How to Register a Litter From Frozen Imported Semen

By Kathi Leonhardt

When I asked to breed my flat coated retriever, Isabel, to a lovely Scottish FCR, Jet, I thought the hardest part was over. The adventure began with my introduction to the stud dog owner by my reputable English friend/breeder/international judge; the acceptance of my bitch’s pedigree to his dog; the wire transfer of pounds to his account (“Ma’am, are you SURE you want to send THAT much money to someone you’re not related to?”) and finally the shipment of said stud dog semen to my repro vet. With the inevitable surgical insemination, the mating was complete. (I’d like to add here that we drew Isabel’s blood, spun it into serum, sent it overnight to Kentucky for a progesterone check every day in the upwards of 14 days since the first day I noticed that she was in season.) And, after all that, Hallelujah, she was pregnant! All I had left to do was wait for Mother Nature to take her course, right? Not even close…

To register a litter of pups produced by the frozen semen of a foreign dog not registered with the AKC is pretty involved. So, I’m writing to document the procedures that I’ve experienced (twice now - with a twist for the second insemination) so that those of you that choose to use a dog that works well in your pedigree that is either living in a foreign country or is dead and residing in a vet’s freezer of a foreign country can have a head start. I wish someone had documented a step-by-step guide before I began the process. (And, yes, even after all I had to do to accomplish this, I would and DID do this again.)

My first clue that things were not a simple as they seemed was the Frozen Semen Artificial Insemination form that my repro vet’s office gave me with her signature on it. “Make sure you don’t lose it”, the office staff warned. A $10 replication fee would be charged. So, frugally, I kept the document under lock and key. A $10 fee would have been a drop in the bucket, but every penny counts when you’re in the upwards of $6,000 BEFORE the pups are on the ground. Ah, but I digress.
So, with the FSAI form in hand, I needed to check out what else was necessary to register my much awaited babies. I contacted the AKC and after several minutes on hold, I got the right department. Cool. The lady on the phone asked if the stud dog had ever been used in the US? I didn’t think so, I told her, and with that, she went to the tedious task of checking through countless AKC files - coming up with no Jet. So, now knowing Jet wasn’t registered with the AKC, I began the process of getting him recognized.

The lady from the AKC told me that before I could register the puppies, I needed to do a few things. Firstly, I needed a cheek swab from the foreign stud dog. A kit from the AKC had to be purchased ($40), filled out by the stud dog owner, cheek swab taken and returned to the AKC with my name and address. Secondly, I needed a form that I had to create myself that documented the transfer of semen ownership from the stud dog owner to me - a very specific form that included the receiving vet of the semen on the day of delivery, how many straws/pellets, the stud dog’s owner’s written consent and my vet’s signature. Thirdly, I needed a CERTIFIED three generation pedigree of the stud dog. Once all three requirements were satisfied, all the paperwork needed to be sent to the AKC for approval. Writing it out now, it doesn’t sound like too much, but it definitely takes quite a bit of time and cooperation to accomplish it all before the puppies are born. (You can do it after, but you stand the chance of not getting it all done before the pups go to their new homes.)

So, the first litter of frozen foreign surgically inseminated semen was on the ground! Isabel had 10 lovely, healthy pups and all the T’s were crossed and the I’s were dotted. Everyone was registered and all went to their respective homes. End of story, right? Nope!
The addendum to this report is that I’ve, once again, bred Isabel to frozen foreign semen. Her second and last time. However, since I was so pleased with Isabel’s pups the first time with Jet, I decided to look back into Jet’s pedigree for her next breeding. This time, the stud dog was Jet’s Great Grandfather, Joker, and Joker was no longer with us. He died at the age of 12 but was collected and his owner approved this breeding.
So, the twist to my report is how to register a litter of pups when the sire is dead. Eek! I really didn’t think it would be all that different from frozen semen of a LIVE foreign stud dog. Wrong, again.

In order to apply for registration of a dead stud dog not registered in the AKC, one must do all the preceding requirements PLUS send a straw of frozen semen to MMI Genomics in Davis, California (the ONLY lab recognized by the AKC for DNA in the country.) When one sends the straw, usually via the repro/cryo vet, all of the same paperwork must be filed with the AKC. However, in addition to all the DNA paperwork, one must make sure that the AKC and the MMI are onboard with each other. MMI sends multiple (batched) results to the AKC but they don’t get reports back from the AKC as to whether the results have been reported to the requestor. So multiple phone calls to MMI and the AKC are required before knowing what the stud dog’s AKC DNA number might be. The pups are on the way and I’m still awaiting the final results after 3 months. Moral: Start early with the AKC.

