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Membership Application

Club Code of Ethics

Ethical Statements

TGCBTC members should always act ethically in their actions with their dogs, fellow fanciers, the public, puppy buyers and co-owners.  The TGCBTC expects that all members:

  • Will keep the integrity and welfare of the breed as their first and foremost concern.

  • Will not in any way misrepresent, mislead or be fraudulent.

  • Will never place monetary gain over the welfare of Bull Terriers that are breed and sold.

  • Will advertise honestly.

  • Will be open to discussing existing and potential defects in stock with all persons interested in the health and welfare of my Bull Terriers.

  • Will willingly mentor newcomers to the breed.


Recommendations to Owners

The following are examples of, but not limited to, recommended ethical behavior of good owners.  Ethical owners will:

  • Appreciate the unique nature of the Bull Terrier and will provide responsible care at all times.

  • Maintain the best possible standards of canine health, cleanliness and care.

  • Take all practical precautions to ensure that a dog does not escape or is not stolen and will communicate this to puppy buyers.


Recommendations to Breeders

Breeders have a substantial obligation to buyers, to the public, to the animals used in a breeding program, and to the animals produced from those breedings.  It should be recognized that these obligations are profound and choices made in breeding can affect the future of the breed as a whole.  The following are examples of, but not limited to, recommended ethical behavior of good breeders. 


Ethical practices include:

  • Being knowledgeable of available anecdotal and scientific information when breeding dogs, including education and recommendations by the TGCBTC Board of Directors.

  • Selling or placing Bull Terriers only when confident that the buyer will provide responsible and humane care.  This can be accomplished by means which include

    1. Inspecting each new home’s facilities – either personally or a local representative.Homes should have adequate availability of exercise which may include a fenced yard , other secure enclosure, or availability of other frequent exercise means. Potential owners should be prepared to provide age appropriate care throughout the day.

    2. Sellers checking references, especially local veterinarians. Others to check could include neighbors and co-workers, or family members outside the home.

    3. Strongly encouraging new owners to enroll in socialization or puppy kindergarten classes.

  • Providing a written contract of sale which outlines the expectations of both buyer and breeder.The TGCBTC strongly recommends that the contract include provisions in the following areas;

  1. AKC Registration - Puppies not to be used in a breeding program should be sold on Limited Registration.This is reversible at the breeder’s option.Buyers, of puppies sold as potential breeding stock, should be strongly encouraged by the Breeder to become members of the TGCBTC.

  2. Health Warranty – Warranty term and specific conditions under which the Buyer may receive consideration should be outlined in the contract.The TGCBTC recommends a two year term.

  3. Code of Ethics – Review the TGCBTC Code of Ethics with each prospective owner. My contract of sale will include a copy of the Code of Ethics.

  4. Return/re-homing - the written contract for each puppy that I sell or place will request that the puppy must be returned to me and the terms under which it is returned.I agree that I will be responsible for placing any puppy returned to me into an appropriate home, or if the situation warrants euthanasia.

  5. Explaining to prospective owners their obligations regarding Bull Terriers, especially protection from theft or accidental loss. Sellers should follow up with puppy owners and provide consultation when requested or indicated.

    • Tattooing and/or microchipping all Bull Terriers before registering, selling or placing them. Sellers understand that the TGCBTC recommends DNA profiling of all Bull Terriers. These identifications should be registered with the AKC and any applicable registry. Registration will include the owners’ and breeders’ contract information.

      • Planning each breeding with the advancement and preservation of the breed as the primary goal

      • Registering with the OFA when health tested.

      • Not breeding any Bull Terrier that displays unpredictable aggression towards human beings, uncontrollable dominant aggressive behavior to other dogs, or does not demonstrate sound behavior or balanced temperament.Animals with obsessive-compulsive disorders or neurological disorders, such as seizures, spinning, tail chasing, air snapping, shadow or fly chasing, chest or flank sucking, should not be bred.

      • Having litters only when responsible care can be provided in raising the puppies and when responsible homes are available.

      • Considering the health and well-being of the bitch when determining the frequency of breeding.

      • Not breeding a bitch if it would knowingly compromise the health of the bitch, including ensuring not breeding any bitch prior to the third (3rd) season or two years of age.

      • Being honest and forthright to inform other breeders involved in a mating of a bitch to a stud dog of any potential or produced serious genetic problems related to the bitch or the dog.

      • Being responsible for the placement of puppies afflicted with known serious genetic health defects only into non-breeding homes and after full disclosure of the condition, or in euthanizing them if the condition so warrants.

      • Offering a stud dog contract with each breeding delineating the lifetime responsibility of the owner of the brood bitch in the placement and care of the puppies.

