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Board Policy Manual

Registration Policies

  • American Field Irish Setters (October 1975 Board meeting) +

     Based upon a request from the Irish Setter Club of America, AKC discontinued the registration of Irish Setters based upon pedigrees from the American Field Dog Stud Book.

  • Auction Policy (July 2003 Board meeting) +

     The Board reviewed its policy on Auctions, considering the recommendations of the High Volume Breeders Committee. Following a motion by Mrs. Strand, seconded by Mr. Gladstone, it was VOTED (unanimously) to revise AKC policy on auctions to read as follows:

    1. “The American Kennel Club considers auctions and raffles not to be reasonable and appropriate methods to obtain or transfer dogs.” (Note: items 1 and 2 have been reversed in order, but no wording has been altered).
    2. “AKC’s current inspection program shall include kennels/individuals offering dogs for sale at auctions.”
    3. “Any dog sold at auctions that is under 8 weeks of age or without microchip identification will be ineligible for AKC registration and shall be placed on permanent referral.”
    4. “The American Kennel Club discourages Parent Club rescue groups from purchasing dogs at auctions. Although Parent Clubs may be doing good things for individual dogs purchased at auctions, it perpetuates the problem and tends to create a seller’s market. Reciprocally, auctioneers seek more dogs of those breeds to offer at auctions. AKC applauds the work of Parent Club rescue groups on many fronts. However, AKC believes that the purchasing of dogs at auctions is not overall in the best interest of purebred dogs.”

  • Buckskin Plotts (February 2006 Board meeting) +

     The Board considered the issue of registering Buckskin Plotts. Steve Fielder, staff, was present for this discussion.

    Under current policy, a Plott may be registered based upon a three-generation pedigree from the United Kennel Club (UKC) or the Professional Kennel Club (PKC). While Buckskin dogs are born in brindle litters, they are not registered by UKC. AKC does register these dogs that are part of AKC litters, but those that are born in UKC litters are not registered by UKC and are thus ineligible for AKC registration. The AKC Parent Club is fully behind registering these dogs. Following a motion by Ms. Scully, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, it was VOTED (unanimously) to register Buckskin Plotts, from UKC or PKC litters, based upon the pedigree of their littermates, effective March 1, 2006. The pedigree must be accompanied by a statement from the owner, certifying that the buckskin-colored Plott is a littermate to the Plott for which the pedigree has been issued.

  • Canadian Border Collies (June 1998 Board meeting) +

    Canadian Border Collies (June 1998 Board meeting)

    Based upon the concurrence of the Canadian Kennel Club, AKC will register eligible Border Collies owned by residents of Canada.

  • Care and Conditions of Dogs Policy (April 2012 Board meeting replacing the April 1996 policy; amended February 2014) +

    The Care and Conditions of Dogs Policy, effective June 1, 2012, reflects the American Kennel Club’s values in promoting the responsible ownership and maintenance of dogs. These guidelines are meant as a basis for helping individuals ensure that dog care practices are performed and housing facilities are maintained in a safe, humane and responsible manner. The guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive or definitive, but rather are intended to serve as a working basic outline that can be expanded and refined as needed while lending uniform application of this policy. In addition to guidelines set forth in this policy, individuals are expected to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the ownership and maintenance of dogs.

    A. Care of Dogs

    1. Dogs should have play and exercise in an area sufficient for all dogs housed in the facility to be able to engage in those activities on a daily basis. Exercise area should be a solid surface.
    2. Dogs must have access to fresh water as appropriate.
    3. Dogs must have access to fresh food provided at appropriate intervals to maintain a healthy weight.
    4. Appropriate health care, including routine and preventative care, must be provided for all dogs.
    5. Dogs should be provided with daily positive human contact and socialization.
    6. Each dog should have its overall health and behavior assessed daily. Any deviation in health condition must be addressed expeditiously and appropriately.
    7. Dogs should be free from internal and external parasites.
    8. Dogs should be afforded regular grooming to ensure health and comfort.
    9. When euthanasia is necessary, it must always be performed humanely.

