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Great Pyrenees Club of Canada Code of Ethics

Table of Contents

Member Relations




Stud Service


Livestock Guardian Dogs





The Great Pyrenees Club of Canada (GPCC) in keeping with its aims of encouraging the development of finer Great Pyrenees has adopted the following Code of Ethics to promote and foster the highest standards among breeders and owners, and to encourage cooperation in the improvement, advancement and protection of our breed. All members of the Great Pyrenees Club of Canada shall abide by this Code of Ethics.

Member Relations

  1. Members shall be aware at all times that the Club exists to protect the breed and that these aims are to be uppermost in the minds of members in all their activities in the breed.

  2. Members will at all times, whether at home, travelling, at shows or at motels, display good sportsmanship and conduct themselves in such a manner as to reflect credit upon the club and the breed.

  3. Members shall refrain from unnecessary and unconstructive criticism of another's dog and from personal attacks upon a fellow member.

  4. Novices are encouraged to seek the advice and assistance of more experienced owners and breeders, and the more experienced shall graciously assist the novice with his problems, and share for the good of the breed the benefits of his knowledge.

  5. In all questions of ethics, covered or not covered by the Code, the individual member shall act solely in the best interests of the breed, and the membership as a whole shall willingly aid any fellow member in upholding these interests.

  6. Members shall bear in mind that a Code of Ethics is more than a set of rules; it is a commitment to a high standard of practice in owning and breeding, and that adherence to the spirit of the Code is as important as adherence to its law.


  1. All Great Pyrenees owned by, or in the care of, members shall be given a proper, healthy environment, nutrition and care at all times, and no member shall have more dogs than can be safely and adequately housed and cared for. No member's dog may be treated in an inhumane manner subjected to cruel or unusual punishment or abused. Nor may it be subjected to any conditions likely to eventuate in unnecessary danger to the dog's life.

  2. Members shall be diligent in the handling of their dogs in public places and shall do so in a manner to minimize the risk of trauma or danger to any human being or animal.

  3. Members recognize their responsibility to protect the name and reputation of the breed, and shall not allow their dogs to roam at large unsupervised, nor to become a public nuisance, nor to become a public trust.

  4. Treatment and handling of active livestock guardian dogs owned by members shall be consonant with the best management techniques for such dogs.


  1. All advertisements of puppies and adult dogs, written or oral, shall be factual and as forthrightly honest as possible in both substance and implication.

  2. Advertising and promotion, written or oral, shall be confined to the aspects of the breeder's stock and shall not degrade the stock of others.

  3. The breeder shall be cautious in discussing show prospects of any animal lest it implies a guarantee of show success that cannot or will not be insured.

  4. The breeder shall be equally cautious in encouraging buyers as to breeding prospects, inasmuch as the breeding of a Great Pyrenees is not to be undertaken lightly by any owner.


  1. Anyone breeding a bitch bears great responsibility to the future of the breed; therefore a breeder shall plan each breeding with the paramount intention of advancing and protecting the breed, and only when in a position to give proper care to both bitch and offspring.

  2. The bitch owner safeguards a bitch from breedings that are not carefully planned.

  3. Recognizing the extended growth pattern of a giant breed, the breeder shall not breed a bitch before her second heat; breed a bitch before 18 months without the express approval of a veterinarian; breed a bitch more than 2 out of 3 heats.

  4. A breeder carefully selects stud and matron with an eye to conformation and temperament, and only after careful study of the breed standard, the individuals and their near relatives, the pedigrees, and the basic principles of genetics.

  5. All animals to be bred shall have sound, typical structure, conformation and type, and shall be of sound temperament and free from crippling or disabling hereditary defects.

  6. A breeder shall refrain from using an individual who, although free from such hereditary defects, consistently produces afflicted offspring from different mates.

  7. Any breeder breeding from lines in which any serious or disabling hereditary defects occur has an ethical obligation to disclose that to all buyers.

  8. Dogs being bred shall have been x-rayed and certified as being clear of hip dysplasia by a veterinary radiologist, with such x-rays submitted to a body such as GDC, OFA, OVC or Penn Hip. The results of these x-rays shall be made known to the owner of stud and bitch and to all buyers of pups. Members should be aware that it is inadvisable and genetically risky to breed an animal that is not totally free of hip dysplasia. If an individual is bred on the basis of a screening x-ray at under 18 months of age, it shall be re-x-rayed at over 18 months. Adult x-rays shall again be submitted to the GDC, OFA, OVC or Penn Hip for their grading and certification.


