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.
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