    B. Kennels and Housing

    1. The primary enclosure must be large enough so the dog(s) can sit, stand, lie down, or turn around comfortably, with no overcrowding.
    2. The primary enclosure shall be constructed and maintained so that dogs are securely confined and does not cause injury to the dogs.
    3. Protection from adverse or extreme weather conditions must be provided.
    4. While flooring that provides solid footing is preferred, if perforated or non-solid flooring is used in the primary enclosure, it should be comprised of a material featuring a protective coating, be of an appropriate for the size and weight of the dog to prevent injury (especially to feet), and must be kept in good repair. If perforated or non-solid flooring is used, a solid platform of sufficient size should be provided to allow the dog(s) to attain solid footing and to offer a space for resting
    5.  Facilities must be lighted to provide a regular lighting cycle for the dogs.
    6. Bedding material made available to dogs should be clean and not pose a risk to the dogs.

    C. Operations

    1. A sufficient number of staff must be provided to carry out appropriate levels of care and conditions for the number of dogs kept.
    2. Facility and primary enclosures should be clean, free from debris and odor, and feces should be picked up and disposed of as frequently as necessary so as not to pose a threat to the health of the dog(s).
    3. Each kennel should maintain an emergency preparedness plan adequate for the type of facility owned and breed(s) of dogs maintained therein.

    The above is in addition to the policy adopted at the July 1990 Board meeting to notify federal, state or local agencies of unsanitary and/or unhealthy conditions found by AKC Inspectors during inspection of kennels; that the US Department of Agriculture (APHIS) will be notified when such conditions prevail at kennels regulated by that department under the provisions of the U.S. Animal Welfare Act; and that other state/local governmental or humane agencies will be notified when such conditions are observed at kennels not regulated by federal law.

    In instances when dog(s) are found in conditions that place them in immediate danger, the Inspector will immediately notify agencies with jurisdiction regarding the danger to the dogs.

    During the course of an inspection, if an AKC Inspector determines that an individual is not maintaining his/her dogs or facility in a manner that is compliant with the AKC’s Care and Conditions Policy, the individual’s AKC privileges may be placed on temporary referral. The individual will be notified, in writing, of specific deficiencies and what steps need to be taken to come into compliance with the Care and Conditions of Dogs Policy. The individual shall be given 45 days to correct deficiencies and request a re-inspection. In cases where deficiencies are not corrected or re-inspections are not requested, the AKC may proceed with disciplinary action leading to suspension of all AKC privileges.

  • Customer-Driven DNA Complaint Policy (May 2002 Board meeting) +

     Effective July 1, 2002: Any AKC customer who questions the recorded parentage of a dog or litter may submit a complaint in writing to the AKC requesting DNA testing. The complaint must be accompanied by a deposit of $500.00. If the allegation is sustained the deposit is returned. If the allegation is not sustained, the deposit is forfeited and becomes the property of The American Kennel Club.

    In cases where parentage is shown to be incorrect, AKC will work with customers to correct the registrations of dogs and litters when possible. The responsible parties will be billed for the DNA processing costs and registration correction fees. Registration services will be placed on hold until payment is made. When corrections cannot be made, the necessary registrations will be cancelled. The AKC disciplinary procedures will apply to exclusions discovered as a result of this policy.

  • Dalmatians (Low Uric Acid or LUA) (October 2011 Board meeting) +

     Until November 1, 2014, AKC will consider the registration of descendants the Dalmatian, Stocklore Stipples, NS 601000, as follows:


