This Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide that Members of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America strive to follow, recognizing their role as guardians of the breed, and in a common interest in the protection and wellbeing of the breed and of the individual dogs that members own and produce in their breeding programs. Implicit in membership in the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America is acceptance and understanding of the Code of Ethics.


The singular includes the plural.

“Dog” as used herein is to be interpreted as gender neutral and age neutral.

“Transferee” as used herein means the person(s) with whom a dog is placed regardless of ownership or the type of registration.

“Person” as used herein is to be interpreted broadly to refer to any natural person, corporation, associations, and all other forms of legal entities.

General Conduct

Members of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America strive to:

Abide by the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club (“AKC”), the Constitution and Bylaws of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America (“WSSCA”), and this Code of Ethics (“CoE”).

Consider the protection and future wellbeing of the Welsh Springer Spaniel in all of their dog-related activities.

Conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on themselves, the breed, and the WSSCA.

Behave as responsible dog owners, treating their dogs humanely and providing them with adequate food, water, shelter, veterinary care, exercise, grooming, and the socialization and training necessary for them to be family companions.

Exhibit good sportsmanship and goodwill at all dog-related events.

Educate others about the characteristics of the Welsh Springer Spaniel and the principles of responsible dog ownership.

Act against the maltreatment or misuse of dogs, whether by interceding personally or by notifying appropriate law enforcement authorities. WSSCA Officers are to be notified when such maltreatment or misuse involves Welsh Springer Spaniels. Act to ensure the welfare of any Welsh Springer Spaniel discovered in a pound or shelter or otherwise requiring new home placement and notify the WSSCA Rescue Committee.

Participate in efforts to assess and improve the health of the individual dog and of the Welsh Springer Spaniel breed, including, but not limited to, participation in valid, reliable, and responsible testing for hereditary diseases, providing samples and information for development of hereditary disease tests, and sharing health information with other WSSCA members. Be honest, factual, and not misleading or fraudulent, in any written or oral statement about dogs and breeding programs, whether about their own dogs or those of others.


Welsh Springer Members of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, as guardians of the breed, strive to breed conscientiously, taking responsibility for the lives that they produce, including responsible placement of all puppies produced by any breeding, to ensure the safety and well-being of the individual dogs and of the breed.

Accordingly, members of the Spaniel Club of America strive to:

Educate themselves to recognize the correct conformation of the Welsh Springer Spaniel and its relationship to the traditional function of the breed, familiarizing themselves with the AKC breed standard and representative dogs, prior to breeding a stud dog or brood bitch.

Learn the basic principles of genetics prior to breeding a stud dog or brood bitch and apply those principles to breeding decisions.

Keep abreast of current knowledge, technology, and available tests for inherited disease, including, but not limited to, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and glaucoma, and use such knowledge and tests to reduce the incidence of inherited disease.

Plan breedings to conserve and improve conformation, health, temperament, and working ability in accordance with the AKC breed standard, including, but not limited to, the breed’s function as a hunting dog and family companion, keeping these considerations in balance, neglecting none of them, whether acting as owner of the stud dog or owner of the brood bitch.

Prior to breeding, do the following:

Determine the radiographic hip status and eye condition of the breeding stock tested by a licensed or certified veterinary professional.

Share the results of the tests with the breeder(s) of the potential mates and with the owner(s) of potential mates. And, submit X-rays, eye examination information, and other test information to the appropriate health registries for their evaluation and allow their evaluation to be used to determine overall health statistics for the breed. Recommended health registries are the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and The Canine Eye Registration Foundation.

Breed only animals that are in good health and who are physically and temperamentally sound.

Avoid breeding animals before the age of two years, in consideration of the animal’s physical and mental maturity and well-being and in consideration of the age of onset of inherited diseases, such as, epilepsy and hip dysplasia.

Remove animals from breeding who are known to have, or who are strongly suspected of having, a serious inherited disease or defect that will likely be passed onto offspring and that, if inherited, would significantly affect the quality of life of any offspring that would be produced.

Breed only dogs and bitches whose offspring will be AKC registerable.

Keep accurate records in accordance with AKC requirements.

Share information gained through breeding with other Welsh Springer Spaniel owners.


Ensure that bitches are not bred more than twice in any three consecutive seasons, out of concern for the physical and mental well-being of the bitch.


If a stud dog owner, do the following:

Consider the health, hip, eye evaluations, and pedigree of the bitch prior to agreeing to provide stud services.

Make every reasonable effort to contact the breeder of the bitch in order to check for genetic problems and breeding restrictions.

If a contract exists between the bitch’s owner and her breeder, not breed contrary to restrictions and not to interfere with the contract.

Confirm that the bitch’s owner is aware of the effort required to produce and care for a litter and that they will ethically and responsibly sell and place puppies as described herein.


Commit to keeping all puppies until they can be placed directly with responsible persons.

Commit to accepting the return of any puppy at any future time as may be needed in conformity with this Code of Ethics.

Provide a clean, warm, safe environment for puppies with ample exposure to human handling, to household activity, and to a nutritious diet.

Transfer dogs of any age with written contracts signed by both parties covering any guarantees or restrictions, including, for example, limitations on breeding and a commitment to sharing health information.

Place puppies only with persons who intend to act responsibly for the life of the dog.

Act as a mentor to persons with whom they place puppies and encourage an open dialogue for the life of the dog.

Use AKC Limited Registration to encourage responsible ownership and discourage irresponsible breeding.

Ensure that puppies that are not of show or breeding quality are sold with an AKC Limited Registration.

Transfer dogs of any age with AKC Full Registration only if the new owner agrees to follow the Code of Ethics of the WSSCA and are aware of and will honor their responsibilities to the future of the breed.

Release or ship no puppy to its new home before the age of seven weeks.

Provide all puppies, prior to releasing or shipping, with at least one examination by a licensed veterinarian, and veterinary care which includes vaccinations on a veterinarian approved schedule.

Provide transferees with a three (or more) generation pedigree.

Provide transferees with their puppy’s health record.

Provide transferees with complete instructions on diet, training, and care.

Provide an AKC registration application or transfer form unless their contract includes a provision or condition withholding papers.


Members of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America strive to:

Ensure that no dog is sold, consigned, transferred, or brokered to unethical breeders, to puppy mills.

Ensure that no dog is sold to a person who may use the dog in a way that would be detrimental to the breed.

Prevent the use of a Welsh Springer Spaniel as a prize in any contest, raffle, or lottery.

Act as a mentor to transferees.

Encourage a continued dialogue with transferees throughout the life of the dog in an interest in the well-being of the dog and in the well-being of the breed.


Where applicable under the Rules and Regulations of the AKC or under the WSSCA Constitution and By-laws, and in accordance with the policies and procedures therein, conduct contrary to this Code of Ethics may be subject to disciplinary action.