Take this moment to think about where your dog is coming from. Do you want a purebred registered American Kennel Club dog? For some clients this will be the only way they purchase their pets. For breeders, they are needed for breeding or AKC competitions. Owners who know the personalities of the purebred breed they have always owned, will never buy any other breed or at least not buy a dog that isn't a AKC purebred. Some may wish to become a breeder. It is necessary to start with champion line AKC dogs or paying for stud/dam services from registered champion lines.
The AKC was forged by 12 dedicated sportsman in 1844. They named their club The American Kennel Club. They were instrumental in publishing the first stub book, developing dog breed standards, a Code of Ethics and adding new breeds. Their primary concern at the time was re-registering purebred dogs and building that dog's Certified Pedigree representing the generations of its purebred history.
I want to share with you how the AKC operates. Imagine a big golf umbrella. That is the AKC headquarters. They keep track of qualified litters, Certified Pedigrees, helping organize AKC events, education, help breeders with registering liters, advice about becoming a breeder, education, and giving breeders a place to advertise on their AKC Marketplace webpage. The AKC does not deal with breeders directly for any reason. Their main goal is still their standard today; they register purebred dogs.
Now think about the spokes of the umbrella; that's where the action is. All AKC breeds have a Parent Club. For example: The Golden Retriever Club of America. All clubs have the same name but interchange the name of the breed. These are the clubs that Breeders join and are represented by. There are also small Specialty Clubs which are in addition to the main Parent Club, based on geographic regions. For more information see the AKC website: www.akc.org.
I never knew these clubs existed until I had a problem with a breeder. This piece of knowledge I want to pass on: if you would like to report a serious issue about a breeder, they do not take complaints from non-members. Either will the AKC. You must be an AKC breeder and pay dues to be a member. I hope for the protection of the breed, serious consideration will be given as to where a consumer can go when there are issues that must be handled. There will be more on this subject in a later section.
The second club you will see in advertisements is the ACA or American Canine Association. Not as well known until more recently, the club formed in 1984. Their clubs mission is to build the largest health tracking database dog registry, hold sanctions shows and competition trials, improve genetic health, provides education seminars, protect the rights of all breeders, and protect the rights of the public to own and enjoy their dogs. This ACA club is also registered under several different names. I will only be providing the acronyms: APR, APRI, ARU, CKC, FIC, NAPDR, USKC, WKC OR WWKC. For more information, visit their website at: www.aca.org.
There are substantial differences between the AKC and the ACA. The AKC only registers purebred dogs. They do not deal with breeders other than help with registering litters, education and winning awards for outstanding breeder excellence. The ACA registers all and any breed of dog usually that of mixed breeds.
Seeing the ACA or any other of its factions in an advertisement or Pet Stores that sell puppies is a huge red flag for buyers that your are purchasing a Puppy Mill dog. The North Penn Puppy Mill Watch (NPPMWATCH) in 2006, investigated AKC profits from registrations alone. They exceeded $13,052,865.00. After implementing a random costly DNA testing on frequently used sires by the AKC in July 2006, there was a drop in AKC registrations and an increase in ACA Puppy Mill registrations who are exempt from DNA testing.
Testing is expensive. As an individual wanting their puppy or dog to be DNA tested, be prepared to spend around $500.00. To have an AKC dog, then buy from a reputable AKC breeder.
Other investigations information finds that many of these puppy mills are ran by the Amish and Mennonite communities. These are largely in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Upstate New York. Selling dogs has become their main source of income. Sadly, these mills are badly managed as reported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA. In 2010, a Romulus, N.Y. man was gassing 100 dogs to depopulate his kennels. It is not an uncommon practice. It has been PETA's mission to stop consumers from buying animals from these communities. Animal Activists are losing the battle to shut these mills down.
The Next Step is:
AKC vs. ACA
Finding Your Puppy
Breed of Their Own
Elsie's First Year