Can I compete in some of the neat dog events licensed by the American Kennel Club and Golden Retriever Club of America, even though my adopted purebred Golden doesn't have "papers?" Can we earn titles? You bet you can. And we encourage you and your Golden to "go for it!"
For a variety of reasons, Golden Retrievers adopted through rescue are often without "papers," or more formally - an AKC registration certificate. But no matter. All you need to be on the road to competition and titles is apply for what the AKC refers to as Indefinite Listing Privilege or Purebred Alternative Listing. A PAL/ILP will permit your unregistered Golden to participate in AKC Obedience Trials, Tracking Tests, Agility Trials, and Hunting Tests. Goldens with a PAL/ILP may also enter GRCA Working Certificate (WC) and Working Certificate Excellent (WCX) field tests.
Applications for PAL/ILP will only be considered if your Golden has been spayed or neutered, since PAL/ILP is not the equivalent of an AKC registration and because PAL/ILP dogs may not be bred.
You may apply by filling out an application, enclosing a fee to cover costs, and attaching two recent and clear photographs of the dog in standing position. One should be a full front view and the other a full profile. A veterinarian's spay/neuter certificate must also be attached.
More information and a downloadable application may be found here