What is Limited Registration?
AKC limited registration is a type of registration that
dog's ability to produce AKC registered puppies. This type of
registration, along with a spay/neuter contract, is often used by
breeders to assure that a particular dog is not used for breeding.
A dog with AKC limited registration is still AKC registered
but no litters produced by that dog are eligible for AKC registration.
A dog with
limited registration is eligible to compete in any class at an AKC-licensed
dog show, trial or event (including obedience,
agility, tracking, field trials and hunt tests) EXCEPT for breed
competition (conformation classes).
Why would a breeder choose limited registration for a
There are a
number of sound reasons for selling puppies with limited
registration. First and foremost of these reasons is to
prevent my puppies from being purchased and used for breeding in a
puppy-mill. Puppy brokers will pay more for puppies that come
from champion parents and/or championship pedigrees, so puppy mill
operators are always interested in purchasing quality puppies.
Since all of my dogs have championship pedigrees or are champions
themselves, my puppies are at risk for a lifetime of abuse and
neglect in a puppy mill if I do not take adequate measures to
protect each dog I sell. (For more information on puppy mills, check out my
Placing my pet puppies
with limited registration makes my puppies less
appealing to puppy mills, back-yard breeders and other irresponsible
owners that might breed their dog without thought to breed type,
health or temperament. I work very
hard and have spent years trying to ensure that the puppies I
produce are happy, healthy, quality examples of the Cocker Spaniel
breed. It only makes sense that I would take any and all
necessary steps to ensure that someone else doesn't use one of my
dogs to produce inferior animals. (You must keep in mind
that each parent provides 50% of the genetic material for each
puppy. No matter how well-bred one parent is, if the other
parent carries serious health or structural faults, the puppies
produced from breeding these 2 animals would not only be at risk for
inheriting and exhibiting the faults of the poorly bred parent, but
even those that didn't exhibit the faults of the inferior parent
would carry those defective genes and could pass them to subsequent
Which leads to my next reason for using
limited registration when selling my puppies. Limited
registration helps prevent ANY irresponsible breeder from using one of my puppies
in a breeding program that does not do appropriate health testing and in
which improving the breed is not the purpose of their involvement with
the breed. This includes puppy mill owners, back-yard breeders and
others that want to supplement their income with puppy sales or just
want the kids to see a "life experience". While back-yard
breeders and pet owners that produce 1 or 2 litters may not neglect or
abuse their dogs as often as puppy mills, most of these "breeders" are
not responsible in their breeding practices.
misunderstand me here - I do not believe that show people are the only
ones that should be allowed to breed their dogs. I believe that
anyone should have the right to breed their dog but that they should not
do so without appropriate health testing for the breed, without
considerable knowledge of the health risks known to affect that
particular breed and a sound, working
knowledge of the breed standard. This is the minimum foundation of
knowledge from which each breeding should be planned and executed. Additionally, I feel that all breeders should have some basic veterinary
skills to allow them to identify and deal with breeding, whelping and
puppy care emergencies and I also believe that anyone that breeds their dogs must:
- Be willing to
accept responsibility for each puppy for its lifetime in case the
new owner cannot keep it.
- Have a solid
foundation of information on animal care and husbandry so that they
will be able to help new owners with training, care and upkeep of
the puppy they purchase.
discriminating in their placement of the puppies they produce.
In other words, all puppies should be placed with limited
registration on spay and neuter contracts unless the breeder is
absolutely positive that the new owner
shares the same sense of responsibility and commitment to a
responsible breeding philosophy as the litter owner.
Sorry for the
little side trip up above there, but I wanted to make myself clear.
Now that we've gotten that taken care of, let's get back to my reasons
for using limited registration. As I was saying, while I strive to produce puppies that
are healthy and meet the breed standard,
other (unethical) breeders could use one of my dogs to produce puppies that would reflect poorly on my kennel
and bloodlines. The limited registration option helps me prevent the
breeding of dogs from my kennel. This, in turn, helps to assure
that my name, my kennel name and my dogs' bloodlines are not
associated with poor breeding practices or inferior animals.
This is, of course, in addition to protecting my puppies and potential
offspring of my puppies from puppy mills. But, hold on to your
hats, there's even more good news! For the icing on the cake,
limited registration also helps to reduce the number of poor quality,
genetically unsound puppies that are sold to the unsuspecting public and
that weaken the breed as a whole.
As you should
be able to see from the information above, limited registration is a
tool that responsible breeders can use to improve the lives of the
animals they produce. By taking advantage of this form of
registration I can be sure that my puppies will not end up as the next generation of
breeding stock for an irresponsible breeder. I can rest easy
knowing that the puppies I sell are safe and snug in their new homes
with families that value them for their loving companionship
Please understand that if you have
contacted me to purchase a pet dog and I told you the dog would have
limited registration, this does NOT mean that I think YOU are a
puppy-mill owner or a bad person! If I have told you that the
puppy you want will have limited registration, I have not picked you
out with the intent to discriminate against you and I am not somehow
prejudiced against you in particular. I insist that ALL pet
dogs have limited registration and that decision rarely has anything
to do with the person that is asking to purchase the puppy.
I'm just doing what I think is necessary to assure that my puppies
go to the best possible homes.
Limited Registration means that
the dog is registered but no litters produced by that dog
are eligible for registration.
Chapter 3, Section 4A of the AKC's Rules Applying to
Registration and Discipline states the following: "Limited
Registration may be requested for a dog when application for
individual registration of the dog is submitted, provided
the application, together with a request for such
limitation, is filed by the owner(s) of the litter at birth.
No offspring of a dog for which Limited Registration has
been granted is eligible for registration. Each registration
certificate for such dog shall carry notice of the
limitation, and the limitation shall continue, regardless of
any change of ownership, unless and until the owner(s) of
the litter at birth shall apply to AKC for removal of the
A dog registered with an AKC Limited Registration shall be
ineligible to be entered in a breed competition in a
licensed or member dog show. It is eligible, however, to be
entered in any other licensed or member event. These events
include: Obedience, Tracking, Field Trials, Hunting Tests,
Herding, Lure Coursing, Agility and Earthdog.
Limited Registration is determined by the litter owner(s).
The litter owner(s) check the Limited box on the AKC Dog
Limited Registration certificates are white with an orange
border; the Full Registration certificate is white with a