    1. An Open Registration application is required:
      a) Include pedigree for the dog. While application only calls for a three-generation pedigree, the pedigree in this case must go back to and to document that the dog in questions is a descendent of Stocklore Stipples, NS 601000. All dogs in the pedigree must be AKC registered or AKC registrable.
      b) Include photographs of the dog, as required as part of the Open Registration process.
    2. Application is reviewed and pedigree researched by AKC staff.
    3. The dog must be tested for the normal SLC2A9 gene.
    4. Only dogs tested as homozygous or heterozygous for the normal SLC2A9 gene will be registered under this program (see 6 below). The test results will be recorded by OFA, with OFA covering the cost of this recording for one year, and the DCA covering the next two years. The results must accompany the Open Registration application.
    5. Applicants that qualify will be registered with an “NY” prefix. The same “NY” would also appear as a registration prefix for all of their descendants.
    6. Any descendants of Stocklore Stipples that do not test as homozygous or heterozygous for the normal SLC2A9 gene would not be eligible under this program to receive the “NY” prefix directly as the whole purpose of the Open Registration was to introduce the normal gene into breeding programs at the option of the breeders. Such dogs, which only carry the same mutated gene as in presently registered Dalmatians, would be eligible to apply for AKC registration, which would include the NY designation, provided both parents are AKC registered dogs, at least one of which carries the NY designation. Such registration of these dogs during the Open Registration period can only be accomplished as a member of a registrable litter.
    7. If it comes to AKC’s attention that any imported dog is a descendent of Stocklore Stipples, that dog would receive the “NY” prefix. Each application is researched and handled on a case-by-case basis.
    8. The Open Registration period will be for three years (November 1, 2011 through November 1, 2014). However, the policy on imported dog will remain in effect indefinitely.
    9. Frozen Semen may be registered only if the dog that produced it is deceased, and if it meets the requirements above. Any living dog must meet the Open Registration procedure, after which its frozen semen may be used to produce an AKC registrable litter.
    10. Once a dog is registered under this procedure, any descendants may be registered under regular AKC registration procedures. This would include any litter whelped prior to the dog’s registration. As prior registrations of such litters was previously prohibited by AKC, any late penalty would be waived.

  • Disclosure of Information (October 1983 Board meeting) +

     The Board affirmed as policy the long-standing operating procedure that AKC would refuse to disclose information from its registration records or from its correspondence files without the express permission of the principals or due process of law. This would include revealing the names and addresses of the owners of dogs. Information on an individual’s dogs or litters, as opposed to blanket information on all breeders in an area, would be given to IRS or to a government agency upon receipt of proper authority.

  • DNA and Imported Frozen Semen (August 1996 Board meeting) +

     Imported frozen semen may be used for multiple matings. Each breeding must be documented and the semen must be stored in a facility that meets AKC record-keeping requirements. If the semen was collected after October 1,1998 ,the stud dog must be AKC DNA certified before the litter is eligible for AKC registration.

  • DNA and Use of Fresh Extended and Frozen Semen (June 1998 Board meeting) +

     After October 1, 1998, AKC ‘DNA Certification’ is required for all stud dogs collected for fresh extended and frozen semen use, including foreign stud dogs collected for imported semen use in the U.S. The intent of this requirement is to include all semen collected for storage and/or shipment for the purpose of artificial insemination, but not to include artificial insemination where the dog and the bitch are both present. Frozen semen collected and stored prior to October 1, 1998 in accordance with AKC’s regulations and procedures is exempted from this requirement. Cheek swab DNA samples must be obtained by the collector and submitted with the notification of collection to AKC. DNA processing expenses are paid for by the owner at a set fee (currently $40). An ‘AKC DNA Certificate’ with the DNA Profile and Number is issued to the owner.

  • DNA Certification Program (June 1998 Board meeting) +

     AKC established the use of DNA in a DNA Certification Program as follows: DNA samples are collected by owners or authorized agents – on a voluntary basis – and sent to DNA Operations in Raleigh, NC. The resulting DNA Profile Numbers are added to future AKC registration materials and pedigrees, only if the dog is AKC registered when the DNA sample is submitted. A DNA Profile Number uniquely identifies the genetic constitution (genotype) of the dog and may be used to verify parentage of a litter, when sire/dam/pups have genotypes on file. All expenses are paid for by the owner at a set fee (currently $40), and an ‘AKC DNA Certificate’ with the DNA Profile and Number is issued to the owner.

