As dogs developed, some of them displayed certain traits that humans found desirable. That may have been color, coat type, or an ability to work with sheep. Humans discovered that if two dogs with the same traits were bred together, more of the resulting puppies displayed the desired traits. Over time, all the puppies displayed the desired traits and a breed was born. The American Kennel Club recognizes over 165 different breeds or dogs that, when bred, produce the same desirable traits. If you want a dog that will probably grow up acting in a certain manner or having a particular appearance, then you want a purebred dog.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a dog registry only. It does not guarantee health or make any other guarantees. It does make every effort to ensure that when you purchase a purebred dog with an American Kennel Club certificate, you are getting a dog from purebred parents. Many mutts make great pets and we have gotten several pound puppies that gave us lots of love. If you can accept a dog for what it is, then please look toward rescuing a dog from your local animal shelter. There you may find both mutts and purebred dogs that fit your needs. However, if you need dogs that behave in a certain manner, then select an AKC registered dog.
In recent years numerous registries for purebred dogs have emerged. You can look in any newspaper or shopper flyer and find ads for dogs registered with previously unknown registries. There are a number of reasons for this recent upsurge in registries but in most instances, it boils down to money. The AKC has implemented some new rules over the last few years to ensure that when you buy a purebred dog with an AKC registration, you get a purebred dog. The AKC requires that when sires are used frequently, they have a DNA test to ensure the puppies are from that sire. For example, let’s say you buy a Siberian Husky puppy registered with XYZ. Your puppy grows up and looks like a Siberian but weighs 100 pounds. This is not normal for a Siberian. Male Siberians should weigh no more than 60 pounds. So what happened? It could be that a Siberian female was bred with an Alaskan Malamute male. Malamutes regularly weigh over 100 lbs. Both breeds have similar appearances but not the same breed characteristics. Your puppy is not purebred, it is a mixed breed. By requiring DNA testing, the AKC can determine if the puppy has the same DNA as the sire. Every month the American Kennel Club cancels the registration of entire litters because DNA testing proves that the sire was not the dog that it was reported to be. AKC also requires all dogs in a kennel be positively identified. That means dogs should have a tattoo, microchip, or some other means of unique, permanent identification. Breeders must also keep detailed records indicating parents, date of mating, number of puppies born, sexes, and where the puppies went. AKC also has inspectors that travel to kennels to ensure these requirements are met and that dogs are being kept in an acceptable manner. All this costs money and so its more expensive to register a dog with the AKC.
Some other registries have a form that is mailed to the registry in which the breeder attests to the parentage and there is no follow up to ensure pure breeding. This is a simple process requiring little money and is preferred by many commercial breeders. When you have a hundred breeding dogs, every penny counts. So test this yourself. Look in your local newspaper and see how many different registries there are. Call some of the breeders and ask why they chose the registry they did. Go to a local pet store that sells puppies and find out what puppies are coming from registries that you never heard of.
So the question is: Do you want a puppy with the breed traits you selected them for, or a puppy that looks purebred?