Matt Stelter began his journey in purebred dogs as a child. At the age of 12, he purchased his first AKC Rough Collie with visions of developing a world-class breeding program. Matt spent his teenage years in dedicated breed study, breeding his first champions and polishing his handling skills in the ring.
As a teenager, his first mentors were Don & Leslie Jeszewski (Highcroft Collies) – 2013 AKC Breeder of the Year (Herding Group Honoree). As a young adult, he spent time under the tutelage of great Shetland Sheepdog breeder-handlers Guy & Thelma Mauldin (Kismet Kennels) – 2021 AKC Breeder of the Year (Herding Group Honoree) and Tom & Nioma Coen (Macdega Shelties) – 2004 AKC Breeder of the Year (Herding Group Honoree). Later, as a handler, he won both National Specialties and all-breed Best In Shows handling two of the top Rough Collie sires in breed history, Ch. Southland’s Bowen Island, ROM, and Ch. Twin City Secret Ambition, ROM.
Once his own Wyndlair Collies breeding program took off, he traded in the show lead for his judging license. He has judged major Collies and Shetland Sheepdog specialties across the country, including Best of Breed & Intersex at the 2019 Collie Club of America National Specialty – the youngest judge to do so in the 135-year history of the organization.
Personally, he is married to Anita Stelter, also a lifetime Collie breeder and National Specialty-winning handler. After Matt and Anita were married, they took their small Wyndlair breeding program to new heights. They bred the #1-ranked littermates, GCHB. Wyndlair Point Given and the record-breaking GCHP. Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication, as well as the Top-Winning White Collie in Breed History, GCHB. Wyndlair Classique Incandescent, ROM.
Professionally, Matt’s career also began in the pet world. At age 16, he started working at his local veterinarians’ upstart pet supply company, Drs. Foster & Smith. In 2002, he was a charter member of their new web marketing department, a team created to find online success with the new digital “fad” called the internet. His time with the company would span almost 20 years as it became the #1 catalog & internet pet supply retailer. Matt left Drs. Foster & Smith prior to Petco acquiring the company but continued in the internet marketing industry.
Over the past decade, Matt has worked on or consulted with nearly 20 national brands, retailers, and media publishers to improve their internet marketing, website content, and domain authority. He has presented at digital marketing conferences to audiences nearing 10,000 attendees. He was a presenter at the 2023 AKC Breeder Symposium in Houston, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio. His work has been published in numerous national dog publications, including Canine Chronicle and Showsite Magazine. He is a content creator at heart, and his passion is creating digital experiences to build brands and educate & delight internet audiences.
Matt founded the Better Breeder Institute to share his digital marketing knowledge and expertise with his community of purebred conservation dog breeders. He has assembled a team of experienced IT & web development professionals, and he consults with a select expert group providing breeding, veterinary, business, and legal insight. The Better Breeder Institute’s goal is to provide education, support, and specialized services for breeders to improve their digital communication, promotion, and business processes in their breeding programs.