Difference Between ACA and AKC

Breeders and even the general public use dog registries to ensure a puppy’s health and pedigree, which may include DNA profiles. 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. 


The main 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. 


The American Canine Association, Inc. ( ACA) is the second-largest dog registry and the largest dog registry for health tracking in the world. It was established in 1984. 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 American Kennel Club (AKC), founded in 1884, is a non-profit organization that upholds the integrity of its dog registry, works toward promoting sports of purebred dogs, and breeding for various types and functionality. 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 Between ACA and AKC 

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. 

They also protect the breeder’s rights to provide healthy puppies and helps them socialize with the public. Along with this, they protect the rights of the public to own 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. After registering with them, you also get access to the organization’s customer services. 

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. This is completely free of charge and very helpful if your dog were to go missing. 

What is AKC? 

The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is the only not-for-profit organization working as a dog registry. 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. If you complete their lifetime registration, you will get access to their American Kennel Club’s Canine Care Packages, which consist of essential, necessary resources and services that are made available to you throughout your dog’s entire life.

American Kennel Club is a very well reputed registry because of which their services and registrations are more on the expensive side. They don’t accept dogs unless they are the offspring of AKC’s own registered canines. 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.  

Their registrations are a form of higher social standing for dogs due to their great reputation, high standards, and stringent regulations. 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. The difference between ACA and AKC is that American Kennel Club (AKC) is more reputable than American Canine Association (ACA) and has a higher social status. 
  2. AKC was established in 1884, a hundred years before ACA was established in 1984. 
  3. Since AKC has a higher reputation, their services are more expensive, whereas ACA has more affordable options and even offers free services, including free veteran checkups and free dog training sessions. 
  4. American Canine Association is a profitable organization, and American Kennel Club is the only not-for-profit dog registry organization. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. American Kennel Club focuses more on protecting the sanctity of purebred dogs as our companions and their health, well-being, breeding, maintenance, etc. 


The difference between American Canine Association and American Kennel Club is that ACA is more affordable while AKC has a better reputation and social standing. They are both good dog registries, and you can pick either one depending on your preferences and the options available.  

Both have their own pros and cons based on pricing, profits, health tracking, dog shows, etc., that you can go through to make the right choice for your 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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