UKC's stance on (AKC's) limited registration

UKC Position Statement: Limited Registration Schemes and Spay/Neuter

The United Kennel Club, established in 1898, is the world’s largest all-breed performance dog registry. While we recognize other registries, and share issues and concerns with registries around the world, our rules, regulations and guidelines are indeed our own and are designed around the UKC mission statement. One difference between the UKC and another American dog registry is a method ostensibly created to encourage breeders to handle stock that is - in the breeder’s opinion - not suitable for breeding.

One dog registry has a system of registration that allows a breeder to sell puppies with a registration paper that prohibits its puppies from being registered with that registry. The United Kennel Club feels that this system is unenforceable, creates a false sense of security for the breeder, and is susceptible to abuse.

The United Kennel Club does offer a Limited Privileges Listing, which allows dogs that are spayed or neutered to compete in some UKC events. This is not to be confused with a scheme in which the papers precede the spaying or neutering of the dog. A limited registration paper does nothing to ensure the puppy in question is ever spayed or neutered.

The United Kennel Club believes that a registry has no place in attempting to legislate these matters and has no place in the breeder’s whelping box. Instead, we encourage breeders to take responsibility for these matters by: 1) spaying or neutering any dog they feel is not suitable for breeding before they sell the puppy, 2) by entering into contract with the buyer that requires spaying and neutering at a determined interval or 3) by simply holding registration papers until furnished proof of spay/neuter. Additionally, we hope that those employing spay-neuter contracts, registration schemes or any other effort consider the whole dog, rather than conformation traits alone, for the criteria for such decisions. There are many reasons that a healthy, hardy dog with, for example, great, breed-specific hunting instincts could advance the breed even though the dog does not have the aesthetics to win in a dog show ring.

In America, when a puppy buyer purchases a puppy, the puppy is theirs: they have every right to do with it what is allowable within the parameters of prevailing law. No dog registry owns a dog, a breed, or a breeder. Obviously, the UKC prefers any dog is bred responsibly and for the criteria outlined in our UKC Total Dog approach, an approach which includes but is not limited to breed conformation. It is our mission to create events and programs that showcase the Total Dog as a way to encourage such breeding.

Proponents of a limited registration approach claim the registration certificate discourages the buyer from breeding the dog. Opponents claim that there is room for abuse by breeders who: 1) want to limit the market in their area of puppies that are registrable by a specific registry; 2) want to charge twice for the same puppy; or once to purchase the puppy, and a second time to reverse the limited status or 3) use it as leverage to persuade owners to put a performance title on the dog before releasing full privileges.

The United Kennel Club, Inc. has no opinion of either side of any of these claims as we do not have such a registration scheme. We have no intent, however, of being part of such abuse. We feel that when a breeder chooses to advance their breed by creating puppies, they accept full responsibility while being aware of all of the uncertainties and uncontrollable issues associated with canine genetics and human behavior.

Acknowledging some of the philosophical differences that exist between registries also may help in shedding light on the topic. The United Kennel Club has always and will always be a performance dog registry. While we proudly hold conformation events with a total dog emphasis, we are not driven by one specific event type. Other registries are indeed driven by conformation events. We have no argument with that fact and applaud the diversity among registries. Our mission, however, is not defined by striving to create show dogs only. With that said, placing limits on the offspring of a dog because it doesn’t meet certain conformation criteria is less likely to be a factor for those breeding for health, performance, trainability, or breed specific character – all of which are elements that advance a breed. For example, a breeder striving to produce a quality retriever would be pleased to have a responsible person buy a dog from them and breed the dog responsibly if the dog had a strong propensity to retrieve and excellent hips, even if it had conformation traits that made it undesirable for the show ring. There are many good reasons for a responsible breeder to spay or neuter a puppy (or enter a contract to do so) beyond conformation, especially health, instincts, structure, breed character and temperament appropriate for the breed. The whole dog, and the current state of a breed’s gene pool, must be considered.

For those who think the UKC does not recognize limited registration schemes for monetary reasons should consider the following: the United Kennel Club routinely refuses registrations to AKC Registered dogs that have breed disqualifications. If the UKC was interested in increasing registration revenue, we would accept the tens of thousands of AKC registered dogs with disqualifying faults such as white Schnauzers, red Rottweilers, and silver Labradors.

We encourage all breeders to consider the creation of a litter of puppies a major and sometimes daunting responsibility. Every puppy a breeder creates deserves a good home with responsible owners. We understand the inexact science of breeding and that the results can be less than desired. In cases where a puppy does not meet a breeder’s own personal criteria to advance the breed, we strongly encourage them to spay or neuter the puppy before selling it or to enter into a binding contract to do so and not to rely on a dog registry to implement this request.

Found the link on Cat's blog, then this was posted at: http://www.swedishvallhund.com/ukc_position_statement.htm, and I can't seem to find a direct link on UKC. I'll keep searching.

Please, if you read this... comment, as I think it would be a really good discussion!

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