THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG CLUB (INC) CODE OF ETHICS
IN KEEPING WITH THE AIMS OF THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG CLUB, MEMBERS WILL STRIVE TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE THE BREED AND PERFECT THE UNIQUE BEAUTY AND CHARACTER OF THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG, AS SET FORTH IN THE OFFICIAL STANDARD OF THE NEW ZEALAND KENNEL CLUB. TOWARDS THESE GOALS, MEMBERS WILL UPHOLD THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS:
(a) Maintain the highest standards of health, environment and general care for all dogs.
(a) Use only physically and temperamentally sound stock and refuse to breed from dogs, or bitches, that are a different breed, unregistered, show or have had proven hereditary, or genetic defects. Breeders shall study and learn the good and bad points within their own stock, never doubling up on a known and visible fault, always breeding towards the elimination of faults and the maintenance of strengths.
(b) Preserve the breed as described in the breed standard, breeding for soundness, strength and durability, temperament, type and ease of movement.
(c) X-ray for evidence of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia before the first mating. Radiographs should be submitted to a recognized Veterinary assessment panel. The minimum age to have x-rays taken is one year. X-rays should ideally be taken between the ages of 12 months and 30 months, there is no maximum age. Results of x-rays should be submitted to the NZKC for printing in the Gazette. Breeders should adhere to the New Zealand Veterinary Association Elbow Dysplasia Scheme and Hip Dysplasia Scheme below: –
Elbows – Interpretation of Grade
Grading of elbows for elbow dysplasia is divided into five grades.
No evidence of elbow dysplasia. This is the optimum grade.
Grade B (Borderline):
Subtle changes are seen on the elbow radiographs, which are suggestive of elbow dysplasia but are of insufficent severity to be conclusive. A Borderline grade is a good score.
Obvious osteophytes indicating arthrosis of the joint. In the high-risk breeds this score currently represents a better than average score. In breeds with low risk of steochrondosis, a Grade 1 score is less than desirable. As too many dogs have proved to fall into this category, it was decided to split the grade into 1a and 1b. 1a is the more desirable grade.
More severe arthrosis is present. A grade 2 is a poor score and breeding with dogs with this grade is not recommended. The recommendation is especially true in low risk breeds. Breeding from grade 2 dogs can be justified, only if the dog has other genetic traits that would be advantageous to the gene pool of that breed as whole.
Severe arthrosis and we recommend that in no circumstances should these dogs be used for breeding.
The lower the score the better the hip joints (i.e. the lesser degree of H.D.). While the ideal score is nil, anything under 5 is excellent and between 5 and 10 is considered good. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club recommends that dogs with hip scores over the current breed average should not be used for breeding.
(d) The Bernese Mountain Dog Club encourages owners/breeders to have their dog’s eye tested for PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) and other inherited eye disorders. At the present time it is recommended that breeding dogs are tested annually, or prior to a mating. Any dog found to have a positive result should be de-sexed, the breeder notified and sibling dog owners contacted to be advised of the current recommendations as to how to deal with this possible problem.
(e) Refrain from mating a bitch until her third season, preferably waiting until she is at least eighteen months of age. A bitch may be bred from on two consecutive seasons and that there is a break of at least one year, or two natural seasons (whichever is the greater) from breeding follows. The last litter shall be whelped before the bitch’s 6th birthday, providing the bitch is in good health. No bitch shall be permitted to have more than two caesarean whelps. Dogs must be over the age of twelve months and have been X-rayed for hip and elbow dysplasia, before being used at stud and should not be used excessively.
(f) Breeders should be responsible for the welfare of the dogs they produce throughout their lives and should be prepared to help towards the costs of any hip, or elbow operations required to correct problems that are proved to have been caused by hereditary, or genetic defects. They should also be prepared to refund the full purchase price of a puppy if appropriate.
(g) Breeders should inform prospective owners about The Bernese Mountain Dog Club in New Zealand and should pay for the new owner’s first year subscription to The Bernese Mountain Dog Club.
(h) Breeders should ensure that prospective owners are provided with guidelines for nutrition, immunization, exercise and general care of the growing puppy.
(i) Breeders should at all times provide true representation to the purchaser and explain any known hereditary problems to the prospective owners. Never use misleading, or untruthful statements in selling, or advertising.
(j) If there are any complaints regarding Members contravening this Code, The Bernese Mountain Dog Club will accept letters through the Committee and follow a process through to an acceptable outcome.
(k) For Members who wish to be involved in Loan Agreements, or have Breeding Terms on their litters, or prospective new puppies, The Bernese Mountain Dog Club would advise discussion the NZKC prior to signing any documents to ensure that the terms are legal and sustainable if a dispute should happen to arise. Breeders should have a written agreement between themselves and any person purchasing a puppy from them.
(a) Be discriminating in the sale of dogs and concerned with the type of home in which they are placed.
(b) Not sell adults, or puppies, to any known wholesale, or retail outlet, or to a broker, or give away a puppy as a prize or donation.
(c) Not knowingly export, or assist in the export of a dog, or dogs, to any country which does not have legislation for the protection of animals, similar in intent to such laws in New Zealand. Puppies shall not be sold for export, nor exported, unless the recipient is personally known to the Breeder, or is approved by a local Veterinary Surgeon, or local member of The Bernese Mountain Dog Club.
(d) Supply the purchaser with a four-generation pedigree, a vaccination certificate, if appropriate, details of any previous veterinary care and full instructions on the feeding, care and training of a Bernese mountain dog. Fully explain the hereditary and genetic problems that are common in the breed to new or prospective owners, as well as issues such as, but not limited to, normal life span and lifestyle requirements.
(e) Guarantee the health of stock subject to a veterinary examination within seven days of the sale.
(f) Not let a puppy to its new home before eight weeks of age.
(g) Endeavour to keep in touch with the progress of dogs of their breeding, in order to better analyze their own progress.
(h) Be responsible for the stock they have bred and sold and be prepared to take back and either keep, or re-house progeny of their breeding and only use The Club rescue scheme as a last resort.
(i) Settle all disputes with purchasers amicably if possible. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club will assist in these matters if required.
IV. MEMBER RELATIONS
(a) As representatives of The Bernese Mountain Dog Club, good sportsmanship and cordiality shall be expected of all members and partners towards each other, as well as the general public in and out of the show ring.
(b) Members shall refrain from unnecessary and unproductive criticism and not degrade any other member, partners, kennels, or dogs of this, or any other NZKC associated club.
The Committee may expel from The Club, or otherwise penalise, any member whose conduct, in the opinion of the Committee, is discreditable, or injurious to the character, or interests, of the Club and/or in breach of this Code of Ethics. Before any member is expelled, or penalised, by the Committee h/she shall be given the opportunity to defend him/herself, to justify, or explain, his/her conduct. A majority vote by the Committee may then expel, or penalise the member and may remove his/her name from the Roll of Members.