yes you can use just the name to get a dogs reg #. Just go to the AKC website, at the top click the "store"link --> scroll down to "free online services" --> then click "dogs lookup" --> from ther just type in the dog's reg name and breed.
I was able to look up Thunder Over Dixie, UD (a sable GSD born in 1972), using just his registered name. It's worth a try, even if the data base might be spotty from that time until 1990. (Thunder is the canine star of the book Training Your Dog to Win Obedience Titles, written by Curt Morsell, just in case any of you are unfamiliar with him.)
No.. I don't have a 20 year old dog. I lost Kazi in 2004. She would have been 14 in March of 2005. I wanted to find her lineage and then try to follow that line forward (if preserved) with the idea of getting a dog of the same lines (or at least looking at them.. if they exist and if the breeder was reputable).
She never did anything famous except for me.
I did the search and found her and I now have her registration number. I then did get her pedigree and additional information from the Pedigree Database for the GSD.
This kennel was located in East Nassau, NY. It is no longer in business as a GSD breeding kennel. It is now a boarding kennel.
I used to board Kazi there sometimes with the new non breeder owner. She was such a good dog she didn't live in the kennel like a normal boarded dog. They kept her in their house with them when she went to stay.