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Difference Between UKC, AKC, Or CKC Registration Of A Dog: What Does It Mean? (Deep Dive)

Difference Between UKC, AKC, Or CKC Registration Of A Dog: What Does It Mean? (Deep Dive)

Various breeds of dogs exist around the world. You may have trouble deciding what breed is the right one for you if you love dogs and are looking for the perfect breed for yourself since all breeds seem to be perfect.

When you own a purebred dog, people often ask for his “papers.” Papers refer to two things. In the first place, is he purebred? 

The second question is: Is he registered? If so, you will receive a registration letter from the club where he is registered.

Three of the most widely known pedigree registries for purebred dogs are the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club.

All these clubs are responsible for many social activities regarding the community of dogs in the United States. However, they differ slightly regarding the breeds they register for, and the sports show they arrange for their members.

These three breed registries differ because the AKC and CKC only register dogs from one country, whereas the UKC registers dogs worldwide. Moreover, there is also a difference in the way they categorize dogs and register them.

If your dog is registered with one specific club, it means that he fulfills the criteria required for registration and can participate in any activity arranged by that respective club.

Let’s discuss all these clubs and their registered dogs in detail.


The AKC stands for the American Kennel Club. It is a not-for-profit organization that supports purebred and mixed-breed dogs and enriches their lives.

The AKC was established in 1884. Their goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, protect all dog owner’s rights, and advocate for purebred dogs as family companions.

This club aims to promote the study, breeding, displaying, running, and maintaining of purebred dogs.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the largest purebred dog registry in the world, with over 2 million dogs registered. Members can register their dogs with AKC through various means, including online, by mail, or in person.

The AKC operates two registries: the British Kennel Club (UKC) and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). Each registry has its own set of rules and regulations, and dogs registered with one registry may be able to be shown in events sanctioned by the other.

An image of a dog playing with a ball.
Dog enthusiasts are extra conscious about their dog’s breed

This kennel club keeps its pedigree registry up-to-date. It promotes purebred dog shows, such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which predated the AKC’s formal formation, the National Dog Show, and the AKC National Championship. Its not a member of Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

Breeds That You Can Register With AKC

So far, the AKC recognizes and registers 199 breeds of purebred dogs.

Some of the notable breeds include;

  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Affenpinscher
  • Akita
  • Alaskan Klee Kai
  • American Bulldog
  • American Eskimo
  • American leopard hound
  • American Hairless Terrier and many others

Activities Arranged By The AKC For Its Members

The American Kennel Club arranges various activities for the dogs’ participation and owners throughout the year. Some of these activities include conformation shows. Agility competitions, obedience trials, and various sports activities like scent work trials, herding and farm dog trials, etc.

The AKC also runs several other programs like health club, canine good citizen program, and rescue programs like AKC Humane Fund and AKC Reunite.


The United Kennel Club (UKC) is a registry of purebred dogs headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The UKC has members in more than 30 countries.

The United Kennel Club was formed in 1884 by a group of dog enthusiasts who wanted to create a registry for purebred dogs. At first, the UKC only registered English bulldogs, but eventually, they started registering other types of dogs.

The UKC registers more than 45,000 dogs worldwide, including purebreds and mixed breeds. The UKC is divided into three regions: North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific, which allows for better communication between clubs and better protection of breed standards.

The main benefits to registering your dog with the UKC are that it has a wide variety of breeds registered, a higher standard of registration than AKC, and a worldwide registry.

Breeds That You Can Register With UKC

The UKC has registrations for a variety of different dog breeds, including the following:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Boxer
  • Bulldog
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Dalmatian
  • English Cocker Spaniel
  • German Shorthaired Pointer and many others
An image of a dog jumping with a disc in his mouth.
A dog is performing in the frisbee competition along with his handler

Activities Arranged By The UKC For Its Members

The UKC offers a variety of activities for its members, including field trials, obedience competitions, conformation shows, and hikes.

UKC offers two annual shows, the National Specialty Show and the Scottish Terrier Club of America National Specialty Show. These shows are held in different parts of the country and offer an excellent opportunity to see some of the best dogs in the United States.

UKC also offers several other events, such as its regional conformation shows and working trials.

