Frequently Asked Questions

Miscellaneous

 Australian Kelpies
 AKC Reunite and microchipping
 AKC Canine Health Foundation
 AKC Museum of the Dog
 Reporting deceased dogs
 Cost of puppies
 Cropping, docking and dewclaws
 About CERF testing
 About OFA testing
 Magazines and publications
 Impure dogs
 Breed rescues
 Purebred definition
 Purebred vs. mixed
 Finding rare breeds
 Adding new breeds


  • Does the AKC register Australian Kelpies?

    From the May 1997 Board Meeting:

    The breed club had been advised that unless significant progress were made toward meeting AKC requirements for registration by July 1, 1997, the breed would be removed from the Miscellaneous Class.

    The Working Kelpies, Inc. indicated that the club did not wish to have the breed become AKC-registrable. AKC management recommended the following action for the Australian Kelpie:

    -June 1, 1997: Stop issuing ILPs.
    -July 1, 1997: Breed ineligible for Miscellaneous Class competition.

    The breed will remain listed in the Rules Applying to Dog Shows with the notation: July 1, 1997 - Australian Kelpies are not eligible to compete in the Miscellaneous Class. Only Australian Kelpies issued Indefinite Listing Privileges prior to June 1, 1997 are eligible to compete in Obedience.


  • What is the AKC Reunite and can they help with getting my dog microchipped?

    The AKC Reunite program maintains a national recovery database that assists in reuniting lost pets with their owners. You can contact them by telephone at 1-800-252-7894, or e-mail found@akc.org.


  • What is the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF)?

    The AKC Canine Health Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the health of man's best friend. They give grants and fund research dedicated to the betterment of the canine species.


  • Is there a dog museum?

    Absolutely! The AKC Museum of the Dog is located in Missouri. It has an extensive collection of artwork, books statuary and other items related to dogs. You can contact them at:

    The Dog Museum
    1721 South Mason Road
    St. Louis, MO 63131
    Phone: (314) 821-3647


  • My dog just passed away. How do I notify you so you can update your records?

    We are sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. You are not required to notify us but we would appreciate it. To have the information indicated in our system we would need a signed letter from you stating the dog is now deceased. Please include the following information in the letter: the dog's AKC name, AKC number and breed.

    You can mail the information to:

    American Kennel Club
    Attn: Registration Department
    8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
    Raleigh, NC 27617-3390

    You can also scan a copy of the letter and send it to us via e-mail to Customer Service if you want to. They can then forward that letter to the appropriate department. We will then indicate that the dog is deceased in our system and place a copy of the letter on microfilm.


  • How much should I pay for a puppy?

    We do not set prices for dogs nor do we have information on the cost of a particular breed. This cost is decided by the litter owner, pet store, or owner of the dog. There are no standards mandated by the AKC.

    If you would like additional information on a breed, or would like help finding a reputable breeder, you should contact the parent club for the breed. Go to our Club Search function and select National Clubs. Then enter the breed in which you are interested. The national club can answer questions specific to their breed and may be able to help you find a reputable breeder.

    You can also find a listing of breeder referrals on our Web site. Enter the breed and state for which you are interested and it will give you several contacts, beginning with the parent club, which may be able to help you find a responsible breeder.


  • What is the AKC's policy on cropping, docking and dewclaw removal?

    Please note the official AKC position statement on ear cropping, tail docking and dewclaw removal.


  • What is CERF testing?

    CERF is short for Canine Eye Registration Foundation. This is organization does testing for specific canine genetic defects involving the eyes, like Canine Retinal Atrophy.

    A local ACVO (American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists) certified Ophthalmologist could help you in getting your dog's eyes certified. If you have any detailed questions or if you want to find a local Ophthalmologist, you should contact CERF.

    You can also find additional information about how to read the CERF number on a registration certificate on our AKC Certificate section.


  • What is OFA testing?

    OFA is short for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. This organization does testing on canine hips and elbows for specific genetic defects like hip dysplasia.

    Your local veterinarian will know how to register your dog's hips. You will need your dog's registration number when you visit your veterinarian.

