All breeders who register their puppies, and new owners who register ownership of their dogs with the Kennel Club, accept the jurisdiction of the Kennel Club and undertake to abide by its general Code of Ethics.


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 who performs an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal, or who carries out a caesarean section on a bitch, may report such operations 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.

Breach 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.


1. Is the Code mandatory?

Yes - all breed clubs are required to adopt it.

2. Can clubs delay the adoption of the Code?

No they must adopt the Code without delay.

3. Do we need a SGM or AGM to seek approval of members to agree to these changes?

No, this is a KC directive so therefore you do not need to call a SGM or AGM in order to agree to this. The Code must be adopted immediately and advised at the next opportunity.

4. Will the Code form part of annual returns for clubs in future?


5. Can Breed Council's adopt this Code?

Yes. They have not specifically been told to, as all breed clubs are adopting it, but if they wish to do so that would be a good idea.

6. Our Club has its own specific clauses in its Code – what happens to these?

You can apply to add any clauses of your own club’s Code of Ethics to the KC one, but you must not change the Kennel Club’s Code itself. If you want to add some of your club’s clauses, it would make sense to append these to the relevant section of the Code where it fits best. However, you must get permission from the Kennel Club to include additional clauses.

7. Our Club needs time to discuss this – can we add items to the Code later?

Yes, this can be done. But you must send confirmation that your club will adopt the Kennel Club’s Code of Ethics now and then at a later stage send your request to add clauses as directed.

8. Why was there no mention of testing for inherited diseases in the new Code?

The Code is still to be considered a ‘Guide to Best Practice’, and health testing is not enforceable under KC Rules and Regulations, unless the breeder is a member of the Accredited Breeder Scheme. Whilst the Kennel Club continually promotes health testing in all breeds, not all breeds suffer from inherited diseases where the Kennel Club has a health scheme in place. This position may change in time however, as health testing becomes the norm for all.

9. Does the statement “breach 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” relate to all items on the Code?

As with all the provisions of the Code of Ethics, an element of common sense and realism should be applied, as appropriate, both for the observance of the provisions and/or for any necessary enforcement. The key is always a proportionate reaction should be given to any complaint of breach of any provision of the Code.

There will be a number of factors such as repetition of a breach despite warning, impact of the breach upon any particular dog, breed or the club concerned, the appropriateness of other bodies to deal (eg RSPCA, Trading Standards), which will dictate the response and reaction to any particular complaint being made.

10. Some of our Club members re-home older dogs but prefer not to re-home them with a registration certificate? Would they get into trouble?

The Code of Ethics is still a “guide to best practice” and we fully understand that some older dogs may be re-homed without paperwork. If this is the case, we would recommend that the breeder puts something in writing to the new owner to confirm that no papers will be given and giving the reason for this. This should be acknowledged by the new owner.

11. The Code asks breeders/owners to “abide by all relevant aspects of UK Animal Welfare Act”. However, this legislation does not cover all of the UK.

We believe the Animal Welfare Act reference is clear enough for all constituents, whether they be in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

12. The Code requires dogs to wear a collar and tag when away from home, reflecting the legal requirement for collars and tags to be worn in public places. What happens when we take our dogs to shows or field trials/working tests?

The provision relating to wearing properly tagged collars and kept leashed or under effective control when away from home, is in order to provide a requirement that the dog is always kept under effective control when away from home (in any context) and expressly says so..

 The Kennel Club deals with control of dogs at licensed events generally with regulatory provisions; providing that dogs should be kept in control and on the lead at all times when not competing. Control is the mutual responsibility of the owner/handlers and the societies to enforce this requirement. It is obviously and always extremely important to put a dog back on the lead immediately after competition and never to leave dogs unsupervised if not adequately restrained.




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