Stud Service

  1. Anyone using their dog at stud bears great responsibility to the future of the breed; therefore a stud owner shall use the dog discriminately and with the paramount intention of advancing and protecting the breed.

  2. No member shall offer at stud an animal who does not meet the requirements set forth above for bitches in sections 4-8.

  3. If the stud has not been bred before or has not produced a live litter or has had breeding problems in the past, such information shall be provided to the bitch owner before the bitch is accepted for breeding.

  4. Prior to accepting any bitch for service, it is the obligation of the stud owner to advise novice breeders of the responsibilities, problems, obligations, and expenses involved in breeding a litter.

  5. It shall be the responsibility of the stud owner to ascertain that any bitch brought to any stud shall meet the requirements of the Code, whether owned by a club member or not. The stud owner shall further ascertain to the best of his ability that any produce of the breeding shall be raised and sold in a manner in keeping with the ethical standards of this Code. The stud owner shall supply any bitch owner who is not a GPCCanada member with a copy of this Code and explain its provisions. 

  6. The owner of the stud is under no obligation to provide stud service for a bitch who when brought to the stud dog is not as represented by her owner or presents serious hereditary defects or is not in good health.

  7. The owner of a male shall not accept a bitch for service if the bitch cannot be maintained in a safe and healthy manner.

  8. Bitches shall be bred only to the stud specified by her owner unless an acceptable substitute is agreed upon by both parties.

  9. Insofar as is possible, at least 2 services shall be effected, and it is the obligation of the stud owner to offer a free return service under the same conditions if no litter results. A litter is defined for the purposes of this Code as a minimum of 2 live pups at 36 hours.

  10. Owners of stud and bitch shall sign a written agreement, clearly stating the conditions and terms of service.

  11. The owner of the stud dog has an obligation to all pups sired by his/her male(s). Therefore, if the owner of the bitch (breeder of the litter) refuses to take responsibility for the puppies produced as set forth in "Sales" the owner of the stud dog shall assume that responsibility.


  1. A breeder shall be discriminating in the sale of all dogs and concerned with the type of home in which they are placed. No member shall engage in wholesaling litters, or in individual sales or consignments of pups or adults to pet shops, dealers, catalog houses or other commercial establishments. Nor shall they be donated or given as prizes in contests, raffles or fund raising events, no matter how charitable.

  2. A breeder shall be available to buyers for whatever advice, reasonable aid or assistance they may need for the life of the dog. GPCCanada's members shall help and support their fellow members in fulfilling this obligation.

  3. Any member selling or placing a Great Pyrenees is expected to assist any buyer in finding a suitable new home for their dog at any time that the buyer wishes to relinquish it. If the buyer is unable or unwilling to find such a home, the member shall assume physical and/or financial responsibility for that animal. The same responsibility shall be assumed for any animal sold or placed which comes into the possession of any rescue network or shelter at any point in the dog's life. This applies to all co-breeders of the dog.

  4. A breeder, for the protection of both breeder and buyer, shall provide adequate written contractual proof of sales and guarantees. No promise shall be made orally which is not put into writing.

  5. It is recommended that a breeder supply a copy of the Code of Ethics to all buyers and explain to them its provisions.

  6. The breeder shall supply the CKC full or limited individual registration certificate within 6 months of completion of the sale, as required in the CKC bylaws. A puppy or dog may not be sold as pure bred, without registration certificate documents as specified in the CKC bylaws.

  7. Any animal sold under the designation "pet/companion" may be sold on a non-breeding agreement submitted to and recorded by the CKC. The "non-breeding status" of the dog in question will be noted on the face of the registration certificate issued by CKC. While such an agreement is in effect, the progeny of a dog covered by such an agreement shall not be eligible for registration by the CKC. A non-breeding agreement may be cancelled by applying in writing to CKC on the appropriate form and with return of the original certificate of registration. Full consent of all involved parties is required to cancel a non-breeding agreement.

  8. It is the ethical obligation of a member breeder to guarantee dogs produced and sold to be as represented. Any replacement or refund arrangement agreed to by breeder and buyer and just to the interests of both parties shall be considered satisfactory. It is understood, however, that any dog which dies or must be destroyed before the age of 18 months due to physical or temperamental conditions which are hereditary, shall be replaced one for one, within a year of death, or if that is not possible, the full purchase price shall be refunded.

