AKC VS CKC: The Ultimate Dog Registry Comparison Guide


Embarking on the journey of dog ownership or breeding involves many critical decisions, one of which is selecting the appropriate dog registry for your beloved canine companion. If you have just narrowed down your options to the 2 well-known dog registries in the USA, the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Continental Kennel Club (CKC), you might as well educate yourself about both registries to help you make an informed decision.

AKC is a pioneer dog registry founded over a century ago to maintain purebred dog lineage and promote responsible ownership. On the other hand, CKC (which is an acronym for continental kennel club) was just established a few decades ago and is an open registry suited for the registration of dogs that do not necessarily have a CKC lineage. This helps curb the issue of genetic disorders associated with inbreeding as seen in AKC-registered dogs.

As fierce competitors in the dog registration industries, both AKC and CKC have been met with a good amount of admiration and criticism.

This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the key distinctions between the AKC and CKC, delving into their history, benefits, registration requirements, and pricing to help you navigate this crucial decision with confidence.

AKC VS CKC Comparison Table

[table id=10 /]

Key Differences Between AKC and CKC

  • The AKC has a more established reputation and primarily focuses on purebred dogs, while the CKC offers more inclusivity in that it is very affordable, and purebred and non-purebred dogs are eligible for CKC registration.
  • The AKC recognizes over 190 dog breeds, while the CKC recognizes over 450 breeds, providing a more extensive range of options for dog owners and breeders.
  • AKC registration is limited to purebred dogs with AKC parents or lineage, but the CKC offers registration for purebred, and non-purebred, as long as they meet certain registration guidelines, making it a more accessible option for a broader range of dog owners and breeders.
  • CKC only sanctions shows and does not host any shows, unlike AKC. They participate in fewer dog shows when compared to AKC. Their last dog event was held in 2019.
  • Both provide educational resources targeting dog training and promoting responsible dog ownership.
  • Regarding registration fees, the AKC’s litter registration starts at $39.99, while the CKC’s standard registration costs just $15.

American Kennel Club (AKC)

History & Reputation:

Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the largest and most well-known dog registry in the United States. With a long-standing history and a reputation for excellence, the AKC is committed to promoting responsible dog ownership, advancing canine health, and upholding the integrity of its registry.

The AKC recognizes more than 190 breeds and is considered the gold standard when it comes to purebred dog registration.

Why Should You Register Your Dog with AKC?

Registering your dog with the AKC offers several benefits. First, it provides you with official documentation of your dog’s pedigree, which can be important if you plan to breed or show your dog.

AKC registration also makes your dog eligible to participate in prestigious dog shows like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the National Dog Show, and the AKC National Championship. AKC both hosts and sanction dog shows in affiliation with other organizations.

The AKC’s lost pet recovery service known as AKC Reunite helps find their missing pets by maintaining a microchip database and providing 24/7 support. This cost an additional fee of $17.

The AKC Canine Good Citizen program helps dogs become well-behaved members of society by promoting responsible ownership and positive training techniques. Dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test demonstrate good manners and social skills, which can improve their relationship with their owners and the community.

The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) established by AKC hosts a database that provides information on breed-specific health issues in dogs, thereby reducing the risk of inherited diseases.

While the AKC has a long-standing reputation in the dog registry industry, the same reasons make breeders bump up the prices of AKC dogs. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will make a better than those from other registries.

Dog Shows and Events

The AKC hosts and sanctions a wide range of events and competitions throughout the year, catering to both purebred and mixed-breed dogs.

Conformation shows, also known as dog shows, are the most recognizable AKC events, where dogs are judged on their appearance and adherence to their breed’s specific standards.

These shows provide breeders and dog enthusiasts with the opportunity to showcase their dogs and compete for prestigious titles.

In addition to confirmation shows, the AKC also offers various performance events, including obedience trials, agility competitions, and rally obedience.

These events focus on a dog’s training, athleticism, and ability to follow commands, providing a more well-rounded evaluation of a dog’s skills and abilities.


To register your dog with the AKC, you must provide proof of your dog’s lineage, such as a pedigree from a recognized registry or documentation from the breeder. The AKC only registers purebred dogs, so mixed-breed dogs are not eligible for full AKC registration. However, the AKC does offer the Canine Partners program, which allows mixed-breed dogs to participate in certain AKC events.

Registration fees start at $39.99 but vary depending on the services you choose and whether you are registering a puppy or an adult dog. Late registration fees may apply if you do not register your dog within a specific timeframe.

Education and Resources

The AKC is committed to providing educational resources for dog owners, breeders, and enthusiasts. These resources include articles, videos, and seminars on a wide range of topics, including dog care, training, breeding, and health.

The AKC also offers various programs and certifications to help dog owners raise a well-behaved dog, such as the Canine Good Citizen program, which focuses on basic obedience and good manners.

Also Read: AKC VS ACA Dog Registries: An In-Depth Comparison Guide

Replacing Lost AKC Papers:

If you lose your dog’s AKC registration papers, you can request replacements online via the AKC website. You will need to provide your dog’s litter and owner’s information. There may be a fee associated with replacing lost registration papers, so it’s essential to keep your dog’s original documents in a safe place to avoid this inconvenience.

