PuppySpot's Breeder Standard Pillars
PuppySpot has set a new industry benchmark with proprietary standards that go significantly above and
beyond federal and state regulations. We've outlined below the categories we look at as well as just
a few examples of protocols and requirements within our robust, comprehensive standards manual. Learn More >
Scientific Advisory Board
PuppySpot's Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of national experts in veterinary medicine, animal
sciences and dog welfare, continuously enhances PuppySpot's industry-leading standards with
substantive, in-depth, science-based standards of practice for the company and its breeder partners.
Learn More >
Breeder Vetting & Review
PuppySpot uses an exclusive, data-driven system to evaluate tens of thousands of breeders across the
nation, thoroughly screening them to create an exclusive network of breeders committed to the humane
treatment of all dogs. Learn More >
PuppySpot's Breeder Standard Pillars
PuppySpot has set a new industry benchmark with proprietary standards that go significantly above
and beyond federal and state regulations. We've outlined below the categories we look at as well as
just a few examples of protocols and requirements within our robust, comprehensive standards manual.
We ask that a breeder maintain a formal relationship with an attending veterinarian who is
USDA-accredited, maintain a Program of Veterinary Care (a PVC) and provide details on the visit
frequency and activities of attending veterinarians. The health and wellness of every puppy is
paramount in everything we do and that's why we scrutinize the reporting and addressing of any
issues, health and behavior assessments, grooming, health records and quarantine.
Some examples of our veterinary care standards include:
A breeder must have a written Program of Veterinary Care (PVC) developed in consultation with,
and certified by his/her attending veterinarian who is licensed by the state where the
veterinarian works and accredited by the USDA.
The PVC should include the breeder's plans to address both animal health and animal welfare
concerns. Specifically, a valid PVC should include descriptions and implementation details
regarding: routine and preventative care; parasite prevention, detection and elimination; a
breeding plan; a vaccination schedule; an examination schedule and an exercise plan.
Dogs must be free from any genetic disease or condition that would be a concern for breeding
when considering the breeding animals' health, their puppies' health or the health of the breed.
A breeder should seek immediate follow-up with the attending veterinarian for any issues that do
not appear to be responding to a prescribed treatment. Any issues that require a revisit by the
attending veterinarian shall be addressed within the time period specified by the attending
veterinarian to ensure such issues have been resolved.
Each dog must have its overall health and behavior assessed daily by trained staff.
Dogs must be afforded regular grooming and hygiene procedures to ensure their health and
Each facility must have a separate quarantine area to isolate newly-acquired dogs and dogs that
are suspected of having a contagious disease. Breeders should consult with their attending
veterinarians to ensure that the quarantine facility is appropriate to prevent the spread of
Humane Handling and Animal Care
Caring for puppies and their parents on a daily basis is about more than just government standards
and health evaluations, and we closely manage breeders' standards for everything from food and water
to socialization, exercise and enrichment. Breeders are required to regularly provide healthy, clean
food and water in safe containers that are sanitized appropriately. It also outlines that we expect
breeders to consider the behavioral needs of their dogs and puppies by providing socialization,
human interaction and desensitization.
Some examples of our humane handling and animal care standards include:
Dogs must have access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times as well as recognized,
commercially-available food appropriate for the size, age and breed of the dogs and provided at
appropriate intervals to maintain a healthy weight. When questions arise as to the nutritional
value of any food, breeders should consult their attending veterinarian.
All dogs must have a daily opportunity to play and exercise, either through unfettered access to
an outdoor run or in accordance with an exercise plan in consult with attending veterinarian.
This plan should include details regarding how both the adult dogs and puppies are exercised,
the length of time for exercise, any opportunity for interaction with other animals and the
exhibition of positive species-specific behaviors, and exceptions for whelping/nursing females
and young littermates.
All dogs must be provided with daily positive human contact and socialization beyond the normal
feeding and cleaning routine.
Primary enclosures and exercise areas must effectively utilize at least one dog-safe enrichment
(examples may include toys, ramps or ponds).
The living spaces for every dog must meet minimum space requirements, structural soundness and usage
of preferred, safe, eco-friendly materials. This includes aesthetics, ventilation, temperatures,
noise, outdoor facilities, flooring, lighting, bedding, cleaning, pest control and storage. It
covers the security and safety of fences and requires that breeders maintain fully functional
utilities such as water, power/gas, drains and smoke/monoxide detectors.
Some examples of our housing standards include:
The primary enclosure must be large enough so the dog(s) can sit, stand, lie down, and turn
around comfortably with no overcrowding or physical constraints. It must also permit normal
postural adjustments, include a solid resting place appropriate for the breed(s) being housed
and provide space for the dogs to retreat to a separate area if necessary.
All kennels utilized by the breeder must have and maintain fully functional utility services,
including electric power (unless prohibited by religious customs), gas, drinking water and an
appropriate wastewater disposal system.
Breeders should have a contingency plan for responding to emergencies and natural disasters
(e.g., flooding, tornados, hurricanes, etc.), including plans for evacuating the animals in an
expeditious, humane and safe manner.
