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Inspections & Compliance

Inspection FAQs

Why am I being contacted for an inspection?

American Kennel Club rules provide that the AKC or its duly authorized representative shall have the right to inspect the records required to be kept and the practices that must be followed and to examine any dog registered or to be registered with the American Kennel Club.  A complete copy of the Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline and AKC’s Care and Condition Policy may be found on our website.

What is the criteria for being inspected?

Each year the Compliance Division compiles a list of inspection candidates based on a person’s entire registration activity (adult dogs, litters and puppies) during the previous year. We also conduct inspections based on written and complaints from someone with firsthand knowledge.

What is the inspector looking for during an inspection?

All breeders should at a minimum keep the following written, hard copy records: 1) an individual ownership record on each adult dog that is registered or eligible for registration with the American Kennel Club; 2) litter records showing sire, dam, date of whelp and the names and addresses of all puppy buyers; and 3) a written emergency plan. Additionally all dogs present should be identified with a system of “on-dog” identification that will preclude any possible error in identification and it should be recorded to a hard copy record.  The system may be tattoo, microchip, or collar and tag.

During the course of an inspection we will also determine if the breeder is in compliance with the American Kennel Club’s Care and Condition Policy.  This policy may be found at:

Will I know the outcome of my inspection?

At the conclusion of each inspection, the breeder will receive a written inspection report that will clearly state the results of the inspection.  If there are minor areas of non-compliance you will be instructed how to make the necessary changes to fully come into compliance.  If there are major areas of non-compliance including those involving AKC’s Care and Condition Policy the breeder will be informed what needs to be corrected.  Further, local, state and if applicable federal authorities will be notified of our results.

Can I find out if someone has been inspected and the results of their inspection?

American Kennel Club records are confidential and as such we do not share the results of any inspection or if someone has been inspected with the public.

How do I know the person contacting me is an employee of AKC?

Every inspector will have a picture ID that identifies them as an employee of the American Kennel Club.  If a breeder should have any question about the identity of any inspector you may call the Raleigh, NC office to verify their employment.

Can I request an inspection?

We do not generally conduct inspections by request.

Can AKC seize my dogs?

The American Kennel Club is not a governmental agency and as such does not have the legal authority to seize dogs.  If in the course of an inspection we discover dogs that do not meet AKC’s Care and Condition Policy we will notify local authorities.