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AKC Compliance Department Lowers Litter Threshold; Rewards Good Breeders

In keeping with its mission of upholding the integrity of the registry and protecting the welfare of purebred dogs, the American Kennel Club® has announced a new protocol for its inspections program. Inspections of breeders who register with AKC focus on monitoring and enforcing accurate record keeping, dog identification and breeding practices and adherence to our care and conditions policy.

Specifically, the new inspection protocol includes:


  • For the first time ever, breeders who register 4 to 6 litters annually with AKC will be randomly selected for inspection.
  • As an added incentive for currently inspected breeders registering 7 to 24 litters annually, the AKC will waive one 18-month inspection cycle for those who pass two consecutive inspections. After the waiver, breeders will be placed back on an 18-month inspection schedule.


Standard protocols that will remain in place include annual inspections of all breeders of 25 or more litters, inspection of pet shops and distributors as well as inspections based on complaints with substantial documentation. AKC will continue to use DNA technology to verify the parentage of litters tested during kennel inspections.

These changes will enable the AKC to allocate resources and manpower to other areas of needed inspections while rewarding those breeders who are consistently found to be complying with AKC policies. Revisions to the compliance protocols were approved at the November 2006 Board of Directors meeting, and are now being implemented.

“We are very proud of the standards we uphold as a registry and of all our breeders. Their cooperation demonstrates their commitment to dogs and allows us to enhance the overall quality and well-being of AKC registered dogs, as well as raise the standards of dog breeding in this country,” said Tom Sharp, AVP Compliance. “Plus, our inspections not only protect the welfare of dogs, but help ensure that puppy buyers will bring home healthy and happy additions to their family.”

This new inspection protocol was based upon data reflecting current registration demographics and compliance results. While AKC formerly focused on breeders registering 7 or more litters annually, lowering the litter threshold to include randomly selected breeders of 4 to 6 litters will allow AKC to inspect those who chose to reduce their number of AKC registered litters in order to avoid inspection. Additionally, an AKC inspection helps new breeders implement systems and procedures to start off on the right foot. AKC registration and compliance statistics will be reviewed annually and resources will be adjusted, if necessary.

“We strongly believe AKC's common sense requirements protect the registry and everyone who cares deeply about purebred dogs,” said Sharp. “We want to help our customers keep their overall standards high, and have committed significant resources over the years to this effort.”

The AKC employs 14 field representatives located across the country to conduct inspections. In addition to their duties on the road, these field representatives are also being trained through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to represent the AKC during crises in their communities. In 2006, 14 AKC Executive Field Staff conducted approximately 4,800 inspections.

To find out more about AKC Compliance, visit: