Understanding Canine Registries

Reputable registries, and which registries to avoid when choosing your new family member

Registering your canine friend is very important. Not only will you be able to track his/her lineage/background, you will receive and enjoy all the benefits of registration.

Registering your canine with a reputable registry protects PUREBRED canines.

Three of the most reputable all-breed registries are AKC (American Kennel Club - most popular & reputable in the U.S.), CKC (Canadian Kennel Club NOT to be confused with the Continental Kennel Club) and UKC (United Kennel Club) . 

Make sure you DEMAND to see proof of registration of both

the Sire & the Dam of the puppy you decide to acquire before bringing him/her home.


American Kennel Club - AKC

The American Kennel Club was established in 1884 by a group of enthusiasts representing several dog clubs. According to the American Kennel Club's Mission Statement, its goal is to "maintain a registry for purebred dogs and preserve its integrity. The American Kennel Club "records the parentage of over one million dogs annually, but is not itself involved in the sale of dogs and cannot therefore guarantee the health and quality of dogs in its registry." The AKC sponsors over 15,000 dog competitions each year held by member clubs and also supports and promotes the canine sport including Agility, Obedience, Tracking, Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Lure Coursing, Herding, Earthdog, Coonhound events as well as Conformation Shows.

Currently, the AKC recognizes 157 breeds of dogs categorized into 7 groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. There is also Miscellaneous Class.

Breeds officially recognized for AKC registration appear in the Stud Book of the American Kennel Club. A new breed is admitted to the Miscellaneous Class when there is an active parent club with substantial breeding activity.

According to the AKC definition, "...Breeds in the Miscellaneous Class may compete and earn titles in AKC Obedience, Tracking and Agility events. Miscellaneous breeds are also eligible to compete in Junior Showmanship. They may also compete at conformation shows, but here are limited to competition in the Miscellaneous Class and are not eligible for championship points."


United Kennel Club - UKC

The United Kennel Club was founded in 1898 by Chauncey Z. Bennett and currently owned by Wayne R. Cavanaugh. The United Kennel Club is the second oldest and second largest all-breed dog registry in the United States. It registers over 250,000 dogs annually. The performance programs of U.K.C. include Conformation Shows, Obedience Trials, Agility Trials, Coonhound Field Trials, Water Races, Nite Hunts and Bench Shows, hunting tests for the retrieving breeds, beagle events including Hunts and Bench Shows, and, for Cur and Feist Squirrel and Coon Events, and Bench Shows.

Currently, the United Kennel Club recognizes over 300 breeds of dogs categorized into 8 groups: Companion Breeds, Guardian Dogs, Gun Dogs, Herding Dogs, Northern Breeds, Scenthounds, Sighthounds and Pariahs, Terriers.


The Canadian Kennel Club - CKC (NOT to be confused with the Continental Kennel Club - See below)

The Canadian Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada. The services provided by the Canadian Kennel club include registration of purebred dogs, sanctioning of the dog shows, field trials, tracking tests, and hunt tests and maintaining the official records for these events and awards championship titles as well as animal recovery.

Currently, the Canadian Kennel Club recognizes over 160 breeds of dogs which are categorized into 7 groups: Sporting Dogs, Hounds, Working Dogs, Terriers, Toys, Non-Sporting Dogs, Herding Dogs and one Miscellaneous Class (breeds recognized in other countries but still awaiting full CKC recognition).


The Kennel Club - UK

The Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1873. The Kennel Club registers over 200,000 pedigree dogs every year. Cross-breeds are also eligible for registration in their own right under the Activity Register and with the Companion Dog Club. Currently, The Kennel Club recognizes around 200 breeds of dogs which are categorized into 7 groups: Hound, Working, Terrier, Gundog, Pastoral, Utility and Toy.


Australian National Kennel Council - ANKC

The Australian National Kennel Council is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Australia.

Currently, the Australian National Kennel Council recognizes over 170 breeds of dogs which are categorized into 7 groups: Toys, Terriers, Gundogs, Hounds, Working Dogs, Utility and Non-Sporting.


New Zealand Kennel Club - NZKC

The New Zealand Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in New Zealand.

Currently, the New Zealand Kennel Club recognizes over 180 breeds of dogs which are categorized into 7 groups: Toy, Terrier, Gundogs, Hounds, Working, Utility and Non Sporting.


Fédération Internationale Cynologique - FCI

The FCI is the World Canine Organization. It was created on May 22nd, 1911 with the aim to promote and protect purebred dogs. It includes 80 members and contract partners that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. FCI is not a registry and does not issue any pedigree. The FCI activities include: keeping records of the results of international shows and certificates of Champion of Beauty, Working, Agility, Obedience, and Race; confirmation of the titles, updating and translation of the breed standards, maintaining a record of lists of judges, translation and updating of the various international regulations, and setting up the calendar of the international dog shows.

