Here at the AKC, we believe in honoring responsible breeders who have gone above and beyond on health issues, temperament, and genetic screening, as well as to the individual care and placement of puppies in responsible homes. That’s why we started the AKC Breeder of Merit Program: To give breeders a way to prove their dedication to preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. We consider them the most conscientious and most committed breeders.
Search breeders who have met the requirements to be a Breeder of Merit here.
Program Details & Benefits
The Breeder of Merit Program is open to all purebred dog breeders and offers a host of benefits, including:
- Registration applications and certificates featuring your special designation as a Breeder of Merit.
- Prime placement of AKC Marketplace listings.
- Breed-specific web banners to proudly promote involvement in the program.
- Access to the AKC Direct toll free number, and more.
- Puppies bred by Breeders of Merit are eligible for 30 days of pet health insurance included with registration at no additional cost and 10% discount on annual policy through AKC Pet Insurance.
- AKC Breeders can join the AKC Breeder Rewards Program and earn rewards while working toward full litter registration.
There are also advanced levels of recognition that can be earned on a breed-specific basis for breeders who meet these minimum standards:
- Have qualified and enrolled as a Breeder of Merit.
- Can provide proof of Parent Club required health testing on sires/dams of litters.
- Have met their commitment to ensure that all their puppies get registered.
Recognition levels are tiered using numbers of titled dogs produced.
Who Can Participate
In order to be accepted into the program a breeder must:
- Have a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events.
- Have earned AKC Conformation, Performance or Companion event titles on a minimum of 4 dogs from AKC litters they bred or co-bred.
- Be a member of an AKC club.
- Certify that applicable health screens are performed on your breeding stock as recommended by the Parent Club.
- Demonstrate that 100% of the puppies produced are individually AKC registered.
*Independence American Insurance Company, rated A- (Excellent) by AM Best Company, with offices at 485 Madison Ave, NY, NY 10022 and in WA, by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100 4th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108. Insurance plans are offered and administered by PetPartners, Inc., a licensed agency. “American Kennel Club,” “AKC” and the AKC logo are trademarks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.; used under license by PetPartners. “AKC Pet Insurance” is the name used by PetPartners to offer and administer insurance plans and is neither an American Kennel Club business nor an insurance company. American Kennel Club does not offer, administer, solicit, market or sell any insurance plans. For complete details refer to www.akcpetinsurance.com/sample-policies. Activation required for 30-day coverage to take effect. Eligibility restrictions apply. For more information, visit www.akcpetinsurance.com/certificate or call 866-725-2747. Discounts are not available in all states. Vet Helpline is included with the 30-days of pet insurance coverage.
The American Kennel Club recognizes Breeders of Merit for their dedication to breeding purebred dogs with the appearance, temperament, and abilities that are true to their breed standard, and for their commitment to health screening and 100 percent puppy registration. The AKC celebrates their success in and passion for canine sports. They are the pinnacle of the AKC community.