Question: I need to update my address. How do I do that?
Answer: You must submit your request in writing. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org from the address on file; include your previous and current addresses. If you cannot access or do not have an email, you must submit a Change of Address Form by fax or mail.
Question: How do I become a member or breeder with CKC?
Answer: CKC grants membership upon the successful registration of your first canine. You will receive a member number associated with you and your contact information. Each registered dog receives a unique CKC registration number. We do not require additional “breeder registration.” You will be listed as the breeder of any litter produced by a female dog you own.
Question: Does CKC offer special rates for breeders?
Answer: A member with kennel status is someone who has eight (8) or more active dogs registered within a year. To qualify for kennel discounts (applies to all registrations, except PAW), a member must initially register eight (8) breeding dogs within a calendar year. When registering dogs individually, the standard fees for registration ($15.00/dog for a registration certificate) apply. After successful registration of the eighth (8th) dog within one calendar year, a customer’s account is converted from individual to kennel status. Kennel rates are $7.00/dog for a registration certificate). Please visit our Member Service Fee Schedule for further explanation of kennel status benefits.
Question: What is the difference between a member number and a CKC registration number?
Answer: A member number is associated with you and your contact information; it’s typically seven digits in length. A dog’s unique CKC number starts with a breed code (Ex: PD for Poodle, TLM for Goldendoodle) and is a series of eight numbers beginning with 0. (Ex: PD-0xxxxxxx).
CKC will not release canine registration numbers by phone to anyone, including the owner on file. A member may request their member or account number by phone or email. Before release, the member must verify account details (address, phone number, canine CKC number, etc.).
Question: Why register with CKC?
Answer: Established more than 30 years ago, Continental Kennel Club continues to offer a more user-friendly, affordable, inclusive registry for breeders, dog owners, and enthusiasts. As one of the top kennel clubs worldwide, we provide superior services:
CKC offers a unique opportunity to consider the registration of purebred canines through our Picture and Witness (PAW) program. We work to better the 450+ purebred breeds we recognize by:
Question: What is a Certificate of Registration?
Answer: A CKC certificate of registration provides proof of the dog’s breed, status, and lineage. Additionally, the certificate proves ownership. It certifies that the dog is officially registered and recorded in CKC’s breed registry. The certificate may be used for litter registration, participating in CKC events, or transferring ownership of a canine from one person to another.
Question: How long does it take to process my application to register my dog?
Answer: CKC makes every effort to process all incoming applications within five (5) business days, except PAW Applications, which take a minimum of 30 days due to evaluation procedures. All published timelines exclude weekends, holidays, or other emergent closures.
Question: What are CKC's views on puppy mills?
Answer: Over the years, we’ve encountered some misconceptions about our response to and affiliation with puppy mills. We feel it best to address those here. CKC does not condone or promote “puppy mills.” A more significant part of our membership consists of individual hobby breeders, not large commercial breeding operations. Most members’ accounts denote an “individual” status, meaning that they have fewer than eight dogs registered with us. Continental Kennel Club has strict Registration Rules and Policies to which we adhere and universally enforce among our membership. In instances where a puppy buyer or concerned third party has questions regarding the animal husbandry practices of a member, we begin an immediate investigation and employ our Breeder Code of Ethics as a measuring stick. CKC expects that all members will follow the policies and guidelines of local and state laws regarding the proper care and housing of canines in their possession. We implore any person who may have concerns regarding any CKC member involved in matters of animal abuse or neglect to contact local authorities. We reserve the right to refuse registration to any person convicted of a crime of cruelty to animals in any state, province, territory, or country or who acts in a manner we deem unethical, fraudulent, or dishonest.
Question: What is CKC's response to negative opinions about our organization?
Answer: Established more than 30 years ago, Continental Kennel Club continues to offer a more user-friendly, affordable, inclusive registry for breeders, dog owners, and enthusiasts. As one of the top three largest kennel clubs, we provide superior services, including free litter registration, a quick five (5) business day turnaround on most paperwork, and access to our Ages and Stages video training series. CKC offers a unique opportunity for the consideration of registration of purebred canines with undocumented ancestry through our Photo and Witness (PAW) program. All registry organizations maintain and produce the same types of records. Hence, using any one of them is a personal preference depending upon the availability of services to meet the customers’ needs.
