AKC Wants You To Know…
If… you buy a pure-bred dog that you are told is eligible for registration with the American Kennel Club, you are entitled to receive from the seller an application form that will enable you to register your dog.
If… the seller cannot give you the application, you should demand and receive full identification of your dog in writing, signed by the seller, consisting of the breed, the registered names and individual registration numbers of your dog's sire and dam, your dog's date of birth, the name of the breeder, and, if available, its AKC litter number.
Don't be misled by promises of “papers” later.
Demand a registration application form or proper identification as described above. If neither is supplied, DON'T BUY THE DOG.
A pamphlet on the subject is available. Write the AKC.
American Kennel Club
Registration and Related Services
5580 Centerview Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606
Rules to remember when buying a dog
Selecting a Breeder
This is probably the single most important thing you will do in selecting a puppy and you should do it wisely. Don’t be offended by the breeder who asks you a million questions. It only means that they care about where their puppy is going and the kind of life it will lead.
A breeder should be very knowledgeable in all facets of the breed. Find out how long the breeder has been around. There is no substitution for longevity and experience in the breed.
Check health guarantees.
Question the breeder on their goals and accomplishments. Most breeders are very proud of their accomplishments. Will the breeder take the puppy back, regardless of age or situation or circumstances, if the buyer is no longer able to keep the puppy?
Finally, check out the breeder's environment. What kind of condition is the place in and how are the dogs kept? While every setup will vary in general appearance, the dogs or puppies should never be kept in dirty, filthy surroundings. Some warning signs are matted, dirty smelling coats, overgrown toenails, inflamed, matter-filled eyes, flea and fly infestation, scars on the faces and ears. The condition of the environment says a lot for a breeder and there is no excuse for a dirty place, overloaded with too many dogs.
Opinions will vary on the right and wrong way to keep dogs, but the bottom line is the dogs should be clean and well cared for. If you have any doubts, don’t do it! Also a reputable breeder should answer any and all questions up front and honestly. If you think something is being hidden, go somewhere else! And most importantly, stay away from pet shops, puppy mills and run-of-the-mill backyard breeders.