  • DNA Compliance Audit Program (June 1998 Board meeting) +

     AKC established the use of DNA in a Compliance Audit Program as follows:

    The Compliance Audit Program is a forward looking DNA audit developed to ensure the integrity of AKC’s registry. DNA samples are collected by the AKC Inspections Field Staff during routine kennel visits. AKC’s primary service provider, PE AgGen, reports parentage results for the litters submitted by AKC. DNA represents an additional tool in the regular inspection program. All other regulations for record keeping and identification of dogs remain in effect.

    A. Kennels meeting one or both of the following criteria may be randomly selected for DNA collection:

    1. breeding seven or more litters a year and the opportunity exists to verify parentage

    2. involved in brokering or auctioning of dogs

    B. For customers (kennels) with excluded litters, i.e., parentage verification failed, the following graduated schedule of fines and penalties for exclusions applies (October 2001 Board meeting):

    1. One excluded litter – the litter owner(s) would receive a letter of reprimand. Litter owner may request additional DNA testing to determine correct parentage, paying the $250 fee for the AKC Inspector’s return.

    2. Two excluded litters within a 5-year period – the litter owner(s) would be referred to the Management Disciplinary Committee for appropriate action (penalty 6 months suspension and a $500.00 fine). Litter owner may request additional DNA testing to determine correct parentage, paying the $250 fee for the AKC Inspector’s return.

    3. Three excluded litters within a 5-year period – the litter owner(s) would be referred to the Management Disciplinary Committee for appropriate action (penalty 1-year suspension and $1,000 fine). Litter owner may request additional DNA testing to determine correct parentage, paying the $250 fee for the AKC Inspector’s return.

    4. Four excluded litters within a 5-year period – the litter owner(s) would be referred to the Management Disciplinary Committee for appropriate action (penalty 5-year suspension plus $2,000 fine).

    In cases where an exclusion resulted from intent and/or knowledge of the breeder/owner, staff may seek suspension after confirming the first exclusion.

  • DNA Investigations (June 1998 Board meeting) +

     On a case-by-case basis, DNA may be used to unveil the facts in complaint driven investigations. In this instance, DNA is merely used as a special tool to provide additional information when formal complaints are filed with the Compliance, DNA Operations and Special Services Division of the AKC. The exclusion provisions of the Compliance Audit Program do not apply to complaint driven investigations.

  • DNA Ownership (June 2000 Board meeting) +

     While DNA samples may be used by AKC for the purposes of providing genetic identity and parentage verification, the permission of the registered owner or owners of the dog would be required should there be any request for any other use of the archival sample.

  • DNA Parentage Verifications (December 1999 Board meeting) +

     As the DNA database permits, parentage verifications for litters whelped after January 1, 2000, will occur, and if exclusions are found, breeders will be notified; every effort will be made to cooperate with the breeders in establishing correct parentage based on additional information and submitted DNA samples. Litter corrections will be made based on DNA profiles. Litters that cannot be corrected will, unfortunately, be cancelled.

  • Electronic Signature Policy (September 2013 Board meeting) +

     To permit one co-owner of a dog to submit an online registration application with a certification that he or she has the written authorization of all other co-owners and would be able to produce such authorization if requested by AKC.

    AKC Staff was directed to provide a specific definition of what would constitute an acceptable written authorization.

  • Foreign Registries (September 1999 Board meeting) +

     It is required that in order to be added to the list of foreign registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration, an all-breed registry must register a minimum of 500 dogs per year and a specialty registry 100 dogs per year.

    (April, 2000 meeting) Following a motion by Mr. Kelly, seconded by Mrs. Strand, it was VOTED (unanimously) to remove the 500-dog minimum from the requirement for adding a foreign registry to the list of registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.

  • Foundation Stock Service (July 1995 Board meeting) +

     The implementation of a Foundation Stock Service to enroll purebred dogs of unregistrable breeds was adopted.

  • Frequently Used Sires Program (January 2000 Board meeting) +

     Effective July 1, 2000, every sire producing seven or more litters in a lifetime or producing more than three litters in a calendar year must be AKC DNA Certified. These DNA profiles will be used for genetic identity and for parentage verification, and thus will be used to advance issues related to the integrity of the registry. Dogs with DNA profiles from the voluntary DNA Certification Program or from the Parent Breed Club DNA Program have already met this requirement. DNA samples processed in the Compliance Audit Program (kennel inspections), however, do not meet this requirement and certifications are not issued.

