Elsa is not a show dog but she is registered and she did come to us from a very good breeder. Her parents had all the necessary health tests, the puppies were born in the family home and given lots of external stimuli to help them be the dogs that they can be. After much talk with the breeder she was chosen specifically for us after temperament testing was done and she could not be a better fit.
What does being registered mean? It means that your dog has been registered with a dog registration group. There are many, but the main ones here are the AKC or the UKC. When a breeder has a litter from two registered dogs that are the same breed they can register the litter. Registering the individual puppies is a secondary registration. Luke's litter was registered but I never registered him as an individual; I didn't see the reason for it. I wasn't showing him in conformation and had no intention to entering him in any AKC sanctioned events. A dog must be individually registered with the AKC to receive any titles in AKC events.
Elsa is registered individually because I thought that there was a good chance that I would be entering her in some sort of official AKC event. So her name is Elsa but her registered name is Autumn Shades Elsa.
But registration is as far as registration goes. There is no guarantee health or temperament wise from a registered dog or litter. Most puppy mill dogs are registered dogs; yes and it makes me shudder that they use this as a selling ploy. Unsuspecting puppy buyers think that "registered" means something good, they just aren't sure what. Being registered simply means that they can tell you who the dogs ancestors are.
Registration is good in that you can look back at the past generations. But again that gives limited guarantee on your individual puppy. You want to find a good breeder and the list is a long one as far as I'm concerned when finding and choosing a good breeder. Here is another blog I did on breeders and what to watch out for.
A few of the biggest points right off the bat when searching for a breeder is health testing. Have they done health tests on both the Mother and the Father of the puppies? If not, walk away. Why risk breeding disease into puppies? Because you wanted to save a buck, that's why.
Puppies are being raised in the house and give early stimulus and socializing so that they are well adjusted puppies.
Temperament testing is being done to best place puppies where they would best thrive.
Above are the three "first" questions I ask. If these aren't being done then you can end your questioning there.
Below are some of the kennel clubs that register dogs. Some are better than others. Look into your kennel club to see what they offer other than registering dogs. Many offer extended services and are attempting to promote good things as far as our dogs are concerned. Others are simply that, a registration.
Canadian Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
Australian Kennel Club
UK Kennel Club