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Better Breeder Certification Program

The Breeder of Merit program to recognize conservation Dog Breeders!

The premier breeder of merit program that truly supports efforts to breed a better dog. This program rewards purebred purposeful dog breeders who are ambassadors for breed preservation. We’ve established the standard that every purebred puppy buyer should require their breeder to achieve.

Differentiate yourself from the backyard, for-profit & commercial AKC/CKC breeders.

Relyt Sheltie Puppies

What’s Included:

Better Breeder Certification Program

For years, purebred conservation dog breeders have struggled to differentiate themselves from the backyard, for-profit, and commercial AKC/CKC breeders. Other breeder of merit programs do little to help purebred puppy shoppers identify better breeders. They do more to drive their sponsors’ economic engine and less to promote the breeding of purebred dogs that fulfill their Official Standard.

The Better Breeder Institute certifies breeders who raise the bar in their standards, processes, and ethics and provide beautiful, healthy, and predictable breed specimens for discerning families.

Better Breeder Certification Program considers:

  • Breeding Program Purpose. We review the WHY behind every breeder. It begins with breed preservation, advancement, competition & performance, and then the individual breeder’s personal passion and objective.
  • Code of Ethics. The Better Breeder Institute’s Code of Ethics establishes the benchmark for better breeder processes, ethics & etiquette, which represent conservation dog breeders’ greatest opportunity to differentiate themselves from backyard, for-profit & commercial dog breeders.
  • Purebred Event Participation. Conservation breeders typically participate in at least one competitive Event type to demonstrate the results of their breeding program.
  • AKC/CKC Championships. Certified Better Breeders produce champions. We recognize all AKC/CKC prefix championship titles.
  • National Breed Club Membership. We require every certified better breeder to be an active member in good standing with their National Breed Club.
  • Health Testing. Certified breeders must conduct complete health testing protocol as recommended by the National Breed Club and provide examples. Simply checking a box is not enough.
  • Contracts & Guarantees. Certified Better Breeders provide written guarantees to buyers, and they stand behind the dogs they sell and will not see them placed with brokers, dealers, or rescue.
  • Clean & Orderly Facilities. Quality dogs reflect a quality program. Every element of a better breeder’s program, kennels & facilities must be neat, efficient, and sanitary.
  • And, MORE! We highlight National Specialty wins, breeder awards, Best in Shows, and specialty & all-breed club membership, to name a few.

All of these factors empower better breeders to differentiate themselves from other “breeders of merit.” And, this standard will educate puppy buyers and aspiring breed fanciers on what they should require their breeder to be.

PLUS: Here at the Better Breeder Institute, we believe in breed-specific health research to continue improving the health, vitality, and lifespans of our purebred dogs. We donate a portion of every application fee to the National Parent Club’s health foundation.

NOTE: The Better Breeder Certification does not imply a recommendation of the breeder. Please review the Terms and Conditions.

One-Time Fee

Application Fee

$30

Get Your Breeding Program Certified!

NOTE: Application approval decisions will be determined by an outside independent agency, according to criteria set forth by the Better Breeder Institute. Due to company principles’ status as AKC-licensed Conformation judges, approved application fees from Collie (Rough & Smooth) or Shetland Sheepdogs breeding programs will be donated in their entirety to the respective National Breed Health Foundation.

What to Expect:

Application Process

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Once you begin the Better Breeder Certification process, here is what to expect:

  1. Complete the Application. The application will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. You will need the following required files to be accessible. They include a minimum of three (3) AKC/CKC championship certificates, three (3) complete health test result panels, and pictures of your dogs and kennel facilities.
  2. Submit the Application. We will confirm receipt of the application.
  3. Application Review. Applications will be reviewed by an independent outside agency and evaluated according to criteria set forth by the Better Breeder Institute. Applications will be reviewed within 7-10 business days. If there are questions, we will follow up for any clarification.
  4. Application Decision. Once a determination has been made, you will be informed via email. Approved breeders will automatically be added to the Better Breeder Directory as Better Breeder Certified. We will provide you with a certificate and banner to use on your website and social media.
  5. Benefits! We are building a benefit package available to certified breeders.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Better Breeder Certification Program different from other breeder merit programs?

The Better Breeder Certification Program recognizes the distinct aspects of true conservation dog breeding programs. These include national breed club membership, event participation, championships, health testing, contracts & guarantees, and a specified purpose. These elements are indicative of breeding programs committed to fulfilling their Official Standard and providing beautiful, healthy, predictable specimens for breed-loving families.

Other merit programs’ requirements power the sponsors’ economic engine more than they support the breeding of better dogs. Further, the majority of breeders who qualify for merit status in other programs will not qualify for the Better Breeder Certification due to our requirements.

Where can I use the Better Breeder Certified Seal?

Pending your agreement to the Terms of Use, you may use the program seal on your website, social media channels, and digital and print advertising. This will be the visual icon that puppy shoppers will look for to identify quality purebred dog breeders.

What does the $30 application fee cover?

We have contracted with an independent outside agency to review all applications according to criteria set forth by the Better Breeder Institute. The application fee covers the cost of that third-party service. Additionally, this program will be cloud-hosted with digital assets stored and publicly accessible for verification.

Finally, at year’s end, $5.00 from every application fee received will be donated to the respective National Breed Club’s health foundation. The Better Breeder Institute believes firmly in the importance of breed-specific health research, and the Better Breeder Certification Program is the only breeder of merit program that directly supports ongoing breed health research at the parent club level.

Will there be a recurring annual fee?

No. This program is designed as a complimentary breeder service with no annual fee. The certification is valid for two years from the date of approval. The recertification process will be developed and shared in advance of the certification expiration date.

The Better Breeder Certified seal will be the mark discerning puppy shoppers demand!

Newborn Bi-Blue and Bi-Black Sheltie puppies

Your Program Deserves to be “Better Breeder Certified.”

The Better Breeder Institute’s mission is to support, educate, and promote purebred conservation dog breeders. As breeders ourselves, we continually see other breeder types qualifying for honors and recognition without them actively pursuing correct breed type, temperament, breed-appropriate health testing, and competition.

The purpose of the Better Breeder Certification Program is to set a new standard for what true conservation dog breeders are. It will create a community of better breeders that will foster improved education, communication, and collaboration.

The Better Breeder Certified seal will be the mark that discerning puppy shoppers demand as they search for the breeder of their future puppy — a puppy that will be a healthy, beautiful representative of its breed.

One-Time Fee

Application Fee

$30

Get Your Breeding Program Certified!

NOTE: Application approval decisions will be determined by an outside independent agency, according to criteria set forth by the Better Breeder Institute. Due to company principles’ status as AKC-licensed Conformation judges, approved application fees from Collie (Rough & Smooth) or Shetland Sheepdogs breeding programs will be donated in their entirety to the respective National Breed Health Foundation.

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If you have questions, please reach out to us.

We’ll be happy to discuss the Website of Your Dreams!

The Better Breeder Promise

We endeavor to educate, support, and promote conservation dog breeders who are committed to the preservation & advancement of their breed.  

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