    The parentage verification policies of all current DNA programs will be applied to the Frequently Used Sires Program, as will the discipline policies of the Compliance Audit Program. Any excess revenue over expenses from this Program will be placed in a special reserve, which will be used to fund future registration integrity programs.

  • Guidelines for Opening or Closing the AKC Stud Book (October 2002 Board meeting) +


    The Bylaws of The American Kennel Club do give the AKC Board of Directors the authority and ultimate responsibility over all matters pertaining to the AKC registry. However, when stud book issues affecting only one breed are at issue, the AKC Board has always given great weight to the input of the breed Parent Club.

    AKC has from time to time received requests from Parent Clubs to open or to close the stud book to dogs with pedigrees from registries other than AKC in the United States. Guidelines have been established to handle these requests.

    The Request

    When the Board of a breed Parent Club wishes to have the AKC stud book for its breed opened or closed, a formal request must be sent in writing to the AKC Executive Secretary. It must include:

    A. A justification, and the Parent Club Board’s assessment as to whether the need is desirable, important or critical for the welfare of the breed.

    B. A summary of any arguments against the proposal of which the club is aware.

    C. A sample of a ballot the club would propose to use and an explanation of the procedure the club intends to use in conducting a vote of its members.

    The justification should be as specific as possible, and may include, but is not limited to such factors as:

    A. Gene Pool Diversity

    If the gene pool lacks quality specimens, or is overly inbred, resulting in genetic problems, this must be documented. The club’s long and short-term strategic plan must be explained along with what educational initiatives the club would undertake.

    B. Too Few Dogs Registered With AKC

    If this reason is given, the club must specify how many dogs it would expect to be registered with AKC and the basis of this expectation. As above, the club must document its long and short-term plan to encourage breeders and owners to register their dogs with AKC.

    C. Health

    This must include documented scientific evidence that a problem exists, it is getting worse, and that there is a potential solution. Any studies cited must be credible and widely accepted.

    D. Other Reason

    Any reason must include details on how the addition of dogs would improve the breed or address a specific problem. It should include the club’s strategic plan to attract dogs to the AKC registry and to encourage breeding to these dogs.

    The Process

    The request from the Board of the Parent Club would be reviewed by the AKC Board. If, in the opinion of the AKC Board it appears to have merit, the Parent Club will be advised to proceed with a ballot of its entire membership. Following said ballot, the club must submit the following to the AKC Executive Secretary:

    A. The results of the ballot. An affirmative vote of 2/3 of those voting would be required for AKC to consider the request.

    B. A certification that the vote followed the procedures proposed by the club when the original request was made.

    An affirmative vote of 2/3 of the club’s membership does not bind the AKC Board to acceptance of the club proposal as the ultimate responsibility for the registry does rest with the AKC Board.

    Once the stud book for a breed has been opened or closed, another request to open or close the stud book for the same breed will not be entertained for five years from the date of the Board action.

  • Hardship Policy (January 2012 Board meeting) +

     Following a motion by Mr. Ashby, seconded by Dr. Davies, it was VOTED (unanimously) to adopt the following Hardship Registration Policy, which would replace the existing Hardship Policy, effective January 10, 2012:

    When an individual has been placed on temporary referral, the AKC will consider the transfer and/or registration of dogs and litters listed in their AKC recorded ownership provided the following criteria is met;

    • Dated third party documentation to show that the dog was acquired prior to the individual being placed on temporary referral.
    • The parentage of the dog or litter is not in question.
    • All other requirements for AKC registration are met.

    When an individual has been suspended from AKC registration privileges, the AKC will entertain the registrations and/or transfer of dogs and litters listed in the individual’s AKC recorded ownership at the time the suspension is imposed provided the following criteria is met;

    • An AKC DNA profile for the dog is on file.
    • All other requirements for AKC registration are met.
    • The processing fee for such a transfer is $75.

    If the suspended individual seeks to have the dog(s) transferred back into his or her recorded ownership at the conclusion of the suspension, the processing fee for such transfer is $150.

