About the Gold Standard Breeder Program

Since the beginning, our organization has strived to help improve the standard of puppies bought through an online platform. When done irresponsibly, dog breeding can cause unnecessary suffering for the mother and father dogs, the puppies, and the families that make those dogs a part of their family.

At Greenfield Puppies, we have always believed that the difference between a good and bad breeder cannot be determined solely by how many dogs they sell, but is very much determined by the life they provide for all of the dogs in their care.

With this in mind, the Greenfield Puppies Gold Standard Breeder Program is meant to provide resources to further help elevate the care of dogs and puppies and to recognize the breeders that go above and beyond for their dogs.

Why Did It Take So Long to Develop The Program?

12 years is a long time. Was it really this hard? It can be.

Above-Average Quality Standards And Building Relationships Take Time

There are obstacles to overcome, details to work out, processes and standards to develop, relationships to build, and more to ensure the quality and integrity of a program that goes beyond the current standard like this. We had to make sure the resources, standards, and guidelines were in place to ensure that quality standards were defined, could be verified, and could be trusted.

Elevated Quality Standards Need To Be Verifiable

When it comes to dog breeding, breeders cannot always be categorized simply into good vs bad just because they are a dog breeder. There are multiple factors to evaluate and it can be a spectrum with some learning and room for improvement in the middle.

Reputable Breeding Practices And Care For Dogs

There are good breeders who know what they are doing, take care of their dogs, and are models for what a healthy, caring, and quality breeding program should look like. There are some breeders that are doing a good job and take good care of their dogs, but could use some guidance to be even better.

No Care Or Not Enough Care For Dogs

Then, there are those towards the other end that could be doing better, but don’t want to change or improve even though it would be better for their dogs. And, there are puppy mills run by people who treat their animals as profitable commodities and not as living beings deserving of love and care.

In some ways, this industry can be very similar to a black market. There are bad actors who are doing things that are deemed illegal by the powers that be and who operate in the shadows; out of the public eye.

Often, these people do not have their dogs’ best interests at heart or in mind and will try to sell their puppies to pet stores or dealers to avoid dealing with the customer directly because of the questions they will be asked or the inconvenience.

Quality Care For Dogs And Puppies Is The Goal

Breeders that don’t take care of their dogs are the types of breeders that are not permitted to advertise on Greenfield Puppies. As technology and our quality control processes evolved over the years, it has gotten easier and more efficient to weed out bad actors.

It’s one thing to be able to have standard quality controls that filter out most bad actors according to current law and average standards. But, if we were going to put our name on a program that recognizes above-average, high-quality, above-and-beyond standards, we had to make sure the expectations communicated and required aligned with those elevated standards and that processes we’re putting in place accurately and consistently applied to them.

Identifying Gold Standard Breeders

Although there are bad breeders in the industry, there are also plenty of genuine, caring breeders that love their dogs, take pride in their breeding practices, and want to make sure their puppies are going to great homes.

These are the breeders whose days are made whole partly by the joy they can bring into your life by providing you with a beloved furry family member. You know the breeders we’re talking about? There are qualities to look for in a great breeder, and these breeders go above and beyond.

You can tell you’re in their presence when you step out of your car and onto their property. Often, they greet you with a warm smile, a welcoming conversation, and genuine care and concern for the well-being of your puppy.

These are the breeders that we have spent the last 12 years trying to build relationships with. These are the breeders producing Gold Standard puppies and are the breeders worthy of the Greenfield Puppies Gold Standard Breeder Program.

What Is A Gold Standard Breeder?

So, what is a Gold Standard Breeder? It’s someone interested in providing you with as much information as possible so you can make an educated buying decision on the puppy you choose.

Every Gold Standard Breeder will:

  1. Have a site visit by a Greenfield Representative at least once yearly to evaluate the breeding environment.
  2. Maintain records of up-to-date shots for all mother and father dogs on site.
  3. Have a program or plan in place to rehome all retired breeding males and females if not kept as family pets.
  4. Have a completed Breeder Profile with photos, any related achievements, and customer reviews.
  5. Provide an Extended Genetic Health Guarantee (at least 6 months).

gold standard breeder program paw pads of accountability

FAQs About The Gold Standard Program

What Is A Non-Gold Standard Breeder?

The difference between a Standard and Gold Standard breeder is simple. A non-Gold Standard breeder can be a great breeder. They just still need to choose to be certified and meet the standard. A Gold Standard breeder is certified and goes above and beyond the current standard.

So You’re Saying That Gold Standard Breeders Are Definitely Not Puppy Mills?

At Greenfield Puppies, dog breeders are evaluated by their facilities, practices, and how well they care for their dogs and puppies. A breeder is not a “puppy mill” just because they breed dogs or profit from breeding dogs.

Breeders running puppy mills do not take care of their dogs, and we do not support that.

We support breeders who follow reputable breeding guidelines and provide good quality of life for all dogs in their care. We are saying that, by Greenfield Puppies’ definition of a puppy mill, Gold Standard Breeders are not puppy mills.

Why Don’t You Have a No Puppy Mill Guarantee?

Dog breeding is a controversial topic and there are a lot of opinions. There are laws and regulations in place for dog breeders, so it’s straightforward when it comes to determining whether something specific is legal vs illegal. When it comes to puppy mills, the public discourse is not as clear.

What is the definition of a puppy mill? It depends on who you ask and often seems like a matter of opinion. We can all agree that neglect is animal abuse and that dogs and puppies are living beings that deserve love and care.

But, what about the dog breeding side of it? Some people will qualify any intentional dog breeding as a puppy mill. Some people will say that a puppy mill is any organization or any breeder that advertises more than one breed of dog.

Some may say that a puppy mill is any breeder that advertises dogs that are not fully genetically tested, even though we don’t even require that of parents having children. Some may say that a puppy mill is an operation where the breeders care more for the profit of their business than the care of the animals. They may also say that any breeder that cares about their profits is a puppy mill.

There are so many opinions. How can organizations make no puppy mill guarantees if a standardized, widely-accepted definition really doesn’t exist anywhere? If they’re offering a guarantee, how are they defining a puppy mill? By what standards are they evaluating whether a breeding practice could be considered a puppy mill? How are they evaluating to know they are actually delivering on that promise?

Without clear definitions and standards in place, how can you guarantee the feelings and opinions of another person match your own? You can’t. It is simply open to interpretation.

What Is Greenfield Puppies’ Definition Of A Puppy Mill?

It’s actually very simple. The inhumane and irresponsible treatment of dogs would be our definition of a puppy mill. Another definition given by The Veterinary Medical Association of the Humane Society of the United States defines the main characteristics of a puppy mill as:

“Emphasis on quantity over quality, indiscriminate breeding, continuous confinement, lack of human contact and environmental enrichment, poor husbandry, and minimal to no veterinary care.”

Our Gold Standard program is designed to give you an EXTRA layer of consumer protection against supporting puppy mills. While there is no 100% way to assure people are always taking good care of the animals they raise, this is another effort to improve the lives of companion animals as a whole.

If I Buy A Puppy From A Gold Standard Breeder, Does That Mean Greenfield Puppies Is Responsible For The Puppy As Well?

No, it means that these breeders are taking some additional steps to put your mind at ease as a consumer. Greenfield Puppies is only putting the Gold Standard Breeder Program out there for them to achieve that higher level.