Ask AKC with Lisa Peterson
April 2007

Dear Lisa: I have a question about the possibility of registering my Scottish Terrier with AKC. At the time of purchase I was given an application from another kennel club’s registry because the father of the puppy was AKC registered but the mother was not. Does this mean my Scottie can NOT be AKC registered? If YES, then please tell me how! Also, what is the difference between the two registries? It seems that dogs with AKC papers are more desirable. – Paper Trained Owner

Dear Paper: Unfortunately, your pup can’t be AKC registered since both parents of a puppy must be AKC registered to qualify, but you can certainly still enjoy many of the other programs and services AKC offers. You and your dog can take the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, microchip and enroll your dog in AKC Companion Animal Recovery, and once you spay or neuter your pet, you can apply for an Indefinite Listing Privilege (ILP) number which allows you and your pet to compete in AKC Companion events such as Obedience, Rally, Agility and Tracking.

 I’m often asked “What’s the difference between AKC other purebred dog ‘papers’?” Besides being the largest and oldest, AKC is the only, not-for-profit, purebred dog registry in the world. Therefore, AKC uses your registration dollars for many public education initiatives including promoting responsible dog ownership. All of the competing registries are for-profit companies.

AKC Registration dollars also:

  • Created and support the AKC Canine Health Foundation, which funds research projects focusing on the genetics of disease, the canine genome map, and clinical studies. AKC has donated more than $15 million to the Canine Health Foundation since 1995.
  • Award $240,000 in scholarships annually to veterinary and veterinary technical students and youths active in the sport of purebred dogs.
  • Conduct approximately 5,000 kennel inspections annually to ensure the integrity of the AKC registry and monitor care and conditions at kennels across the country.
  • Operate a Canine Legislation department that provides input for federal, state, and local legislation governing responsible dog ownership.

The other major difference is that as a new AKC registrant, puppy buyers can enjoy a complimentary trial pet healthcare plan, e-certificates, a free veterinarian visit certificate, participation in AKC events and be recorded as part of your breed’s history with an attractive AKC Registration certificate.

Dear Lisa: I have a German Shepherd Dog and a Pomeranian. I walk both dogs at the same time but I wonder how much is too much of a long walk for the Pomeranian. The German Shepherd Dog seems unfazed by the time and length of the walk. My Pomeranian seems OK, but she will sit down on the walk if it gets to be too much for her. What amount of exercise in the form of a walk should be the maximum for the Pomeranian? – Walking With Worries

Dear Walking: Each breed was originally bred for a specific purpose. The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) used for herding was developed for long hours on the farm and in the field. According to the German Shepherd Dog Club of America standard for the breed, “At a trot the dog covers still more ground with even longer stride, and moves powerfully but easily, with coordination and balance so that the gait appears to be the steady motion of a well-lubricated machine.” This dog was made to keep moving over long distances.

Stride Matters
The Pomeranian on the other hand, with an average weight being from 4 to 6 pounds, is a toy breed with a little quick stride compared to the GSD. But the Pom is unaware of his small size and will try to keep up with his bigger buddy. It will take this diminutive dog many more strides to equal one of the GSD, thus he would be working harder to cover the same ground. His sitting down during the walk means he has had enough and needs to rest. Picking up the pooped-out Pom while you finish walking the GSD is an option, but not very practical.

A better alternative might be to walk each dog separately. This will give the GSD a vigorous trot that he needs to keep in shape, and give the Pomeranian a shorter version suited for his needs. By taking separate walks, each dog gets his own special time with his master and that will also create a deeper bond with you and each of your dogs.

Lisa Peterson, a long-time owner/breeder/handler of Norwegian Elkhounds, is the AKC Director of Club Communications. If you have a question, send it to Lisa at and she may select it to be answered here in Ask AKC.

© 2007 The American Kennel Club, Inc.