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What you should know

  • Canine Care Certified is wholly administered by the Center for Canine Welfare (CCW), a newly formed national non-profit organization.
  • The certification program is based on standards developed and led by Dr. Candace Croney, Ph.D. at the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science in 2013.
  • Breeder audits are conducted by Validus, an independent, third-party organization with specific expertise and direct experience in animal welfare audits.
  • The Center for Canine Welfare is currently accepting applications for certification. Breeders wishing to apply can register here to create a unique log-in to access the online portal.
  • Breeders without computer access may delegate a breeder liaison to assist them with the application process. To apply to become a breeder liaison, please email Please note: only participating breeders will receive the full Standards of Care.
  • Validus has trained several auditors to evaluate breeders working to implement the standards of care. Additional auditors are needed; those interested are asked to email
  • There is no predetermined schedule for audits, nor will any individual organization’s breeders be prioritized for audit.
  • Because the standards are rigorous, every breeder may not receive certification following their first audit. The Center seeks to support all breeders committed to following the voluntary Standards of Care, and will work with breeders on an improvement plan as needed.
  • The Center values transparency while recognizing the proprietary nature of the science-based research (publication date: TBD). A summary of the standards is available on Breeders who are interested in becoming Canine Care Certified have the option to view the complete Standards of Care and may choose not to move forward with certification if they so desire following this review. If that is the case, the deposit will be refunded to the breeder, less the administration cost.
  • Breeders may not be “grandfathered” into the program. Breeders may only be designated as Canine Care Certified if they have successfully completed a Canine Care Certified audit.
  • While the pet industry has provided essential financial support to the research and to the introduction of the program, no pet organizations were involved in the development of the standards or engaged in the Canine Care Certified audit or certification process for breeders.
  • Certified breeders must provide consumers and industry distributors/retailers the required Canine Care Certified documentation with each dog, and register the dogs’ microchip numbers with CCW by emailing (Coming soon: online microchip database for submissions)
  • Breeders may not use the Canine Care Certified name or logo until they have successfully passed the program audit.