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Breeding Rights for Dogs – Definition, Paperwork & Warning

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Breeding rights are important for maintaining the health of dog breeds and controlling bloodlines.
  • By granting or denying breeding rights, breeders can control the direction of their bloodline and ensure that puppies are free of congenital defects and diseases.
  • To breed a dog, you will need a full registration, a certificate of ownership, health certifications, health records, and a pedigree certificate.
  • When buying a puppy for breeding, it is essential to request proof of full registration, health certifications, a valid certificate of ownership, health records, and an authentic pedigree certificate.
  • Breeding should be focused on retaining and improving the breed, not just for monetary gain.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Thursday 12 September 2019
Last updated on
Monday 6 November 2023
breeding rights for dogs
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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.

20 comments on “Breeding Rights for Dogs – Definition, Paperwork & Warning”

  1. Deborah Slocum

    When I bought my puppy from the breeder, they did not inform me that I did not have full breeding rights. There is also nothing on my contract that states that. The only thing stated was that puppy was sold as a pet and companion. Do I have any legal rights for this?

    1. Brandi

      I have a question about Male puppies that I’m paying 1600 and I have to fix him because if I breed him I won’t be able to register his litter but the mom I buying her papers are open to breed her if I want and the breed how I buying the Male from will want proof I fix him paying 1600 dollars is there way round the Male puppies that I won’t be able to breed to my female how papers are open

    2. Tara

      Did you ever get a response to this? Did you contact AKC about this issue?

  2. Richard Rodefeld Jr

    If it’s your dog, legally paid for, you can breed it all you want. The big dog breeders just write articles like this to discourage and scare homesteaders and farmers and would be breeders from breeding simply because it cuts into their profit margin.

    1. Kyle Thomas

      Bravo, well said. These AKC types pretend like they are practicing “eugenics”, vut since their program rrstricts the bloodline, it causes genetic nottlenecks, and is therefore dysgenic. This hysteria over certificates of health is a post-hoc solution for the problems caused by the dusgenic practices mentioned above. No AKC program is capable of promoting or ensuring breed quality over the long term, though it may allow for rapid changes in phenotype based on aesthetic oressure, often to the detriment of the breed. Dog breeds were created by amateurs who bred dogs for a purpose and a climate. If you have 2 dogs that you find agreeable and well-suited for your purpose, breed them and distribute the pups as you see fit.

    2. Bella

      Such a perfect answer. I agree 100%.

      1. Pat Alexander

        I paid lots of money to the breeder of my dog to get full registration, so I could breed her. She says I can’t sell my girl’s puppies with full registration, so no one can breed them. She says that is in our contract. I don’t see that, but even if I did how can it be legal to tell me what I can do with MY dob?

  3. Bill

    I was given an OldEnglish Bulldog they kept papers it’s been 51/2 years and she contacted me saying she wants to breed him do I have the right to refuse this

    1. Deborah Wheeling

      Yes. Just bc she held the papers doesn’t mean she has free will / breeding rights to him. Question is, did she ever send in his registration papers and mark full registration without telling you? If so then legally those papers are yours because you purchased the dog or she gave you the dog, meaning she gave up full ownership, financially and legally. I would definitely reach out to an attorney and/or the council. This kind of practice is frowned upon. Or just have him neutered, problem solved? After all the dog was sold /given
      to you without breeding rights. Possession is 9/10ths of the law and you have owned him for 5.5 years with vet records as proof and documentations of care. Definitely contact an attorney! -DW

    2. Jackie

      No you have no say in it if shes gove you documented proff

  4. Lynn

    The person that I’m purchasing from wants to charge me additional money for full registration /breeding rights paperwork. Is there normally a n additional charge for breeding rights paperwork?

    1. Nicholas

      Yes always.

  5. Pat

    Is there any law saying i can’t use my dog as a stud? He is KC registered with his pedigree certificate and all required health checks done. My neighbour reported me to our letting agents after he saw two mating dogs in my garden, I was told I have no right to use my dog as a stud cause it is classified as business and it is not allowed in a rented property

    1. Nicholas

      Tell your nieghbor to get a life and buzz off. Some people just need to put themselves in check.

  6. Alma r sanchez

    Hi! I Buy a dog female with breedings rights, and I get the akc full registration, but the owner breeder, is telling me that she no wants, me to sell the future puppies with breeding rights to big breeders, so I was assuming that I only can sell to small breeders…but now, my female is pregnant, and the same breeder is telling me that I can’t sell puppies with breedings rights at all.
    What ca I do, it’s frustrating, please help me.

    1. Anon

      If you have the registration documentation, then the previous owner has no say.

  7. Christina Anderson

    What about CKC? I recently purchased a male cavalier king Charles Spaniel puppy that I am thinking of studding out in the future. I never signed any contract nor do I have a certificate of ownership but I do have his health certificate which does list the breeder, my receipt of purchase, a copy of both parents health/dna tests that were performed and a copy of both parents registration certificates. One parent is AKC and the other is CKC which is why my puppy is CKC. But he is purebred. I just registered him yesterday with the CKC so I will have that certificate soon but there was no where to chose between a limited registration or a full registration so I am confused about that as well. I also plan on getting him all the health/genetic tests recommended. Is this enough to stud him out? I realize that unhealthy dogs should not be bred but if a dog is deemed healthy then I think it’s ridiculous that anyone can stop you from breeding. It seems like that is purely to keep other breeders from being competition which is also ridiculous. Purebred puppies sell so fast (there are even wait lists for puppies that are 2/3 years long) there is room for everyone!

    1. Anna

      Did you ever get a response to this question? I came across this and I’m just curious myself.

  8. Teresa Copithorn

    Hello.Dec 2020 I purchased 2mini dushund (brother and sister).Never really asked breeder for certificates. Got only papper from vet another there shots.Twoo yeapast and mymale dog got sick. He recently had surgery. They removed 2 stones. Vet send them to the lab.There are CYSTINE STONES!!!This is a genetic disorder.NOW i now my breeder wasn’t honest with me ..I was so trustful when I found add in kijii .I live in Canada/Ontario. Before I had same dog and he was happy and healthy. Lived for 17 years. DO I HAVE ANY RIGHTS FOR THIS ?? Breeder moved to different town. I only have information from his vet.can vet can help me find that breeder??

  9. Don Evans

    I bought a west highland terrier with the understanding i could stud him

    when i went to file the akc
    the seller had darkened the code box preventing me from doing so

    If breeders do not want puppies used for breeding purposes, they can request the Limited Registration option for those puppies. Full registration gives the new owner full breeding rights of the puppy. It also allows the dog to be entered in all AKC breed competitions.

    How can i change this situation?

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