AKC commonly recognized breeds

The American Kennel Club (or AKC) is the largest registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. The AKC registered just over 900,000 dogs last year. Beyond maintaining its pedigree registry, it also promotes events for purebred dogs, including the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual event which predates the official forming of the AKC, and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

The AKC is not the only registry of purebred dogs, but it is the one with which most Americans are familiar. For a dog to be registered with the AKC, the dog's parents must be registered with the AKC as the same breed, and the litter in which the dog is born must be registered with the AKC. Once these criteria are met, the dog can be registered as purebred by the AKC.

Registration indicates only that the dog is purely of one recognized breed; it does not necessarily indicate that the dog comes from healthy or show-quality blood lines. Nor is registration necessarily a reflection on the quality of the breeder or how the puppy was raised.

Registration is necessary only for breeders (so they can sell registered puppies) or for purebred dog show or purebred dog sports participation.

Below you will find a short list containing some of the more common AKC breeds, clicking on the breed name will allow you to read the official description.