Code of Ethics


This Code of Ethics is presented for members of the Golden Retriever Club of Canada. who are breeders and/or owners of Golden Retrievers. This code embodies two of the foremost aims of the G.R.C.C., namely, the welfare and improvement of the breed, and the promotion of the interest of the Golden Retriever Club of Canada.

An ethical breeder is constantly aware of the underlying responsibilities to the breed and conducts all related activities as follows:

Section 1 MEMBER CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Members make available to the novice, the benefit of their knowledge, experience, advice and service and serve as mentors to those new to the breed or sport of dogs.
  2. At all times, members shall conduct themselves in a manner which reflects credit upon themselves, the Club, and the breed. When confronted by a situation not covered by the Code of Ethics, the actions of the Club member should reflect the treatment the Club member would expect under similar circumstances.
  3. Members should strive to maintain the best possible standards of environment, nutrition, and health care for their dogs. Dogs should also be properly socialized, regularly exercised and receive basic training.
  4. Members should diligently strive to educate prospective owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and about the Golden Retriever, its care requirements and needs, as well as potential hereditary defects found in the breed.
  5. Breeders should undertake rigorous screening and assessment of all potential puppy purchasers as to their suitability as owners and their ability to raise and maintain a Golden Retriever for its lifetime.
  6. Members should ensure that their dogs are not a nuisance to their neighbours or the community and that they are properly controlled, inoculated, licensed and supervised at all times. Members should try to do all they can to foster good relations between dogs, their owners and the community.

Section 2 BREEDING PRACTICES

  1. Selection of Breeding Stock:
    1. The breeder must ensure that all breeding is carried out with the Canadian Kennel Club breed standard in mind.
    2. The breeder uses only healthy adult dogs and bitches that are at least 24 months of age that are physically and mentally sound.
    3. In consideration of the aim of the overall improvement of the breed, the breeder must decline any breeding when the presence of any undesirable or potentially debilitating genetic or behavioural trait is known or suspected in either the sire or the dam. As a minimum requirement, all breeding stock should hold:
      1. A certificate of examination from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) prior to its discontinuation of its registry in 2012, indicating no evidence of hip dysplasia; or a report of examination from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) indicating no evidence of hip dysplasia at the minimum age of 24 months; or a report of examination from BVA (British Veterinary Association) indicating no evidence of hip dysplasia at a minimum age of 24 months, or a report of examination from PennHip at a minimum age of 18 months indicating no evidence of hip dysplasia; or an appropriate clearance from the dog’s country of residency.
      2. A certificate of examination from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) prior to its discontinuation of its registry in 2012, indicating no evidence of elbow dysplasia; or a report of examination from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) indicating no evidence of elbow dysplasia at the minimum age of 24 months; or a report of examination from BVA (British Veterinary Association) indicating no evidence of elbow dysplasia at a minimum age of 24 months; or an appropriate clearance from the dog’s country of residency.
      3. A current annual certificate of examination indicating no evidence of inherited eye disease or functional abnormalities of the eye from a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology (ACVO) or a member of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (CAVO) or an appropriate clearance from the dog’s country of residency. Annual eye examinations are recommended for the lifetime of the dog due to late onset of eye disorders such as pigmentary uveitis.
      4. A Certificate of examination from a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine- Cardiology (DACVIM-C) indicating no physical signs of cardiovascular disease; or Where a DACVIM-C is unavailable, a certificate of examination indicating no physical signs of cardiovascular disease from a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with qualifications acceptable for OFA cardiology certification.
      5. DNA tests are available for a number of diseases that affect Golden Retrievers (such as eye disorders, prcd-PRA, GR-PRA1 &2, Degenerative Myelopathy and a skin condition, Ichthyosis), and more are being added with time. The decision to test or not should include considerations such as: the seriousness of the disease, the reliability of the test, the prevalence of the disease in the breed, and the presence of affected or carrier dogs in the vertical pedigree. The ideal use of DNA tests is to prevent producing affected puppies, while at the same time maintaining genetic diversity and gradually decreasing the prevalence of the disease gene(s) in the breed. Members are strongly encouraged to use DNA testing to help make wise breeding decisions. Owners of frequently used stud dogs are strongly urged to test their dogs, especially if they are considering to breeding to untested females.
      6. Consideration should also be given to other conditions that may have a genetic component, including but not limited to: cancer, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, skin disorders, allergies, longevity, swallowing disorders and orthopedic disorders such as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Recognizing that no dog is genetically perfect; that maintaining a rich and diverse gene pool is important for the long-term health of the breed; and that good breeding decisions must balance many factors, it is suggested that breeders give the highest health priority to selection against heritable disorders that significantly decrease quality of life and that have the greatest likelihood for improvement through careful breeding decisions. Difficult decisions should be resolved in a manner that places the best interests of the dogs and the breed at the forefront.
  2. Before deciding to produce a litter, the breeder considers the possibility of properly placing puppies which cannot be kept by the breeder. Breeders should also be prepared to co-operate in the re-homing of dogs they have bred or owned should it be necessary.
  3. Health: The breeder keeps all stock under sanitary conditions and gives maximum health protection through de-worming, inoculations, and annual veterinary examinations.
  4. Breeding Management: The breeder should space the litters of any bitch by allowing a maximum of two (2) consecutive litters and a maximum of three (3) litters within five (5) heats.