Listed below are the names and numbers of the people involved in the process:

AKC Registration Services: Ask for Sheila - 919-233-9767
AKC DNA Profiling - Ask for either Sue or Caroline - 919-816-3508
MMI Genomics (the only service the AKC recognizes for DNA profiling) ext. canine parentage DNA
- 800-331-8808

Additional Information on Imported Frozen Semen:

AKC Imported Frozen Information:
taken from the AKC website

DNA and Imported Frozen Semen
(August 1996 Board meeting)
Imported frozen semen may be used for multiple matings. Each breeding must be documented and the semen must be stored in a facility that meets AKC record-keeping requirements. If the semen was collected after October 1,2021 ,the stud dog must be AKC DNA certified before the litter is eligible for AKC registration.

DNA and Use of Fresh Extended and Frozen Semen (June 1998 Board meeting)
After October 1, 1998, AKC 'DNA Certification' is required for all stud dogs collected for fresh extended and frozen semen use, including foreign stud dogs collected for imported semen use in the U.S. The intent of this requirement is to include all semen collected for storage and/or shipment for the purpose of artificial insemination, but not to include artificial insemination where the dog and the bitch are both present. Frozen semen collected and stored prior to October 1, 2021 in accordance with AKC's regulations and procedures is exempted from this requirement. Cheek swab DNA samples must be obtained by the collector and submitted with the notification of collection to AKC. DNA processing expenses are paid for by the owner at a set fee (currently $40). An 'AKC DNA Certificate' with the DNA Profile and Number is issued to the owner.

DNA Certification Program (June 1998 Board meeting)
AKC established the use of DNA in a DNA Certification Program as follows: DNA samples are collected by owners or authorized agents - on a voluntary basis - and sent to DNA Operations in Raleigh, NC. The resulting DNA Profile Numbers are added to future AKC registration materials and pedigrees, only if the dog is AKC registered when the DNA sample is submitted. A DNA Profile Number uniquely identifies the genetic constitution (genotype) of the dog and may be used to verify parentage of a litter, when sire/dam/pups have genotypes on file. All expenses are paid for by the owner at a set fee (currently $40), and an 'AKC DNA Certificate' with the DNA Profile and Number is issued to the owner.

DNA Ownership (June 2000 Board meeting)
While DNA samples may be used by AKC for the purposes of providing genetic identity and parentage verification, the permission of the registered owner or owners of the dog would be required should there be any request for any other use of the archival sample.

DNA Parentage Verifications (December 1999 Board meeting)
As the DNA database permits, parentage verifications for litters whelped after January 1, 2000, will occur, and if exclusions are found, breeders will be notified; every effort will be made to cooperate with the breeders in establishing correct parentage based on additional information and submitted DNA samples. Litter corrections will be made based on DNA profiles. Litters that cannot be corrected will, unfortunately, be cancelled.

Foreign Registries (September 1999 Board meeting)
It is required that in order to be added to the list of foreign registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration, an all-breed registry must register a minimum of 500 dogs per year and a specialty registry 100 dogs per year.
(April, 2000 meeting) Following a motion by Mr. Kelly, seconded by Mrs. Strand, it was VOTED (unanimously) to remove the 500-dog minimum from the requirement for adding a foreign registry to the list of registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.

Foundation Stock Service (July 1995 Board meeting)
The implementation of a Foundation Stock Service to enroll purebred dogs of unregisterable breeds was adopted.

Frequently Used Sires Program (January 2000 Board meeting)
Effective July 1, 2000, every sire producing seven or more litters in a lifetime or producing more than three litters in a calendar year must be AKC DNA Certified. These DNA profiles will be used for genetic identity and for parentage verification, and thus will be used to advance issues related to the integrity of the registry. Dogs with DNA profiles from the voluntary DNA Certification Program or from the Parent Breed Club DNA Program have already met this requirement. DNA samples processed in the Compliance Audit Program (kennel inspections), however, do not meet this requirement and certifications are not issued.

The parentage verification policies of all current DNA programs will be applied to the Frequently Used Sires Program, as will the discipline policies of the Compliance Audit Program. Any excess revenue over expenses from this Program will be placed in a special reserve, which will be used to fund future registration integrity programs.

Registration of Imports (June 1995 Board meeting and February 1997 Board meeting)
It is the policy of The American Kennel Club to give full faith and credit to the certified export certificate accompanied by a complete three-generation pedigree tendered from countries with a registry on AKC's acceptable list.

If the sire or dam of an import is AKC registered, AKC registration will only be afforded to the imported offspring if the AKC breed for the AKC registered sire and/or dam is the same as the breed of the offspring. This was a result of questions pertaining to the Belgian breeds.