The AKC, American Kennel Club, has been around since the 1800's and for decades was the predominant registry. If you had a dog that had "papers", they were AKC papers, and that was significant. These papers meant that the purebred lineage of your puppy could be traced back several generations. It might also hold championship history in the show ring.
The APRI, American Pet Registry, Inc, is a group that began around the 1990's and is owned by and for the pet industry. "Pet Industry" is predominantly defined by large commercial dog breeding facilities, also known as puppy mills.
Registration of your puppy with either group is only important if you plan to show your dog in breed specific events sponsored by these groups. If you want to show a dog in AKC events, your dog needs to be AKC registered. APRI registration will not suffice. If you bought Binky to be a house pet, then you do not need registration papers, so you might be wise to put your registration money into a new toy or bedding for your new family member.
There are some very important things to know about registering your dog with a breed registry.
1. It is not a microchip. This registration does not identify this specific dog to you should your dog go missing. It is not a microchip registration. While your dog is described on the paperwork, there are thousands of other dogs of the same description. Microchip is a permanent identification to that particular animal, while registration papers alone are not. It is very important to microchip your pet, register that microchip with the microchip company, and to keep the microchip registration information such as your phone number and address current with the microchip registry at all times. There could be little worse than losing your pet, having it be found, but you were not contacted because your old phone number now belongs to a complete stranger.
2. The AKC is vehemently opposed to any spay/neuter legislation. You can read more regarding spay/neuter laws at Law Requires Dogs be Spayed, Neutered. There are millions of pets being killed in shelters and veterinary clinics every day, simply because they do not have a home. Spay Neuter legislation often requires pets to be spayed/neutered. They often require breeders to obtain and maintain a breeding license. When you register your dog with AKC, a portion of your money is going to be used to fight legislation that will assist in the fight of pet overpopulation.
3. APRI is owned and operated by the pet breeding industry. When AKC decided to mandate that frequently used male dogs were to have DNA testing performed, this meant an extra expense for the breeders using this registry. Around the same time, the AKC began inspecting the breeders that use their registry. Breeders with large numbers of commercial breeding stock, such as puppy mills, do not want more expenses, nor do they want more frequent inspections. Commercial breeders often own several females, and few males, because one male can easily impregnate a dozen females. To avoid DNA testing, and more inspections, the pet industry began their own pet registry on a whim. Surely the pet owners would recognize the difference between the recognition of AKC papers, and this new APRI papers, right?
But people bought into it, recognizing only that their new puppy had "papers" and not understanding much more than that. The American people were naively duped into thinking their dog was "papered", not knowing what this actually meant, and a new registry run by commercial breeders developed and continues to spread it's wings today with great momentum. It did not hurt the deception that another popular breed registry was just one initial different from APRI. The American Purebred Registry was known as APR, so confusion of the two registries was frequent.
When you register your dog with APRI, your dollars are going to support the people that continue to breed in mass quantities despite the problems of severe pet overpopulation. Your money is used to pay lobbyists to fight Breeding Legislation that is intended to make the industry more humane in their treatment of the animals in their care, and crack down on puppy mills. Your money will be used to lobby for the inclusion of canine breeding stock as LIVESTOCK in some states in support of the puppy mill industry. In Iowa, this recently came to a head and was defeated, but can and will likely be brought up again. Livestock are not required to have shelter at all, and there are tax benefits to dog breeders becoming livestock producers.
Rather than registering that puppy with either group, send that money to a local shelter, the smallest one you can find. They need the money more than these groups do, and will use it much more wisely. They will care for the six year old dog that was abandoned by it's owner... the dog that was purchased from a commercial breeder six years ago...
If you are looking to seriously breed a dog, I would advise consulting your veterinarian on the expenses for pre-breeding tests such as CERF testing for eye health, getting hips and elbows OFA evaluated at 2 years of age before breeding, brucellosis testing, DNA testing for breeds predisposed to genetic conditions, etc. Breeding is a business that requires expenses, and you should make yourself aware of these expenses BEFORE jumping in!
If you are serious about becoming a quality breeder, who raises dogs within the home, provides all recommended veterinary care, requires that sold puppies be spayed and neutered by contract, and screens the homes to ensure the quality of life for that puppy, then I would recommend AKC registration. They are the oldest organization, they conduct routine inspections of kennels that utilize their registry, and despite my differing opinion on their spay neuter legislation, they do provide many good programs for pets and their people. They have programs in which mixed breed, fixed animals can participate called AKC Canine Partners Program. Programs that involve dogs and their people, provide quality time for dogs with their people. Who would not support that?
|As a responsible breeder, make sure, if your puppies are sold as "pet quality" puppies, that the spay neuter contract is followed through as in your contract. Follow up with a phone call and request a fax from their veterinarian to confirm that the spay/neuter has been performed.
As a responsible breeder, you are responsible for the breeding dogs you own, but remember you are also responsible for those puppies, even after they leave your home. Can you imagine one of your puppies months or years down the road, being euthanized at a shelter because the home you chose was not the right one, or because you neglected to make it clear that you would assist if the need arises to rehome that dog?
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