Continental Kennel Club (CKC)

History & Reputation:

The Continental Kennel Club (CKC) was established in 1991 as an all-inclusive registry service for both purebred and non-purebred dogs. CKC’s mission is to provide accessible registration services, canine education, and practical resources to dog owners and breeders.

Unlike the American Kennel Club (AKC), which primarily focuses on purebred dogs, the CKC aims to be inclusive of all dogs, including rare and developing breeds. The organization is composed of educated dog owners, experienced breeders, dog training experts, and professional partners who specialize in essential aspects of canine care and breeding.

Why Should You Register Your Dog with CKC?

One of the benefits of registering your dog with the CKC is its inclusive nature. The CKC is open to registering both purebred and non-purebred dogs without prior CKC registration. CKC registration is very straightforward and inexpensive making it an attractive option if you are on a low budget.

The CKC recognizes over 450 breeds, including rare and developing breeds not recognized by other registries. This means that you can register a wider variety of dogs with the CKC compared to other organizations like the AKC.

Just like AKC Reunite, the CKC offers a Dog Protection package featuring the Buddy ID Mini Chip Kit . This state-of-the-art microchip technology ensures your pet’s safety and traceability in case of loss or theft.

There is a special program known as the Preferred Breeders Program established by CKC to support breeders that follow high breeding standards and CKC guidelines to enhance dog breeds. It requires regular health screening and inspection of dog kennel facilities.

The CKC offers a variety of resources, especially dog training to ensure a loyal lifelong companionship with your dog.

Dog Shows and Events

When it comes to dog shows and events, the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) falls notably behind the American Kennel Club (AKC). They sanction dog shows occasionally in partnership with other clubs but never host a show. CKC-registered dogs are not eligible to participate in prestigious dog shows like the Westminster, which are sanctioned by the AKC.

AKC takes a more prominent role in promoting and celebrating the beauty and abilities of canine breeds.

CKC Registration

The CKC offers customized registration solutions for both purebred and non-purebred dogs with or without papers. The standard registration fee is $15, but this may vary depending on the services or the registration solution you choose.

Here’s an overview of the CKC registration solutions:

Purebred Dog Registration:

To register a purebred dog with the CKC, you’ll need to provide documentation that verifies the dog’s pedigree. This may include a certified pedigree, registration certificate from another recognized registry, or proof of ownership (such as a bill of sale or signed statement from the previous owner).

Non-Purebred Dog Registration (PAW – Performance and Awards Program):

The CKC also offers registration for non-purebred dogs through its Performance and Awards (PAW) program. This allows non-purebred dogs to participate in CKC performance events and earn titles. To register a non-purebred dog, you’ll need to provide a completed PAW application form, along with two color photographs of the dog (one front view and one side view).

Puppy Registration:

The CKC allows breeders to register a litter, making it easy for new owners to register their puppies. To register a puppy, the new owner needs to submit a completed puppy registration form, along with the required registration fee.

Litter Registration:

Breeders can register their litters with the CKC by submitting a litter registration application form, along with a copy of the sire and dam’s registration certificates. Unlike AKC, CKC litter registration comes free of charge.

Dual Registration:

For dogs that are already registered with another recognized registry, the CKC offers dual registration. To apply for dual registration, you’ll need to submit a completed dual registration application form, and a copy of the dog’s registration certificate from the other registry.

Also Read: AKC VS APRI: Which Is A Better Dog Registry?

Education and Resources

The CKC, like the AKC, provides a variety of educational resources for dog owners, breeders, and enthusiasts. Some of these resources include detailed descriptions of each breed’s physical traits and temperament, which serve as breed standards.

These standards not only help breeders maintain the unique characteristics of each breed but also assist potential dog owners in choosing the right breed for their lifestyle and preferences.

The CKC also offers articles and educational materials on various topics related to dog care, training, breeding, and health. These resources are designed to help dog owners and breeders become more knowledgeable and responsible in their roles. By providing access to valuable information, the CKC empowers dog owners to make informed decisions about their pets’ well-being.

Replacing Lost CKC Papers

In the event that you lose your dog’s CKC registration papers, you can request a duplicate copy for just $10. If you lost or didn’t receive your CKC puppy application, you can reissue a new application for free within 30 days of registration. After that, you’ll have to pay a $5 fee.

You will need to contact the CKC’s customer service department and provide them with the necessary information about your dog, such as its registered name and registration number.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, selecting between the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) hinges on your unique objectives as a dog owner or breeder, as well as the specific breed of your dog.

The AKC boasts a long-standing history, prestige, and a focus on purebred dogs. They offer a wide array of events, including conformation shows and performance events, that cater to the interests of breeders and dog enthusiasts. Additionally, the AKC provides valuable resources and programs, such as the Canine Good Citizen program, which promotes responsible dog ownership and proper care.

Conversely, the CKC is known for its inclusivity and affordability, making it an attractive option for a wider range of dog owners. They register both purebred and non-purebred dogs, and even recognize rare and developing breeds. The CKC offers educational resources and supports breeders through programs like the Preferred Breeders Program, which promotes high breeding standards and adherence to CKC guidelines.

Read related posts about

What do you think?