Question: My purebred dog doesn't have registration papers. Can I still register him?
Answer: CKC offers a Picture and Witness (PAW) evaluation program through which you may apply for the registration of a purebred dog whose registration has been lost or the ancestry is undocumented. Dogs that are the first of their line to be registered with CKC through PAW are known as foundation animals. It’s essential to recognize the critical genetic contribution these foundation animals make and their role in assisting CKC in our mission of maintaining a large and diverse genetic population for every breed. For CKC to consider a dog for the PAW program, the owner of the dog and two witnesses of age (18 years or older) must affirm that the applicant dog is purebred and ‘of proper breed type’ as defined by CKC Registration Rules and Policies. The applicant canine must be at least ONE YEAR OF AGE before submission. The application clearly defines all picture, witness, and owner requirements; there is a NON-REFUNDABLE evaluation fee of $50.00 due with the application. Submitting a completed application does NOT guarantee registration. The assessment determines whether or not the dog meets its prescribed breed standard; the process takes approximately 30 business days to complete. If the applicant canine is approved, you will receive official registration documents. CKC does not accept PAW application materials except by mail.
Check out these videos on the PAW Application process.
How to Complete and Submit a PAW Application
How to Take Pictures for a PAW Application
Question: My non-purebred dog doesn't have registration papers. Can I still register him?
Answer: If you have a non-purebred canine (of known breed origin; (Ex: Goldendoodle or Labrador Retriever x Australian Shepherd) with no official registration for the applicant canine or his parents, you may apply for registration using our Non-Purebred Canine Application. To be considered for registration, the owner and two witnesses of age (18 years or older) must affirm the dog is the breed mix listed on the application and that all information is accurate. The applicant canine must be at least SIX MONTHS OF AGE before submission. The application clearly defines all picture, witness, and owner requirements. If the applicant canine is approved, you will receive official registration documents. CKC does not accept Non-Purebred Canine application materials except by mail.
Question: How can I dispute the results of a PAW evaluation?
Answer: All decisions regarding PAW evaluations are final; CKC does not permit disputes. We reserve the right to reject any applicant canine, which in the opinion of CKC, is not a good candidate for the program. We will return all application materials and fees. Dog owners may purchase a report detailing the pass/fail specifics by resubmitting the application materials and a written request for the assessment. If the dog fails the formal evaluation, we do not return the evaluation fee.
Question: What is the difference between a registration application and a certificate of registration?
Answer: A registration application is an official document to request inclusion into CKC’s database, the first step of the registration cycle. Most often, the application is provided to breeders to “transfer” ownership/possession to the puppy buyers.
A certificate of registration is the second step of the registration cycle. It creates and helps to maintain the official record for your dog, independent of their litter. Its more common equivalent is a birth certificate or car title.
Question: I bought a CKC dog that's already registered. How do I put him in my name?
Answer: To process the transfer, you must complete the back of the original Certificate of Registration (including the required signatures and fees) and mail it to our office. If the original certificate is unavailable, you may utilize a Supplemental Transfer Form in its place. If the previous owner(s) did not sign the certificate and you cannot obtain their signature(s), you must complete a Certification of Ownership Form. It must be notarized to be valid.
Question: How do I register a litter of puppies?
Answer: If you (the breeder) own both parents and they are CKC-registered, you may order the Puppy Registration Applications by phone at 1.800.952.3376 or online here. You must have both the sire and dam’s CKC registration numbers, the litter’s date of birth, and the number of living puppies. If you do not own the sire, or if he is registered with a CKC-recognized registry, you must submit a Litter Application by mail, fax, or email. The sire owner(s) must sign the registration application and supply a copy of his registration certificate from CKC or a CKC-recognized registry.
Question: My dog belongs to another organization. Can I register him with CKC, too?
Answer: You may dual register your dog by submitting a Canine Registration Application by mail, fax, or email. You must also submit a copy of your dog’s registration certificate in your name or other approved documents from a CKC-recognized registry. You can review acceptable documentation in our Policies, Section VI, Subsection A, Paragraph 8. Check out this video on dual registration.
Question: My dog belongs to another organization with limited registration. Does that carry over to CKC?
