AKC Breeder Of Merit Program – American Kennel Club


Here at the AKC, we believe in honoring responsible breeders who have gone beyond health issues, temperament and genetic testing, as well as individual care and placement of puppies in responsible homes. That’s why we launched 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 to be the most conscientious and committed breeders.

Find breeders here who have qualified to be a Distinguished Breeder.

Search for breeders of merit

Program details and benefits

The Breeder of Merit program is open to all purebred dog breeders and offers a host of benefits, including:

  • Applications for registration and certificates with your special designation as a meritorious breeder.
  • Prime placement of AKC Marketplace listings.
  • Breed specific web banners to proudly promote program participation.
  • Access to the AKC Direct toll-free number, and more.
  • Puppies raised by Breeders of Merit are eligible for 30 days of pet health insurance included with enrollment at no additional cost and 10% off annual policy through AKC Pet Insurance.
  • AKC Breeders can join the AKC Breeder Rewards Program and earn rewards while working towards full litter registration.

There are also advanced levels of recognition that can be achieved on a breed-specific basis for breeders who meet these minimum standards:

  • Be qualified and registered as a meritorious breeder.
  • Can provide proof of health tests required by the Parent Club on litter fathers / mothers.
  • Have lived up to their commitment to ensure that all of their puppies are registered.

The recognition levels are scaled according to the number of titled dogs produced.

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Who can participate

To be accepted into the program, a breeder must:

  • Have a history of at least 5 years of involvement in AKC events.
  • Have obtained AKC Conformation, Performance or Companion event titles on a minimum of 4 AKC litter dogs that they have bred or co-bred.
  • Be a member of an AKC club.
  • Certify that the applicable health tests are performed on your breeding stock as recommended by the Parents’ Club.
  • Show that 100% of puppies produced are individually AKC registered.

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* 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 registered trademarks of The American Kennel Club, Inc .; used under license by PetPartners. “AKC Pet Insurance” is the name used by PetPartners to provide and administer insurance plans and is not an American Kennel Club business or an insurance company. American Kennel Club does not offer, administer, solicit, market or sell any insurance plan. For details, see 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 in the 30 day pet insurance coverage.

The American Kennel Club recognizes Breeders of merit for their dedication to breeding purebred dogs with appearance, temperament and ability true to their breed standard, and for their commitment to 100 percent health screening and registration of puppies. The AKC celebrates their success and their passion for dog sports. They are the pinnacle of the AKC community.

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