Each member of the Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) is asked to adhere to a Code of Ethics. The purpose is to encourage folks to do the right thing when it comes to breeding and owning Weimaraners.
The below is a guideline, and recommended adherence can only be “strongly recommended.” If you come across a breeder who doesn’t adhere to one or more of the below statements, simply ask them about it. If their reasoning doesn’t seem logical to you, please trust your gut and move onto the next breeder.
As a member in good standing of the WCA, Barrett Weimaraners has made a commitment to adhere to the Code of Ethics (and our annotations to the below Code are written in red). Further, we ask that Barrett Weimaraner puppy owners should apply for membership to the WCA and make the same commitment. Why? Because I feel it’s the right thing to do.
Please holler with any questions.
Submitted by the WCA Board of Directors to the membership.
This code is established in accordance with the objectives of the Weimaraner Club of America and is set forth as a guideline to protect and advance the interests of the Weimaraner by maintaining high breeding standards and by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, field trials, agility trials, obedience trials and tracking tests. Adherence to the code is strongly recommended.
The breeder will:
- Breed only with the intention of improving the breed, and of finding suitable homes for the puppies. Confirmed. Every breeding is a contribution to our master breeding program, which at the highest level, strives to improve the breed. Our breeding philosophy statement can be found here. Every effort to find suitable homes for the puppies is made, and is partially demonstrated here.
- Choose only healthy parents of good temperament and qualities in relation to the Weimaraner’s AKC approved standard whose hips have been found free of hip dysplasia by a recognized hip registry such as Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or Penn-Hip. Animals under the age of two should have a preliminary hip X-ray or Penn–Hip to evaluate hip status before breeding. Confirmed. Based on this statement, it can be concluded that the WCA does not frown upon breeding a bitch prior to 24 months of age, and certainly, some do. (Note that final OFA for hip ratings cannot be provided until a dog is at least two years of age.) Dogs are like people and mature at different rates; it’s quite possible that a Weimaraner bitch may be mature at 18, 20, or 23 months of age. To determine whether or not a breeding is appropriate, breeders must also rely on good common sense and ethics. To date, the Sire and Dam of every Barrett Weimaraner puppy produced have had health clearances, including OFA results to demonstrate they are free of hip dysplasia.
- Avoid repeatedly using dogs which on multiple occasions and with different mates that have produced progeny with life impacting defects or extreme disqualifying faults. Confirmed. Breeding OUT life impacting defects and extreme disqualifying faults is a fundamental element to the Barrett breeding program. Further, in the spirit of education and betterment of the breed, every effort is made to share pertinent health information with the Weimaraner community to ensure that breeders of related dogs of those impacted are aware so they may adjust their breeding plans as necessary.
- Breed only mature bitches with excellent pre-natal and post-natal care for the dam and puppies. Confirmed.
- Refuse to breed a stud to any female which is markedly inferior physically, mentally or temperamentally. The stud dog owner should be prepared to share the responsibility for placement of the puppies by referring purchasers to the bitch owner and helping with screening homes if necessary. Confirmed. This has always been a community effort among The Barrett Collective.
- It is the breeder’s responsibility to take back or handle the proper placement of any dog they have produced. Confirmed. This is outlined in every executed Purchase Agreement.
The owner shall maintain the best possible standards of canine health, cleanliness and veterinary care, including mental health such as contact with people and exposure to the outside world. Confirmed. This is outlined in our Purchase Agreement. We also send our puppies home with a multi-page socialization checklist to ensure that every puppy is properly exposed to the outside world.
The owner shall breed only AKC registered or AKC recognized foreign registered Weimaraners with other AKC registered or AKC recognized foreign registered Weimaraners, and keep accurate records of matings and pedigrees. Use an AKC Limited Registration on all puppies of questionable quality of structure or health, or which should not otherwise be used for breeding. Confirmed. We keep a record of all matings and pedigrees. Dogs that are not designated as competition and/or breeding prospects come with a no-breeding clause and/or spay/neuter agreement with serious consequences if the agreement is breached. This is outlined in our Purchase Agreement.
The owner/breeder shall:
1. Not breed, sell or consign puppies or adults to pet shops or other commercial dealers. Confirmed. This is outlined in our Purchase Agreement.
2. Screen all prospective new owners to assure that puppies will have a safe and loving home. Confirmed. This is done by personally getting to know every prospective Barrett puppy owner.
3. Urge the new puppy owners to spay or neuter all pets which for any reason will not be used for breeding. Breeders should also provide information on the potential negative impacts of premature sterilization on the late maturing Weimaraner, especially those destined for competitive careers. Confirmed. This is outlined in our Purchase Agreement.
4. Use a written contract to clearly explain all expectations for both the breeder and new owner. Confirmed. This is outlined in our Purchase Agreement.
5. Honestly evaluate the quality of the Weimaraner sold/placed and fairly represent that evaluation. Not release puppies before they are seven weeks of age and furnish details on feeding, general care, medical inoculations and care, pedigrees, etc. Confirmed. Both conformation and temperament testing is done on every puppy, initially at 7 weeks for placement, and again periodically over time to evaluate every puppy for the life of that dog. Puppies are never sent home prior to 8 weeks.
6. Readily take back or re-home puppies that do not work out for one reason or another. Make every effort in finding a new forever home, even with dogs placed in Rescue programs. Confirmed. This is outlined in our Purchase Agreement. I’m also a founding member of a California-based Weimaraner Rescue organization: www.CalWEAR.org and although we’ve placed over 300 through rescue, not a single one of them has come from a Southern CA Weimaraner breeder who is a member of the WCA.
7. Follow up on puppies after placement to insure their continuing care and to encourage the owners to become involved in Weimaraner activities in show, obedience, agility, field and tracking. Confirmed. We keep tabs on EVERY puppy we produce. Not a single week goes by that we don’t hear from one of our puppy owners.
The owner shall always conduct himself in a manner which will reflect credit upon himself, his Weimaraner and the Sport of purebred dogs, regardless of the location or circumstance. Confirmed. Absolutely.
Approved December 5, 2008
Note: You may visit the WCA website directly to verify the above language (non-red portions) hasn’t been modified or re-written.
In summary, please do some research on the ethics of your prospective breeder. The success of your relationship with that breeder is VITAL to the success of raising your Weimaraner.