  • Hardship Policy Concerning Innocent Third Parties Involved in Circumvention (August 2002) +

     Effective January 1, 2002, innocent third parties who purchase dogs from individuals who have acquired registration by circumventing their suspension will not have the registration of their dogs/litters cancelled if the parentage of their dogs is not in question.

  • Hardship Transfers (June 1995 Board meeting) +

     On a case-by-case basis, AKC will consider the application for relief from innocent third parties when that relief does not affect the accuracy of the registry nor defeat the purpose of a suspension of privileges. With suspensions for record-keeping and identification, a hardship transfer to a new owner, who obtained the dog prior to the suspension, will only be considered where the identity of the dog or litter can be definitely verified.

  • Hobby Breeder Definition (April 1993 Board meeting) +

     Any individual who produced 50 puppies a year could not be considered a hobby breeder.

  • Imports with AKC Registered Sires and Dams (May 1997 Board meeting) +

     Imported dogs with AKC registered sires and dams from countries where there is no registry with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration are eligible for AKC registration, when the dog is physically in the United States and after the sire, dam and all the dogs in the litter have been DNA tested.

  • Import Breeding Stock (July 2005 Board meeting) +

     Effective for imported dogs registered on or after March 1, 2006, any imported dog registered with the AKC must have an AKC DNA profile prior to registering its first litter whelped in the United States.

  • Judicial or Administrative Determination of Inappropriate Treatment (September 1990 Board meeting; amended in December 1993, November 2004 and May 2011) +

     The inappropriate treatment of dogs is recognized to be conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the American Kennel Club and to the best interest of the sport of purebred dogs, pursuant to the Charter and Bylaws of the American Kennel Club. “Inappropriate Treatment” means any offense involving a dog that alleges cruelty, abuse, neglect or improper treatment of a dog as defined by AKC.

    Anyone charged or accused of inappropriate treatment of a dog whose charges or accusations are subsequently disposed of in any of the following ways: conviction, admission, finding of inhumane treatment, plea to a lesser included offense, plea of no contest, nolo contendere, best interest plea or similar type plea; the acceptance of or into a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, disposition of supervision or similar arrangement; or the releasing or transferring of legal ownership of one or more dogs to federal, state, or local authorities, humane organizations, or rescue groups after having their dogs seized by said federal, state or local authorities (“Disposition”) shall have their AKC privileges suspended for the term as set forth in the most current AKC Discipline Guidelines. Court or administrative records evidencing such Disposition shall be deemed conclusive proof of conduct prejudicial to the sport of purebred dogs and to the best interests of the American Kennel Club.

    Upon receipt of information that a person has been charged or accused with Inappropriate Treatment of a dog or that a person has had their dogs seized, the AKC will notify the person that they have been placed on temporary referral in accordance with the AKC’s Registration Referral and Cancellation policy, affecting all dogs owned or co-owned by that person. The temporary referral means that the person should not breed, sell, or transfer dogs with the expectation AKC paperwork will be provided. If AKC determines that no violation has occurred and no action will be taken to cause a suspension of privileges, the temporary referral will be removed and all pending applications processed.

    Upon proof that a violation of this policy has occurred, the person shall be notified, in writing, of the AKC’s intent to suspend their privileges. The person shall be notified and afforded the opportunity to submit proof that he or she has not violated the policy, or that the disposition of the charges or the conviction has been reversed, dismissed, or vacated. Additionally, if the Disposition is reversed, dismissed, or vacated, unless such action occurs pursuant to the Disposition, and there is no further prosecution of the charges and the American Kennel Club is presented with proof of same, the person’s privileges with the American Kennel Club shall be reinstated.

    Additionally, the person shall be notified and afforded the opportunity to submit a written appeal to the Management Disciplinary Committee on the grounds that the conduct was not prejudicial to the sport of purebred dogs. The appeal must be accompanied by a $500 fee, which shall be returned if the appeal is sustained. If the Management Disciplinary Committee denies the appeal, the accused may appeal to the Appeals Committee of the Board of Directors, whose decision is final.

