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Dog Registration Papers: Vet-Approved Facts & Why You Need Them

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Dogster Team


Dog Registration Papers: Vet-Approved Facts & Why You Need Them


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Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When purchasing a dog from a breeder, many people wonder if it’s a good idea to get registration papers for their new pet, especially since there are multiple types. If this sounds like you, keep reading as we discuss what dog registration papers are and the benefits of going through the trouble of obtaining them. This way, you can decide if they are right for you and your pet. We also go over frequently asked questions to help you be better informed.

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What Are Dog Registration Papers?

Dog registration papers are official documents that certify a dog’s breed and lineage. Recognized breed registries, such as the American Kennel Club, issue them when it receives the proper proof, and it will provide your pet with a unique registration number that the club can use to track the lineage of your pet. It also allows your pet to enter competitions and take part in other events that the kennel club puts on.

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What Are the Different Types of Dog Registration Papers?

Pedigree Registration Papers

Pedigree registration papers are the most common type. You obtain these by contacting a breed registry like the American Kennel Club1 in the United States and the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom.2 These registration papers certify that a dog is purebred and list several generations of ancestors that are also registered, which is important for pet owners interested in maintaining the breed’s purity. You will need these papers to enter kennel club-specific contests and competitions and for the dog to be used as a registered breeder.

Litter Registration

If you have a registered dog that has a litter of puppies, you will want to register the litter. A litter registration doesn’t register the puppies individually. Instead, it lets the kennel club know that a registered dog has had a litter, which helps them send registration forms to people who buy the puppies and keep track of how many did not receive registration.

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Image Credit: RODNAE Productions, Pexels

Limited Registration

Limited registration is provided to puppies from breeders that don’t want their puppies bred. Dogs with limited registration will still be allowed entrance into shows and competitions but will not be allowed to register any litters that they may have.

Transfer of Ownership Papers

If, for some reason, you need to transfer a registered dog to a new owner, you will need to fill out and submit transfer of ownership papers to help the kennel club stay up to date with the current owners.

Export Pedigree

If you need to send your dog to a new owner who resides in a different country, you may need to submit an export pedigree that will allow them registration in foreign clubs.

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Advantages of Dog Registration Papers

Registration papers are the most reliable way to verify a dog’s lineage and purebred status. Also:

  • They enable breeders to participate in ethical breeding programs.
  • Breeders need registration papers to register any offspring that their dog produces.
  • Many dog shows, including conformation and breed-specific competitions, require dogs to have registration papers to participate.
  • Breeders can use dog registration papers to track hereditary health issues within a breed or lineage.
  • Being part of a breed registry often connects owners with a community of enthusiasts for that breed, which can provide access to support, advice, and resources.
  • Registration papers can help increase the resale value of a dog
  • They help encourage responsible pet ownership and breeding practices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Mixed-Breed Dogs Get Registration Papers?

Unfortunately, mixed breeds usually cannot get registration papers from a kennel club in the way that a purebred dog can. However, certain organizations that hold dog shows or competitions may allow you to register your dog for the event.

What Is the Difference Between Pedigree and Limited Registration?

Pedigree registration is usually the same as full registration of a dog, which will include breeding rights. Limited registration is for dogs that will not be bred, often prohibiting the registration of any offspring, but allowing participation in certain dog shows.

How Do I Get Registration Papers for My Dog?

To obtain registration for your pet, you’ll need to contact the organization where the parents are registered, such as the American Kennel Club, to obtain the proper paperwork that you will need to fill out and return. In certain cases, you can fill out the forms online.

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Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

Are There Benefits to Registering My Dog If I Don’t Plan to Breed or Show?

Registering your dog, even if you won’t be competing or breeding them, can help connect you with other enthusiasts and verify their history.

What If I Lose My Dog’s Registration Papers?

If you lose your dog’s registration papers, you can usually get a duplicate from the registry for a small fee.

Are There Any Legal Obligations Tied to Dog Registration?

There are no legal requirements to have your dog registered with a dog kennel, and it is different from obtaining a license for your dog, which is a legal requirement in most places and is not based on breed.

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Dog registration papers are official documents issued by a recognized breed registry, like the American Kennel Club or The Kennel Club in the U.K., that certify a dog’s pedigree, proving their lineage and breed. Breeders can use these papers to take part in ethical breeding programs, and pet owners may need them to enter competitions and other events. Different kinds of registration papers can include litter registration and limited registration, which you might need in certain circumstances. If you don’t intend on using your dog for breeding or competition, it can still be a good idea to acquire registration papers to meet others with the same type of dog and help the kennel club keep track of what happens to the dogs in a registered litter.

Featured Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

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