ABCA Registration Requirements


The American Border Collie Association is dedicated to recording accurate pedigree information for owners and breeders of working Border Collies. These guidelines were developed to help insure the quality and accuracy of pedigrees in the registry.

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Dogs meet basic ABCA registration requirements if they fall into one of the following four categories:

  1. Are offspring of parents registered with the ABCA.
  2. Are registered with or are offspring of dogs registered with the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS). This includes dogs with ISDS Register on Merit (ROM) numbers.
  3. Are registered with the Canadian Border Collie Registry (CBCA), the American International Border Collie registry (AIBC), North American Sheep Dog Society (NASDS),  or the Australian Working Border Collie Registry (AWBC), provided they meet these criteria:
    • There is a complete 3-generation pedigree
    • All ancestors in the pedigree must have an ABCA, ISDS, CBCA, AIBC, NASDS, or AWBC registration number. Dogs registered with AIBC or NASDS through their respective ROM programs are not necessarily eligible for ABCA registration.

    Offspring of dogs registered on the Border Collie (B) register of the South African Sheep Dog Society (SASDS) may be registered in accordance with the rules governing registration of offspring of ABC-registered dogs.

  4. Have completed the ABCA s ROM program.


On November 16, 2004, the Board of Directors voted to change the existing policy of the Association for accepting registration applications. All applications for registration of dogs born in North America on or after January 1, 2005 must be submitted by the breeder of the litter. Applications for entire litters, partial litters, or individual dogs must be submitted to the association by the breeder.

On January 24, 2006, the Board of Directors voted that the fee charged for registration of dogs born in North America who are more than one year old but less than two years old shall be doubled, and for dogs more than two years old the fee shall be tripled and DNA testing will be required, effective January 1, 2007.

Note: The ABCA does not recognize any registry that promotes conformation showing of Border Collies. Consequently, registration with the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, the Kennel Club (UK), Federation Cynologique Internationale, Australian or New Zealand Kennel Clubs, or any such body will not be accepted as a basis for registration with the ABCA.

Dogs not clearly eligible are handled on a case-by-case basis. These include dogs which:

  1. Are registered with ROM numbers in the CBCA, AIBC, or NASDS
  2. Have incomplete pedigrees from CBCA, AIBC, NASDS, or AWBC
  3. Have specific situations where the Secretary of the ABCA feels the Officers and Directors should review the applications. Individual cases will be strengthened if the dogs in question can be traced back to ancestors in the ISDS stud book.

Dogs ineligible for ABCA registration:

The ABCA is a working stockdog registry and believes that breeding for conformation standards rather than working ability is detrimental to the health and working ability of the Border Collie. Consequently dogs or bitches which have been named a "Conformation Champion" by a conformation registry are not eligible for ABCA registration, even if they otherwise meet the requirements for registration. The ABCA will de-register any ABCA registered dog or bitch should it be named a "Conformation Champion" after January 1, 2004, and will not register the offspring of any dog or bitch named a "Conformation Champion" after that date.

Registration with non-breeding status

At the breeder’s discretion, particular dogs or entire litters may be registered with a non-breeding status. Breeders can use this type of registration to ensure that pups with genetic health problems, or who are going to homes where their working ability will not be tested, will not produce pups eligible for ABCA registration. Both buyer and seller must agree when the pup is registered, and the breeding restriction can only be lifted later if buyer and seller both agree (for example, if the buyer later does train the dog for herding and the dog demonstrates good working ability). The form for Non-Breeding Status must be submitted along with the registration application.

Register on Merit (ROM) Program

Dogs whose registration applications are rejected because of inadequate pedigree information may be able to enter the registry through the register on merit program (ROM) program

Returned Applications

Sometimes registrations or transfers cannot be processed because they are illegible, incomplete or inaccurate. Here are the most common reasons registration or transfer applications are returned:

Information frequently omitted from the application:

  • dog's birth date
  • dam or sire's name
  • registration numbers of dam or sire
  • signature of one owner of a co-owned dog. (To avoid this problem, register a dog with John or Jane Doe as the owners instead of John and Jane Doe.)
  • payment for registration, or the amount is incorrect
  • copy of certificate of registration for dogs registered with CBCA, ISDS, AIBC or NASDS
  • signature of breeder or signature of the sire's owner

Incorrect Information Given on Application:

  • wrong registration number for sire and/or dam
  • puppies names contain more than 14 characters and/or spaces

Transfer Applications Returned Because:

  • payment is omitted
  • signature is omitted
  • there is only one signature of a dog co-owned by John and Jane Doe
  • original registration certificate is omitted

If you are paying by VISA a processing fee applies, increasing the total fee for each service to the following: Annual Memberships - $11.00; Life Memberships - $110; Basic Registrations and Transfers - $12.00; Replacement certificates- $5.50; OFA Notations - $4.50. See Registration Form or Membership Form for further details.

Registration Fees

  • Annual Membership - $10.00
  • Lifetime Membership - $100.00
  • $11.00 fee for each dog registered ($22.00 if the dog is more than one year old but less than two years old, and $33.00 plus DNA test if the dog is more than two years old)
  • $11.00 fee for each transfer of ownership (accompanied by original ABCA registration certificate)
  • $5.00 fee for replacement certificate or corrections
  • $4.00 fee for the OFA clearance notation (accompanied by the OFA certificate and the original ABCA registration certificate)
  • $4.00 fee for the CEA clearance notation (accompanied by a "Normal" certificate from OptiGen and the original ABCA registration certificate)
  • $1.00 fee for decals
    If paid by Visa the Fees are as follows:
  • Annual Membership - $11.00
  • Lifetime Membership - $110.00
  • Registrations - $12.00 ($24.00 if the dog is more than one year old but less than two years old, and $36.00 plus DNA test if the dog is more than two years old)
  • Transfers of ownership: $12.00
  • Replacement certificate or corrections - $5.50
  • OFA - $4.50
  • CEA - $4.50
  • Decals - $1.25

For more information about the registration process, please check our FAQ.


For more information contact:
American Border Collie Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 100 · Cataula, GA 31804
Phone: 706-322-4400 · Fax: 706-322-4004

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