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Code of Ethics

To elaborate on the NIBDFC Constitution and By-Laws, the following Code of Ethics is drawn up and subscribed to by each member of the NIBDFC. Click here to download our Constitution and Bylaws.



Members shall conduct themselves in a manner which reflects a high regard for good sportsmanship, integrity and respect for others, regardless of location or circumstances, but especially when attending any canine-related functions. Members agree to abide by rules of the AKC, or other comparable governing bodies, applicable to the activities in which they engage.



Members are encouraged to acquaint the general public and other Bouvier owners of the contents of this Code of Ethics so they may not become participants in practices which may not be in the best interests of the welfare, improvement or advancement of the Bouvier breed.


Members shall try and educate potential Bouvier owners about the breed and encourage health testing. Members are encouraged to share local club information and other resources with new owners that would be available to assist them.



Members shall maintain good standards of health and care for their Bouviers including proper veterinary care and regular grooming. Members shall also encourage proper mental health and development of their Bouviers by providing proper socialization and training so they do not become a nuisance or a danger to society at large.


Members are encouraged to have health testing done on their dogs, whether they are companion dogs, showing, or breeding. Members shall breed only dogs that have appropriate health testing done to assure that dogs being bred are healthy and free of genetic defects and diseases. Required testing for breeding includes being certified free of hip dysplasia by OFA or a foreign equivalent or have a PennHIP rating of average or above average for the breed; and being tested free of Subaortic Stenosis (with OFA certification recommended). Strongly recommended are other tests including OFA certification for elbow dysplasia, CERF clearance and glaucoma testing for eyes, and thyroid testing. Periodic retesting of dogs is also strongly recommended, whether being used for breeding or not.



The preservation and protection of the Bouvier falls most heavily on those who engage in breeding their Bouviers. Member breeders shall be knowledgeable about the AKC Breed Standard, genetic strengths and weaknesses of the dogs they breed, and good breeding practices. Member breeders?primary concern shall be to produce Bouviers of improved quality, with equal emphasis placed on character, working ability, structural soundness and breed type. Member breeders shall recognize their responsibility for each puppy they cause to be produced and shall be dedicated to providing a quality existence for each one.


Any member engaging in the breeding or sale of Bouviers shall:


  • Keep accurate records in accordance with AKC regulations;
  • Not knowingly sell Bouviers to dog wholesalers and/or retailers, donate a Bouvier for raffle purposes or buy or sell in letter lots;
  • Provide a written sales contract for each sale;
  • Provide accurate health, breeding and registration records for each sale (registration records may be withheld for cause, if clearly agreed to by the buyer);
  • Encourage spay/neuter contracts/agreements as well as the use of limited registrations for any dog/puppy not placed as a show or breeding prospect;
  • Provide a written guarantee on each puppy, outlining recourse for buyers of puppies who develop genetic defects and for show puppies who grow up to be pet quality;
  • Not knowingly misrepresent a pet quality puppy as show quality;
  • Not release puppies before 7 weeks of age, and then only if they are healthy and have had the required inoculations;
  • Breed only quality Bouviers that have no disqualifying faults or major departures from the breed standard such as unstable temperament; brown, white or parti-colored; orchidism; brown, pink or spotted nose;
  • Breed dogs that are at least two years of age and have been certified free of hip dysplasia by OFA or a foreign equivalent;
  • Not breed any bitch for three consecutive seasons;
  • Offer a repeat stud service at the bitch’s next season, where she has failed to produce a litter, if the stud dog is still in good health and is still available;
  • Bred their AKC Unlimited registered Bouvier only to another Bouvier with Unlimited AKC registration or foreign equivalent.
  • Stud owners shall encourage bitch owners to breed their Bouvier only if they have the facilities, time and resources to adequately care for a litter. A written stud service agreement should be used, and should include terms that would preclude the bitch owner from selling to wholesalers/retailers or in litter lots.
  • Bitch owners must be aware of their unique obligation and responsibility with causing a litter of puppies to be born. They shall not cause a litter to be produced unless they are prepared to properly care for the puppies for as long as necessary to find appropriate homes. They shall properly screen potential buyers for suitability as well as provide follow-up support, advise and assistance as needed. The breeder of a litter should be prepared to take back a Bouvier they had produced if it becomes necessary for the welfare of the dog, or to keep it from being turned in to a humane society or rescue organization.



Members advertisements, whether written or oral, shall be factual and forthrightly honest in both substance and implication.



Members agree that violations of this Code of Ethics shall be handled in accordance with the grievance process in the Constitution and By-Laws of the NIBdFC, Article VI, Section 2.


Members agree that should they, through no fault of their own, be in violation of this Code of Ethics, they shall have recourse to the Grievance Committee as appointed under Article VI, of the Constitution and By-Laws.