Answer: You may dual register your dog with CKC. The limited registration does not carry over or impact the canine’s breeding privileges with us because CKC is not affiliated with any other registry/organization. However, if you have any independent contracts/agreements with the breeder that impacts breeding rights with the original registry, failure to adhere to the terms may result in actions taken by the breeder.
Question: Does Continental Kennel Club register dogs worldwide?
Answer: Yes, CKC registers dogs in all 50 states and many foreign countries except Canada. We do not register dogs in Canada due to a legal agreement with Canadian Kennel Club. You may use an alternate United States address, and we’ll happily process the registration for you.
Question: What is a pedigree? How do I order one?
Answer: A pedigree is the (official) record of a purebred dog’s ancestry (parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc.). They usually contain at least 3 generations. Sometimes, more information is available. Please contact our office at 1.800.952.3376 with your dog’s CKC Number or order online here. You may also reference information regarding an incomplete pedigree in Section D.3.
Question: Does my dog look purebred? Will he pass the PAW evaluation?
Answer: Unfortunately, we do not offer opinions on the breed type of a dog without performing an extensive, formal evaluation upon request or receiving an application and supplemental materials. If you’re interested in the assessment of an unregistered dog, please submit a PAW Application. If your canine is already CKC-registered, please submit a completed Photo Enhancement Analysis packet.
Question: Why is my dog's pedigree incomplete?
Answer: Occasionally, a full CKC pedigree is not available. This may be the case when either parent is dual-registered from another organization, and the owner did not supply the pedigree, or if the dog, parent, or grandparent was a foundation animal registered through our PAW Program. Dogs that are the first of their line to be registered with CKC through PAW are known as foundation animals and will not have a full pedigree available. Although missing pedigree information can be disappointing, it’s essential to recognize the critical genetic contribution these foundation animals make and their role in assisting CKC in our mission of maintaining a large and diverse genetic population for every breed. For this reason, CKC cannot offer full pedigrees for every dog of every breed. In some instances, you may obtain missing pedigree information from a previous owner or contact the breeder to see if they have any additional information. If so, we will happily update our records and issue a pedigree.
Question: My Puppy Application has an incorrect date of birth or parent. What can I do?
Answer: Only the breeder can change the birthdate or parentage because it affects the entire litter. You should contact the breeder, who must contact us to update and reissue the Puppy Registration Applications.
Question: I lost my Puppy Registration Applications(s). Can I order another one?
Answer: We can reissue Puppy Registration Applications if they are lost or not received, free of charge within 30 days of the registration date. After that time, according to our Member Service Fee Schedule, there is a minimum $5.00 reissue fee. You may make your request by phone and pay with a debit or credit card or submit a written request with a check or money order. We send the application to the breeder/seller responsible for signing it and forwarding it to the puppy buyer.
Question: I lost my dog's certificate. Can I get another copy?
Answer: You may order a duplicate registration certificate for $10.00 per dog. You can do so by phone and pay with a debit or credit card or mail with a check or money order. Your written request must include your name, address, and dog’s name.
Question: My dog's certificate has an error/typo. How do I fix it?
Answer: Our Member Service Fee Schedule details costs (if applicable); please contact our Customer Service Team for guidance at 1.800.952.3376. The type of error and time elapsed since completing the registration will determine the next steps.
Question: What are breed standards, and why are they important?
Answer: A breed standard is a set of guidelines regarding phenotypical (external) observable traits. Each breed standard details the appearance, movement, and temperament that distinguishes one breed from breed another. For more information on CKC’s breed standards, check out these videos.
Question: I'm not sure my CKC-registered dog is purebred. What can I do?
Answer: When there’s reason to question the breed type of a registered canine, we utilize Photo Enhancement Analysis to determine if the phenotypical (outward) appearance coincides with the breed standard. This investigative tool uses a minimum of five (5) photographs to measure each part of the dog against the written standard for the dog’s designated breed. If you request an assessment, you must complete a complaint packet, and you will receive a summary documenting the categorical analysis – where the dog passes or fails.
Question: Why does CKC register non-purebred dogs?
Answer: The foundational purpose of any registry or kennel club is to provide a service – identification – to its members and their canines. Puppy buyers and dog breeders are interested in having an official document confirming their dog’s ownership and primary details. An example of an equivalent document is a child’s birth certificate or a car title.
