Registration Benefits Buyers and Breeders
By Penny Leigh
When longtime breeder Pat Hall hands registration papers to new puppy buyers, she often gets the same reaction.
New puppy owners rely on responsible breeders to educate them about such key dog-ownership issues as the benefits of AKC registration.
“They just spent a lot of money on a puppy and they say, Why should I spend more money registering it?” Hall says.
Hall has bred top-winning dogs for 30 years at her Poricia kennels in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She registers her show-quality Toy Manchester Terriers and Chinese Cresteds herself but leaves the registration decision up to buyers who purchase a companion.
“It is very difficult to encourage pet-puppy buyers to register,” Hall says. “They just don’t see an advantage.”
What many puppy buyers—and breeders—do not realize is that the AKC offers many benefits to registrants.
“By registering their new puppy, owners are getting benefits totaling far more than their registration fee,” says David Roberts, assistant vice president of Registration and Customer Services.
Even if owners have no interest in showing or breeding, the $20 registration fee entitles them to features that add up to a great deal of savings:
60 days of complimentary pet health-care insurance;
- A free first office visit with a veterinarian enrolled in the AKC Veterinary Network;
- A free gift certificate worth up to $40 at dog.com;
- The AKC New Puppy Handbook, featuring expert tips on housebreaking, grooming, training, nutrition, and basic care;
- Reduced rate for Pet Lost & Found recovery service.
Be an Influencer
The AKC knows that the best educators of puppy buyers are breeders. Buyers respect and trust their breeders, and look to them for guidance with breed-related concerns. Because breeders are primary influencers for new puppy owners, the AKC relies on them to educate their clients about AKC goods and services available to them.
“In addition to information about care, we encourage breeders to talk to puppy buyers about why AKC registration is important,” Roberts says. “Even if puppy owners are not interested in conformation, they may discover the fun of agility, rally, or any number of other activities they want to try with their new dog.”
Breeders should urge puppy buyers to register their dogs, and they should stress the importance of registering quickly so new dog owners can take advantage of the free first vet-office visit and having their puppy insured for the first two months in its new home.
“The AKC cares about the health and well-being of dogs, which is why we’ve selected Pet Partners, Inc., to provide the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan,” says Keith Frazier, assistant vice president of Audit & Control and Veterinary Outreach.
“To assist puppy owners even further, we have arranged a unique registration benefit with Pet Partners: the complimentary 60-day trial plan. It is truly a no-strings-attached, no-cost pet-insurance plan that could save an owner $500 or more for an unexpected accident or illness.”
Breeders with Internet access can help buyers register before they even leave with their puppy by sitting down at the computer with the buyer and completing an online registration. That way the breeder makes sure the application is filled out correctly—and the buyer’s benefits are on the way as they ride home with their pup.
Breeders R Us
Owners aren’t the only ones who benefit from AKC registration. Registration fees support many AKC programs that are important to breeders. During the past five years, More than 28 million registration dollars have gone to support the AKC Canine Health Foundation, kennel inspections, search and rescue, Canine Good Citizen®, public-education programs, canine-legislation initiatives, the AKC Museum of the Dog, educational campaigns that promote responsible dog ownership, and much more.
The AKC is reaching out with new programs that make a breeder’s job easier. The past two years have seen the introduction of online litter and dog registrations, online breeder classifieds and recordkeeping, litter certificates, breeder symposia, litter coupons, and the newsletter you are now reading.
A new-puppy folder provides helpful information to puppy buyers in a convenient, attractive package. Breeders may add vaccination records, pedigrees, contracts, and other important documents to the folder, which also contains AKC brochures and literature on care, training, events, and other topics.
“Departments across the AKC are working together to focus on our breeders,” Roberts says. “Our outreach efforts reinforce the value of AKC registration and the deep appreciation we have for our breeders.”
Penny Leigh is an AKC internal consultant and a breeder-exhibitor of Flat-Coated Retrievers.