The main reason dogs need registration papers is to allow them to compete in shows and events, such as conformation shows and agility trials, according to the American Kennel Club. Registration is also important for owners who want their dogs to earn titles or other forms of recognition.
Even titles that are open to all dogs, such as the Canine Good Citizen certification, may require registration, according to the American Kennel Club. Dogs must also be registered if the owner plans to use them for breeding and wants to register the puppies. In that case, it must also be a full registration. Breeders may register some puppies with a limited registration, which allows them to compete in sports and shows but does not allow them to be bred.
Registration also may come with additional benefits, such as discounts on pet insurance, as noted by the American Kennel Club. The AKC uses the fees to expand outreach and education programs to promote responsible dog ownership.
Although registration does guarantee that the dog is purebred, it does not guarantee the quality of the dog, as reported by Canis Major. Any dog from two registered, purebred parents of the same breed can be registered with the American Kennel Club. However, some breeders may breed poor quality dogs, or they may neglect health testing and produce puppies with serious genetic diseases. People looking for purebred puppies should thoroughly research any breeder before committing to purchasing a puppy.