Our critics often assume that all CKC-registered dogs attain purebred status, which is not the case. All official registration documents for mixed ancestry or popular hybrid/designer dogs indicate their NON-PUREBRED status. Continental Kennel Club stands out among the industry by providing reciprocal services to hybrid or mixed breed and purebred dogs. We act as a nucleus for the management of ownership, progeny, and genealogical records. Further, we share a bi-partisan responsibility with our members to ensure that we produce accurate registration documents.
“CKC accepts registration applications for processing and issues registration certificates based on the accuracy of the information submitted by the registration applicant(s) and member(s). CKC accepts no liability for any inaccurate, false, or fraudulent information submitted on the registration application but will correct such information is determined to be in error by CKC” (Rule IV.A.5.).
Question: Which colors are acceptable for my dog?
Answer: All breed standards CKC maintains include the established standard colors that serve as characteristics of the breed. However, CKC recognizes that some breeds can produce atypical or non-standard coat colors. To maintain a substantial, genetically diverse breeding population, CKC incorporates a list of non-standard colors that are sometimes found in purebred dogs. Please view your canine’s breed standard for acceptable colors. Search for the breed and then click on the blue “More Info” plus sign to the right to find the entire standard.
Question: My dog is bigger or smaller than I hoped. What can I do?
Answer: Size is genetic, and a breeder can only estimate how large or small a dog will grow to be. It is not uncommon for offspring produced from two toy, miniature, or standard varieties to be larger or smaller than either one or both parents. The genetic presence of larger or smaller dogs is often further back in the lineage than just the sire or dam. If your CKC registered dog’s size variety is incorrectly classified, you can update it by submitting a completed measurement chart and surrendering your current CKC registration certificate. The reissue fee is $10.00, payable by credit or debit card, check, or money order.
Question: Should I breed my dog?
Answer: The decision to breed your dog is multifaceted and should be made only after considering all impacts. The canine must be physically and genetically sound, free from defects, diseases, and disorders. The potential dog must meet the breed standard. The traits and characteristics he exhibits should qualify him as an ideal specimen. To increase the perceived value of your puppies, you might consider training the parents in a performance event for the breed’s form and function or compete in conformation shows. Studies and personal experience prove that the parents’ traits and abilities indicate the offspring’s potential. Breeding stock should be temperamentally sound. You should not breed an overly shy or aggressive dog because those tendencies impact a litter of pups’ genetics and environmental learning. You should consult your veterinarian before breeding to ensure your dog is sound. He is a trained expert and can impart a wealth of valuable information; ask questions! Overall, the decision to breed requires a commitment of finances, time, and personal education.
Question: What are the minimum and maximum ages for breeding stock?
Answer: To register a litter with CKC, both the sire and dam must be at least six months old at the time of breeding. CKC will not register litters produced ahead of this minimum age. Opposite that, the maximum breeding age is 12 years old for dams and 13 years for sires. Breeding beyond these maximums requires annual veterinary documentation prior to the registration of any litters. As for any health concerns involving breeding, you should always consult your veterinarian.
Question: Can I limit the registration of puppies I sell?
Answer: CKC heard the requests of our members to make limited registration more widely available. Members of our Preferred Breeder Program (PBP) have streamlined access and pay no additional fees for the service. Members who aren’t part of the PBP can submit the Puppy Registration application and pay the registration fee and register individual puppies to themselves (the breeder) as ‘limited’ before it goes to the new owner. A written request for limited registration must accompany the application. The new owner must complete a transfer of ownership using the official certificate of registration according to the rules. Check out this video on limited registration.
Question: What is CKC's stance on inbreeding and linebreeding?
Answer: The practice of intentional inbreeding and linebreeding is detrimental to the broader canine industry. Proponents of the approach maintain that breeding closely related dogs is the best way to preserve the breed’s overall characteristics and desired traits for the purpose of maintaining breed type for conformation showing.
As a registry, CKC desires to perpetuate the balance between a breed’s benchmarks and crucial genetic diversity while simultaneously reducing negative impacts, including reduced litter size and fertility, lack of disease resistance, and the frequency of offspring born with predispositions to hereditary illnesses. CKC strongly discourages the practice of inbreeding and linebreeding and may refuse registration of any litters that are found to be inbred or linebred.
