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The PuppySpot Difference:
We Work with Only the Highest Quality, Most Responsible Breeders in the Country

Less than 10 percent of the breeder partners who enter the company's review process are accepted into the network.

  • PuppySpot spends millions of dollars on a rigorous, proprietary screening and compliance program regarding our breeder network.
  • PuppySpot terminates breeders who violate or do not comply with our standards.
  • PuppySpot's enhanced screening has more than 100 points of emphasis for every puppy and its parents, and we have more than 50 employees dedicated to breeder compliance.

Breeder Standard Pillars

PuppySpot's proprietary standards go significantly above and beyond federal and state regulations. Check out some of the protocols and requirements within our comprehensive standards manual.

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Scientific Advisory Board

PuppySpot's Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of experts in veterinary medicine, animal sciences and dog welfare, enhances PuppySpot's standards with substantive, science-based standards of practice.

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Breeder Vetting & Review

PuppySpot uses a data-driven system to evaluate tens of thousands of breeders across the nation, thoroughly screening them to create an exclusive network of breeder partners committed to dog welfare.

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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.

Veterinary Care

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 welfare.
  • 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 communicable diseases.

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 elements.
  • 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 local regulations.
  • 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 tens of thousands of breeder partners. The Board members' expertise spans fields relevant to ensuring the physical, emotional and long-term health of breeding dogs and puppies placed through PuppySpot's exclusive network of responsible breeders.

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 members:

John J. Goldberg

PuppySpot Scientific Advisory Board
Former Sr. Science Advisor, US House of Representatives (22 years)

Dr. John J. Goldberg PhD, is the founder of Science Based Strategies, a Washington, DC based food, agriculture and environmental policy consulting firm, and Partner at The Normandy Group, LLC, a government relations firm. Prior to his move to the private sector, Dr. Goldberg served 22 years as Senior Scientist on the House Committee on Agriculture in the United States Congress. In this role, Dr. Goldberg was the principal policy advisor to seven Chairmen and was responsible for numerous titles and subtitles of the last four farm bills. Dr. Goldberg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Rutgers University, and a Master of Science and Doctorate in Animal and Food Sciences, and Microbiology from the University of Vermont.

Prof. Raymond Anthony

PhD, University of Alaska Anchorage
Prof. of Philosophy, Animal and Food Ethics

Dr. Raymond Anthony, PhD, of the University of Alaska Anchorage is a Professor of Philosophy, specializing in environmental, food, animal and agricultural ethics. Dr. Anthony also serves as Ethics Advisor for the American Veterinary Medical Association's Animal Welfare Committee and Panels on Euthanasia, Humane Slaughter and Depopulation. Based in Alaska, he has a PhD and master's degree from Purdue University, and a bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy from Millikin University.

Dr. Ron DeHaven

DVM, DeHaven Veterinary Solutions,
Former President and CEO, AVMA
Former Administrator, APHIS, USDA

Dr. Ron DeHaven, DVM and President of DeHaven Veterinary Solutions, is the top official at the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), he was responsible for administering the Animal Welfare Act, protecting and promoting American agriculture, and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. Based in Maryland, Dr. DeHaven received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Purdue University, and has a master's degree in business administration from Millsaps College.

Dr. Kimberly Woodruff

DVM, Assistant Professor Mississippi State University Shelter Medicine

Kimberly Woodruff, DVM, is a graduate of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine with a Master’s degree in Veterinary Science. In 2012, she joined the MSU-CVM faculty as a clinical instructor in Shelter Medicine. She became an assistant clinical professor in 2014 and assumed the position as director of the MSU-CVM shelter medicine program in 2015. She was board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2016 and board certified in Veterinary Epidemiology in 2017. Most recently, Dr. Woodruff and her colleagues completed large scale censuses concerning animal shelters and the fate of dogs entering shelters in the United States.

Dr. Aaron Wise

DVM, East Holmes Veterinary Clinic

Based in Ohio, Dr. Aaron Wise graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and has a master's degree in Animal Sciences. Dr. Wise studied under Dr. Joe Hogan and Dr. Larry Smith with a focus on mastitis research. He has also contributed to studies on canine disease.

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 PuppySpot's Standards.
  • 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.