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Better Breeder Certification

The Breeder Merit program To recognize conservation Dog Breeders

The Better Breeder Certification is the first breeder of merit program that truly supports efforts to breed a better dog. It recognizes purposeful purebred dog breeders who are ambassadors for breed preservation and advancement. The Better Breeder Institute has established the credentials that conscientious puppy shoppers will require of their breeder.

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

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What’s Included:

Better Breeder Certification Program

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For years, purebred conservation dog breeders have struggled to differentiate themselves from the backyard, for-profit, and commercial breeders in the minds of the general public. Other ‘breeder of merit’ programs do little to help purebred puppy shoppers identify better breeders. Their purpose is to drive their sponsors’ economic engine rather than to promote the breeding of purebred dogs that fulfill their Official Standard.

The Better Breeder Institute credentials breeders who raise the bar with 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, and performance, as well as the individual breeder’s personal purpose and objectives.
  • Code of Ethics. The Better Breeder Institute’s Code of Ethics establishes the benchmark for better breeder processes, ethics, and etiquette, which represent conservation breeders’ greatest opportunity to differentiate themselves from backyard, for-profit, and commercial breeders.
  • Purebred Event Participation. Conservation breeders typically participate in at least one competitive AKC/CKC Event type to validate the results of their breeding program.
  • AKC/CKC Championships. Certified Better Breeders produce champions. We recognize all AKC/CKC prefix championship titles.
  • Specialty Breed Club Membership. We require every certified breeder to be an active member in good standing with a specialty breed club (National Breed Club and/or regional specialty club). Support of these organizations is critical to the preservation and advancement of our breeds.
  • Health Testing. Certified breeders must conduct the complete health testing protocol on their breeding stock as recommended by the National Breed Club. Test results are required. Simply checking a box is not sufficient.
  • Contracts & Guarantees. Certified Better Breeders provide written guarantees to buyers and stand behind the dogs they sell. They also do not allow them to be placed with brokers, dealers, or rescue organizations.
  • Clean and Orderly Facilities. Quality dogs reflect a quality program. Every element of a better breeder’s program, including kennels and facilities, must be kept clean, orderly, and sanitary.
  • PLUS, we recognize National Specialty wins, Best in Shows, National Breed Club awards, and other club memberships, to name a few. This distinguishes you as a breeder and serves to educate the general public about the sport of purebred dogs.

All of these factors empower breeders of distinction and help them differentiate themselves from other ‘breeders of merit.’ This higher standard will educate puppy buyers and aspiring breed fanciers on what they should require of their breeder.

Finally, 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 Breed Club’s health foundation.

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

Apply Online

Application Fee

$35

Get Your Breeding Program Certified

  • Supports Your Breed’s Health Research
  • Receive Special Benefits
  • CLICK TO APPLY

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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Here is what to expect as you complete the Better Breeder Certification process:

  1. Complete the Application. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. You will need the following digital files to upload: 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 via email.
  3. Application Review. Applications will be reviewed 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 be added to the Better Breeder Directory as Better Breeder Institute Certified. We will provide you with a digital banner to use on your website, social media, and digital and print advertising.
  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 specialty breed club membership, event participation, championships, health testing, contracts and 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 use to identify quality purebred dog breeders.

What does the $35 application fee cover?

We have contracted with an independent outside agency to review all applications according to the 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.

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 is the mark discerning puppy shoppers will 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 titles and status designations without them actively pursuing correct breed type, breed-appropriate health testing, and competition & performance in their breeding programs.

The purpose of the Better Breeder Certification Program is to set a higher standard for what true conservation dog breeders are. 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.

Apply Online

Application Fee

$35

Get Your Breeding Program Certified

  • Supports Your Breed’s Health Research
  • Receive Special Benefits
  • CLICK TO APPLY

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.

The Better Breeder Promise

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

Wire Fox Terrier

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