  9. Upon releasing any Pyr, pup or adult, the breeder shall follow these guidelines:

• a. He shall supply a pedigree of no less than 3 generations.

• b. He shall provide written information on the care of the animal.

• c. He shall supply records which detail all dates and types of medical care given the animal including shots.

• d. He shall release only animals which are, to the best of his/her knowledge, in good health.

• e. Animals being released shall have had all the necessary inoculations and worming for their age.

• f. All puppies leaving the breeder shall be at least 7 weeks old. Those to be shipped unaccompanied, shall be at least 9 weeks old.

• g. He shall request that buyers take the animal to a veterinarian of their choice upon receipt and if the animal is unhealthy, allow buyers 72 hours to return the animal at their expense for a full refund.

• h. If the animal has not been seen by the buyer or the buyer's agent before shipping, the breeder shall allow the buyer 48 hours to return the animal at the buyer's expense if not satisfied that the animal is as represented by the breeder. A full refund shall be made.

Livestock Guardian Dogs

  1. All provisions of this Code apply to livestock guardian dogs, except as specified.

  2. Members will not engage in the breeding or selling of livestock guardian dogs unless they are willing to undertake the education and responsibility involved with such animals.

  3. In order to protect type and function in the breed, breeders shall not separate show and guardian stock.

  4. It is the obligation of the breeder to determine the specific needs of the buyers and to be available to them for information and advice.

  5. Members recognize the growing impact on the breed of the indiscriminate production of livestock guardian dogs. Therefore, they will observe the following:

• a. All dogs intended to be primary livestock guardian dogs shall be sold on non-breeding agreements filed with and recorded by the CKC, or spayed or neutered before leaving the premises of the breeder.

• b. Pairs of pups or dogs shall not be sold to the same party unless they have been spayed and neutered before leaving the breeder.

• c. Extreme caution will be taken in selling a breedable animal to anyone who breeds, or intends to breed, livestock guardian dogs if that person is not a member of the GPCCanada. Such dogs shall be sold on co-ownership with written contracts specifying that the buyer shall abide by the provisions of this code.




  1. All suspected infractions should be reported to the President in writing. All reports must be signed by the complaining party and shall be accompanied by a $50.00 deposit which shall be refunded if the complaint is upheld. Complaints against members under this Code may be filed by non-members.

  2. Within 30 days, the Club Executive members shall appoint a committee of 3, no more than one of whom may be a member of the Club Executive.

  3. The investigation committee shall immediately contact the accused party and provide him or her with a photocopy of the complaint, including the name of the complaining party. Once the investigation is undertaken, both the complainant and the accused shall refrain from harassment of the other. Any violation of this shall be reported to the committee and may be considered a violation of the Code.

  4. This committee shall investigate the complaint, including but not limited to, contacting the accused and the complaining party.

  5. Upon completion of the investigation and after consideration of the facts developed, the committee will report its finding and recommendations to the GPCCanada Excecutive within 60 days.

  6. The entire GPCCanada Executive will vote on the action to be taken.

  7. Penalties:
    • a. In the case of a first offense, members shall be given one month in which to correct the violation in keeping with the recommendation of the investigating committee and proof of such correction shall be submitted to the committee. Further, the Secretary shall be directed to remove the name of the member from the information and referral list for a period of 6 months.
    • b. In the case of repeated or flagrant violations, the committee may recommend that the case be submitted to the Executive for action on suspension or expulsion.
    • c. In all cases of repeat or flagrant violation, the names of the member, the nature of the violation and the conditions of discipline shall be published in the GPCCanada newsletter.
    • d. Lack of compliance with the terms of discipline shall be considered a flagrant violation and shall be submitted to the Executive.

  8. The President or the Secretary will notify in writing both parties to the complaint, as to the results of the Executive's actions.

  9. Nothing in this implementation section shall in any way preclude the Executive or any individual member from taking stronger action as provided by the Bylaws on discipline.


The GPCCanada Executive or the membership as a whole may, upon sufficient evidence and under certain stipulations, where the good of the breed is protected, waive any of the foregoing provisions. Members are urged to bring to the Executive any problems that confront them in their efforts to comply with the code. The President may appoint a committee as is designated under "implementation" to consult with and assist the member and make recommendations to the Executive.


GPCCanada Code of Ethics,

Effective Date November 1998

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