Code of Ethics


This Code of Ethics shall be attached to all membership applications, and signed by those applying for membership in this Club. This Code of Ethics shall also be attached to annual renewal notices and be signed by all members renewing their membership in this Club.
In signing this Code of Ethics, Members and Applicants agree that if found in violation of this Code of Ethics by the Club, they will hold harmless the Club and all members from civil prosecution in connection with alleged violations of this Code.
The breeding of QUALITY dogs requires much thought and consideration; following the provisions of this code will NOT, in and of itself produce quality dogs, rather it SHOULD help to produce healthy dogs.
1. Bitches shall whelp not more than once in any 11 month period. A bitch's cycle may vary from dog to dog; it is the intention that a bitch not whelp from every season, as this would place a unnecessary burden on the health of the bitch.
2. All breeding stock shall be OFA certified. The sire and dam of all breeding stock shall also be OFA certified. OFA certification numbers shall be freely provided upon request. (For imported dogs, see the waiver clause, #12)
3. All breeding stock shall have a current written eye clearance from a Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist.
4. All breeding stock shall have a written negative Canine Brucellosis test dated within 30 days prior to breeding activities.
5. All breeding procedures shall strictly follow the rules established by the AKC.
6. Studs shall not be suffering from monorchidism.
7. All breeding stock shall be in a general state of good health and the prospects of whelp shall not place any unusual burden upon the bitch or offspring because of a known health problem.
8. All breeding stock shall be temperamentally sound, neither overly aggressive nor overly shy.
9. Breedings shall be accomplished with the intent to achieve specific goals towards the improvement of the breed, not just to produce puppies for sale.
10. Stud dog owners will carefully screen prospective bitches for which stud service has been requested from their dog, and should such a breeding be agreed to, be willing to share responsibility with the breeder to ensure that the ensuing litter is protected by the provisions of this code.
11. While it is understood that appropriate breeding stock may not always have been proven in the show ring, obedience ring or field, it is the responsibility of conscientious breeders to generally prove the results of their breeding programs in the accepted objective forums recognized in the sport of dogs. Some of these forums are the AKC Conformation Ring, the AKC Obedience Ring, the AKC or NAHRA Hunting Retriever Tests, the AKC Licensed Field Trials and the Working Certificate examinations sanctioned by the Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America. In most cases breeders can satisfy this requirement by careful placement of puppies in homes that wish to compete in different areas of the sport.
12. All stock bred to members stock shall meet the criteria established by this code. It is understood that on occasion a breeder may wish to use a dog for which proof of meeting the code is not available or may feel he or she has a sound reason for seeking a good cause exception to this code. In such cases the Breeder's Ethics Committee shall be asked for a waiver and they WILL make a timely ruling.
1. All dogs shall be sold with accompanying written agreements and warranties.
2. Advertising offering puppies for sale in other than dog oriented publications shall include the following statement: "to qualified homes, spaying or neutering required".
3. No dog's ownership shall be transferred to wholesale or retail commercial sources, third party agents; nor to laboratories or health organizations for the purpose of experimentation.
4. A minimum advertised price on dogs shall be $250, if a price is listed.
5. Unless there are compelling reasons otherwise, puppies shall not be released to new homes before their 42nd day of age.
6. To help ensure against accidental and/or unwanted breedings, pet buyers shall be urged to spay or neuter their puppies by the time they are 6 months of age or at the age recommended by their veterinarian. Only under the most unusual of circumstances should spaying or neutering of pet stock be delayed past the age of 1 year.
7. The seller shall be prepared, if necessary, to step in at any time during the life of a dog who is sold to protect its well-being, should the buyer no longer want, or be derelict in his or her responsibilities to the dog.
8. Only litters and breeding stock that meet the criteria of this code shall be eligible to be announced or advertised in the Club's newsletter. Dogs offered for humanitarian reasons or "Rescue dogs" are also eligible.
Breeders and owners have a responsibility to assure that their dogs have good and safe homes. This should include, but not be limited to:
1. A proper diet.
2. A securely fenced area that contains protection from the elements.
3. Daily meaningful interaction with family members.
4. Regular controlled exercise.
5. Dogs not chained or staked out in yard.
6. Regular visits to the vet.
7. Appropriate immunizations kept current.
We agree to abide by this Code of Ethics as a condition of Membership in the Great Western Flat-Coated Retriever Club.