“CKC reserves the right to refuse registration of litters that meet any of the following criteria: . . .Closely inbred litters – litters between full siblings or parent-offspring pairs” (Policy IV.A.4. 1. B.).
Question: Does CKC use DNA testing to determine canine parentage?
Answer: “In cases of questionable parentage of any CKC-registered canine or applicant for registration, Continental Kennel Club will recognize and act upon the results of DNA testing to determine the parentage of any canine(s) in question. The DNA testing shall be conducted at a CKC-recognized DNA-testing facility, according to current testing procedures as set forth by CKC, at the expense of the party or parties contesting or challenging the parentage. All owners and breeders of CKC-registered canine(s) or litter(s)involved agree to submit their canine(s) for DNA testing at CKC’s request and agree to abide by the results of said tests” (Registration Rules: II.C.1-3.).
DNA testing is NOT a standard requirement for litter registration. However, CKC reserves the right to investigate any member to ensure compliance with CKC registration rules, guidelines, policies, and procedures.
Question: Does CKC accept DNA for the registration of a dog?
Answer: “At this time, using breed DNA to identify purebred dogs is still not an exact science, and all testing organization advise against the use of breed DNA to identify purebred dogs. Due to the different algorithms used to calculate breed purity, and differences in markers measured amongst the different testing facilities, a complete picture of a dog breed’s entire breed genetic pool is not possible. The chance of falsely identifying purebred dogs as mixed-breed is still a possibility. For this reason, breed DNA is only considered under special circumstances and is generally not considered when discrediting a purebred dog as a mixed breed. However, breed DNA results that indicate a high percentage of breed purity may be taken into consideration in determining a dog’s breed purity in some breeds.” (Registration Policies: II.1.,8.).
Question: How do I find responsible owners for my puppies?
Answer: Choosing responsible puppy owners requires some pre-planning on your part. Buyers should invest ahead of the planned breeding and place deposits on the puppies. You should create a puppy contract that holds the buyer responsible for veterinary care, spaying/neutering, basic obedience training, etc. You should screen potential buyers carefully to ensure their lifestyle fits the breed. You might consider the temperament of each puppy to help buyers find the right companion. Do not be afraid to turn a prospective owner away if you have concerns. Advertising your puppies online may attract interested buyers.
Question: How do I prepare buyers for ownership?
Answer: The best thing you can do for your buyers is provide a properly socialized puppy you introduced to basic training. You can utilize many CKC resources and products like Puppy Starter Kits. They include a short version of our Puppies 101 book, a helpful in-house publication with tips and tricks to help new puppy owners with the most common puppy issues.
Most importantly, you can ensure that puppy buyers understand the importance of registering their puppy into their name to gain immediate access to CKC’s supportive resources, such as our free 6-week puppy training video series that covers housetraining, bite-inhibition, coming when called, loose leash walking, and training to help navigate the puppy’s first year of life.
You are also responsible for providing a correct, original, signed Puppy Registration Application at the time of sale. The buyer must submit that application to transfer ownership from you to them as soon as possible. The registration creates a permanent record for them. They’ll also gain access to a 30-day trial of pet insurance from MetLife and unique registration services from us.
Question: What should I include in a puppy contract to ensure a smooth sale?
Answer: A solid puppy contract should include a health guarantee, requirements for ownership (spay/neuter, obedience training, etc.), stipulations for registration, and an explanation of breeding rights. The seller should also include steps for rehoming if required. Any changes and agreements should be made in writing and signed by all involved parties. We strongly urge you to complete the sale (obtain the money and provide correct, signed, original paperwork) before the puppy goes home and ensure that puppies are registered to the new owners without delay.
Question: What is a return rate? Why is it important?
