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About the Center for Canine Welfare

The Center for Canine Welfare (CCW) is a District of Columbia non-profit corporation which was established in 2016 specifically to:

  • Improve the welfare and well-being of breeder dogs by sponsoring a nationwide, voluntary program that ensures the health, well-being and quality of life of dogs in the care of breeders;
  • Promote science-based standards and best management practices developed by Candace Croney, PhD, Director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University;
  • Educate dog breeders on the importance of adhering to such standards and practices to ensure humane care and well-being of dogs in their care;
  • Interact with academic institutions, governmental bodies and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to canine welfare to facilitate the dissemination of the Center’s voluntary standards promoting breeder and kennel certification protocols that demonstrate conformance with the Center’s published standards and best management practices;
  • Sponsor and facilitate an audit/certification process by an independent third-party company experienced in conducting certification programs ensuring conformance with the Center’s voluntary standards and best management practices; and
  • Facilitate a periodic review of the standards to ensure that they reflect the most current state of the science and update the standards following consultation with the Center’s Scientific Advisory Committee and its Breeder Advisory Committee.

Certification Program

To achieve these goals and objectives, the Center sponsors a breeder certification program — Canine Care Certified®. This is the only program that measures the physical health and well-being of dogs and puppies as well as evaluates the behavioral and overall quality of life for dogs raised by breeders who have adopted the standards.

Canine Care Certified® certification provides independent verification that participating breeders meet or exceed the welfare standards set forth by the Center. Certified breeders meeting these standards may use the Canine Care Certified® logo to show that they have successfully implemented and met the program standards. A certified breeder may authorize the use of the logo by their customers only to indicate that the certified breeder conforms to the CCW standards. The CCW certification program is a voluntary, user-fee-based service.

CCW controls the ownership, use and display of its certification mark Canine Care Certified® through the Certification Mark License Agreement. The Certification Mark License Agreement defines and documents CCW’s legal rights to deal with incorrect references to the certification system or the misleading use of licenses, certificates or marks found in advertisements including a requirement for breeders to supply CCW with samples of the breeder’s advertising, or promotional materials bearing the CCW mark upon CCW’s request.


The Center is a non-membership organization that is managed by a Board of Trustees whose role is to administer the Center in a manner that is nondiscriminatory. The initial Board consists of three members who have volunteered their time to assist in launching the program. It is anticipated that the Board will be expanded to include Trustees primarily from academia.


CCW is partially funding by fees generated from the Canine Care Certified® program. The initial operations involving the creation of the Center and the inauguration of the Canine Care Certified® program were supported by a generous grant from the World Pet Association. To expand the program, it is anticipated that the Center will receive contributions from individuals, other non-profit organizations and corporate sponsorships supporting CCW’s mission. At this time, contributors, donors and corporate sponsors are not eligible to serve as a Trustee to ensure independence from any sector.