Difference Between Registered & Nonregistered Dog Breeds

Dog registries help breeders hew to a breed's desired characteristics.
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For some dog enthusiasts, a puppy without registration papers is like an orphan without a birth certificate. A least 48 dog breed registries exist worldwide. U.S. registries include the American Kennel Club, the National Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club.

Registered Breed

A registered breed is a breed that's officially recognized by one or more dog registries. Registries set standards for each breed's physical traits, behavior and temperament. Registration organizations encourage responsible breeding to maintain each breed's specific characteristics. The AKC recognizes 175 breeds, the NKC recognizes more than 200 breeds and the UKC recognizes more than 300.

Registered Dog

A registered dog, also known as a dog "with papers," is one who is officially registered with one or more breed registries. Each registry has different requirements and fees. Registration papers confirm a dog's date of birth, his parents, his breed and ownership. Possession of registration papers enables you to enter the dog in shows, trials and other competitive events sponsored by the breed registry. They do not guarantee that a dog has good health or appropriate temperament, or that the dog meets the breed standard.