Currently, The FCI recognizes 332 breeds categorized into 10 groups: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs), Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds, Terriers, Dachshunds, Spitz and primitive types, Scenthounds and related breeds, Pointing Dogs, Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs, Companion and Toy Dogs and Sighthounds. Standards of these breeds are owned and developed by specific countries.



BEWARE of the registries listed below!!

The Registries listed below are NOT worth the paper they are printed on!

If you pay or have paid more than $200.00 for a pup/adult dog that is registered thru one of the bogus registries below, you have been completely swindled!



Below are some "alternative" registries, with whom many can register a dog regardless of its parentage as long as the fee is paid. Many *register* mixed breeds and require no proof of parentage, and are promoters of commercial breeders and puppy resellers (broker to pet stores). Most Puppy Millers use these ‘so called’ registries to bilk the public into believing that they have credence.

If the Dam or Sire of a puppy that you are thinking of adding to your family is registered with one or more of the registries listed below, please reconsider and look elsewhere for your new companion that is able to be registered with one of the legitimate, reputable registries above!


Even stolen AKC registered dogs can unknowingly be registered by these other "registries".  Once registered with these "alternative" registries,  the breeder producing puppies out of this stolen dog, can begin producing puppies with "papers" ~ perhaps enhanced with copies of the dog's legitimate pedigree or listed under another's name.


Please take note: some of the registries listed below have similar or very similar initials as the older and well established registries. This can cause confusion for puppy buyers. Don't be misled!

Be aware -These are but a FEW of the "alternative" registries out there:


"Continental Kennel Club"  - CKC

(DO NOT confuse with the true CKC ~ The Canadian Kennel Club! )
"Continental Kennel Club"
will recognize a cross between any two purebred dogs, and will issue a registration certificate on their offspring. These crosses are not registered as purebred dogs but are registered as the offspring of purebred dogs. "CONTINENTAL KENNEL CLUB accepts registration applications and issues certificates based on the honor and integrity of the owner/breeder applicants, and CKC accepts no responsibility for any inaccurate, false, or fraudulent information submitted on registration applications". "Continental Kennel Club" sponsors no conformation shows or championships that have a dog completing against others (their website claims that the dog receives an "evaluation"). "Continental Kennel Club" also gives big fee discounts to large kennels registering lots of dogs (such as "commercial breeding farms" ~ also known as "Puppy Mills”). Will register dogs not registered with other recognized registries.


"American Canine Association" - ACA
Advertises that over 3000 adult breeding canines are registered each week. The only registry endorsed by Petland. They cater to commercial breeders. They refer puppy seekers to pet stores.


"American Field Dog Stud Book" - AFDSB
Besides registry service, they have a lot of advertising of products and certain kennels. AFDSB registers sporting breeds that are NOT recognized by the AKC.

"American Purebred Registry" - APR
Will register unknown pedigree dogs/cats, does not sponsor any shows, no proof of purebred required.


"America's Pet Registry ~ Inc."  - APRI also acquired AKR~ Academic Kennel Records
Advertises free registration for commercial breeders. Founded by retailers of pets (commercial breeders and resellers). You have no recourse as a buyer of a puppy bought thru them if the seller does not want you to know their contact information such as phone number, etc.


"Animal Registry Unlimited" - ARU
Guarantees they will register your pets of unknown pedigree, encourages cross breeding. Gives special prices for bulk registrations.


"Canine Registration and Certification Services" - CRCS
They cater to commercial breeders. ~ CRCS has apparently removed/lost their website presence.


"Dog Registry of America"  - DRA - Formerly named "U.S. Kennel Club"
No DNA certification, registers unregistered/unknown/mixed pedigree dogs, brags about added value for sellers and confidentiality. 


"Federation of International Canines" - FIC
Gives special bulk discounts for volume breeders. If a purebred dog does not have any registration, they will register application for the dog, on a person's signature.


"International All Breed Canine Association of America"  - IABCA (associated with "UCI")
IABCA: "Domestic canines of unknown ancestry that are used in the development of a breed shall be permitted for registration purposes within the Foundation Registry only.  Non-domestic canines , pure species or non-domestic x non-domestic hybrids are considered non-domestic and are to be registered in IPDBA's affiliate for non-domestic canines, the International Progressive Exotic Breeders' Alliance (IPEBA), Canine Division.


