What I think Chris is politely saying is there are different ways to acquire this information about your dog and since you are a self described newbie on pedigrees....then the besy way is to get the information as close to your dogs as possible. Why? Because the dog is made of genetic (genotype) and physical expression,(looks or phenotype). To really under the pedigree you must have a thorough understand of the phenotype associated with the dog being mentioned so the genotype can be meaningful. So the advice Chris is giving, is to go to people who know or owned the dogs close up in the pedigree, to give you some phenotype or infomation on the physical/mental makeup of these dogs. Then you can start to piece together what you see with traits from different immediate parents as told to you from people who KNEW the dogs. This kind of information builds a database in your mind about dogs as certain traits keep occurring or reoccurring with certain dogs. For breeders this is necessary to be a knowledgable breeder and for owners it is the way to learn of your dog's background properly if you are interested like you say.
This is why some get perturbed when people only want pedigree information in the form of an analysis like I sometimes give(or Lisa, Sue, Chris, Carmen, Lee, RubyTuesday, Doc, and many others) about a dog. All of these people have many years , experience and hands on with this breed in a QUEST to understand the genetic side of the equation; knowing they had to have the experience part for the information to make sense.
So, see if you can get in touch with the owners/breeders of some of the dogs in the pedigree. That's the best place to start.JMO