  • Litter Co-Owners (November 1997 Board meeting) +

     All co-owners of the dam must sign the litter application form.

  • Multiple Sires (May 2000 Board meeting) +

     To insure the integrity of the AKC registry, in cases where the identification of the sire is in question, or for litters with more than one sire, registration will depend on AKC certified DNA parentage verification in every such case. The fee shall be set by the Board.The fee set by the Board at its June, 2000 meeting is the current litter registration fee, plus a one-time penalty fee of $200 per dam per whelping. The effective date is September 1, 2000 and will be retroactive for 24 months. This policy supercedes the previous Board policy prohibiting the registration of litters with multiple sires.

    In evaluating this change, the Board of Directors received input from the Delegates Canine Health Committee. The Board strongly supports the long-standing principles of animal husbandry that have guided our sport. However, they concluded that the integrity of the registry is the most important consideration in approval of registration policies. Until now, DNA has been used primarily to exclude ineligible dogs. With this Board policy, DNA will also be used to register litters produced by more than one sire, provided that the parentage of each offspring can be determined.

  • Ownership of Imported Dogs (November 1996 Board meeting) +

     A dog of a registrable breed may be registered, provided it is in the United States, and is registered in its country of birth with a registry that issues pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.

  • Positive Identification (May 1996 Board meeting) +

     Only those imported dogs which are positively and permanently identified are to be incorporated into the registry. After January 1997, AKC will only publish OFA and CERF information on dogs that are positively identified at the time of testing.

  • Positive Identification for Recording OFA and CERF (May 1996 Board meeting) +

     Effective July 1, 1996, only those dogs which are positively identified (microchip or tattoo) at the time of testing are to be incorporated into the registration system; and after January 1, 1997 AKC will only publish OFA and CERF information on dogs that are positively identified at the time of testing.

  • Positive Identification of Imported Dogs (May 1996 Board meeting) +

     Effective January 1, 1997, positive identification (microchip or tattoo or DNA Certification-December, 1997 Board meeting) is required for the AKC registration of all imported dogs.

  • Registered Kennel Name (November 1997 Board meeting) +

     An applicant for a registered kennel name must have bred five litters over the previous five years or have owned stud dogs that have produced 40 litters over the preceding ten years.

    The criteria for names follows:

    A registered kennel name must be one or more hyphenated or unhyphenated word(s) of not more than fifteen letters. Unacceptable names would include but not necessarily be limited to conflicts either phonetically or in spelling with: the name of a breed, AKC titles, names of major cities, countries, states, rivers, mountains, towns, schools, common family names, corporations or trade names, as well as the names of very famous and universally recognized persons, living or dead. Words commonly used by many different owners in naming dogs would not be registered to one breeder.

    Parent Clubs have the prerogative of requesting that kennel names, significant in the breed, be permanently retired. The Parent Club must detail why the name in question was so important to the history of the breed.

  • Registration of Imports (June 1995 Board meeting; amended February 1997) +

     It is the policy of The American Kennel Club to give full faith and credit to the certified export certificate accompanied by a complete three-generation pedigree tendered from countries with a registry on AKC’s acceptable list.

    If the sire or dam of an import is AKC registered, AKC registration will only be afforded to the imported offspring if the AKC breed for the AKC registered sire and/or dam is the same as the breed of the offspring. This was a result of questions pertaining to the Belgian breeds.

  • Registration: Referral and Cancellation (July 1995 Board meeting) +

     Referral (General Description):

    This is the process whereby AKC places a hold upon the registration of dogs owned or co-owned by a person whose AKC registration privileges have been suspended or who is suspected of a violation of AKC rules or policy. when a person is placed on referral, the AKC will not honor any transactions involving that individual or any dogs they own or co-own. There are two types of referrals.

    Temporary Referral:

    When a person is suspected of a violation of AKC rules or policy which might result in a suspension of privileges for that person, AKC may temporarily place on referral all dogs owned or co-owned by that person. The purpose of this procedure is to prevent a person from transferring dogs and thus from evading the consequences of a subsequent suspension of privileges while the matter is in an investigative stage. When AKC determines that no violation has occurred and no action will be taken to cause a suspension of privileges, the temporary referral will be removed.

