The easiest way to find purebred dogs that are registered with the American Kennel Club is to visit the AKC website and use their search tool to look for affiliated breeders. They can also be found through newspaper classified ads, in pet stores and in animal shelters.
American Kennel Club registration simply means that the dog is purebred and is not a guarantee of quality or health. Although many pet stores do sell AKC-registered dogs, they are not a good choice. Responsible and ethical breeders do not generally sell their puppies through pet stores, so most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. These mills often breed low-quality dogs together, do not screen for genetic health problems and may keep their dogs in dirty and inhumane conditions.
Although purebred dogs with papers are less common in animal shelters than mixed breed or purebreds without papers, they do occur. They are usually surrendered by their owners, who can no longer care for them. Breed rescues may be a good choice for finding an AKC-registered dog. There are also rescues that focus on saving dogs from puppy mills or other unethical breeders. Municipal animal shelters also get purebred dogs in sometimes, although adopters may have to wait longer before finding a registered dog.
New owners should always do plenty of research and get to know the source before they buy an AKC-registered dog.