Code of Ethics
This code is established in accordance with the objectives of The Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, Inc. (BSCA) and is voluntary for all members. It is presented for use as a guideline for members who will consider the welfare of the breed when engaged in any activities involving breeding, exhibiting, and selling of Belgian Sheepdogs.
» Sign the BSCA Code of Ethics (PDF Format)
Members of the BSCA Shall:
- Abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of the BSCA and the American Kennel Club (AKC).
- Conduct themselves at all times in such a manner as to reflect credit on the sport of purebred dogs. No member shall engage in false or misleading advertising or other misrepresentation of Belgian Sheepdogs, nor shall she/he malign competitors by making false or misleading statements regarding competitors’ Belgian Sheepdogs, breeding practices, or person.
- When breeding, conscientiously plan each litter based on the parent’s appropriate temperament, freedom from congenital and hereditary defects and qualities in relation to the breed’s AKC approved official standard. Before deciding to produce a litter, the breeder considers the obligations of properly placing or providing for all the puppies. The breeder should be prepared to keep the resultant puppies until they are suitably placed. Members offering a dog at stud should request similar assurances from the owners of outside bitches.
- Not knowingly breed any dog or bitch before eighteen (18) months of age nor, for bitches, more often than two out of three consecutive heat seasons, and only then if in robust health.
- X-ray all breeding stock (dogs and bitches) with certification by the Orthopedic Foundation of America or a certified radiologist, in order to determine that the dogs used for breeding purposes are free from hip dysplasia. All breeding stock should have annual eye exams by a certified ophthalmologist or have a current CERF number. It is strongly recommended to also x-ray the dog’s elbows and to check the thyroid levels. An animal that has had seizures must not be used for breeding. Unilateral cryptorchids should not be used for breeding.
- Keep accurate breeding records, registration papers, and pedigrees.
- Maintain all puppies and adults in a clean, healthy condition and insure that they are given maximum health protection through worming, inoculation, and proper veterinary care at all times. All unneutered bitches and dogs are safeguarded from unplanned mating. Puppies shall be at least eight (8) weeks of age before going to a new home. Seven (7) week-old puppies may be sold, provided that such sale is in compliance with local, state and federal laws. No adult or puppies shall be sold without appropriate inoculations.
- Not breed and strongly enforce spaying/neutering Belgian Sheepdogs which produce any offspring with serious inherited defects detrimental to the animal’s well being, such as blindness, deafness, lameness, or the impairment of the vital functions as a result of breeding with two different mating partners. Offspring should be sold with limited registration papers.
- By mutual written consent of breeder and purchaser, withhold the AKC registration papers on adults and utilize the AKC limited registration papers on puppies with known disqualifying faults, until such time as the animal is spayed/neutered. Purchasers should be supplied with accurate and valid papers, to include a minimum three (3) generation pedigree, Registration Certificate, written contract of sale, written guarantee, instructions for care, upbringing and training, and a written co-ownership agreement, if applicable.
- Not engage in wholesaling or distribution of Belgian Sheepdogs or the sale of any dog to such places as puppy mills, pet dealers, catalog houses, or other commercial sources of distribution, nor supply Belgian Sheepdogs to raffles, lotteries, or for laboratory experimentation, etcetera.
- When confronted by a situation not covered by this Code of Ethics, the breeder’s conduct reflects how he or she would like to be treated under similar circumstances.
Disciplinary Action in Accordance with AKC Practices for Infractions of the BSCA Code of Ethics
- First offense – letter of reprimand
- Second offense – two year suspension of membership privileges
- Third offense – 5 year suspension of membership privileges
- Fourth offense – Permanent suspension from the BSCA
- If for any reason the AKC suspends a BSCA member, the BSCA will adhere to the same disciplinary action as the AKC.
(Adopted May 3, 1997)