    Note: The AKC Board approved a requirement, effective Jan. 1, 1997, that imported dogs be permanently identified by AKC-approved methods prior to registration. It also approved a policy regarding permanent identification for OFA and CERF-tested dogs. The AKC will continue to publish all OFA and CERF numbers in the AKC Gazette until Jan. 1, 1997. After that time, only the OFA and CERF numbers of dogs positively and permanently identified at the time of testing will be published. Effective July 1, 1996, OFA and CERF transfers to the AKC registration database will occur only for dogs with positive and permanent identification at the time of testing.

    You can also find additional information about how to read the OFA number on a registration certificate on our AKC Certificate section.


  • Do you have magazines?

    The AKC offers several magazines devoted to the sport of purebred dogs. These include our flagship publication, the AKC Gazette. You can find more information about this and other AKC publications, as well as subscription rates and ordering information, in our magazines section.


  • What information do you have on breed rescues?

    Each breed's rescue contact person (if available) can be found here. The purpose of a purebred rescue program is to take in stray, abandoned, relinquished and/or impounded purebreds; to provide them with foster care, health and temperament screening; to nurture them and offer an opportunity for rehabilitation; to spay or neuter them; and eventually to place the rescued purebreds in new homes.

    Purebred rescue organizations are made up of folks who care deeply about their breed, and who are experts in all matters concerning their breed - i.e., the breed's strengths and weaknesses, health issues, best training methods, grooming how-to's, temperament, etc. Because of this, they are well equipped to analyze, rehabilitate and place each dog in the type of home that is best for the individual dog.

    Rescue organizations are careful to screen prospective homes, sometimes including follow-up inquiries and visits, and do their utmost to make the best match between a dog and an adoptive family.

    If you are interested in a purebred who can become a loving pet, and you do not intend to show or breed your dog, you may want to give a rescue dog a second chance for a safe and loving home.


  • What does purebred mean?

    Purebred means that the sire and dam of a dog are members of a recognized breed and that the ancestry of a dog consists of the same breed over many generations.


  • Are purebred dogs better than mixed breed dogs?

    There are many special benefits to owning a purebred. At the top of the list are matters of predictability and reliability.Purebred dogs are the result of a long process of selective breeding for specific physical attributes and temperaments. When you buy a purebred puppy you know what to expect as far as size, amount and type of coat, and temperament in the grown dog.

    When considering a purebred dog it is possible to narrow down the choices to those that most clearly fit your personal lifestyle and interests. For example, will the dog be good with children? Will you have the time to groom and exercise the dog properly? If you buy a dog with qualities you want it's more likely you'll be a responsible owner.

    A good purebred breeder will tell you why his or her breed is not for everyone and help guide you to a breed more suited to your lifestyle. These breeders also have the experience to give puppies the care and nurturing they need at critical early stages. This not only insures you'll have a healthy puppy, but that the puppy is much less likely to develop into a difficult or impossible adult.

    As an advocate for all dogs and dog owners, AKC will launch a special Mixed Breed Listing program in the fall of 2009. This service will allow owners of mixed breeds participate in standalone AKC Agility, Obedience, and Rally trials.



  • I am looking for a rare breed dog. Can you help me find one?

    The AKC can only assist with breeder referrals for AKC recognized breeds. You should also check out our section on FSS breeds. If the breed for which you are searching is not listed here, you may want to contact the Foundation Stock Service at fss@akc.org.


  • How do you add new breeds of dogs to the list of AKC recognized breeds?

    The AKC Board of Directors has the authority to add a breed to the list of AKC-registerable breeds if, in its opinion, sufficient evidence is presented to justify such action.

    There are a number of factors the Board considers in making this decision, including documentation that the breed in question has been breeding true for many generations, with accurate record keeping; evidence that there is sufficient interest in the breed throughout the United States; and a national club in place that meets AKC requirements to act as the parent club for the breed.

    There are a number of reasons why some breeds might not be registerable with the AKC. They could include such things as lack of sufficient interest in the breed in the U.S., registry records that fail to meet AKC requirements, the absence of a national club that meets AKC requirements or no desire on the part of enough dog owners to become affiliated with the AKC.

    Many of the "rare breeds" are being recorded in our Foundation Stock Service (FSS). This service is provided by the AKC to help new breeds develop and establish breeding records. It does not mean the breed is AKC recognized. It does mean there must be some parent club that is organizing and working on having the breed recognized by the AKC.

    Information about the AKC's FSS program may be obtained by e-mailing fss@akc.org.