AKC eNewsletter



Looking for a Book on Breeding? The AKC Library can help you find it.

By Theresa Shea, editor

Whether you’re a novice or expert, if you’re looking for a book to help you become a better breeder, the AKC Library can help you find it.

The AKC's Library is housed in the AKC's NY headquarters. Abbie Ross ©AKC

The AKC Library serves as a library of record for all matters relating to purebred dogs. It maintains educational resources about the development of purebred dogs, the sport and enjoyment of dogs and many other topics. Staff provides research assistance, guidance and direction to those interested in the welfare and advancement of purebred dogs.

“At a local public library, you’re likely to find books on how to whelp, how to mate a dog – the mechanics of breeding,” said AKC Librarian Barbara Kolk. “We have those here, but we also have books on the genetics and the art and science of breeding. There are books that focus on the idea of making a better dog. They’re written by people who are saying, ‘Think about what you are trying to achieve.’”

The AKC Library’s online catalog represents the holdings of what is thought to be the world's largest and most diverse canine library. The collection covers 17 languages representing 2,000 years of written material concerning the dog. The online catalog aids in identifying information sources on subjects associated with breeding for type and functionality as well as the role of the dog in sport, companionship and cultural traditions. The online catalog is a work in progress and does not yet represent all of the library's holdings. Particularly absent are records for the AKC’s extensive collection of breed-specific journals and yearbooks.

“If a person wants a book on a particular subject, they can go to our online catalog and get a whole list of titles — some are not common,” said Kolk. “They can then take that list to a local library and request through interlibrary loan books that may not be on the shelves.”

The AKC Library was established as an on-site research and reference facility. It is housed in the AKC’s New York City headquarters and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Its volumes include bound periodicals, foreign and domestic stud books, art, literature, sporting, history and juvenile books. In addition, it houses extensive collections of videos, stamps and bookplates as well as vertical files of clippings and magazine articles. Bound volumes of the AKC Gazette, the official publication of the American Kennel Club from 1889 to present, as well as all AKC Stud Books are also easily accessible to researchers. As a reference-only library, it can not participate in interlibrary loan, and its materials do not circulate.

Librarians answer requests for information that cannot be researched by other AKC departments. The Library is service-oriented, and the staff makes every attempt to provide as much information as possible. While AKC does not recommend or endorse specific grooming, training, breeding or health care organizations, the Library will provide patrons with information to help them make an educated choice in these matters. Anyone needing information about these materials or who has any questions about what they see or don’t see in the catalog should contact the library by e-mailing library@akc.org or calling (212) 696-8245.


The AKC Library has put together a special list of books on breeding. Refer to this list when you’re looking for books on breeding. Chances are, you’ll find some helpful titles to add to your own favorites.


  Ronald N. Rella, director, Breeder Services
Theresa Shea, editor | Email: AKCbreeder@akc.org
Customer Service | Phone: 919-233-9767 | Email: info@akc.org

© The American Kennel Club 2006