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How to Register a Purebred Dog

When you buy a purebred puppy, you may want to register your ownership with a dog registry, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) or Canadian Kennel Club. And, the papers that accompany your newest family member generally include a registration application or certificate to help you do just that.

The registration slip is one of two kinds: Either an application to name and record a puppy for the first time, or a certificate transferring the ownership of an already named and registered dog. (AKC rules say once a dog has been given a registered name, there’s no changing it. What you actually call him in the comfort of your own home, of course, they don’t care about.)

If you’re buying a puppy, you’ll probably get a registration form, commonly called a blue slip. A grown dog should come with an official registration certificate — white with a purple border — with a transfer of ownership form on the back. You fill out the form, send it and the nominal registration fee to the address on the form, and get a response, hopefully with a certificate of registration.

Registries maintain breeding records by registering the offspring of already registered purebreds and the change of ownership of adult dogs. They also oversee canine competitions, from dog shows like the Westminster Kennel Club’s to obedience and agility competitions. They award titles like Champion to animals who have met the requirements for each title. These organizations also fight for the rights of dog-owners, educate people on proper care of dogs, and investigate cruelty and registration fraud.

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