How To Register A Dog Without Papers

Well, to make a move effectively is first to know who the dog’s breeder is. The breeder is the one who brought together the parents of your dog. If the breeder’s dogs are registered, you can ask for the papers and use them as a starting point for the registration process.

Be aware that some breeders sell paperless dogs, so they may show a particular hesitance when you ask them about your dog’s papers. The only way to do legitimate registration and get real documents is to contact the one who bred the dog initially and sold it to you.

What the original breeder does is provide papers for your dog’s parents. If their trade is genuine, the breeder must have the parent dogs listed in a reputable registry. The registry should also contain details of your dog’s ancestors, back to many generations. When these documents get retrieved, the papering process starts.

Registering Your Dog: A General Guide 

If you are a responsible pet owner, getting your dog registered should be on top of your dog-love priority list. Of the many registries that exist, the most popular one is the AKC or the American Kennel Club. When your dog becomes a registered breed with a reputable registry, you get access to informational and educational services. Also, your dog can participate in competitions and events. 

Here’s the step-by-step guide to making your furry friend a registered breed:

1. Answer The Why Question. Why Are You Registering Your Dog? Answering this question gives you the motivation you need to start. Fundamentally, you need to ask yourself what the benefits of making the registration move are. The best example is this: getting your dog listed in an esteemed registry gives valid and indisputable proof that you own it. Here are some points to note:

a) For a purely bred dog (or purebred), enlisting it gives you the surety that its pedigree will remain intact, generation to generation. Also, essential birth records get maintained, and you can use them to secure a good dog sale.

b) If your dog is not purebred, it doesn’t mean that your dog is out of the registration business. Some registries accept dogs that are not purebred. They include the DRA (Dog Registry of America) and the NHR (National Hybrid Registry).

c) Have it in mind that enlisting your dog in a registry does not prove the quality of its breed. Registration only equals breed quality if yours is to purchase a purely bred dog.

d) If the reason for registering your dog is to prove ownership, consider getting a microchip too. Since the microchip is an implant, you get to track where the dog is when missing. The chip usually has a unique number, and when Doggie gets lost, you and your furry friend will get reunited sooner than later.

2. Choose A Reputable Registry Where You Will Enlist Your Dog. Of the many all-breed registries, here are the well-known ones in North America:

a) The AKC (American Kennel Club)

b) The CKC (Continental Kennel Club)

c) The UKC (United Kennel Club)

As the smart person you are, start your inquiries with the registries mentioned above. Even better, look at this comprehensive list that contains registries for both non-purebred and purebred dogs.

If yours is a service dog, you should enlist with a service dog registry like the USSDR, the United States Service Dog Registry.

Your dog might be of one of the rarest breeds, and most likely, you will not find it listed in the popular dog registries. Registries such as the ARBA (American Rare Breed Association) may serve you well. You can also look at breed-specific registries, such as the one associated with the ASCA, the Australian Shepherd Club of America.

3. Dodge Any Non-Reputable And Suspicious Registries. Just like most things in the world, faker-than-fake registries do exist. And, you better avoid them. Check the following pointers:

a) If you find that a registry caters primarily to puppy mills, you should take that as a red flag for you to look the other way. 

b) If a registry does not ask for a pedigree validity proof, do not use register with it. Also, if the registry only asks for the dog’s photo as a pedigree validity proof, you should automatically register your suspicion, get it?

c) Dog registries of repute are non-profit associations. If the registry you are engaging with is a for-profit company, the chances are that they are illegitimate.

d) If the registry requires you to follow set standards or a strict code of ethics, avoid them.

Beware of some online registries that charge prohibitively high amounts as registration fees. They are likely to disappear once your payment method gets billed. As you dodge fishy registries, talk to experts such as other dog owners, veterinarians, or breeders of repute. These persons are likely to help you make an informed decision, and they will recommend a good registry that will serve your needs without you getting defrauded.

4. Get Your Dog Registered By Filling Out And Submitting An Application. The shape and form of application forms vary, but the information required is almost the same. Most registries avail the application forms on the Internet, so your job is to download, print, and fill it. Here are some details:

a) Your contact information

b) Specifics on your dog such as:

  • Breed
  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date of birth

c) Your dog’s breeder

d) Photos of your dog

A three-generation pedigree certificate – this will probably need a plus on the payment.

Some registries may ask you to do liaison with the breeder of your dog to complete the registration. For the registration of a service dog, you will need to present proof of your disability.

In terms of payment, have it in mind that most fees are non-refundable.

5. Give The Registration Time To Materialize. Depending on the registry you chose, the waiting time varies. Not to worry, though, because a reputable registry will let you know how soon your certificate will get to you, and how it will.  If you feel like the wait is too long, make contact with the registry and submit an inquiry ticket.

