Everyone has their own top questions to ask dog breeders when searching for that new pup to welcome into their family. Among the top questions, one always pops up – “Does the pup come with papers?” No, not newspapers to help housebreak your new puppy, but dog breed registration papers such as those from the American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC). Although many ask for them, most do not really know what they are.
Purebred dog registration certificates simply tell you that a puppy is the offspring of a particular dam (mother) and sire (father) and the date on which the puppy was born. Formal registration in no way guarantees the quality of the puppy’s health or breeding. Even with registration certificates from the AKC and UKC, it doesn’t guarantee that the puppy is a purebred dog. The registry relies on breeders to honestly account for the breeding of their puppies, which isn’t always the situation. As long as the parents are registered, their puppies are qualified for a registration certificate as well.
AKC or UKC registration papers aren’t useless though. They provide an excellent initial point for determining your puppy’s pedigree. If a breeder doesn’t have the appropriate registration papers from an acknowledged registry, then you should be skeptical.
Registered dogs have both a registered formal name and a given name. Sometimes the breeder will choose the registered name in keeping with a structure they have for their litters. But the given name, what you’ll actually call your puppy, is a name you decide on.
Once your dog breeder has given you the registration application, it is up to you to submit it and pay the small registration fee. This begs the question – should you register your pup?
Some choose to register their new puppy with the AKC or UKC because they like the idea of choosing a formal name for their dog. Others register because they think it is just what they are supposed to do. However, some do not realize that there is no need to register your new puppy if you don’t plan on showing or breeding your pup.
Yes, the registration funds do help the AKC and UKC with program funding, which is a noble cause in itself. Nonetheless, it is a personal decision for each dog owner to make when they bring a new puppy into their lives. If your puppy does not meet the qualifications for showing (due to mismark or health concerns) or you choose to spay/neuter your pet, then you may be better off spending the registration money on more toys for your new canine companion.