Temperature and humidity levels must be controlled to range acceptable for the breed, age and
health status of the animals, in consultation with attending veterinarian.
Outdoor facilities must provide shade, protection and shelter from cold, heat and other
All housing facilities must be free from standing water, debris and odor; cleaned daily; and
regularly sanitized in consultation with the attending veterinarian.
Training of Staff
We require every breeder to conduct appropriate and comprehensive training, to maintain adequate
staffing level to maintain regular and quality care for every puppy and parent, and staff
supervision that gets into the tiniest of details (such as the standards for staff washrooms).
Some examples of our training standards include:
- A sufficient number of trained staff must be provided to maintain appropriate levels of care for
the number of dogs kept.
- Staff should be screened and selected for their qualifications, ensuring their suitability for
the tasks assigned and demeanor to work with or around animals.
As part of our commitment to addressing every possible aspect of animal welfare, our standards also
address transportation regulations and PuppySpot's travel services working directly with major
airlines and ground transporters to book safe and comfortable transport.
Some examples of our transportation standards include:
- PuppySpot coordinates transportation services in compliance with applicable federal, state, and
- Breeders who take personal responsibility in arranging transportation of their puppies either by
land or air must be knowledgeable of, and ensure compliance with, all applicable federal, state
and local regulations.
Scientific Advisory Board
The PuppySpot Scientific Advisory Board's mandate is to continuously enhance PuppySpot's
industry-leading standards with substantive, in-depth, science-based standards of practice for the
company and its thousands of breeder partners. The Board leveraged PuppySpot's more than a decade of
experience of placing more than 150,000 puppies, and it took nearly an additional year's worth of
intensive research, outreach and coordination with leaders in the public, private, veterinary and
academic sectors to develop the right team, create a structure and establish a path forward. The
Board members' expertise spans fields relevant to ensuring the physical, emotional and long-term
health of breeding dogs and their puppies placed through PuppySpot's exclusive network of
The Board is committed to constantly improving, refining and clarifying our standards to ensure they
guarantee animal welfare. Using their wide range of professional expertise, the Board members
scrutinize PuppySpot's requirements to ensure the physical and psychological health of all dogs in
our exclusive network. Through PuppySpot's ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of dogs, utilizing
the Board, we are raising the bar for canine welfare together.
Meet the PuppySpot Scientific Advisory Board
PuppySpot is honored to have the assistance and expertise of its Chairman and current Board
Breeder Vetting & Review
Of the nine pillars of standards governing PuppySpot's breeders, three of those categories are
dedicated solely to breeder vetting. Our deep focus and attention to detail in this area help to
ensure we maintain the most exclusive network of the nation's most responsible breeders.
There is a formal process for breeder application that requires paperwork, interviews, provision of
living environment photos or videos and independent verification of data to ensure a breeder's high
level of experience through pre-screening and ongoing review of ownership, operational history,
field visits, criminal background checks, facility review, compliance evaluation, government and
humanitarian data base review and veterinarian information.
A few examples of our breeder criteria standards include:
Must have a minimum of 1.5 years of experience in canine breeding and a minimum of two litters
before being permitted to join our network.
Must have an ongoing, formal relationship with an attending veterinarian and adhere to current
written Program of Veterinary Care (a so-called, “PVC”).
Must send copies of all State and Federal inspection reports to PuppySpot.
Must send updated facility photographs to PuppySpot at least once a year, and send updated
photos to PuppySpot whenever modifications are made.
Prescreening of Breeders
PuppySpot is licensed and inspected by the USDA. While we do not breed dogs ourselves, we have
identified and work with a select network of breeders nationwide. Each of these breeder partners is
thoroughly screened prior to receiving authorization to join the PuppySpot network.
A few examples of our breeder screening standards include:
- A background check of each breeder's history, including a review of available public records,
operational history records, and any contact the breeder has had with local, state and federal
animal control agencies.
- A review of breeder facilities and practices to ensure that each breeder provides the best care
for the adult dogs and puppies, including a comprehensive, standardized interview conducted
either by phone or in person and an evaluation to determine if the breeder is in compliance with
- A comprehensive set of photos and/or video documenting all physical aspects of a breeder's
operation including but not limited to housing facilities, storage facilities, cleaning methods
and exercise/socialization facilities must be sent to PuppySpot.
Adherence to Regulations
To ensure that a breeder is knowledgeable of and in compliance with all licensing requirements at
every level and uses the USDA Animal Care Blue Book and USDA licensing requirements as key reference
points for establishing best practices, the PuppySpot Scientific Advisory Board set standards that
are above and beyond anything set by the government.
A few examples of our standards related to the adherence of regulations include:
- A breeder must be knowledgeable of and in compliance with all federal, state and local licensing
requirements. A copy of regulations is available on the USDA website.
- A breeder that is a licensed veterinarian cannot certify his or her own facilities or the health
of the breeder's own dogs.
- PuppySpot may suspend its association with any breeder at any time and will automatically do so
in the case of any breeder found with either one critical, or three noncritical violations of
animal welfare regulations in any 24-month period.