    Permanent Referral:

    When a person’s AKC privileges have been suspended, AKC may place on permanent referral all dogs or litters owned or co-owned by that person . The referral shall exist for the duration of the suspension and shall exist beyond the term of the suspension when said suspension was for a violation of the rules required for record keeping and identification as set forth in Chapter 4, Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline.

    The suspension of a person’s privilege to use the AKC registry may be based upon a violation of the rule requiring accurate record keeping and identification or for a violation of other rules or policy prohibiting conduct prejudicial to AKC interests. Thus, a suspension of registry privileges may result from actions that endanger the accuracy of the registry or be strictly punitive in nature and not related to the registry’s accuracy.

    It is the policy of AKC that in permanent referral, the affected registrations , as well as the registration of any future progeny, will be denied transfer as well as the registration of any future progeny. All registration activity is placed on administrative hold. However, in record keeping and identification based cases, AKC may place on referral prior progeny when there is clear evidence that demonstrates the inaccuracy of the registry of that prior progeny.


    This process involves the removal of the registration from the registry when AKC determines that the affected dogs are not purebred AKC registrable dogs. This occurs most often in cases of impure breeding or fraud but may also result from a serious violation of the rules requiring accurate record keeping and identification. When a registration is cancelled, all progeny of that dog are also canceled.

  • Reproductive Semen Bank (February 2017 Board meeting) +

    The Board VOTED to approve the Otterhound Club of America request that the AKC Board allow an entity, such as a LLC, to own and authorize the use of frozen semen to help preserve long-term health and viability of the breed. In order to accommodate this and future requests, the Board VOTED to modify the Board Policy by adding the following:

    With AKC Board Approval, a Parent Club sponsored, breed specific, frozen semen bank

    may be allowed to own frozen semen and to apply for frozen semen litter registration as

    a semen owner. Parent Clubs seeking to establish such an entity must petition the AKC

    Board via letter signed by the club’s current president. The letter should explain the

    club’s purpose for establishing the bank and acceptably document its incorporation and

    organizational relationship to the petitioning Parent Club. Upon Board approval, the bank

    must annually provide AKC with a listing of signatories for use in AKC Registration


  • Supplemental Transfer Reproduction (September 1990 Board meeting) +

     Previously, with AKC permission, certain pet shops, brokers and computer software companies produced AKC supplemental transfer statements for their computerized records. At this meeting, this practice was discontinued and effective April 1, 1991, all were required to use the official AKC form.

  • Suspension of Registration Privileges (October 1983 Board meeting) +

     1. The American Kennel Club will not afford registration to any litter or individual dog, or transfer ownership of any dog owned solely or in part by a suspended person from or after the effective date of his or her suspension.

    2. The American Kennel Club will not afford registration facilities for any litter of dogs owned by a third party if the sire of the litter was owned solely, or in part, by a suspended person on the date of mating.

    3. The American Kennel Club will not afford registration to any litter or individual dog, or transfer ownership of any dog from a person from or after the date of notification to such person that charges have been preferred against him or her by a Show or Trial Committee or by The American Kennel Club. Upon the exoneration of such a person by a Show or Trial Committee or by The American Kennel Club, all registration privileges shall be reinstated.

    4. Any application for registration of any litter or individual dog or request for transfer of any individual dog by a person notified by a Show or Trial Committee or The American Kennel Club that charges have been preferred against him or her or by a person actually suspended from privileges, will not be processed when that application is received by The American Kennel Club after the date of the notification of charges or the date of the suspension even though the application is dated prior to the notice of charges or suspension.

    5. Hardship exceptions to these policies may be directed to the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club.

    6. When a dog is registered in a co-ownership and any of the above suspension conditions exist as to any co-owner, no registration facilities will be afforded to that dog.

  • UKC Pedigrees (February 1996 Board meeting) +

     Three-generation UKC pedigrees are acceptable for the enrollment of a dog in the Foundation Stock Service.