English Springer Spaniel Club

Code of Ethics

Applicable to English Springer Spaniel Club Members (paragraphs 1 – 14)


ethicsAll breeders who register their puppies, and new owners who register ownership of their dogs with the Kennel Club, accept the jurisdiction of the Kennel Club and undertake to abide by its General Code of Ethics.

It is now compulsory for a Breed Club to advise its Members that items 1 – 14 of the Kennel Club Code of Ethics are mandatory. Breach of these provisions may result in expulsion from ESSC membership, and/or disciplinary actions by the Kennel Club and/or reporting to the relevant authorities for legal action, as appropriate. The English Springer Spaniel Club accepts this.

Please Note:
The English Springer Spaniel Club also supports additional guidelines for ESSC Members (as set out in paragraphs 15 – 33 below), and they have been included to complement the KC GENERAL CODE OF ETHICS and relate to the English Springer Spaniel (They were approved by the KC in July 2009)

ESSC Members:
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 performing an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal, may report such operation 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 aspect 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 persons regarding the health or quality of a dog.
KC/GJ/September 2009

The English Springer Spaniel Club also supports the following additional guidelines for ESSC Members (as set out in paragraphs 15 – 33), and they have been included to complement the KC GENERAL CODE OF ETHICS and relate to the English Springer Spaniel. (They were approved by the KC in July 2009)
These additional guidelines include principles that support the breeding, stud work, rearing, selling and homing of all English Springer Spaniels and the ESSC asks that their Members adhere to them.
Any failure to do so may be investigated by the ESSC Committee who may then, if they consider it appropriate, institute the procedure for expulsion in accordance with the Club Rules.
15. In addition to the wearing of a tagged collar (see KC Code No. 8), members are strongly recommended to use microchipping or tattooing as the recognised means of identifying their dogs (important for health testing purposes, as well as loss, stray or theft
16. Before breeding a litter, serious and equal consideration should be given to construction, temperament, health and soundness. In the choice of breeding stock it should always be borne in mind that aggression and nervousness form no part of an English Springer Spaniel’s temperament and character.
17. No bitch should be required to have more than four litters or thirty-two progeny and no bitch should be bred from at successive seasons except under veterinary advice or unless a period of more than twelve months has elapsed. No bitch should be mated before the age of eighteen months, nor after the age of seven years, except under special circumstances. Before a bitch is mated due regard should be given to her general condition and fitness and, in the case of a second or subsequent litters, her previous breeding history including ease of whelping. In all cases of doubt, veterinary opinion should be sought.
18. All breeding should be aimed at the improvement of the breed. Members should do everything in their power to discourage indiscriminate breeding from unsuitable stock.
19. No member should breed a litter unless they have the time and facilities to devote proper care and attention to the rearing of the puppies and to the well-being of the dam. No member should provide stud services unless they are fully satisfied that the owner of the bitch has such time and facilities.
20. No puppies should leave the breeder before the age of seven weeks, eight weeks of age would be preferable. Puppies should not be sold to homes where it is known that they will be left on their own all day.
21. No puppies should be exported before they are fully inoculated according to the Regulations in force in the country to which they are exported. Puppies should never be sold to countries where they are not protected by anti-cruelty laws. If doubt exists, DEFRA and/or the Kennel Club should be consulted.
22. Puppies should never be knowingly sold to laboratories, pet shops or dealers in dogs or to persons known to sell puppies to any of these outlets, nor should stud services be provided in these cases. A puppy should never be sold or offered as a prize in a raffle or any other competition.
23. Prospective buyers of puppies and/or adult stock should be carefully screened for suitability and should be fully advised of the characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel as a breed, stressing the necessity for care, grooming and ample exercise. It should also be stated whether the animal is registered with the Kennel Club.
24. No puppy or adult which has any apparent physical defect or which shows any definite departure from the Breed Standard should be knowingly sold without the buyer being made fully aware of such defect and its possible consequences. Members should only sell puppies and adults which, to the best of their knowledge and belief are in good health at the time of sale.
25. Each purchaser of an English Springer Spaniel puppy or adult should be provided at the time of sale with a signed pedigree certificate (minimum 4 generation), together with written information covering diet (puppy to adult), worming, grooming, vaccination protocols, training, exercise and basic health. It is hoped that the breeders will give information about the ESSC and consider proposing the purchaser for membership. The purchaser should also be provided, where applicable, either at the time of sale or as soon as possible thereafter, with any necessary documentation for Kennel Club registration. No puppy should be sold without the buyer being aware that they will be unable to register it with the Kennel Club.
26. A breeder should register each litter with the Kennel Club. If so doing, it would be advantageous for endorsements to be placed on registrations if applicable under KC regulation B12.
27. It should be impressed on buyers that they should contact the breeder in the event of any problem arising with the puppy or adult and the breeder to make every effort to be of assistance in these circumstances
28. Advertising by Members should be strictly factual. Misleading exaggeration or unfounded implications of superiority should not be used. Members should refrain from making unfair or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others.
29. Members will be expected to be co-operative in any measures aimed at the eradicating of any hereditary diseases, including undertaking to have breeding stock tested under BVA/KC Eye, Hip and Elbow testing schemes, and/or for hereditary diseases for which there is a KC Breed Scheme for DNA testing. They shall commit themselves to a positive programme of testing for hereditary defects as agreed by the ESS Breed Clubs and Societies and will make available copies of relevant documents to purchasers of their stock at the time of sale.
30. It would follow that it is the responsibility of all Stud Dog owners to investigate the history of visiting bitches. No bitch should be mated unless she fulfills the criteria as stated in this schedule.
31. Owners of Stud Dogs should agree a contract prior to a mating. Both parties should have the terms agreed in writing and both parties are required to sign the contract.
32. Any agreement of a loan of the bitch for breeding purposes should be entered into with great care. It is recommended that the Kennel Club Regulations for Loan or Use of Bitch for Breeding Purposes be used (KC Regs B, Annex C)
33. Overseas members are expected to follow the spirit of this code whilst conforming to the rules of their governing Kennel Club.
Any breeder experiencing a problem over any part of this code should seek assistance from the ESSC through its Secretary.