Answer: Every CKC breeder has a return rate that fluctuates, reflective of the number of Puppy Registration Applications you request versus those submitted for registration by your puppy buyers. Many breeders are surprised to find that although their customers insist upon buying a registered puppy, the customers never return the paperwork to follow through with the registration. Why does this matter? To continue offering free or well-priced, accessible service, we rely on our member breeders to act as advocates of CKC and help to ensure that the new puppy owners understand the benefit of registration and submit their registration applications to solidify each puppy’s place in the ancestral records. By doing so, new puppy owners gain access to CKC’s valuable puppy owner support services, such as the Ages and Stages training videos and other helpful resources for the life of their companion. We are excited about plans to provide incentives to our breeders based on their return rates, thanks in part to their advocacy of CKC puppy registration. Want to know your return rate? Call us at 1.800.952.3376 or email us today at email@example.com.
Question: What advice would you give about buying a puppy?
Answer: We recommend that you locate a local breeder and consider some things such as seeing the parent dogs, proof of veterinary care, and up-to-date vaccinations. If the puppy or litter is advertised as CKC-registered, you should also verify the registration and ensure you receive an original, signed Puppy Registration Application. Some breeders may supply a health guarantee or contract. Be sure that you read and understand the entirety of the document and the language contained in said agreements. You may consider asking for references from previous puppy buyers. The breeder/seller must provide a correct, signed, original Puppy Registration Application when you pick up the puppy. You should not take your CKC-registered puppy home without the paperwork in hand. We strongly recommend that your new puppy be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible to safeguard your puppy’s health and protect your consumer rights.
Question: I didn't register my puppy right away. Is it too late?
Answer: Puppy Registration Applications do not expire, and we do not charge any late fees. To get the most out of your membership privileges, you should register your puppy as soon as possible. You can register online or submit the completed application by mail, fax, or email. Check out this video on How to Submit Your CKC Registration Application.
Question: I have a complaint about a CKC member. What can I do?
Answer: CKC has a strict set of registration rules, guidelines, and policies to which we adhere and universally enforce among our membership. We utilize established protocols to resolve customer grievances and complaints. We take all complaints seriously and begin immediate investigations where appropriate.
In certain instances, CKC has limited recourse. CKC will not involve itself in contractual or monetary matters. We encourage all involved parties to work toward a mutually acceptable solution. Pursuing alternate means of redress by any parties is independent of our investigation. Generally, CKC cannot investigate health complaints without a proven genetic cause. We will record all reported cases, actionable or not. Repeated reports of non-genetic health issues may prompt an investigation at CKC’s discretion.
Complainants must submit their cases in writing via our complaint packet. Each submission must include a detailed statement of events and any pertinent supporting documentation (ex: veterinary records, genetic testing results, communication log, photos, etc.).
Complaints may not be made anonymously. Our goal is to encourage collaborative problem-solving and offer potential solutions before initiating official procedures. We must give the respondent reasonable time (generally 30 days) to answer or refute any claims against them or complete CKC-ordered tests. Because we value members’ privacy, we make every effort to remove sensitive personal or financial information from any evidence we share.
Question: Are there any events in my area?
Answer: I apologize, but CKC is neither hosting nor sanctioning conformation or performance events at this time. The geographic availability of official Continental Kennel Club events moving forward depends on establishing and consistently managing affiliate clubs. We will publish changes to our official event offerings on our website, social media pages, and newsletter. You may find events here. Be sure to review eligibility requirements first.
Question: I want to compete in the future. How should I start?
Answer: If you’re interested in competing in conformation shows or performance events, you and your dog should first have excellent basic obedience training. Competing or not, these foundational skills are essential for you and your dog’s safety, comfort, and the critical bond you share. Our Ages and Stages video training series will help you navigate puppyhood topics like socialization, housetraining, and basic leash manners. This free resource is available to all CKC members.
Question: Where can I find CKC logos to use on my personal website?
Answer: You can find logos here. Please read all guidelines and restrictions before using any logos or links owned and/or copyrighted by CKC.
Question: How do I log in to my online Member Profile?
Answer: We apologize; the Member Portal is no longer available on our website. We plan to launch a more user-friendly replacement sometime in 2022-2023. Please reach out via Bark Live or by calling our office at 1.800.952.3376, and we’ll happily assist you.
Question: What do I do if I don't know my CKC Member Number?
Answer: You can find your member number in the upper right corner of any correspondence we’ve mailed to you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address; we’re happy to provide your member number.
Question: How can I update a web ad that is already published on the CKC website?
Answer: You may update your ad one time during its duration. Please submit your request via email at email@example.com.