder to find. However websites are popping up every day with lots of Hodge Podge cookies. Ideally breeders would put more time and thought into their breedings and use it as a learning tool. Unfortunately it has become more of a fun hobby to see how many different little cookies we can create. As a responsible breeder this will be my main reason for limiting the amount of pedigrees I ever give out and also limiting who I will ever place any of my stock with.