Puppy Registries Tips

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Is the ACA puppy registry any good?

The ACA Puppy Registry - Health Trumps Appearance

If you are concerned about the potential health of your new puppy, you may want to look for a breeder who uses the American Canine Association's puppy registry. Unlike many other breed registries, the ACA seems to put less emphasis on the appearance of the dog's parents than it does on their health.

When you look for an ACA registered litter, don't assume the parents are free of hereditary defects. Ask to see a copy of the ACA health form and look at the results listed. The ACA enables breeders to have dogs certified as being free from hip dysplasia, knee dysplasia, thyroid conditions and many other hereditary issues, but that doesn't mean the breeder has had all the tests done.

If you are concerned with the appearance of your puppy, too, you will want to take a close look at the confirmation of the parents. Also, if this isn't the first litter of puppies, ask if there are pictures of older puppies from other litters. People who are delighted with their new puppies often send pictures of them to the breeder during milestone events over the first year or so. Seeing these puppies gives you a better idea of what your puppy will look like than looking at the parents, since the puppies are a combination of both parents' characteristics.

What is the AKC puppy registry?

About the AKC Puppy Registry

For someone who doesn't know much about purebred dogs, all those initials are bewildering. Why do more than half the dog ads you look at say AKC on them? Should you be looking for ads that have those initials?

AKC stands for the American Kennel Club, the oldest existing puppy registry in the United States. It is a way for people to keep track of pedigrees and try to improve their dog breed. The registry does not accept all dog breeds and not every purebred dog of a recognized breed is allowed to be registered by this organization.

  • To have an AKC registered puppy, breeders need two AKC registered parents that do not have a limited registration.

  • When the puppies are born, their breeder needs to send in a litter registration form which tells the AKC how many male and female puppies were born and what their colors are.

  • The AKC sends back forms that are given to the puppies' buyers, who need to submit the forms, along with a fee to the AKC within the allowed time period.

  • The AKC sends out the registration forms to the new owners, who now have proof that they own an AKC registered dog.

What does it mean when dog registries offer limited registration?

Limited Registration by Dog Registries

As you search for puppies, especially AKC registered litters, you may notice that the breeders are offering limited registration. What exactly does that mean? Do only the first two puppies get to be registered? Perhaps you can only get your puppy registered during a certain time period.

Actually, limited registration is a way of registering dogs so that the new owners know they are purebred animals and can get an official registration paper, but cannot register any puppies the dogs would have. There are several reasons breeders tend to do this:

  • Breeders who show dogs will often have a few that don't meet the breed standard. They are healthy, sweet companions, but they have white spots, a kink in their tails, a bad bite, or another flaw in their appearance that keeps them from being show quality. They don't want these dogs that aren't up to the standard to be bred, which would cause the flaws to be put back into the breed's gene pool.
  • Sometimes a breeder just doesn't want someone else to benefit from his or her hard work. It can take 15 to 20 years and a lot of money to create a top quality bloodline that consistently does well in the show ring. These breeders feel that someone who buys puppies from their lines, breeds them and ends up with fantastic dogs all within the space of a year or two are getting an unfair advantage.

Is there more than one CKC puppy registry?

Canadian Kennel Club Puppy Registry

You see the initials CKC and immediately think this puppy ad is for puppies registered with the Continental Kennel Club. However, when you take a closer look, you see that this particular breeder on puppyfind.com is located in Canada. Can you find CKC registered dogs in Canada?

Actually, in this case, CKC probably stands for something quite different than the Continental Kennel Club. The Canadian Kennel Club is as well respected as its American Kennel Club counterpart. In fact, if you import a CKC registered dog to the US, you can apply to have it registered with the AKC as long as there are no problems with the CKC registration.

Of course, no matter how respected the organization that registers the puppies is, you will still need to pay careful attention to the breeder, the kennel and the appearance and hereditary issues of the parent dogs and their litter. You should also ask for references and then take the time to actually call and talk to them. Until registries only accept litter registrations for dogs that they have personally inspected for health and conformation, you are still just buying a fancy birth certificate for your puppy. Nothing takes the place of a bit of research.

Is a puppy registered by the CKC puppy registry a good idea?

The CKC Puppy Registry

The Continental Kennel Club puppy registry is a bit different than some other registries. This organization doesn't just register litters of puppies. It also will register an adult dog that does not have registered parents. When you first hear this news, you may feel a bit anxious about buying a CKC registered puppy. However, these dogs that are registered as adults are actually more likely to resemble the breed standard than pet quality dogs that have several generations of registered dogs in their ancestry.

To be registered by the CKC, a dog that was not registered before by any registry must be at least six months old. Two people have to agree that the dog has the proper breed characteristics and the owner has to include three photos of the dog from different angles so the registry can see that the dog does indeed look the way it should look. On the other hand, many dogs that are already registered simply because their parents were registered and the breeder submitted a litter registration are quite poor examples of the breed.

In addition, this organization offers several very nice options, such as free litter registration and the ability to get your puppy micro chipped at the time of registration.

Why do we need pet registries?

Why Do We Need Pet Registries?

If you've had both mixed breed and purebred dogs, you know that dogs that are registered through pet registries are not always better pets. Many mixed breed dogs make wonderful companions, as do purebred dogs that aren't registered. So, exactly why are pet registries important?

  • Registries are a way to keep track of bloodlines for different breeds. In addition, they help people who are buying puppies be sure they are actually getting a purebred puppy from their breed. Some registries require the puppy to mature and get a health exam from a licensed veterinarian before it is registered, which will eventually help the different breeds to become healthier. Others require a stud dog to get DNA testing when he fathers more than a few litters in an attempt to keep the breed genetically diverse.
  • Specialty clubs are often created for different dog breeds under a registry's umbrella, which helps promote the breed and encourages breeders to strive to improve their breeds' bloodlines as they attempt to make puppies that are as close to the standard as possible. The clubs also are instrumental in helping breeds overcome severe genetic issues, as they pool research and encourage breeders to screen their dogs.

Is it okay to buy puppies that aren't registered with an American puppy registry?

Buying Puppies That Are Not Registered With an American Puppy Registry

You've found your dream puppy. The whole family is excited, but you just realized the breeder didn't mention anything about the puppy being registered with an American puppy registry. Now, you are wondering if you should really still buy the puppy. After all, when puppies aren't registered, they are inferior, right?

Actually, there are several reasons why a puppy isn't registered and most of them have nothing to do with the quality of the puppy. The best thing to do is to talk to the breeder about this issue.

Some breeders feel that registering puppies encourages new owners to breed them. Usually, they didn't mean to breed their dogs and feel a bit guilty about the litter they accidentally had. The parents are beautiful dogs and the breeders have the parents' papers and will show them to buyers who ask to see them to be sure it is true that they are registered. They simply don't want people to make more puppies and will be neutering their own dogs to be sure they don't have more either.

Designer dog breeds, while wonderful pets, are not accepted by puppy registries like the American Kennel Club. Many times, people who breed Goldendoodles, Schnoodles, or one of the other deliberate mixed breeds people want decide that they won't worry about finding a registry that does accept these dogs.

Of course, there are bad reasons for not registering dogs, too. Some breeders don't care enough to make the effort. Others have been banned from the organization they used to use to register their puppies. Talk to the breeder and check references before you decide that no paper is no problem.

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Susan Sayour