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How to Become a Certified Dog Breeder

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Sunday 12 August 2018
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
How to Become a Certified Dog Breeder
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Although breeders seek ways to become certified dog breeders, there are not many buyers that value dog breeding certifications. Indeed, prospective buyers are more interested in a dog’s pedigree and qualities, than keen on how knowledgeable the breeder is. Whether this is a good thing or not is up for heated debates.

The truth is, the most important part of a certificate is not the certification itself, but rather the knowledge absorbed during the cursus. Most expert breeders have no formal qualifications. They have learned over the years, learned from unsuccessful breedings, and perfected their craft by networking with fellow breeders and fanciers. Quality breeders read a lot, too.

Not a single said certificate is required to be an expert breeder! However, the knowledge behind it is an absolute necessity if you want to produce quality litters of puppies consistently.

Should I Become a Certified Dog Breeder?

Becoming a certified dog breeder entails properly equipping yourself with the right information. Indeed, you want your groundwork to help you achieve a level of success that will keep your kennel name running for the long haul. Many variables that go into the breeding process need to be considered. Errors need to be fixed, and the applicable paperwork needs to be duly refined. Conditional exigencies such as kennel club marketplace, registered kennel names, litter registration, etc., are only a few of the essentials that give credence to a dog breeder’s responsibilities. More than knowing how to become a certified dog breeder is examining whether you should.

This bears the question of whether or not the said-person who wants to become a certified dog breeder is fit for the bill, so to speak. Do you have the qualities that make up a successful dog breeder? Consequently, after analyzing the initial facets, one must determine the responsibilities involved in the process of getting accurately certified. This is the difference between one who is interested in breeding and one who actually holds a dog breeding certification.

In essence, as any major kennel club would advise, a breeder must avoid the mistakes that are commonly referred to as “kennel blindness“. Know your dogs and expound on how a breeding business operates. Form an overall understanding of the intimate aspects of breeding and the dogs. Enough to provide relevant information for your customers.


Becoming a certified dog breeder is established on the premises of both ethics and morality, which are quite revered obligations. The entire goal of a breeding program’s certification is primarily to raise the standards of the dogs in care. Currently, there is no institution available which delivers education in the formal fashion of traditional systems for official certification. However, there are numerous entities that offer dog breeding courses for profit, or non-profit, means. These individual organizations provide dog breeders the certified documentation that they would normally obtain from an educational institution without the interest of governmental parties involved.

Certification Has No Real Authority

Certificates are merely a piece of paper (or PDF) that, in summation, just shows that said person has taken a relevant course and completed it to the end. A breeder must keep in mind that the actual certification one attains through these various individual means does not possess any real power or authority, as one might presumably imagine. Due to these courses not having any outside governmental influence, or not being readily overseen by a higher authority, such certification does not offer clues in respect to how selective the process actually was. The information available which pertains to actual canine breeding can be found online so paying for it is not a necessity.

With that being said, it will always remain an issue in which one should obtain certification for basic show and use it to its advantage in the trade. In taking this route, what actually does affect the overall prominence of the breeder is the institution of the dog breeder certification itself. Therefore, the only facet one must consider when choosing to pay for a dog breeding course and getting officially “certified” is really how specialized, reputable, and trusted the platform delivering it is. These highly qualified programs can prove to be tremendous guides to the breeder and offer ample support in the process.

What Are the Best Dog Breeding Certifications?

Typically, a simple search will result in numerous dog breeding certification courses in various places, whether it is online, local, or out of state. However, as mentioned, it is important you obtain your certification from a trusted, reputable source. The best breeding certifications that are deemed worthwhile and have proven their repute are listed here for your benefit.

However, as these are fine, the dog breeding educational certificates matter very little to customers as they clearly prefer to give more importance to purebred registration forms rather than course certificates. At best, these breeding certification courses provide the user with valuable information which will undoubtedly prepare the breeder for any challenges ahead.

dog breeding master course
Our very own course for dog breeders; with a digital certificate once you have proven yourself!

Dog Breeding Master Course

The Dog Breeding Master Course is the official course offered by Breeding Business. This course is aimed to focus on correcting the common mistakes that many dog breeders tend to make and how to avoid common bad practices. This course will teach the basics of responsible dog breeding and increase one’s knowledge in a substantial and ambitious breeding program. This master course offers 45+ advanced comprehensive lessons broken down into 6 modules. Its sole focus is to provide the most comprising, in-depth dog breeder training for any level. These include advanced canine genetics, pedigree analysis, anatomy, and structures. Much more is being offered.

The modules consist of fundamentals (ethics, bloodlines), anatomy, genetics, program (pedigree, linebreeding), pregnancy, and postnatal, respectively. These offer all the necessary practical components any certified breeder should expect in a course and avoids the common labored costs and time spent on personal research. With a price of $77, Breeding Business offers a $20 off bonus with a checkout code, along with a 24-hour money-back guarantee.

Canine Care Certified

The Center for Canine Welfare provides course services for dog breeding certification with the sole objective of providing optimum standards for all breeders with ethics in mind. Breeders for certification consideration are asked to meet the Canine Care standard criteria. They must participate in audits, such as third parties, and be fully recognized by an audit authority. They must also allow access to their operations including, but not limited to, live streaming. Annual renewal of certification is also to be expected, or every second year (no less).