Section 3 ADVERTISING

  1. All advertising is factual. It is not so worded as to be misleading or misrepresentative, to attract undesirable buyers or to encourage the raising of Golden Retrievers merely as a money-making scheme.
  2. The Club will not accept any advertising or information to be printed in a Club publication regarding future breedings, upcoming or existing litters, or stud services, that indicates the existence of a certificate of examination for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye, heart, blood, or other conditions, unless a copy of the certificate of examination, indicated in the advertisement or information, is provided at the time of submission.

Section 4 SALES

  1. General:
    1. The breeder does not supply puppies or adult dogs to pet stores, commercial dealers, for raffles, giveaway prizes, or other such projects.
    2. The breeder sells Golden Retrievers, permits stud service and leases studs or bitches only to individuals who give satisfactory evidence that they will give them proper care and attention, and who are in accord with this Code of Ethics.
    3. The breeder does not sell puppies via web brokers.
  2. Contracts:
    1. The breeder sells Golden Retrievers, permits stud service and leases studs or bitches with a written contract which outlines the obligations and responsibilities of both seller and purchaser regarding the purchase arrangements, fees, financial arrangements, breeding/non-breeding conditions of the sale, replacement or refund warranties, health warranties, co-ownership terms, and conditions for removal of the CKC Non-Breeding Agreement.
    2. The written contract must clearly state the maximum time limit for all terms and conditions of the contract and/or warranty. Conditions of acceptance of deposits on puppies or stud services and terms of full or partial refunds or forfeiture of deposits must also be clearly stated in writing.
  3. Sale of puppies
    1. The breeder provides buyers with written details of feeding, general care, dates of de-worming and a certificate of all inoculations given.
    2. The breeder will provide buyers with a three-generation pedigree and the results of any hip, elbow, eye, heart and blood examination carried out on the dog being purchased and on its sire and dam.
    3. All puppies leaving the breeder’s possession should be at least seven (7) weeks old, be identified by a tattoo or microchip and have received a health examination by a veterinarian.
  4. Non-Breeding Agreement:
    1. All Golden Retrievers sold in Canada should be sold on the Canadian Kennel Club Non-Breeding Agreement. The agreement should not be canceled unless the adult dog obtains the minimum requirements for breeding stock as defined in section 2(1), Selection of Breeding Stock, or unless the breeder has proof the dog has been spayed or neutered. Exceptions to this clause may be made in cases where breeders are selling Golden Retrievers to foreign countries or to individuals wishing to exhibit in a foreign country such as the United States. In such cases, a private purchase agreement must be executed between the breeder and purchaser which is in keeping with the principles of the use of the Canadian Kennel Club Non-Breeding Agreement and this Code of Ethics.
    2. The breeder shall not charge the buyer a fee to cancel the CKC Non-Breeding Agreement, except for reimbursement of the applicable CKC fees.

Section 5 REGISTRATION

The breeder registers all Golden Retrievers born in Canada with the Canadian Kennel Club and keeps accurate records, as required by the Canadian Kennel Club, including records of all breedings, whelpings, identification of dogs and pedigrees.

Revised and passed by the membership, June 2017.