On July 22, the American Kennel Club announced the launch of its new program, Bred with H.E.A.R.T. (Health, Education, Accountability, Responsibility and Tradition)
Modeled after the successful Breeder of Merit program, Bred with H.E.A.R.T. is a new way to engage, encourage and recognize all breeders who meet specific health testing standards and who participate in continuing education.
The health testing requirements for each breed are based on the recommendations of the respective Parent Club as documented in their Code of Ethics or in the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals’ Canine Health Information Center (CHIC).
“This program is great because it not only requires participants to health test their breeding stock, it provides resources and education which will benefit all breeders, from beginners to experts,” says Susan LaCroix Hamil, Chair of the AKC Delegate Canine Health Committee.
The AKC has partnered with famed dog author and Breeding Expert Claudia Waller Orlandi, Ph.D, to make her books, ABC’s of Dog Breeding and Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement, available in course format on the AKC’s website. Orlandi has been an AKC Breeder of the Year and is a judge and former chairman of the Breeders/Judges Education Committee for the Bassett Hound Club of America. She also shares her vast knowledge on dog breeding at seminars and symposiums held around the world.
“Knowledge is power in all phases of our lives,” Orlandi said. “The more a breeder knows about the science of breeding healthy dogs, the more they can control canine genetic diseases in their breeding programs.”
Breeders can study the material in both books at no cost on the breeder education web pages and can opt to be tested on the material and receive a certificate upon passing the examinations. The site will also include other educational materials to help educate all types of breeders.
“Responsible breeders are always striving to improve their knowledge and the effectiveness of their breeding programs, but it can be difficult to find convenient educational opportunities on the latest breeding best practices,” said Mark Dunn, VP, Registration & Customer Development, AKC. “Bred with H.E.A.R.T. will help improve the education and capability of all breeders and ensure the happiness and health of all purebred dogs.”
In order to participate in the Bred with H.E.A.R.T. program, breeders must meet the following criteria:
- Have registered at least one AKC litter within the last 5 years
- Currently be in good standing with the AKC
- Certify that applicable health screens are performed on their breeding stock as recommended by the respective AKC Parent Club and be prepared to supply proof of such compliance upon request
- Agree to comply with the AKC Care and Conditions Policy, including inspection(s) by the American Kennel Club or its duly authorized representative
- Agree to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the ownership and maintenance of dogs
- Agree to complete AKC-approved and/or AKC-provided continuing breeder education courses annually
- Complete the online application process and pay an annual fee of $25 per breed
For more information on Bred With H.E.A.R.T., please visit the program’s page here.
This information was slightly adapted from a press release from the AKC.