USDA Breeders have strict regulations to follow from several different governing bodies. All USDA Breeders are Licensed and Inspected with the United States Department of Agriculture. These breeders will hold a Class A License. These USDA Breeders will generally also be Licensed and Inspected with their own State Agriculture Department.
What exactly is a USDA Licensed Breeder? USDA is short for the United States Department of Agriculture. They are a branch of the federal government. They are in charge of many serious things that we take for granted. They are responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food. Basically, they are in charge of regulating farms that grow crops and farms that raise animals, such as Dairy farms. They are responsible for livestock raised for meat and the entire process it goes through to our kitchen tables. USDA oversees and regulates many things in our daily lives, including dogs in USDA licensed Kennels or raised in the homes of USDA licensed breeders.
As of 2015 there were 1581 licensed USDA breeders, including both class A (Breeder) and B (Breeder/Distributer) licenses. USDA breeders are required to have regular, unannounced inspections, and can receive violations for things as simple as cobwebs, grass that has grown too high, and even small amounts of rust on fencing. USDA breeders are required to have exercise and enrichment programs which breeders call a “turn out yard”. A turn out yard is a fenced in area for the dogs to run and play, just like your backyard. The Breeder must maintain detailed records for each of their dogs and regular vet care, exams and vaccinations, all of which is all strictly enforced by the inspectors. The health care is so detailed that even teeth cleaning is required. Most people don’t clean their dog’s teeth, but a USDA breeder does!
These kennels are state of the art in both design and technology and the breeder’s years of dedication and knowledge of dogs and breeding ensure that the puppies are in good hands. When you walk through these kennels you really get to see the attention to detail the breeders put into the facility to make daily tasks easy and efficient. You may see automatic feeders mounted to the indoor runs, giving the dogs access to food 24/7. Water can be provided in such a way that the dogs and the breeder never have to worry as water is delivered thru a spigot, similar to a water fountain, providing fresh water 24/7. Potty breaks for the dogs are not a problem since they simply walk through a doggy door to their safe, secure, outdoor area. The outdoor area provides extra space for when the dog feels like running around, laying out in the sun, playing, as well having a 24/7 bathroom.
The USDA regulates the high and low temperatures of all indoor spaces where the dogs are. The temperature cannot drop below 45 degrees or exceed 85 degrees. The heating and cooling systems installed and all the technology to operate them are a sight to behold and something that many people have never seen or heard of. Many USDA licensed breeders are utilizing something called radiant heat which is an expensive heating system installed in the floor. Radiant heat is considered a superior heating system that is typically only found in very expensive homes. It provides an even heat throughout the kennel and although it is initially expensive to install, is very cost effective and efficient. The space needed to run the equipment for the heating and air cooling systems looks like a science experiment with all the units and wiring and pipes.
USDA breeders are always learning better ways to care for their dogs through educational seminars and from each other and doing things the right way takes dedication. Even simple things like skylights, drains, playard equipment, and even artificial turf are utilized, all at great cost to the breeder. They do this to provide a better environment for the dogs that they love. Grooming rooms are fully equipped with the latest technology and bathing stations to make the dogs clean and happy.