Continental Kennel Club is an international registry with club members and dogs registered in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries. Since 1991, Continental Kennel Club has served as one of the leading canine registries in the world and used the internet to promote, advertise, and publicize its services and programs.
While the internet is a wonderful medium for the free exchange of ideas all over the world, it can also be used to spread rumors and false information about people, businesses, and organizations. Unfortunately, CKC is no stranger to the power of the internet. Over the years, misinformation concerning CKC has circulated the web, leading to misconceptions about our club.
The following information is an attempt to answer those misconceptions as a series of frequently asked questions. For more information about CKC, please see our official rules or call a friendly representative for assistance.
We do register dogs that are known purebreds whose registration papers with another registry have been lost, destroyed, or stolen. In these cases, we require two witnesses to verify the dog is purebred and five photos (one from each side, one from the front and rear, and a close-up headshot) to verify the dog is ‘of proper breed type.’ According to CKC Registration Rules, a dog must be purebred and ‘of proper breed type’ to be registered as a purebred dog. If a dog is represented as purebred by the owner and two other witnesses, its registration can still be challenged if it is not ‘of proper breed type.’ The pictures that are submitted with these registration applications give us insight into whether a dog is of proper breed type or not. And, CKC will deny registration for any dog that is not of proper breed type no matter what type of verification that is submitted for that dog. For example, registration for a dog may be received on a puppy application with CKC registered parents or on a canine application submitted with registration papers from another kennel club, and still be denied registration if it comes to our attention that it is not ‘of proper breed type.’
Unfortunately, for many purebred dogs, their paper trail has been lost yet they are good examples of their breed and worthy of contributing to the gene pool for their particular breed. Purebred dog gene pools are already constricted enough by closed registries promoting primarily show-type breeding with little regard for working ability. The CKC registry is an open registry, and we have established adequate rules to safeguard the integrity of the registry. CKC registration rules give us the right to investigate any member suspected of registration infractions. CKC investigates every claim concerning improper breed type or fraudulent information on registration papers. CKC removes member privileges and purebred status for all dogs that have been found to have incorrect or fraudulent information.
The majority of registrations that come into the registration office come in with parents registered either in CKC or another kennel club, such as AKC or UKC. There are three ways to register a dog with Continental Kennel Club depending on the history and background available for each dog. Dogs are most commonly registered with CKC via preprinted puppy applications issued for each litter and requested by a breeder using CKC litter services. We also register dogs on canine applications based on registration information submitted from other CKC-recognized registries. A list of accepted registries is available HERE.
The third way to register is by using CKC's PAW Program. By allowing purebred dogs to be registered with witnesses and pictures, CKC is allowing a legitimate alternative for purebred dogs, such as rescued and abandoned dogs. Registration provides the new owners with proof of ownership, a registration number to compete in CKC performance events, access to CKC online services, and other valuable programs, like the CKC Breeder Rewards Program. In addition, providing a legitimate means of registering purebred dogs eliminates the practice in closed registries of registering dogs with false pedigree information (a practice that brings the accuracy of pedigree records and studbooks into question).
Yes, while 98% of the registry is made up of purebred dog registrations, CKC does offer its registration services to owners of mixed-breed dogs. Owning a mixed-breed dog is very common today, and CKC wants to be helpful to those dog owners as well. Many mixed-breed dogs are rescued from shelters by responsible owners looking for a good canine companion to be part of their home. CKC encourages registration of these dogs for a number of reasons. Registration services provide proof of ownership, allow the dog to participate in our performance events, allow CKC to record the accomplishments of the owner and these canines, and make available all of the great services CKC has to offer.
Continental Kennel Club applications and registration papers are designed to ensure the public understands the different registration classes at CKC. Puppy applications and registration certificates are stamped with ‘PUREBRED’ or ‘NONPUREBRED’ in bold print, so that new owners know what they are getting. Also, the abbreviation, ‘MISC’ appears in front of any mixed breed description on the BREED field. In addition, the CKC unique numbering system for miscellaneous breeds uses different prefixes so that computer programs can prevent the recording of a mixed breed dog as purebred.
CKC Registration Rules allow for the registration of all purebred dogs. Because CKC is an independent registry that operates by its own registration rules, CKC does not record breeding status information from other registries. And, as with other registry organizations, individual membership status is conferred and maintained by adherence to the specific organization’s registration rules, policies, and procedures.
In order to meet its membership needs, CKC has established a Preferred Breeders Program that offers limited registration privileges to those breeders subscribing to the program. The CKC Preferred Breeder Program is an elite program made up of breeders who subscribe to the highest ethical standards in animal husbandry and canine care. CKC Preferred Breeders are committed to improving their breeds.
Continental Kennel Club does not condone or promote “puppy mills.” The majority of CKC registrations come from individuals, not large commercial breeding operations. In 2006, two percent of our members were registered as kennel owners (i.e., someone who has ten or more dogs registered). Of those ordering applications for litters in 2006, only 10 percent were listed as kennels with CKC.
To deal with unscrupulous dog owners, CKC maintains a strict set of Registration Rules that all members are expected to adhere to and abide by, whether they be individual dog owners, breeders, or kennel owners. CKC enforces its registration rules, policies, and procedures through program checks, customer feedback, and a formal complaint process. In dealing with a complaint, CKC employs a wide latitude of investigative tools, including on-site inspections, professional tests, and document gathering to determine the merits of a reported abuse of the registry.
Occasionally, we receive complaints about breeders using the CKC registry who are suspected of “puppy mill” practices. If such a documented complaint is made concerning a CKC member, a file is opened, and we begin an investigation immediately. If the breeder is found to be unethical in their breeding practices or care of their dogs, their club-member privileges will be suspended and/or revoked according to Rule 6b of the Continental Kennel Club Registration Rules. Rule 6b states: “CKC reserves the right to refuse registration to any person or to revoke or suspend the club-member privileges of any member who acts in a manner that CKC deems unethical, fraudulent, or dishonest.” In addition, Rule 6a states: “CKC reserves the right to refuse registration to any person, or to revoke or suspend the club member privileges of any member, who is convicted of a crime of cruelty to animals in any state, province, or country.”
CKC is an acronym and trademark that is used by both Continental Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club. Continental and Canadian have agreements on how each club will use the acronym in advertisements, publications, and on the internet, so as not to confuse the general public about each other’s respective services.