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.
  15. Good temperament being of prime importance in the Golden Retriever, all breed stock should be of kindly, friendly and confident disposition.
  16. All breeding stock should have clear eye certificates to be maintained annually through the KC/BVA or European scheme.
  17. Stud dog owners have a great responsibility for the future of the breed, they should refuse a stud service to any bitch which does not have a current clear eye certificate and a result sheet from the KC/BVA hip scheme or any other known record of hereditary defects. Stud dog owners should provide copies of relevant eye and hip certificates.
  18. Bitch owners should make sure that she is fit and healthy. Have her eyes and hips checked through the relevant KC/BVA and European schemes. Insist on obtaining copies of the stud dogs eye and hip certificates. Breeders should constantly be striving to lower hip scores.
    1. Do not mate your bitch before she is fully mature – preferably not before two years old and not beyond seven years of age.
    2. Do not have too many litters from one bitch. In normal circumstances this should not exceed three litters. The current common myth that it is essential to a bitches health that she should have at least one litter is pure fallacy.
    3. Remember you are responsible for rearing the puppies until they are at least seven weeks old and also for finding loving caring permanent homes. Give diet sheets (and a copy of this code) worming records, pedigrees and a KC registration certificate to all puppy buyers and be prepared to give an after sales service. You should be prepared to refund the price of a puppy if necessary and finally be prepared to assist with the rehousing of a puppy if circumstances dictate.
  19. Keep the best possible standards of health and care for your dogs and do not keep more than you can properly care for and maintain. Accept that dogs, like people, grow old and may need special care and attention and therefore be prepared to love and care for a dog for life.
  20. Sell only puppies of sound health and temperament which have been checked by a vet.
  21. Abide by the Kennel Club Code of Conduct.

Approved by the Kennel Club January 2016