6. When The Certificate Gets To You, Check Its Accuracy And Validity. Although the process is complete, you need to make sure that the registry has done you right. Look at the document, making sure that the details you submitted for your dog got captured well. If you take notice of a disparity, contact the registry so that they make the necessary adjustments.  

AKC Versus CKC

Of the many pet clubs and registries, AKC and CKC are two of the most esteemed ones. AKC or the American Kennel Club is among the oldest clubs. On the other hand, CKC, or the Continental Kennel Club, is relatively young.

It is crucial to capture that the domestic animals kept by these clubs were among the first pets. Initially, people kept pets for the following reasons:

a) Hunting

b) Security

c) Warmth for their masters

Now, check out the following table highlighting the main differences and a similarity between the two clubs:

One’s Common And What’s Different

Age In YearsAround 140Around 30
Registered Breeds450150
How They Charge During Registration Canine onlyCanine and litters
Registration SpecificsCanine does not need to be affiliated with the club for her litter to be registered.  Canine needs to be affiliated with the club for her litter to be registered.
Breed Authenticity IdentificationBoth clubs employ the use of DNA testing.
Level Of StrictnessAfter registration, CKC has no follow-up program.Even if your dog is an AKC animal, you’re always on toes. Regularly, AKC does kennel cleanliness and DNA health checks. If the reviews fall out of AKC’s favor, the AKC suspends your dog’s registration immediately.   

How To Get AKC Papers For My Dog

1. First, ensure that you have the dog’s paperwork – the one you received when you purchased your furry friend. If you didn’t, contact your dog’s breeder. As you do that, ask them whether your dog’s pedigree makes them eligible for AKC membership. If yes, get your documents and complete an application at the AKC’s website.

2. At, enter details about your dog, its parents, and yourself (the owner). Make sure that you make the necessary payment.

3. Once your application is complete and you receive the certificate, check its validity.   

How To Get CKC Papers For My Dog

1. Breed Research: CKC recognizes a good number of breeds, but not all of them. As you look up, make sure your breed is in CKC’s database.

2. Papers From Your Breeder: If your breeder is reputable and responsible, they need to have ensured that your pup’s parents are on CKC’s registry. If the breeder has done that, they will provide you with the registration forms. 

3. Complete Form: Fill in the documents you receive from your breeder. Make sure that you accurately capture all the dog’s details, such as markings and color.

4. Submit Form: Make your submission and the payment, which is payable to CKC.

Hint: To pay the least expensive fee, enlist your dog within four months from when it was born. 

5. Get The Certificate: The waiting time is at least a week, and at most, ten days. CKC will mail the certificate to you, so ensure that you capture your address accurately (step 3).

Hint: If you want this time shortened, become a CKC member. The application certificate will get mailed to you in not more than 48 hours. 

6. Check The Certificate: The document needs to be accurate. If not, it will be invalid and is the same as not having a registration certification at all. Go ahead and visit CKC’s website to familiarize yourself with the benefits that have come with your dog’s newfound membership.    

A Dog With Papers Versus A Dog Without Them

This section captures the discussion in and around dog registration. A papered dog is usually a purebred dog, as many believe. On the other hand, non-papered dogs are hybrid (or non-purebred), and often, they are unregistered. 

Papers Set The Prince And The Pauper Apart!

Without evidence that your purebred dog is from a rich ancestry, your dog remains that – a dog. Your pup may be an offspring of a purebred dog and bitch, but what makes that believable is a certificate of registration. It would be best if you organized for your pup to get recognized by any reputable organizations.

Stay Out, You Non-Papered Dog!

Imagine wanting your purebred dog to participate in a dog event or activity, but they can’t! As long as the dog remains unregistered, it will get locked out of the canine fun. 

You wouldn’t want Doggie to miss out on a dog show just because of papers, now would you? I suggest that you go for it. 

Limited Registration – Is That Even A Thing?

Some clubs offer limited registration, and you’re about to find out what it is. Limited registration is like the full one, only without some benefits.

For example, if your dog is limitedly registered, it cannot enter any official dog show. If the dog gets a pass, it may not get any titles, even if it wins.

Is there anything good about limited registration? Of course! If the dog is agile or a field and hunting expert, you can take him to hunting tests, agility contests, and field trials.

Is There An Alternative To All This Paper Business?

At the AKC, there is something called the Infinite Listing Privilege, the ILP. If you can’t get your purebred dog registration because of this or that reason, the ILP will help you. With the ILP, your dog has the allowance to most or all performance events, and its wins will get recognized.

However, the ILP isn’t transferrable, and the dog’s pups will not qualify for papering. Also, the ILP isn’t enough to enlist the dog to compete in any official dog show.

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