Members can also participate in UKC’s seminars and training courses. These courses include obedience, agility, flyball, tracking, drafting, and more. UKC offers a wide variety of classes to meet the needs of all its members.


The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is the national kennel club of Canada. Established in 1887, the CKC is a not-for-profit organization representing the interest of purebred dogs and dog owners throughout Canada.

In addition to registering dogs and issuing registration certificates, the CKC also issues breeding permits. The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is the national kennel club of Canada.

The CKC is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is the governing body for the canine sport in Canada, with responsibility for setting standards for dog breeding, judging, training, and agility competitions.

The CKC and UKC share common general standards and laws but have different regulatory bodies for purebred dogs, SAR dog breeds, show dogs, and working dogs.

Breeds That You Can Register With CKC

If you’re looking for a dog that you can register with a Canadian Kennel Club, there are several breeds that you can choose from.

These include the following:

  • Beagle
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Collie
  • Dalmatian
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Malamute
  • Newfoundland
  • Old World Sheepdog, and many others

Activities Arranged By The UKC For Its Members

The Canadian Kennel Club offers a variety of activities to its members, which include dog shows, field trials, agility competitions, and more. Members also have access to the club’s library and kennel museum.

These events offer members the opportunity to compete and show off their skills. In addition to these competitions, the club also offers social events such as ballgames and photo sessions. Membership in the club is free for all dog owners in Canada.

An image of dogs sitting waiting for command.
Is it the breed or the ability?

What’s The Difference Between AKC, UKC, And CKC?

The AKC, UKC, and CKC are all leading kennel clubs in the United States and Canada, respectively. While they all have a common goal of breeding purebred dogs, there are some critical differences between them.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) was established in 1884 and is the largest kennel club in the world, with nearly two million members. In contrast, The United Kennel Club (UKC) was founded in 1873 in Michigan and had approximately one million members. Moreover, The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) was founded in 1887 in Ontario, Canada, with over one hundred thousand members.

The AKC operates under the principle that “breeds should be registered and shown by individuals working under proper authority who are knowledgeable about the breed.” On the other hand, UKC operates under the principle that “dogs should be registered according to their abilities and not according to their breed.” At the same time, CKC operates under the principle that”dogs should be registered according to their ancestry, not their breed.

Comparison of Dog Registration Organizations: AKC vs. UKC vs. CKC

The difference in the registration process is that the American Kennel Club registers dogs based on their breeds, the United Kennel Club based on their abilities, and the Canadian Kennel Club based on their ancestors.

Apart from these differences, the number of dog breeds recognized by the AKC is 199. The CKC recognizes 175 breeds, while the UKC recognizes more than 300 breeds.

American Kennel ClubUnited Kingdom Kennel ClubCanadian Kennel Club
AKC was established in 1884.UKC was established in 1873.CKC was established in 1887.
It registers dogs based on breed.It registers dogs based on their abilities and performance.It registers dogs based on their ancestry.
The number of breeds recognized is approximately 199.The number of breeds recognized is more than 300.The number of breeds recognized is approximately 175.
It is based in America and covers only one country.It covers various areas of Europe, including the UK but it is located in America.It is based in Canada and covers only one country.
It’s a nonprofit organization.It’s a profit-based organization.It’s a nonprofit organization.

Here is a video explaining the differences between AKC and UKC standards for dog registration.


Final Takeaway

  • Major Dog Registries: The main organizations for registering dogs are the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).
  • Purpose of Registration: Dog registration shows what breed a dog is and gives papers proving its family tree.
  • Registration Differences: AKC registers based on breed, UKC on what dogs can do, and CKC on family history.
  • When They Started: AKC began in 1884, UKC in 1873, and CKC in 1887, and they have different numbers of members and areas they cover.
  • Dog Breed Recognition: AKC knows around 199 breeds, UKC over 300, and CKC about 175.
  • How They Operate: AKC is a charity, UKC is for profit, and CKC is a charity too.
  • How They Register Dogs: AKC looks at the breed, UKC at what dogs can do, and CKC at family.
  • Their Worldwide Influence: These clubs are important worldwide. They set rules for breeders and hold events for dog lovers.

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