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The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) announced today the launch of the Breeder of Merit program, a new initiative designed to recognize AKC’s core breeders.

“The Breeder of Merit program allows the American Kennel Club to celebrate our dedicated, passionate breeders who truly are the backbone of the sport and the foundation of our organization,” said AKC’s Chief Operating Officer John Lyons. “Our Breeders of Merit are committed to both improving their breed through health testing and selective breeding programs, and proving their breed through achievements in the ring and the field.  They are special and will be emulated by new breeders entering the sport.  Being a successful breeder does not come easy.  Years of hard work, vision, and a willingness to do the right thing are required to be successful.  Our Breeders of Merit have these qualities and deserve to be recognized.”

To achieve the Breeder of Merit designation, breeders should:

  • Certify that applicable health screens are performed on the sire and dam as recommended by the Parent Club.
  • Hold membership in an AKC club.
  • Have a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events.
  • Earn Conformation, Companion and/or Performance titles on at least 4 dogs they have bred/co-bred.
  • Demonstrate their commitment to ensuring 100% of the puppies they produce are AKC registered.

As part of the Breeder of Merit program, breeders will receive:

  • Complimentary access to $20.00 value per month for free online reports in the AKC online store.
  • Access to the AKC Direct toll free number.
  • Online Record support to ensure that their records are accurate, complete and easily accessible.
  • A frameable certificate of distinction.
  • Free Online Breeder Classified listings along with a special Breeder of Merit designation.
  • Acknowledgement on a special page of the AKC website and in the AKC Gazette.
  • Free or discounted fees on all secondary transactions such as duplicate registration applications, revoke limited status applications, etc.
  • Breeder of Merit web banner for display on their website.
  • Breeder of Merit lapel pin.
  • Breeder of Merit designation and gold border on registration applications and certificates for dogs bred by the Breeder of Merit.

There are many easy registration options available to the Breeder of Merit, including Full Litter, Full Litter Offspring, Full Litter PLUS and Full Litter Offspring PLUS. Learn more at

To learn more or apply for the Breeder of Merit program, visit or contact Tina Yuhl at 919-816-3932 or