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Difference Between AKC and UKC


If you are a dog lover, you must have heard about two of the most popular purebred dog pedigree registries in the United States; the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. These clubs also hold dog shows as well as determining a dog’s pedigree. They are two different entities and they share some similarities and several differences.

The American Kennel Club is a non-profit purebred dog pedigree registry based in the United States. It was founded in 1884 and advocates dogs as pets, promotes responsible dog ownership, and protection of canine rights.

To be registered in the AKC, the dog’s parents and litter must also be registered with AKC. The registration is meant only to determine the breed of the dog and his parents and not his health or show quality bloodline.

It is more concerned about a dog’s physical appearance rather than his emotional and behavioral health. AKC registration is required from breeders so that they can sell purebred puppies and participate in AKC sponsored purebred conformation shows and dog sports.

The required age for a dog to breed is no younger than eight months. No AKC breed club can require a higher breeding age or genetic tests for diseases or any other restrictions.

It is not a member of the International Kennel Federation. It requires docked tails and cropped ears which is banned by law in other countries and is criticized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Its many activities include conformation shows, junior showmanship, obedience trials, tracking trials, dog agility, and rally obedience.

The AKC divides dogs into seven groups:

* Sporting group – includes bird dogs such as Pointers, Retrievers, Setters, and Spaniels.
* Hound group – includes dogs that are developed to hunt using sight or scent like Greyhound and Beagles.
* Working groups – includes dogs that guard property, livestock, pulling carts such as Siberian Huskies and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
* Terrier group – includes dogs that hunt vermin and dig their burrows like Cairn Terrier and Airedale Terrier
* Toy group – includes companion dogs like Toy Poodles and Pekinese
* Non-sporting group – includes dogs that don’t fit into other categories and are larger than toy dogs such as Bichon Frises and Miniature Poodles
* Herding group – includes dogs that herd livestock like Rough Collies and Belgian Shepherds

The United Kennel Club is the second largest purebred dog registry in the world and it is the second oldest in the United States. It was founded in 1898 to provide a registry for working dogs.

It promotes the concept of a total dog, a dog that can perform as well as it looks. It uses DNA testing to establish a dog’s parentage.

There are three ways to register in the UKC. One is Single registration which is for dogs whose parents are not UKC registered. Another way is the Limited Privilege registration for purebreds whose pedigree is unknown and for mixed breed dogs. The third way is Litter registration for puppies whose parents are also registered in the UKC.

1. AKC does not recognize UKC registered dogs, while UKC recognizes AKC registered dogs.
2. AKC is a bigger club, while UKC is smaller.
3. Most breeds register at AKC, while rarer breeds and those that are still starting register at UKC.
4. AKC allows professional handlers at their dog shows, while UKC does not.

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  1. Thanks for defining the main differences between the two registries. I have both of my dogs dual registered, but I find it really interesting to learn about AKC and UKC differences. My favorite thing about the UKC is the fact that they don’t allow professional handlers. I think it gives the dogs a more fair chance of winning based on the breed standard.

  2. I would suggest you research your facts again…some of this is simply bogus. LOL…

  3. Patty can you tell me which parts are bogus? I’m getting a puppy that can be registered both ways and trying to decide if both are necessary. Thanks!

  4. I have to say as far as bully’s ukc hands down the top breaders all use ukc

  5. I have a American bull dog does UKC recognize these because AKC does not. Mine is NKC and CKC Registered.

    • Ukc is the best way to go in case you want merles and shyt so yea register in ukc I kno u kno by now tho shyt it’s 2021 lol

    • UKC even registered noon purebred dogs so people can breed mutts and register then, such as cockspoos. At one time you just had to take picture of your dog, pay few and tell them what breed it was even if it was mixed. CKc is puppy mill registry. If your dog is AKC it’s a nice thing to slay register UKC, but I wouldn’t buy a dog that’s only UKC. Not having professional handlers is a plus.

  6. I think it is AKC that requires DNA testing NOT UKC. Author needs to correct this fact. UKC IMHO is a far better registry than the uptight snobby AKC.

  7. Neither kennel club requires DNA testing for basic registry. I do know the AKC requires DNA from studs who sire seven or more litters. Not sure what UKC does.

  8. I have a female that is registered AKC and Male that is registered UKC. How can I register the litter? Do I need to register mom with UKC 1st?

  9. I hadn’t heard of UKA until just recently. I have a 4yr/o German Shepherd Dog registered with AKC. Please forward me info on UKA. I live in the Tifton GA area. I am interested in dual registration.

  10. I bought a puppy who’s mother is AKC and the father is ulcer can I register the puppy AKC instead of ulcer?

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