      • Acting responsibly toward all puppies produced by one’s own bitch or stud dog for the lifetime of the puppies. This includes puppies born to bitches under breeding terms. Responsible involvement would include re-homing the puppy or assisting financially in that re-homing process.The expected financial involvement is up to the original purchase price of the puppy. Members in good standing who have complied with the TGCBTC Code of Ethics may look to the Club and its resources for support and assistance in re-homing Bull Terriers in need.



The following defined behaviors are enforceable by the disciplinary provisions of the By-laws of the TGCBTC. All TGCBTC members will

  • Become familiar with, and abide by, the rules of the AKC

  • Act with responsible and courteous behavior, both with fellow members and the public, as a representative of the Bull Terrier breed and the TGCBTC. This includes having control of my Bull Terrier at all times and cleaning up after my dogs in public places. This also means leaving public places, including hotels, in the same condition in which they were found.

  • Keep accurate records and pedigrees.

  • Not engage in any fight-related activities.

  • Not breed or become party to the breeding of a Bull Terrier for the wholesaling of litters or selling to such places as pet dealers, catalog houses, or other commercial sources of distribution, laboratory facilities or auctions.



TGCBTC Code of Ethics- Health Testing Recommendations Appendix


The following represents a basic minimum responsible approach to the application of screening health tests which should be employed by responsible TGCBTC breeder members. These recommendations represent the current best understanding of these issues at the time of this current revision.  As greater understanding of these issues become available, these guidelines will be revised to reflect the then current recommendation regarding these health issues, including adding specific guidelines and recommendations to the Appendix as the progression of science dictates. The breeding of purebred dogs is not an exact science. It is not always possible to prevent the occurrence of inherited diseases, as there are not yet definitive tests to identify carriers of genetic diseases in our breed. A breeder’s obligation with regard to genetic diseases is to make every effort to prevent their occurrence and share openly and honestly all information available regarding the genetic health status of his/her dogs. While elimination of genetic diseases is a worthy goal, the converse is that excessive culling of animals from the gene pool may have the equally deleterious effect of limiting the gene pool in the breed.  Breeders should be cautious about removing animals from the breeding pool solely because they are distantly related to an affected individual. Responsible breeding also should always be intent upon eliminating adverse characteristics – cosmetic, health, or temperament.  Testing should be viewed as a means to this goal.  Breeders should be able to provide proof that their breeding stock has been checked for hearing, heart, kidney and patella related issues.


Bitches should be health tested before each breeding or at least annually, and annually for each stud dog. Minimally, these tests should include a physical examination, a screening for parasites and evaluation of the following four specific areas:


Heart – An internist and/or cardiologist should auscultate all breeding animals. Optimally all breeding animals should have a color Doppler/echo cardiogram.  All murmurs should be followed by a color Doppler/echocardiogram evaluation.


Kidney – A urine sample should be checked for the protein/creatinine ratio. This test is called UPC (Urine Protein Creatinine ratio).  All breeding dogs should be checked annually and bitches before each breeding. The recommended UPC should be <0.3 or below.


Hearing – A BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test should be done on all puppies before the puppy leaves for a new home. This result is usually stable throughout the life of the dog.  It is recommended that all animals used for breeding should be BAER tested and have bilateral hearing.  No bilaterally deaf dogs should ever be bred.


Patella – Checked by palpitation, looking for luxation.  Palpations are rated as No Luxation or luxations scored 1- 4 (1 is slight, 4 severe).  Preferably, all breeding animals should be free of patella luxation.


Great care and concern should be exercised when breeding animals that have a non-life threatening genetic problem.  The point of the health screening tests is to help identify animals which have both desirable qualities and an undesirable health issue, to allow their qualities to be passed on to offspring and to remove offspring which exhibit the undesirable health issue.  By using only the resulting normal offspring for subsequent breedings, we attempt to clear the “gene pool” of affected breeding stock in as few generations as possible.  This technique is the only tool we have at present. With this in mind, the TGCBTC strongly recommends the following:

Immune Mediated Disorders – Bull Terriers may exhibit low grade (i.e. non-life threatening) immune dysfunction.  The best current veterinary advice suggests that this may exhibit itself in primarily two ways.  These are 1) allergy – either food related or environmental allergies (like allergy to grass) and 2) low-normal thyroid function.  Animals who exhibit these traits should only be bred to animals that do not.  Evidence suggests behavioral problems such as tail chasing and shadow chasing may be related to immune deficiency disorders.  Suggested testing includes Dr. Jean Dodds’ or Dr. Alfred Plechner’s protocols.

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