Breeding Rights for Dogs – Definition, Paperwork & Warning

Breeding Rights for Dogs – Definition, Paperwork & Warning

If you are looking for a recap about breeding right for dogs, you are in the right place. Anyone can breed dogs anywhere, but in order to do it legally, you have to follow certain laws and regulations, as well as comply with contractual and local obligations.

It is generally considered irresponsible to sell without breeding rights unless it is made clear in the kennel contract signed by the buyer. With no breeding rights, puppies won’t be able to be registered later with the kennel club of choice.

The Animal Welfare Act was created to protect the wellbeing of dogs, and therefore, as a responsible and ethical breeder, it is important to follow its rules, obligations, and laws. And in this article, you’ll learn more about your dog’s rights and how to handle breeding rights and paperwork. You are going to learn about the different types of registrations and which one to choose as an aspiring breeder.

What are Breeding Rights for Dogs?

Breeding rights are the rights you possess to breed and register any puppies born with AKC (American Kennel Club), or alternative clubs. Breeding rights are a tool used by dog breeders to control the development of their bloodline when a dog is sold to a third-party.

Obviously, it is important to hold breeding rights because you will otherwise face problems in the future when wanting to breed one of the puppies. Indeed, with the AKC, there are two registrations:

  1. Limited Registration: You cannot breed the purchased dog, and under the seller’s circumstances, the dog must be spayed/neutered.
  2. Full Registration (Total Breeding Rights): You have the total rights to breed the dog. This kind of registration costs more.

To fully understand this, let’s check a proper example:

Let us suppose that you buy a female puppy without breeding rights. Your puppy grows and turns into a healthy dog, and you are ready to breed it. You do it, but when you go to register the puppies from the female, you are denied the registration at the AKC.

That is why it is essential to have proper documentation of breeding rights when buying a dog especially if you are planning to breed your puppy later. Therefore, always go with full registration.

However, as we are going to see in the next section, not all puppies should have full breeding rights. Let’s discover why.

Why Do I Need Breeding Rights To Breed My Dog?

For many aspiring breeders who are new to this world, it can be confusing why such a thing exists. And most dogs are sold with very little paperwork, so breeding rights are de facto granted.

However, as you are going to see, such rights to breed are very important because they fulfill a fundamental role in healthy and ethical dog breeding.

Keep Your Bloodline Under Control

Many dog breeders spend years and thousands of dollars building a bloodline, generation after generation, that becomes the ideal specimen. Through trial and error, and through thorough research, such great breeders yield incredible results.

Most of their dogs are sold at a higher price tag than other breeders’ dogs. Each dog sold becomes an ambassador to the original breeder and bloodline. Therefore, denying breeding rights for the puppies sold allows original breeders to control the direction of their bloodline as a whole.

However, by removing breeding rights to a puppy you sell, you will inevitably need to cut the price of the dog since the future owner will be unable to benefit from revenues generated by breeding or studding their new dog.

Dismiss Unhealthy Dogs

Because it is the basis of selective breeding, a reputable and ethical breeder will never bring breeding rights to a puppy with defects. And it is the breeder’s duty to stop certain diseases and defects from affecting future generations.

Breeding rights confirm that you can breed your puppy in the future without problems because it is free of congenital defects and diseases. In fact, it is part of several protocols for working dog breeds, and show dogs.

It is the first step to fulfill the mission of any competent and responsible breeder: retain and improve the breed. Money is compensation for the effort provided, not the goal. Backyard breeders care very little about that aspect and have no qualms selling a dog with no health screening.

What Paperwork Will I Need To Breed My Dog?

Now that you have a decent understanding on what breeding rights are and how they help breeders to bring healthier dogs to the world, it is time to check the paperwork that you will need to breed puppies.

As explained before, there are two types of registration: limited and full.

Full Registration

To breed your dog, you will need a Full Registration, because it certifies that your puppy is healthy and allowed to officially procreated. Therefore, it brings you breeding rights. On top of that, your dog and its puppies will be registered on the AKC registration scheme.

Certificate of Ownership

The dog breeder needs to prove that they are the legal owner, and therefore, they need a valid certificate of ownership. You will have to register it in your name and many legal services can do it for you. YIneeou will be able to use this document in a court of law along with other important documentation: short records, documents of care and vet records.

Health Certification

To make sure that your dog is apt for reproducing, you need to test its health to ensure that it is free of congenital diseases. To get a healthy certification, your pet will have to undergo several processes that include genetic testing, phenotypic evaluations and other inspections that target specific problems of the breed.

In the USA, this process is supervised by The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Once the vet has finished inspecting your dog, they will submit the results to the OFA, and if they certify them as “NORMAL”, then they will be added to the database of the CHIC. Then, they will bring you a valid CHIC number that certifies that your puppy meets the standards of the breed, and that is free from congenital diseases/defects.

Health Records

In addition to valid health certifications, it is also useful to have health records. It will allow you to show anyone the complete medical history of your pet, to prove that it is healthy and apt for reproducing. In addition, it will allow you to prove that your dog has all of its vaccines up to date.

Therefore, you should always have these documents at hand, because potential buyers may request them. As a breeder, transparency and honesty will be your best policies.


A Pedigree Certificate proves that your puppy is a purebred. It will allow you to sell your dog without problems because it certifies that it is 100% authentic. This certificate shows the lineage of your pet and provides accurate info on its ancestry through three generations.

In the majority of cases, buyers will demand this certificate, because, in addition to health certifications, they prove that you are selling a puppy that is healthy and that complies with all the requisites of a purebred.


We are glad that you found this article, because by knowing what breeding rights are and the paperwork that you will need as a breeder, now you know what you have to avoid when buying a puppy to breed in the future.

When you buy a puppy for that purpose, you must request proof of Full Registration, all the competent health certifications, a valid certificate of ownership that shows the name of the breeder, proper health records, and of course, an authentic pedigree certificate.

This way, you will ensure that you will receive a healthy puppy that meets the standards of the breed, which will allow you to bring healthier puppies to this world. Your litters will be all right and you will be able to register them and sell them without issues.

Therefore, spend extra time screening breeders by requesting all of these documents and proofs, because they are the first step for ethical and healthy breeding. It will consume time, yes, but it will pay off in the end.


We have reached the end of this express guide to breeding rights for dogs. As you can see, they are essential to maintain the good health of dog breeds and control the development of a bloodline. On top of that, you have also learned about the paperwork that you will need as a breeder and that you will have to request as a responsible buyer.

In conclusion, now you have the knowledge to get started as a breeder, and of course, you need to remember that breeding is focused on retaining and improving a breed, not just for the money. It is just your compensation for a good and responsible job.