Code of Ethics

This Code of Ethics is presented as a guide for owners, breeders, and potential breeders of Labrador Retrievers, whose foremost aims should be the welfare and improvement of the breed. All breeders should do everything possible to protect and advance the interests of the breed. They should consider the breed and the following principles when engaged in any activities involving the breeding, exhibiting and selling of Labrador Retrievers and refrain from any activities which would be detrimental to the best interests of the breed and The Labrador Club Inc.

Members considering breeding should ask themselves if they have the knowledge, time and resources to be a breeder. Their commitment affects the quality, health and future of the animals themselves, as well as the breed as a whole. Breeders have a responsibility to understand genetics, to recognise common breed problems and in particular understand the breeding line(s) they plan breed from.

This code of ethics applies to both the owners of the brood bitch and the stud dog:

1 Breeders should only breed with the intentions of breeding sound healthy Labradors, and only
when the breeder is in a position to properly care for the bitch and litter and capable of finding suitable homes for the puppies. The breeder should recognize that it may be necessary to house offspring for a considerable length of time and be prepared to provide suitable facilities during this period.

2 Breeders should breed from parents who are in good health and are physically and temperamentally sound. No dog or bitch should knowingly be bred from that is likely to produce a litter exhibiting any serious inherited defect or disease.

3 Both parents should have at a minimum and make such information available to prospective purchasers:

a) Hip and elbow radiographs scored by a recognised New Zealand or overseas authority.

b) An eye examination conducted within the last twelve months and certified free of inherited disease by a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist or, in the case of imported dogs, current appropriate clearances from its country of origin.

4 With the advent of the specific gene test for PRA-prcd it is expected that breeders use the information provided from such results to avoid producing affected progeny.

5 A bitch should not be allowed to produce an excessive number of litters. Sufficient time should be allowed between litters for the bitch to recuperate.

6 Breeders will raise their puppies in a healthy environment with adequate socialization. All puppies should be vaccinated and wormed in accordance with veterinary recommendations. The optimum age for a puppy to be placed in a new home is considered to be on or about seven weeks.

7 Breeders will screen each prospective puppy buyer and strive to place each dog in a permanent home that is appropriate. Under no circumstances will an ethical breeder engage in wholesaling litters nor will they sell to pet dealers or retailers, auction internet sites, commercial breeding operations, or supply puppies or dogs for raffles, lotteries, or laboratories. Breeders should try to offer assistance in the placement or relocation of the dog to a new home, if purchaser’s situation changes so they can’t keep their Labrador.

8 All breeders are expected to keep accurate and thorough breeding records. Each breeder will supply to each purchaser a three generation pedigree, vaccination record, NZKC registration papers (unless it is withheld by agreement of both parties), and instructions for care and feeding. ABOVE ALL, BREEDERS SHOULD BE HONEST when dealing with puppy purchasers in all matters such as pedigrees, clearances, and inherited attributes.

The Club’s expectations are that individual breeder members will:

1 Exhibit good sportsmanship at all dog-related activities.

2 Make themselves available at shows and other club events to assist novices and the general public with information concerning the Labrador Retriever.

3 Use humane methods when showing or training dogs.

4 When confronted by a situation not covered in this Code of Ethics conduct themselves as they would like to be treated.

5 Promote the Labrador Club Inc by encouraging new members to join

6 Promote the Labrador Club handbook to puppy buyers


This Code of Ethics is intended as an expression of goals for breeders. It is not to be construed as a rule or regulation of the Club to be enforced by punishment. Breeders are expected to police themselves in a civil and responsible manner.