When buying a purebred dog, one of the first things people ask is "Is he registered?" Instead, they should be asking "What does registered mean?"
What does "registered" mean? According the the American Heritage Dictionary, as it pertains to dogs it means:
reg?is?tered (rj-strd) adj.
Source: The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright ? 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
At one time, being registered normally meant a dog was registered with the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club but all of that changed with the use of DNA. In the summer of 2000, AKC began its mandatory requirement that all sires (used frequently) have a DNA sample on file with the AKC. Read more about AKC's DNA program
AKC had long required breeders to undergo compliance inspections and had suspended thousands of breeders for failing to abide by AKC's rules and regulations. Both AKC and UKC suspended those convicted of cruelty to animals. These suspensions did not stop breeders from breeding, it simply forced them to use the lesser known registries with less stringent requirements for registering dogs.
When AKC started requiring DNA, the commercial dog industry (breeders that sell dogs through wholesale channels, such as brokers and petshops) decided to boycott AKC. When it was discovered that the buying public didn't know and/or care what registry a puppy was registered with (they only wanted "registered" puppies), the barn door swung open and out poured dozens of new dog registries.
Below is a list of known registries. Take the time to visit each registry. Most require very little information or proof of identity in order to register a dog. When considering a purebred dog, ask yourself the following questions of the type of registry the dog is sold with.
1. How old is the registry?
2. Do they only register purebred dogs?
3. Do they sponsor dog events, such as dog shows?
4. Do they set acceptable standards for each breed?
5. Do they require DNA to prove parentage?
6. Do they keep stud books for producing pedigrees on dogs?
7. Is there a phone number that you can reach them at?
8. Do they encourage responsible breeding and proper care of dogs?
9. Do they support programs which enhance and improve the breeds?
9. Do they conduct random inspections on breeders?
10. Do they suspend and/or revoke breeders?
(information below updated 12/7/05)