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The Dalmatian Club of America
Ethical Guidelines
Recommended Practices for Owners, Handlers, and Breeders

I. Introduction and Purpose

The purpose of this code of ethics is to set forth principles of practice that the Dalmatian Club of America would have all of its members adhere to in order to accomplish the club's goals and purposes as stated in the bylaws. These guidelines represent the minimum in ethical practices accepted by the Dalmatian Club of America for membership. All actions in regard to dogs, fellow members, and the general public shall consider the best interests of the breed, the Dalmatian Club of America and the American Kennel Club. Conduct shall be positively directed towards educating the public about the breed, improving one's own knowledge about the breed, and demonstrating good sportsmanship. They also advocate honorable and sportsmanlike behavior at dog shows, performance events, public forums, social media, and with the general public. 

II. Practices

In keeping with my membership in the Dalmatian Club of America and my dedication to further its stated purposes, I hereby pledge to adhere the following practices:

  1. To ensure that all dogs in my care are provided nutritious food and fresh water, appropriate shelter, human companionship, exercise, socialization, and veterinary care to ensure optimum mental and physical well being.

  2. To continue to educate myself in the fundamentals of owning, breeding, training and exhibiting Dalmatians.

  3. To understand the Dalmatian breed standard and the basic laws of genetics. Careful consideration of the stud dog and bitch will be given regarding temperament, overall health and condition, physical traits, inheritable disorders, genetic traits, soundness and conformity to the official standard of the breed. Good practice for breeding includes obtaining OFA CHIC health testing on sire and dam prior to mating.

  4. To register all my Dalmatians with the American Kennel Club. To keep complete, true and accurate records of all matings, litters and pedigrees.

  5. To provide and honor written contracts for all breeding agreements including use of stud dog, lease of brood bitch, use of frozen semen, and co-ownership agreements.

  6. To only breed when I have the time, financial means, and resources to properly care for the dam and puppies and effectively raise, socialize, and place the puppies into appropriate homes. To always be willing to help rehome and/or accept the return of dogs produced by my brood bitch or sired by my stud dog.

  7. To ensure that no female will be bred before her second season, and that no female will be bred after she has reached 8 years of age. To ensure that no male will be bred before he has reached one year of age.

  8. To be extremely discriminating when considering the acceptance of bitches for breeding to my stud dog. To reference these guidelines in my stud contract and require that bitch owners agree to abide by them as well.

  9. To ensure that the BAER hearing status of all breeding candidates and their progeny is considered prior to breeding. To disclose the puppy's BAER hearing result to the buyer. The placing of a bilaterally deaf puppy is at the breeder's discretion. A bilaterally deaf puppy must never be used for breeding, and must be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age. Considering the inherent ongoing challenges in their care, humane euthanasia of a bilaterally deaf puppy may be an alternative to placement. Any breeder who places a bilaterally deaf puppy is responsible for conducting a thorough screening of potential candidates to ensure they have the knowledge, experience and resources to socialize, train and provide for a deaf puppy for the entire life of the dog.

  10. To transfer puppies to new homes only after they have reached seven to eight weeks of age. To ensure that the buyer has both the physical facilities and financial ability to properly care for a Dalmatian. To provide puppy sales contracts that include the right of first refusal clause should the dog ever need to be rehomed. To provide the new owner with a pedigree, complete veterinarian examination and immunization record, BAER test results, educational materials, and lifelong support to new puppy owners. To exchange multiple ways for the buyer and breeder to stay in contact.

  11. To assist and encourage all buyers to register their puppies with the AKC. To consider the use of AKC limited registration for puppies that are not of breeding quality.

  12. To ensure that puppies and adults produced by my brood bitch or stud dog are never sold or consigned to pet stores, wholesalers, commercial dealers, raffles, auctions, giveaways or prizes.

  13. To recognize that careful documentation and follow-up of all genetic defects is the responsibility of the owners of both the sire and dam of every litter and to disseminate this information to all affected parties.

  14. To ensure honesty and integrity are reflected in all advertising.

  15. To not engage in malicious criticism or bullying in any manner, including on any electronic or social media posting.

  16. To ensure that while engaged in the art and science of judging, that I will be influenced only by the quality of the animals to be judged.

  17. To adhere to the AKC Code of Sportsmanship. *** To recognize it is our responsibility to welcome, encourage & support newcomers. To serve as a mentor to new exhibitors in our breed in ringside education, and in conformation and performance competitions.

Unanimously approved by the DCA Ethical Guidelines Review Committee - 10/23/2015
Approved by the DCA Board of Governors - 2/6/2016

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