Code of Ethics

BMDCGB General Code of Ethics

Points 1-14 of the Code of Ethics are given by the Kennel Club and all K.C. registered breed clubs had to introduce these replacing their former Codes by November 2008. The addition of points 15 – 22 was agreed at the AGM in April 2009 and these were closely derived from the previous Code of Ethics. The resultant entire new club Code of Ethics is published below and has been approved by the Kennel Club (Early June 09).


Club members:

  1. Will properly house, feed, water and exercise all dogs under their care and arrange for appropriate veterinary attention if and when required.
  2. Will agree without reservation that any veterinary surgeon performing an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal, may report such operation to the Kennel Club.
  3. Will agree that no healthy puppy will be culled. Puppies which may not conform to the Breed Standard should be placed in suitable homes.
  4. Will abide by all aspects of the Animal Welfare Act.
  5. Will not create demand for, nor supply, puppies that have been docked illegally.
  6. Will agree not to breed from a dog or bitch which could be in any way harmful to the dog or to the breed.
  7. Will not allow any of their dogs to roam at large or to cause a nuisance to neighbours or those carrying out official duties.
  8. Will ensure that their dogs wear properly tagged collars and will be kept leashed or under effective control when away from home.
  9. Will clean up after their dogs in public places or anywhere their dogs are being exhibited.
  10. Will only sell dogs where there is a reasonable expectation of a happy and healthy life and will help with the re-homing of a dog if the initial circumstances change.
  11. Will supply written details of all dietary requirements and give guidance concerning responsible ownership when placing dogs in a new home.
  12. Will ensure that all relevant Kennel Club documents are provided to the new owner when selling or transferring a dog, and will agree, in writing, to forward any relevant documents at the earliest opportunity, if not immediately available.
  13. Will not sell any dog to commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow dogs to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind. Will not sell by sale or auction Kennel Club registration certificates as stand alone items (not accompanying a dog).
  14. Will not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise dogs nor mislead any person regarding the health or quality of a dog.
  15. Breeders will breed with due attention to general health issues and the most relevant aspects of the Bernese Mountain Dog This is with particular emphasis to:
    • Endeavour to ensure all stock to be bred from is free from contagious disease
    • All breeding shall be carefully planned in an attempt to reduce known hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis of the shoulder and elbow, ectropian/entropian, trembler and elongated soft palate.
    • Ensure that nervous or aggressive Bernese shall not be bred from.
    • Refrain from whelping with a bitch until she is approximately 24 months of age, ensure no bitch shall be bred from in any way that is deleterious to the bitch or the breed and that the last litter shall be whelped before the bitch’s 7th birthday and the bitch’s first litter shall be before her 5th birthday.
    • Ensure that stud dogs are over 12 months of age before being used at stud and not used excessively. The use of a stud dog shall be refused on any bitch considered to have poor health, temperament or quality.
    • Ensure that Bernese Mountain Dog puppies are only bred from Kennel Club, or other KC recognised Kennel Club, registered BMD parents.
    • All breeding stock should be x-rayed for evidence of hip dysplasia and the plates submitted to the KC/BVA scoring scheme. Results from any other equivalent officially recognised Kennel Club overseas scheme will be acceptable. Breeders shall treat mild cases as they would any other fault and exclude from their breeding programme dogs with more severe evidence of hip dysplasia.
    • All breeding stock should be x-rayed for evidence of elbow osteochrondrosis related conditions and the plates submitted to the KC/BVA scoring scheme. Results from any other equivalent officially recognised Kennel Club overseas scheme will be acceptable.. Breeders shall treat mild cases as they would any other fault and exclude from their breeding programme dogs with more severe evidence of elbow osteochondrosis.
    • Ideally puppies should not go to their new homes before 7 weeks of age
  16. Breeders will supply comprehensive welfare information with all puppies sold. This to include information on inoculations, veterinary care they may have had or require and guidance on care, exercise and training of a Bernese. Registration documentation should include a (at least) 4 generation pedigree.
  17. Breeders will guarantee the health of his or her stock subject to a veterinary examination within 2 working days of the sale or transfer and shall insure puppies for a minimum of 4 weeks against illness, loss or sudden death.
  18. Breeders & stud dog owners will try and keep in touch with the progress of his or her breeding or progeny and the breeder be prepared to take back any dog of his or her breeding or to be instrumental in the rehoming of the dog at any time throughout the dog’s life.
  19. Members shall not sell adults or puppies to any country not covered by club constitution paragraph 23 and will not sell stock for export unless the recipient is personally known to the breeder or approved by a local veterinary surgeon or local Bernese Mountain Dog Club.
  20. Members will at all times exhibit good sportsmanship at all events relating to the club and to dog shows.
  21. Members will not denigrate any other member or kennelBreach of these provisions may result in expulsion from club membership, and/or disciplinary action by the Kennel Club and/or reporting to the relevant authorities for legal action, as appropriate. The committee of the club shall deal with reported breaches of the Code of Ethics in a reasonable and proportionate manner and in more serious cases where expulsion is considered refer the incident to the membership via an SGM as per rule 18 of the Constitution. All cases to be appropriately reported to the membership as much as possible.
  22. Members are asked to co-operate with any club approved breed health scheme.

N.B. The clause published between points 21 and 22 applies to points 1-21 and the first sentence of this is again KC dictated wording with a clarification added by the club.