Nationwide Certification Program – Canine Care Certified – Establishes Rigorous Standards for Breeders
Guidelines, audits are first to comprehensively focus on behavior and physical health of dogs.


For those seeking a breeder to help them add a canine companion to their homes, it can be difficult to find a trusted source of information to guide or inform them about how their prospective dog was raised. To help people make informed decisions and to do our part to help protect the welfare of dogs coming from professional dog breeders, we created Canine Care Certified.

Canine Care Certified is a nationwide, voluntary program that addresses the health and overall welfare of dogs in the care of breeders in the United States. It is the only program that not only incorporates measures of the physical health of dogs and puppies raised by breeders, but also strongly emphasizes their behavioral well-being.

Breeders seeking to be certified must meet or exceed rigorous standards for physical and behavioral welfare in areas such as nutrition, veterinary care, genetic screening housing, handling and exercise.

The certification program is based on standards developed and led by Dr. Candace Croney, Ph.D. at Purdue University in 2013. Consumers and pet owners can be assured that dogs and puppies raised by the program’s certified breeders are cared for under stringent standards.

The standards are informed by ongoing research conducted by the Croney Research Group and other experts in canine welfare science. To learn more about the research, visit our welfare of breeding dogs site. While the initial funding for the research was provided by the World Pet Association and the Pet Food Institute, to avoid any conflict of interest, none of our past or current sponsors have involvement, direct or indirect, in the design, conduct or reporting of the research or in the development of the standards.

In addition to the research and standards programs, breeders, shelters and rescues, canine health and welfare stakeholders, and interested community members are offered numerous related educational resources and continuing education opportunities. To learn more about these, visit our engagement site and the Canine Welfare Science website. Like you, we love dogs. We want to support good breeders and end “puppy mills.” Canine Care Certified helps breeders to set high standards for welfare, and helps you to be sure that your pup came from a kennel where dogs are treated well.

Canine Care Certified Breeders by State

The Canine Care Certified program is administered by Purdue University.

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