A **International Champion** title on a pedigree -  is NOT an AKC CHAMPION title! Just look how easily these "International Champion" titles are "awarded" by IABCA,  with NO competition against other dogs!. The *International Champion* titles you might sometimes see being advertised by some breeders, were obtained by that dog never having traveled outside of the United States, nor even out of state in most cases! Many owners of dogs that could not hope to win a *champion* title in a registry such as AKC, will still seek to have their dog appear to have a *champion* title of some sort.


"North American Purebred Dog Registry" - NAPDR
Any Dog that does not have registration papers or proof of pedigree may be registered with NAPDR.


"National Kennel Club" - NKC
Seems to register unknown pedigree dogs with an “inspection”. NKC will register dogs that meet the 7/8 purity requirement. They hold "NKC Sanctioned Events".


“Purebred Canine International Registry Service" - PCI
If a purebred dog does not have any registration, they will register the dog after a person sends three (3) close-up color photos (front and each side view) with a completed PCI registration application, which may or may not be registered with any other kennel club or those that have no previous history of their Sire or Dam.

Update: It looks like "PCI" cannot be found on the internet, now.  Hmmmm….go figure.


"Silver Labrador Registry" - SLR
A group of so-called ”silver" or "silver-factored" Labrador Retriever breeders created their own registry "the only one of its kind-EVER!" What these breeders are calling a "silver" or "gray" Lab, is NOT a color recognized by respected canine Registries! 
"Silver" breeders may only register AKC Labrador Retrievers having this "silver" color, as a dilute "chocolate" if they wish to register with the American Kennel Club!

Some "silver" Labrador Retriever breeders are now advertising their dogs as "titled", or even "multi-titled". However, these "titles" are NOT in AKC or Canadian Kennel Club conformation competition! Instead that "title' is for “CD" (“Companion Dog”) ~ which is merely a beginning obedience title! NOT a CH title!!!

Sometimes, one might even find a "silver" lab being toted as an "international CH" / "multinational CH” (see above: IABCA)

You will NOT find a "silver" (registered as a dilute chocolate) Labrador Retriever titled as an AKC "CHAMPION", or Canadian Kennel Club "CHAMPION".


"United All Breed Registry" - UABR
Advertises free registration of adults when you register a litter. They cater to the commercial breeders.  Started "Gold Label Pets" for commercial operations, and promotes retailers.


"Universal Kennel Club International" - UCI (associated with "IABCA”)
They c
ater to the commercial dog industry and promises "Complete Privacy Protection" for all breeders. They do not have a Code Of Ethics and brags about that. They do not currently impose any fines or penalties upon its members for violations of its policies, rules, regulations, guidelines, programs, restrictions and systems. Registers "mixed" breeds for breeding purposes. They will register unknown pedigree. UKCI does not post their "Foundation Stock Registration Application" for dogs never registered/ lost registration online for you to view. If you wish to see what requirements for registry (if any) that is needed to register any dog with them ~ e-mail them and ask them for this application if you wish to view it for yourself.


"World Kennel Club" - WKC
Registers ALL dogs that are *pure-bred*, which may or may not be registered with any other kennel club or those that have no previous history of their Sire or Dam.


"World Wide Kennel Club" - WWKC
Will register dogs that are registered with *any other* kennel club.


"United States Department of Agriculture" - USDA
Registered puppies come from "commercial breeding farms" ~ commonly referred to as large scale "Puppy Mills". These "commercial breeding farms" sell to stores and brokers, and this is commonly where pet store owners get their puppies from.


Beware of breeders who offer Full Registration

(no matter which registry the canine is registered with)

to just anyone or everyone!


There are only 2 reasons why a heartless, irresponsible breeder would do this:

1 - They are simply too lazy to fill out the registration papers.

2 - They do NOT care about keeping the characteristic attributes of the breed free of genetic/hereditary problems….their only interest is making a buck.


Why should the breeder you choose offer pet quality, companion pups with Limited Registration?

Because the breeder feels, for one reason or another, that the pup does not have what it takes to contribute to their breeds gene pool (only a small number of pups of any breed qualifies to show and/or breed). Or it could simply be because they don't want the canine being bred willy-nilly by an amateur/clueless individual (like the gazillions of Back Yard Breeders/Puppy Millers out there).

In other words, it's because they care about the welfare of their breed, and of the pups they sell.

It is for the preservation and health of their breed.


Pet quality pups are fantastic animals and loving companions, but may or may not be show/breeding quality. Again, only a small amount of pups of all breeds have what it takes to show/breed and ONLY a caring, knowledgeable breeder knows the difference! You should look especially for a breeder that only offers Full Registration to qualified individuals & NOT just anyone or everyone, then you know they have the breeds best interest at heart. In fact, you shouldn't acquire a pup from anyone that offers Full Registration to just anyone...Period!