Difference Between ACA and AKC

American Kennel Club (AKC) and American Canine Association (ACA) are two of the most well-known dog registries available through which people register their dogs and keep track of their genetics, health, etc. 


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The difference between ACA and AKC is that AKC is the oldest dog registry that tends to focus on purebred dogs and their studies, maintenance, breeding, etc., whereas ACA tends to focus a lot of its efforts on genetic health tracking of their dogs while occasionally dabbling in dog shows. 


Their services are very affordable in comparison to other registries. They even provide free vet services to some of the dogs registered with them. 

The organizations affiliated with them advocate for various rights for dogs like canine health and well-being, protecting the owner’s rights, etc.

Comparison Table 

Parameters of comparison ACA AKC 
Pricing Affordable services More expensive 
Established Fairly new Oldest association 
Regulations Comparatively lenient  More regulations and guidelines 
Reputation Less reputable More reputable  
Focus They are more focused on tracking the dog’s genetic health. They tend to focus more on purebred dogs as companions and for dog shows. 
Profit It is profitable. It is a not-for-profit organization. 

What is ACA? 

The American Canine Association was founded in 1984 and is currently working as a dog registry and a health-tracking registry. They also conduct various dog shows and competitions all over North America and the Caribbean. 

Their main aim is to help improve the genetic health and the overall well-being of dogs while providing webinars, educational seminars, and tools to help increase awareness and to improve the welfare of dogs. 

This organization is the largest veterinary health tracking dog registry in the USA. They provide extra services at affordable prices, sometimes even free, including vet services, dog training services, etc. 

ACA also provides documentation of congenital defects as part of their health tracking, which helps in promoting healthy breeding practices.

One very unique thing about ACA is that they provide Worldwide Lost and Found Pet Tag. This is a plastic tag that contains a unique number for your dog that is registered with your dog’s registration number.


What is AKC? 

They are very committed to advocating for the purebred dogs, are family companions, advance canine health and welfare, etc., along with their affiliated organizations. 

They work towards protecting the rights of all dog owners and promoting healthy and responsible ownership of dogs. They help enhance the breeding, studying, maintenance, and exhibiting of purebred dogs.

Exceptions do apply when the dog is from another country and is registered under an equivalent registry, then the dog can be registered through cross-registration.  

Along with advocating for the dog’s well-being and the owner’s rights, they are also very dedicated to advancing dog sports and competitions and conduct a lot of shows all around the year.


Main Differences Between ACA and AKC 

  1. Due to its higher social standing, AKC has stricter guidelines when it comes to registering dogs stating that they need to be offsprings of only AKC registered canines, exceptions being canines coming in from another country registry to an equivalent registry, whereas ACA is more lenient when it comes to guidelines and regulations. 
  2. American Canine Association focuses the most on their health tracking registry, which is the largest in the world and also includes documents of congenital diseases to promote the better welfare of dogs.  


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1950109/
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10888705.2015.1127765
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