The Canadian Kennel Club (or C.K.C.) is the main registry body for purebred dogs in Canada. The C.K.C. also promotes events such as conformation shows and obedience trials for purebred dogs and confers championship and other titles in conformation, obedience and similar competitions.
The Canadian Kennel Club is a , member based, not for profit organisation, incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act of Canada. Founded in 1888, it provides registry services for all the 174 dog breeds which it currently recognises, and provides governance for all C.K.C. approved shows, trial and events. C.K.C. provides news and information to its members through its association with Dogs in Canada monthly magazine.
For a dog to be registered with the C.K.C., the dogs parents must be registered with the C.K.C. as the same breed, and the litter in which the dog is born must be registered with the C.K.C. Foreign-born dogs are registered as imports by C.K.C. provided that they are registered with a C.K.C. approved and recognised foreign registry and identified in accordance with C.K.C. regulations. If these criteria are met, the dog is eligible to be registered as purebred by the C.K.C.
C.K.C. is not the only Canadian registy of purebred dogs, but it is the best known. The Animal Pedigree Act provides that only one official registry per breed may exist in Canada, and other breeds not recognised by C.K.C. are registered by other registries such as the Canine Federation of Canada and the Working Canine Association of Canada. C.K.C. members may only breed C.K.C. recognised breeds and are required to sign a membership pledge not to engage in the buying, selling or breeding of dogs not purebred (purebred being defined as eligible for C.K.C. registration).
As with almost all breed registries, the registration specifies only that the dog is purely of one recognised breed – it does not guarantee that the dog comes from healthy or show-quality bloodlines. Nor is it a reflection on the quality of the breeder or how the puppy was raised. Registration simply provides tracking for known canine ancestry as stated by the breeder of each dog registered, and therefore the possibility of pedigree services. Purebred pedigrees can sometimes be followed back for as much as a century and for perhaps thirty or more generations of registered ancestry.
Registration is requried for dogs who will participate in purebred conformation shows or who will be used for purebred breeding. Most breeders register their eligible puppies, even if they are not of show quality, because there is a better market for registered dogs and also because the puppy might have characteristics that could produce championship stock if careful genetic planning takes place.