Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if the puppy I bought is now sick?

The AKC is always concerned when we learn about the sale of a sick dog or a dog that has been diagnosed as having a congenital defect. However, the AKC does not license or endorse anyone engaged in the commerce of selling purebred dogs and, therefore, has no control over the business practices of those involved in such transactions. Membership in the AKC is comprised of independent dog clubs located throughout the United States. No individual persons are members of the AKC.
While the AKC attempts to foster sound breeding practices through education and through the funding of research, and while many breeders offer various guarantees with respect to the health of dogs, our jurisdiction is limited to the practices one must follow to ensure proper identification of dogs registered with the AKC. Registration, in itself, does not guarantee the quality of health of a dog.

There are no provisions in our rules to preclude the breeding of dogs of questionable quality. We would certainly hope, however, that if the matter is brought to the attention of the owners of dogs involved, they would give the matter very careful consideration before contemplating breeding the dogs again.

If you feel that you should be compensated for all or part of the purchase price of your dog, and if you are unable to resolve the matter with the seller; we can only recommend that you seek legal counsel to determine if you can obtain relief through civil channels. You may also wish to bring this matter to the attention of your local Better Business Bureau or Consumer Protection Service.

With regard to the facility at which your dog was purchased, if you feel the conditions there do not meet acceptable health standards, the matter should be brought to the attention of your local SPCA, Humane Society, or Health Department.

The AKC has adopted a policy pertaining to the care and condition of dogs, which can be found online at

If you wish to file a complaint with the American Kennel Club regarding unacceptable dog or kennel conditions, the AKC accepts written, signed complaints, which contain direct information that supports allegations of AKC Rules violations. Complaints should be addressed to:
American Kennel Club
Director of Investigations & Inspections
8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27617-3390.

How do I complain to the AKC about a breeder?

You will need to write a letter giving the details of the situation and copies of any documents you have. Please provide the full names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved, including you. You will need to fax or mail that letter and copies of all related documents to:

American Kennel Club
Customer Registration Support Dept.
PO Box 900066
Raleigh, NC 27675-9066
Fax - 919-816-4250

We will review the situation and get back to you.

Please be sure to sign your letter of complaint.

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