Becky, that sounds right to me. For that checkbox in the dog profile we are really looking for whether the pup is an officially registered purebred. Any major kennel club would be fine (AKC, CKC, etc). There are certainly many purebred dogs who have never been officially registered, and that’s fine. We’ll be able to figure that out from the DNA anyways. But getting a check for registered purebreds serves two related purposes.
First, some background – one of the things many of our participants want to know is what breed mix their dog is (if they are mixed). While this is not a goal of our research, we’d very much like to provide our participants with feedback that they most want, so we are working on getting some ancestry reconstruction up and running. One of the major hurdles for this is having an ample reference panel of **known** purebred dogs of as many breeds as possible. We don’t need all that many representatives of each breed, but we do need many many breeds. For these analyses, failing to include additional representatives of a given breed will not really have any negative impact (except perhaps for very rare breeds) – but including a incorrectly identified purebred could really mess up the analysis. So we’d prefer to be overly cautious and any dog that is “supposedly” a purebred is not worth including (especially for an already well represented breed like pugs).
So in short, we want to include only dogs that we can be absolutely sure are purebred. Still, one might be absolutely sure that their dog is a purebred but they’ve just never bothered with the registration process. Here still using only officially registered dogs is good for less-scientific but more practical reasons: as our reference data will become a shared resource for the scientific community, and our results will be published (and peer reviewed) it is cleaner to define our purebred references as “registered” purebred as opposed to “either registered, or otherwise asserted by the owner”, The official registration through the AKC, CKC, or other breed clubs just adds an impartial confirmation which can ensure confidence in our purebred reference set.