Frequently Asked Questions


 Sample contracts
 Dogs sales and contracts
 Dog name changes
 Owner name changes
 Cost of puppies
 Registered vs. unregistered
 Help finding breeders
 Complaints against breeders
 Co-ownership and divorces
 Kennel names
 List of kennel names
 Use of kennel names
 Impure dogs
 Fee schedule

  • Does the AKC have sample contracts?

    The AKC does not have sample contracts. Please see Chapter 3 of AKC's Procedures for Registration Matters for AKC regulations applying to contracts.

  • I have just bought an AKC registered dog and I would like to know if I can change the name that is on the AKC certificate?

    Please refer to Chapter 3, Section 7 of the AKC's Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline.

  • I just got married. How do I change my last name in your records?

    It is not important that you receive a new certificate for each dog reflecting your name change; however, it is important to have your name updated in our system. To have your name changed in our system, please send us the following:

    -A brief statement explaining the name change, stating your new name and your home mailing address.
    -A copy of a document showing the name change (ex: drivers license or a marriage license).
    -The registered name and number of each dog.

    If you do want new certificates for each dog, there is an $20 charge per dog (make check or money order payable to AKC).

    Please mail the above information to:

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

    After we receive the information above, we will then update our system. If you wanted new certificates, we will then print a new certificate for each dog and mail them to you.

  • What benefits are there to owning an AKC registered dog?

    Unlike some other registries in the United States, the American Kennel Club is not-for-profit. Registration fees pay for the administrative costs of registering your dog, for administering the sport of purebred dogs, for canine research and for many of the educational programs supported by the AKC. If a dog is registered with the AKC it can compete in events held under AKC rules. There is some competition at which every registered dog can compete. You can find additional information here.

  • Can you tell me if you have received complaints against a breeder or pet shop?

    If you have any questions about a local breeder or pet shop, it may be advisable for you to contact the Better Business Bureau to determine if they have received complaints against a breeder or firm.

    For reasons of fairness, we would not be able to tell you if we had received a complaint about a particular breeder or firm. Some complaints that are received cannot be substantiated and it would be improper to give out information until the conclusion of an inquiry. If an inquiry leads to a suspension, this information is published in our monthly magazine.

  • I just got a divorce and co-own my dog with my ex-spouse which was awarded to me in the divorce decree. How do I transfer the dog into just my name in your records?

    Chapter 1, Section C of AKC Procedures For Registration Matters states the following:

    "If ownership of a dog changes as the result of a divorce settlement, this change must be recorded as any other transfer. Transfer from one party to another, or from co-ownership to sole ownership should be recorded on the reverse side of the dog's registration certificate.

    If you are unable to obtain a properly executed certification of transfer and you request assistance from The American Kennel Club, be certain to submit the following:

    • The AKC registration certificate completed, with the exception of the unobtainable signature, together with the required transfer fee.

    • A photocopy of the divorce decree which includes the property settlement, or the appropriate document awarding ownership of the properly identified AKC dog in question.

    • The present or last known mailing address of the party whose signature cannot be obtained. If the dog's AKC information is not properly identified in the divorce decree, or if the co-owner refuses to sign or cannot be contacted, the dog will not be transferred.

    • If ownership changes as the result of a divorce settlement, the date of sale indicated in Section A of the certificate should generally reflect the date the property settlement became final.

    When all the information and material are submitted, the AKC will review the matter and ascertain whether the registration or transfer of ownership can be effected in its records."

    We cannot guarantee that submission of these items will result in the AKC recording the transfer of ownership of a dog. We have only outlined the necessary procedure to follow in this situation. All material for review needs to be sent to: American Kennel Club
    Attn: Customer Registration Support
    8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
    Raleigh, NC 27617-3390

  • How do I register my Kennel Name?

    The American Kennel Club offers breeders the Registered Kennel Name program as a way to protect the usage of their kennel's name in the naming of AKC registered dogs. When a kennel name is protected, the American Kennel Club will protect the name from being used in the naming of dogs without the permission of the owner of the kennel name. The American Kennel Club does not register breeders or kennels, and the granting of a Registered Kennel Name does not imply endorsement of said kennel or its stock by the American Kennel Club. The Kennel Name is for the sole use of the breeder in the naming of dogs either owned and registered by or bred by the breeder.

  • Is there a way to access all AKC registered kennel names?

    That type of information is not available.

  • What, if anything, can a buyer of a puppy do when the breeder has written a name that the buyer hates on the registration application? Is the right of the buyer to name a puppy no longer relevant, or can correction fluid be used on the blue application?

    The individual dog registration application states that "the person who owns the dog at the time this application is submitted to the American Kennel Club has the right to name it." While it is not uncommon for breeders to ask a new owner to use their kennel name in registering a puppy, unless there is a written agreement signed by both buyer and seller indicating the kennel name is to be used, the new owner is not obligated to do so. In most cases it is to the advantage of the new owner to use the kennel name, especially if it is a well-known and respected kennel. The AKC will not, however, reject an application if the name choice has been corrected.

    You can find the regulations that pertain to naming dogs in Chapter 2 of AKC Procedures for Registration Matters.

    On the registration application you can white-out the name choice and put in a new name. You may also put a line through the name and write a new choice above it. Keep in mind that the dog name is the ONLY thing you can correct on the application.

  • What do you do if you are notified an AKC registered dog is not purebred?

    If you would like to initiate an investigation of impure breeding, send us a letter with all information that you have about the puppy and the breeders. Describe, in detail, everything that causes you to think that there might be a problem. Please note that the dog in question must be at least 6 months of age. Include:

    • Pictures of your puppy (include at least a picture of the puppy in a standing position taken from the side at eye level and one that is taken head-on at eye level showing the face and skull structure)

    • Any other pictures that you feel would be relevant

    • Copies of all registration information and/or sales agreements

    Send the information to:

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

    If you have specific questions about Impure Breeding, you can email: