Code of Ethics 2016-08-05T00:01:04+00:00


Bedlington Terrier Club of America, Inc.

This code of ethics is a guideline for how B.T.C.A. members and breeders conduct themselves as they pursue this hobby of owning, showing, and breeding Bedlington Terriers. The purpose is not to punish a member for his/her conduct (other than violations of the B.T.C.A. or AKC rules and bylaws), but to point a way toward responsible caring ownership, exhibiting, and breeding.


Each Bedlington terrier should be provided with humane living quarters, veterinary supervised health care, proper nutrition, and grooming.

No member should engage in false or misleading advertising or other misrepresentation of the Bedlington Terrier.

No member should malign other Bedlington Terrier fanciers by making false or misleading statements regarding their Bedlington Terriers, breeding practices, or personal lives.

Members should conduct themselves in a manner to reflect credit upon them, the breed, and the Club whether at home, at shows, or traveling by:

  1. Displaying good sportsmanship at all times.
  2. Refraining from false or malicious criticism (hurtful or mean-spirited comments) about a competitor’s dog, a breeder, an owner, or a judge’s decision.
  3. Practicing and promoting responsible dog ownership to include the conduct and control of your dog in public places.
  4. Respecting the property of others, including facilities used for dog events, especially by use of proper sanitary measures.

No member should communicate in a false or misleading manner by means of the Internet, telephone or mail. Members are reminded that they should be especially careful of the image of the Bedlington terrier, the Bedlington Terrier Club of America, and themselves when communicating by these instantaneous and far reaching mediums. In the interest of sportsmanlike conduct, one’s opinion should always be presented as only one’s personal opinion, and presented without malice. No officer, board member, or committee member should present personal viewpoints via a public medium and indicate that they represent the membership of the B.T.C.A. as a whole.

No member should create points/majors for his/her dogs by exhibiting other dogs of obviously inferior quality or in an ungroomed/unclean condition to build such points in an effort to complete the championship of a dog/bitch. In the interest of good sportsmanship, members should make every effort to show their exhibits each day that they are scheduled to compete, not pulling entries resulting in broken points for other exhibitors.


All breeding stock should be of sound temperament. Breeding animals should be of good health, free of all internal and external parasites and communicable diseases. Testing for parasites and communicable diseases should be done as close to breeding time as possible. Testing for common genetic defects should always be done prior to breeding any dog or bitch.

Breeders have a responsibility to know as much as they are able to about the genetic makeup of their breeding stock. Suitable breeding partners should be selected, taking into account inheritable defects detrimental to the animal’s well-being, such as blindness, lameness, or impairment of vital functions.

Depending on the health of the animal, the recommended age range for breeding is as follows: bitches between the ages of 18 months to 10 years; dogs between 1 year and 12 years. A bitch should not be bred before her second season or 18 months of age, whichever occurs first. The maximum recommended numbers of litters a bitch should have in a lifetime is 4 to 5 litters, and only if the bitch remains in good health.

Each stud service should be initiated with a written stud contract, as per AKC guidelines for record keeping.

Breeders should keep accurate records of matings and pedigrees in accordance with all AKC requirements and shall register all litters of these matings.


No Bedlington terrier should knowingly be sold to pet dealers/wholesalers, nor should they be offered in raffles or other giveaways, either singly or in litters.

Members should inform and instruct new or prospective owners of the responsibility and proper care of a puppy or adult Bedlington Terrier. Each Bedlington Terrier placed should be accompanied by the following:

  •  Feeding instructions and dog food recommendations
  • Medical records including vaccination dates and vaccines used
  • Parasite exams and treatment if necessary
  • A minimum four (4) generation pedigree
  • A copy of the breed standard
  • AKC registration papers specifying “Full” or “Limited” registration
  • Grooming instructions

New owners should be encouraged to keep the breeder informed about the development of the puppy and to contact the breeder immediately concerning any health issues, physical abnormalities, and/or death of the animal. The breeder should likewise be available to new owners for the life of the dog.

If the placement involves the sale of a dog, the breeder should provide the new owner with a written bill of sale. This bill of sale should stipulate the conditions of the sale and should formalize any agreements between the breeder and the new owner such as breeding, spay-neuter, exhibiting, etc. The breeder does not give up responsibility for the dog with the placement of the dog. He should agree to take back any Bedlington that is unwanted for any reason, at any time for the life of the dog. A specific stipulation in the bill of sale should require the buyer either to return the dog to the breeder or place it with new owners who have been approved by the breeders. The bill of sale should include the breeder’s address, telephone number, and e-mail address to facilitate the new owner in contacting the breeder.

It should be understood that the parent club rescue program is not for the disposition of unwanted Bedlington puppies or adults. While the rescue program will not turn away any Bedlington in need, a member who abandons a dog in rescue should be considered suspect in his/her devotion to the breed.