What "AKC Registered" Really Means

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What exactly does “AKC registered” mean? A whole lot of nothing. You often see ads in the newspapers boasting “AKC registered” puppies. Or pet store employees will tell you that all their puppies are “AKC registered”. They’re not lying. It’s just that it doesn’t mean that your dog came from a reputable breeder or that your dog is show quality.
 
The fact is, your “purebred” puppy may not be purebred at all. Puppy mills and backyard breeders very often falsify papers to create the illusion that your dog is “pedigree”. Or the papers may be legitimate, you’re dog may technically be “purebred”, but that doesn’t mean anything without a breeder screening the dogs in the breeding program to ensure that they are of good stock and carrying good genes.
 
The AKC registry is a service provided by the American Kennel Club and all it means is that your dog’s parents both had AKC papers. Whether or not those papers were falsified. There are regulations about keeping records of dogs, but they do not restrict puppy mills from producing AKC registered dogs.
 
AKC inspectors are merely there to ensure that both parents are purebred. They are not there to make judgments on the conditions in which they dogs are kept. And while the AKC has plenty of regulations regarding record keeping, they have no regulations requiring humane treatment of the animals they register.
 
The AKC is a trusted household name and it instills confidence in those looking to purchase a dog. People hear that the dog is AKC registered and they think it can’t possibly have come from a puppy mill because the AKC would never allow those dogs to be registered. They would and they do. Educate yourself before making a purchase. Do not accept the AKC registration as proof that your dog came from a good breeder. Other than to certify that both your dog’s parents were purebred (or that they had papers, false or otherwise) it is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

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