The American Kennel Club is a national organization in the United States that concerns itself with the dog breed registry of purebred pedigrees. The AKC's legislative body also establishes the rules and regulations governing dog shows as well as field trials and obedience.
Founded in 1884 by 13 dog breed clubs, most of which were American, the newly formed AKC pledged to advance the breeding, study and exhibition of purebred dogs, as well as establishing the maintenance and running of purebred dogs. It has an extensive registry regarding the purity of dogs in each breed through established pedigrees, and it provides breeder information for people to contact concerning the purchase of purebred dogs and their pups. This advances contact between breeders to arrange breeding between particular dogs.
Presently, the AKC establishes dog breed standards concerning mostly physical characteristics of each dog breed, and it establishes and sets the standards of new breeds introduced as purebred dogs. Additionally, the AKC dedicates itself to upholding the integrity of its registry and promotes dog breeding for type and function, along with the advancement of the health and well-being of dogs. Further, the AKC advocates purebred dogs as family companions and works to promote responsible dog ownership and the rights of all dog owners.