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I got my Golden from a local breeder and Lucy is registered with ACA. WHats the difference between that and AKC? Is one better than the other. How can I look up the dog's in Lucy's family tree?
 

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The ACA (American Canine Association) is just one of a myriad of "registries" that have popped up. Often used by puppy mills and people who have either lost AKC privledges, or whosed dogs are not purebred, it is mainly a veterinary tracking registry. It has been around since the mid 1980's, as have many of the others that took off since the advent of internet marketing.

The AKC, CKC (CANADIAN Kennel Club - NOT Continental Kennel Club) and the UKC are "The Big 3" in North America and the only registries with comprehensive stud books and standard requirements.
 

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I got my Golden from a local breeder and Lucy is registered with ACA. WHats the difference between that and AKC? Is one better than the other. How can I look up the dog's in Lucy's family tree?
The American Kennel Club, Inc. (American Kennel Club) is the oldest and largest dog registry in the United States. The American Canine Association, Inc. (https://www.acainfo.com) is the second largest dog registry in the United States. Both AKC and ACA have dog shows, but AKC has a greater number of dog shows.

As of 04/12/2020, AKC’s standard registration rate for a dog is $37.99. AKC’s dog registration certificates are 3.5-inch (height) x 8.5-inches (width) printed on heavy weight paper. ACA’s standard registration rate for a dog is $19.00. ACA’s dog certificates are 11-inch (height) x 8.5-inches (width) printed on certificate paper with a gold seal.

AKC charges late-penalty fees for dog registrations:
LATE FEE – OVER 6 MONTHS AFTER LITTER REGISTERED $4.99
LATE FEE – OVER 12 MONTHS AFTER LITTER REGISTERED $35.00
LATE FEE – OVER 24 MONTHS AFTER LITTER REGISTERED $65.00
AKC’s late fees can be viewed on Fee Schedule – American Kennel Club.

ACA does not charge customers any late-penalty fees for dog registrations.

AKC charges an additional $10.00 per registration if the customer wishes to add a co-owner to the dog. ACA adds one or more co-owners to a dog free of charge.

AKC’s microchip division for lost & found protection is AKC Reunite (Pet Microchips | Lost Pet Recovery | AKC Reunite). ACA’s microchip division for lost & found protection is MARRS Microchip (ACA's Microchip Animal Rapid Recovery Services (M.A.R.R.S.) - Home Page). AKC charges customers $54.95 for AKC Registration + lifetime AKC Reunite lost & found coverage. ACA charges customers $19.00 for ACA Registration + lifetime ACA MARRS Microchip lost & found coverage. Both AKC and ACA are participating companies with the American Animal Hospital Association (Participating Microchipping and Pet Recovery Services | AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup).

AKC’s standard litter registration fee is $25.00 plus and additional $2.00 fee per puppy in the litter. ACA’s standard litter registration fee is $18.00 with no additional fees for each puppy in the litter.

AKC charges late-penalty fees for litter registrations:
LATE FEE – OVER 12 MONTHS AFTER LITTER REGISTERED $35.00
LATE FEE – OVER 24 MONTHS AFTER LITTER REGISTERED $65.00
AKC’s late fees can be viewed on Fee Schedule – American Kennel Club.

ACA does not charge customers any late-penalty fees for litter registrations.

ACA also includes lost & found tags with their dog registrations free of charge. The ACA tags have their official seal on one side of the tag. On the other side of the tag is says: “I am lost. Please call” and a toll-free 1-800 number along with a unique ID number exclusively for the dog. The 1-800 numbers are answered by live operators 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to reunite the lost dog with the ACA owner. There is no additional annual or lifetime fees for this service. It is included in the initial $19.00 ACA registration fee.
 
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