The American Kennel Club is the principal agency for the registering of purebred dogs in the United States.  AKC registration in no way indicates the quality or health of a dog.  A registration certificate means only that the dog is the product of a registered purebred sire and dam of the same breed.  A dog's pedigree is a recorded family tree and does not necessarily guarantee the quality of an individual dog.

Don't be misled by promises of "papers later".  When you purchase your puppy, demand a registration application form or full identification of your dog in writing.  This should be signed by seller and consist of the name of the breed, the registered names and numbers of the sire and dam, your dog's date of birth, the name of the breeder and, if available, the AKC litter number.  If none of the above is supplied, don't buy the dog.  In addition, any special conditions or agreements should be in writing and signed by both buyer and seller at time of purchase.