does "AKC" really mean?
"There is a widely held belief that "AKC" or
"AKC papers" and quality are one and the same. This is not the case. AKC is a registry body. A registration certificate identifies the dog as the offspring of a known sire and dam, born on a known date. It in no way indicates the quality or state of health of the dog."
- from the AKC website. Click here for full text.
| What is the AKC | What does the AKC do | What does the AKC not do |
What is the AKC?
Their main purpose is to maintain the "stud books" for each breed
that they recognize and do what they can to ensure the integrity of these records. The "stud
book" is a database of registered dogs and their offspring.
What does the AKC do?
The AKC registers purebred dogs. When a litter of puppies is born, the
breeder sends a form into the AKC to register the litter. If both parents are in
the AKC database, the AKC assigns registration numbers and issues "blue
slips" for the number of puppies that the breeder states are in the litter.
A "blue slip" is a registration form for an individual dog. The blue
slip lists the sire and dam of the litter, the date the litter was born and the
breeders name and address. Although the slips have an individual registration
number on them, a dog is not registered until this blue slip is sent in by the
new owner (or breeder if they keep the puppy) with the applicable fee. A very
small percentage of eligible dogs are ever actually registered with the AKC. The
AKC does not verify the number of puppies in the litter nor do they ever see the
puppies (unless they are performing a kennel inspection). The accuracy of the
items on the blue slip (sire, dam, and date of birth) are solely dependent on
the breeders integrity.
In an effort to maintain the integrity of their database, random inspections
are performed by AKC personnel, to ensure that breeders are adhering to the
regulations regarding paperwork and identification of dogs and to ensure that
the dogs are receiving proper care. These inspections are primarily done on
kennels that produce larger numbers of litters.
The AKC sanctions dog shows and performance events. They record the
results of these events and issue Certificates to the dog owners when the
requirements for a title are met.
The AKC promotes responsible dog ownership and education. This is
done through public service announcements, various information pamphlets, and
The AKC contributes to health research. They have established the Canine
Health Foundation (AKC/CHF), which issues grants for research to benefit dogs. The
funds for these grants come from individuals, clubs, and corporations, as well
as the AKC.
What does the AKC not do?
The AKC does not register or certify breeders. Anyone, who owns an AKC
registered bitch and breeds it to an AKC registered dog, can register the litter
with the AKC. The AKC does, however, reserve the right to suspend a breeders
registration privileges, either temporarily or indefinitely. These suspensions
are levied on breeders who do not maintain the accurate paperwork, falsify
paperwork, refuse to allow the AKC to perform an inspection, or those that have
been convicted in Court of animal cruelty or animal abuse. The AKC does not have
any legal authority to take possession of dogs, prevent someone from breeding
dogs, or take any legal action for a breeders failure to abide by their
regulations. The only authority they have is to revoke a breeders
registration privileges, meaning that dogs owned by that person are not eligible
for registration with the AKC. The AKC will also impose fines and/or suspend
individuals for improper conduct at sanctioned events.
The AKC does not guarantee the accuracy of the information on a dogs
"blue slip". The breeder, on the honor system, supplies this
information to the AKC. The AKC is currently using DNA testing during its
inspections to verify the parentage of dogs on the premises, but this is only
done on a very small percentage of breeders. Breeders can have a DNA profile
performed on their dogs and have this information included in the AKC database,
but this is not an AKC requirement.
The AKC does not guarantee the quality of any dog. When a dog is eligible
for AKC registration, all that means is that the breeder is in good standing
with the AKC and both the sire and the dam (as recorded by the breeder) are
registered with the AKC. Blind dogs, deaf dogs, and dogs with physical
deformities are every bit as eligible for registration as top show dogs.
© 1999 Susan Sparks. This article may not be reprinted
or reproduced without permission.
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