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In general it is up to the breeder to register puppies. After a litter is born, the breeder will send all the pertinent information to a registry. Some registries ask the breeder of the litter to include information from the new owner (pups name, owner's address, etc.) and send certificates of registration to the owner. Others (AKC for example), send individual registration forms to the breeder who then gives them to the new owner to fill out and return. Check with specific registries for particulars.

The purpose of each registry is to keep records (stud books) and provide an accurate pedigree of the dogs it registers. Such information is critical in breeding. It is useful to know who the ancestors are especially since a particular trait (good or bad) may be associated with a dog and his/her progeny or with a "line". In some cases, registration with a particular registry is a prerequisite for participation in events sponsored by the registry, for title tracking purposes. For example both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) require that a dog be registered with their organization before it is eligible to show in any events which they sponsor.

It is important to remember that registration is not necessarily synonymous with quality. The accuracy of the pedigree depends on the honesty of the breeder. The quality of the puppy is similarly the responsibility of the breeder. ALWAYS remember when buying a new puppy that the buyer should beware. Make sure that the breeder has answered all your questions honestly. Ask for references and check them thoroughly.

At this time there are a number of registries which register Border Collies, many of which are listed below. Some registries sponsor competitions, others exist solely  to track pedigrees.  Specific information about registrations is listed for each organization.

American Border Collie Association (ABCA)
American International Border Collie (AIBC)
American Kennel Club (AKC)
Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA)
Canadian Border Collie Association (CBCA)
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
International Stock Dog Society (ISDS)
Kennel Club of Great Britain (KC)
North American Stock Dog Society (NASDS)
United Kennel Club (UKC)

ABCA - American Border Collie Association
c/o Patty Rogers - 82 Rogers Rd. - Perkinston, MS 39573 - (601) 928-7551

Currently, the ABCA is by far the most popular registry. It has been in existence since the 1990’s, registering more than 100,000 Border Collies in the United States, Canada (see CBCA) and other countries. Registration of litters by this organization requires that the parents be previously registered. Imported dogs may be registered although the list of acceptable organizations is limited. There is also a “registry of merit” method of registering previously unrecorded dogs, after adequate herding instinct is demonstrated. Contact the ABCA for specific registration requirements. The ABCA currently has a voluntary certification program for listing OFA information on pedigrees. Members who send a copy of OFA certification along with a fee can have this information recorded on the pedigree.

AIBC - American International Border Collie
c/o Senette Parker - P.O. Box 274 - Chappell Hill, TX 77426

AIBC is one of the domestic registries for Border Collies. AIBC changed owners in 1995, and it’s unclear how active the registry is currently..

AKC - American Kennel Club
5580 Centerview Dr., Suite 200 - Raleigh, NC 27606- 3390 - (919) 233-9767

The American Kennel Club announced their decision to make Border Collies full members of the herding group in December 1994.

Litter Registration: To register a new whole litter with the AKC, both sire and dam must be fully registered with the AKC and the litter must be registered within six months of whelp.

Limited Registration: A relatively new option at the AKC allows breeders to register litters using limited registration. Puppies registered in this way are allowed to compete in any AKC sponsored performance or companion competition event. They can not, however, compete in Conformation. Any litters bred by these dogs can not be registered with AKC at all. The breeder of a Limited Registration dog can, at a later date, reverse the limited registration status allowing to dog to be fully registered. This represents a viable option to 'spay/neuter' contracts, giving the breeder much more control over what happens to the puppies.

Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL):  This program is previously known as Indefinite Listing Privilege (ILP).  It is intended for rescues and other purebred-looking dogs of unknown heritage, the PAL program accepts spayed/neutered dogs, allowing them to compete in performance and companion events (Herding, Agility, Tracking, Obedience and Rally). PAL should not be considered a “registration”, per se, and PAL dogs may not compete in Conformation.


Domestic Registries:  Dogs born in the US or Canada and registered with the American Border Collie Association (ABCA), American International Border Collie Association (AIBC),  North American Sheep Dog Society (NASDS) or the Canadian Border Collie Association (CBCA) may be cross-registered with the AKC. The owner(s) must be a resident of the US or one of its possessions or territories. Domestic registration forms can be found on the AKC website under the Special Registry Services section. Complete the form and return it with a photocopy of the original pedigree and certificate of ownership, two color photographs showing close-up of front and side views of the dog in a standing position, and the specified fee. If there are more than two owners of the dog, or more than one breeder, include a separate sheet which gives the name and address of each additional owner or breeder. Be careful to copy exactly the name of the dog as it is listed on the AIBC, ABCA, NASDS or CBCA pedigree. The AKC will not allow the dog's name to be changed in the case of cross-registered dogs.

