Investigations and Inspections Department

AKC Inspections Fact Sheet

The AKC is the only purebred registry in the United States with an ongoing routine kennel inspection program. The AKC has a dedicated team of field inspectors who visit kennels to help breeders while ensuring the proper care and conditions of AKC-registered dogs and verify that breeders are maintaining accurate records for their dogs. Since 2000, AKC field inspectors have conducted over 45,000 inspections nationwide.

Investigations and Inspections


  • Routine AKC field inspections involve several steps. Field agents begin every visit with a tour of the overall facility checking that the dogs as well as the condition of their environment are in good order. Field agents also check the dogs for proper identification, microchip, tattoo or collar tag.
  • After a thorough look at the dogs the field agent will review the breeder’s records, often advising the breeder with options on how to maintain hard copies in addition to using the convenient AKC online record system. Breeders are expected to maintain records for at least five years.
  • AKC randomly selects breeders for inspection yearly. In addition, to the random selection AKC inspects breeders based on written, signed and substantiated complaints.
  • Through kennel visits, inspectors seek to work with breeders to help correct any deficiencies, as well as help new breeders develop effective practices and procedures.
  • If an inspector finds minor deficiencies, the issues are noted and discussed with the breeder in an effort to help the breeder while at the same time meeting AKC’s requirements in the future. While the AKC does not have penal or regulatory authority, breeders who have major kennel deficiencies may lose AKC privileges (ability to register dogs or compete in events). In some cases, fines will be imposed, AKC privileges may be suspended and appropriate law enforcement authorities contacted.
  • The standard penalty for anyone convicted of animal cruelty involving dogs is a 10-year suspension and a $2,000 fine.
 

DNA Testing


  • DNA testing may be conducted during inspections as a way to verify the parentage of a litter of puppies. Employing this technology confirms that breeders are maintaining accurate pedigrees and verifies the integrity of the AKC registry.
  • DNA testing is non-invasive — it is obtained by swabbing a dog's cheek.
  • As part of the AKC's Frequently Used Sire program (FUS), DNA tests are mandatory for dogs that sire seven or more litters in a lifetime or more than three litters in a calendar year. On average, 45 percent of all AKC litters registered each year come from an FUS dog. The AKC has over 500,000 DNA profiles in its DNA database.
 

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