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Can You Register a Dog with the AKC Using a DNA test? Important Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

german shepherd dog lying on wooden table outdoors

The American Kennel Club is one of the largest dog breed clubs in the world, a massive database to register purebred dogs. There are over 190 breeds in their catalog, giving owners the ability to register and compete in major dog shows. But what is a person to do if they don’t have papers to prove that their canine companion comes from a line of blue-ribbon dogs?

Many people turn to DNA testing to prove that their dog is purebred in hopes that DNA can prove their purebred status. Unfortunately, the AKC does not accept DNA testing in place of breeding documentation or papers. If you rescue an alleged purebred dog that didn’t come with papers, you most likely will never be able to register with the AKC.

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What is the AKC?

The AKC, also known as the American Kennel Club, is a purebred dog registry and club in the United States. It’s one of the largest in the world, which helps organize breed standards and conformation. Formed in 1884 to help organize dog breeding and purebred dogs, the AKC keeps records of every dog that enters their system.

It is essential to register the proper documents for your purebred dog, as they will not accept DNA testing. Without proper paperwork, there’s no way to truly prove that your dog is a purebred dog. DNA has come a long way, but it’s simply not enough for the AKC. If you have a purebred dog and you want to register, you’ll need the papers to do so.

Does the AKC Accept DNA Results to Register Dogs?

Unfortunately, the AKC will not accept DNA results to register a potential purebred dog. Even with the technological advancement of DNA testing, they need the paperwork to register your dog. Although the AKC has its own DNA testing, it is not for breed profiling a purebred dog. If you have a purebred dog already in the system, you can contact the AKC for an AKC-approved DNA test kit.

Why Does the AKC Do DNA Testing?

If the AKC does not accept DNA testing to register purebred dogs, why do they test at all? The AKC uses DNA testing for a few reasons, except for the breed registry. They have their own DNA testing kits, so you’ll have to contact them for a kit. They will not accept non-AKC tests.

The AKC tests the DNA of purebred dogs mainly to check the percentage rather than if a dog is purebred. By testing for percentage, it helps keep the AKC registry accurate and up to date. In addition to percentage, DNA testing is sometimes required for breeding. If you have frozen or collected semen from a sire, DNA testing is needed. It’s also required for sires that are imported from other countries, which ensures that they are genuinely purebred dogs.

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DNA testing is a relatively recent type of technology for dogs, giving insight to dog owners everywhere. Although the technology is surprisingly accurate, it’s not an acceptable piece of evidence to register your dog in the AKC. Registering your purebred dog requires the proper documents rather than relying on DNA tests that aren’t always accurate. If you have a purebred dog without papers, your best bet is trying to locate the breeder and get the proper documents to register.

Featured Image Credit: lancegfx, Pixabay

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