In registering a litter with AKC, BOTH parents must be AKC registered. If this is not the case, the only way to register the puppies is to register them first with one of the domestic registries and then register the puppies using the open registration procedure. Since it will be difficult to register an AKC-only registered dog with any other registry, it is strongly recommended that breeding dogs be dual registered (AKC and NASDS for example). This leaves the most options open for the future.

AKC Letter - Special Registries: Adobe (PDF) File - Graphic (JPG) File

Foreign Registries: Border Collies born outside the US or Canada and registered with most foreign registries may be imported and registered by obtaining an application for registering an imported dog (foreign registration forms are available on the AKC website under Special Registry Services). A list of registries from which the AKC will accept pedigrees is available from on the AKC website under the Special Registry Services section. Border Collies registered with any all-breed Kennel Club recognized by AKC are import-able. Border Collies born in the U.K. and registered with the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) are also import-able. Note that, unfortunately, dogs born outside of the U.K. and registered with the ISDS are currently NOT import-able. BCSA has lobbied with AKC to change this policy, since there are many working-bred dogs born outside the U.K. that are ISDS registered; but at this time, AKC felt that this was a precedent they did not want to start, since there is currently no precedent for international registry bodies.

For answers to more complicated questions, call or email the Raleigh office of the AKC or read the Special Registry Services section on the AKC website.

ASCA - Australian Shepherd Club of America

ASCA is primarily an independent domestic registry body for Australian Shepherds. It is mentioned here because they sanction herding trials and other events in which Border Collies are allowed to compete. In order to earn titles in the ASCA system, dogs must be registered with ASCA, though they do not provide pedigree tracking services for breeds other than Australian Shepherds. In other words, registering a Border Collie with ASCA would only be done for the intention of competing with that dog in ASCA events.

CBCA - Canadian Border Collie Association

Canada has a law called the Animal Pedigree Act, which requires that a purebred animal be governed by a single registry. The Canadian Border Collie Association is the only registry for Border Collies in Canada (Canadian Kennel Club has ceased registering Border Collies). However, in 2007, consideration has been given to allowing Border Collies to obtain a limited registration that would allow them to compete in CKC performance events (obedience, agility etc); check with CKC’s website for current information. CBCA accepts pedigrees from ISDS, ABCA, AIBC, NASD for the working registry and from AKC and some European Kennel clubs for “section B” registry. Further explanation can be found on their website.

CKC - Canadian Kennel Club

At this point the CKC no longer registers Border Collies. For about a decade, Border Collies could not compete in any CKC events, even obedience and agility. However, in 2007, this appears to be changing; refer to CKC’s website for up-to-date information.

ISDS - International Sheep Dog Society
Chesham House - 7 Bromham Road - Bedford - MK4 02AA England

Border Collies imported from Great Britain are usually registered with the ISDS, which could be considered “the herding registry” in GB. These dogs may be dually registered with the Kennel Club. The ISDS sponsors herding trials in the British Isles. Many of the herding trials in the United States are held under ISDS rules.   ISDS is included in the list of permanently acceptable foreign registries which AKC will accept for cross-registration. This was negotiated between AKC and the Kennel Club in the UK, the two of which normally have an exclusive reciprocal agreement. 

KC - The Kennel Club
1-5 Clarger St., Picadilly - London - W1Y 8AB - England

Border Collies from Great Britain may be registered with the Kennel Club, which is the original governing body for dog shows and obedience trials in GB. These dogs are eligible for AKC registration. 

NASDS - North American Stock Dog Society
Contact Information: North American Sheep Dog Society, 9054 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO. 63117
To reach Cory O'Dell, (Vice President/Secretary) regarding any registrations, transfers, etc., email her at:

NASDS is the oldest registry in North America, but has become less commonly used in recent years. It is unclear if it will continue.

UKC - United Kennel Club
100 East Kilgore Rd. - Kalamazoo, MI 49001- 5587 - (616) 343-9020

The UKC registers dogs and holds conformation dog shows, obedience trials, and agility trials under its rules and regulations. Dogs must be registered with the UKC to participate. The UKC will register dogs that are currently registered with AIBC, ABCA or AKC. To register your Border Collie write or call UKC and request forms for single registration. The UKC requires a copy of the certificate of registration, a valid three generation pedigree, 2 photographs of the dog standing (color; left and right view) and the specified fee. They will register dogs from other countries provided that they meet these requirements (call UKC for information on foreign registries).

The UKC also offers a limited privilege registration (LP) which allows dogs (including mixed breeds) to compete in UKC events. They require that the dogs be spayed or neutered prior to applying. The application must be signed by a veterinarian. If the documentation of pedigree is not available, you may apply for an LP as a purebred dog if photographs are sent (2 as above), along with the specified fee.  Call or write for the appropriate forms, or find them on the UKC website.

Page Updated 12/18/2010

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The Border Collie Society of America, Inc. was founded in April 1993.  This site is owned by the Border Collie Society of America, Inc. and was established 12.94.