"Papered" and "non-papered" doesn't refer to potting training. It has to do with proving that your pooch is purebred. Usually purebred dogs come with papers, but not always. It may not matter to you, though, as there are only a few instances when the difference between papered and non-papered matters.
Papers Prove the Bloodline
Your pooch may be purebred, but if he isn't papered, there's no verifiable evidence of his pedigree or his bloodline. When two purebred dogs of the same breed become parents to a litter of pups, the babies are registered and certificates are issued verifying that they are pure of breed. The parents are listed on the papers and since the parents are registered as well, anyone should be able to trace the lineage through the paper trail. The American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Professional Kennel Club are recognized and reputable organizations through which purebred dogs are registered and papered.
Your non-papered purebred dog still will have the characteristics of his breed. He will be restricted from certain activities and events, however. For example, participation in a dog show requires your dog to be papered. Competing in some organized competitions like field events for hunting and working dogs also requires registration paperwork.
If your dog carries a limited registration, you might wonder what is limited. One of the areas a limited registration affects is breeding. You can breed a dog with a limited registration but you won't be able to get registration papers for his or her puppies. If your purebred dog has a limited registration, you won't be able to enter him in an official dog show. If he's allowed to participate, he won't be eligible to receive any titles from the show. If your unregistered purebred is an agility expert, spectacular hunter or field expert, however, you may be able to enter him in field trials, agility competitions and hunting tests. Read the qualifications before signing up to determine if your dog is welcome without his papers and will be allowed to receive titles and awards from the events.
Alternative to Papering
If you have a purebred dog and would like to enter him in an agility or obedience event that is open only to papered dogs, you do have an alternative option. Contact the American Kennel Club to get an Indefinite Listing Privilege for your pup. ILP's act as substitute papers for your pooch and will grant him entrance to most performance events, although they won't qualify his offspring to be papered; he still will be ineligible to compete in official shows.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.