[pullquote-right]A certification, in the long run, does not hold the same value it does when compared to a breeder who has years and years of practical experience and has gone the route of personal study on his own accord.[/pullquote-right]

Founded by Dr. Candace Croney, Ph.D. at the Center for Animal Welfare Science, The Canine Care is intended to provide strict standards for the dog breeding organization, rather than guidance. These standards are marked and approved by leading veterinarians and animal science experts and focus on the breeder’s handling and re-homing of dogs. Their Five Pillars of Care hones these standards with Physical Health, Behavioral Health, Environment, Breeding Life and Retirement, and Caretaker Expectations, respectively. In terms of payment, breeders are asked to pay an initial deposit upon application with the total of the entire annual certification fee averaging out to $1,500.

AKC Breeder College

The American Kennel Club is noted for establishing their own coursework for dog breeder certification through their college. A wide range of courses is provided through the AKC Breeder College ranging from the ABC’s in anatomy, breeding systems, genetic defects, pedigree, kennel blindness, nutrition, and medical. Everything a dog breeder must know and master is provided within these ranges. The courses are free to take for breeders to enrich their business and enhance their comprehension, but for each category, an optional exam is available for certification and for a fee of $25 certification is obtained.

One such course of this program includes the breeding basics providing the basic fundamentals of breeding and responsible practices that may assist as an introductory source for new breeders. In addition to the vast array of learning tools, AKC Breeder College concentrates an entire course on just on the whelping process and the possible medical conditions that may arise. This information is proven to be vitally imperative for breeders to avoid any potential pitfalls and complications. The podcast is demonstrated by a joint collaboration of the AKC and Dr. Cindy O’Conner. Students are asked to download the appropriate study guide for the course in question and upon taking the accompanying exam, 2 ed credits are issued. A 70% score or higher is needed to pass and the certification is then mailed to the student.

How to Become a Certified Dog Breeder

By this point, a prospective breeder is well aware of the required work that goes into becoming a certified dog breeder. Before actually being certified, a dog breeder must already possess a substantial amount of understanding of how to breed dogs, how to run a kennel, and what goes into it. This is actually more important than the certification itself, in fact. A lot of money, effort, and time will need to be invested. A breeder needs to buy dogs and attend various events and shows for their dog’s participation. Overall, patience is key. Knowing how to pick your dogs is crucial as it serves as the starting point. This, of course, is what breeders gain with experience and self-study over the years because every dog breeder needs a point to start from. From there, a dog breeder will eventually have to make the decision to become officially certified and therefore, make the decision as to where he will inherit said documentation.


Being an official, standardized certified dog breeder certainly does have its perks, no doubt. It has the capability of bringing you higher-paying prospects. It gives the breeder a respected standing in the dog breeding community. Therefore, the actual ownership of holding a breeding certificate can, and most often do, assist in furthering a breeder’s career and reputation.

A certification, in the long run, does not hold the same value it does when compared to a breeder who has years and years of practical experience and has gone the route of personal study on his own accord. One must always remember experience outweighs any piece of paper when it comes to breeding dogs. Having said that, becoming certified is more for the personal gain and “personal” achievement of the individual. In other words, it’s an individual assessment, rather than a professional one, which works to enhance the breeder’s personal feelings of accomplishment.

More often than not, the most knowledgeable breeders did not attain their current status or broaden their understanding of the breeding field due to their certificates, in fact, most do not even have one. You can be an expert dog breeder without having taken any relevant course and received any type of certification, especially when the information contained in these courses are readily available at your fingertips, for free! Breeding Business serves as an acclaimed guiding post, giving all breeders the groundwork to build their kennel. You can find any type of subject on dogs and dog breeding on the website alone without having to take an exam, or pay a single penny.

Nonetheless, a certification is great to show off, whether it’s for personal show or more professionally. If a breeder desires to get certified it comes down to the basics of learning, absorbing the knowledge learned in a course, and most importantly, putting it all into practical means. Undoubtedly, many concepts a breeder will ordinarily come across with these certification programs are the complexity of the subjects. Some may not even seem relevant to dogs, yet are necessary, such as genetics, hormonal systems, etc. As mentioned, this information will prove to be invaluable in the long run. Therefore, in order to be certified, you will have to be able to retain this information, pass the exam to prove what you’ve learned, and earn that official title that many breeders strive for, Certified Dog Breeder.

Finally, once you have passed your course and have been certified, go out and put it to valuable use. Your aim is to use this certificate as a mouthpiece to your knowledge in the field. Breeders, at this point, are encouraged to show off their certification such as on your own social media channels and any other platform. This is important. This is when a breeder should immerse himself in the dog world where all forms of professional networking are active to accommodate his new certification.

3 comments on “How to Become a Certified Dog Breeder”

  1. Cristina Mendez

    Information on becoming a certified for dog breeding

  2. Bonginkosi Masuku

    I will love to make a certificate for dog breeding so

  3. Mary McCollum

    I want to become a certified breeder because I love my Shih Tzu and Chihuahuas and am interested in learning about all breeds

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