Code Of Ethics

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America Code Of Ethics

This code of ethics is established to protect, advance the interests of, and to improve the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed; to maintain high standards of conduct within ownership, breeding, sportsmanship and ethics.


Responsible ownership indicates that you provide the following for all dogs in your care:

A. The best possible standards of health care for the physical and emotional well-being of your dog(s). This includes but is not limited to: appropriate food, shelter, sanitation, immunizations, regular health checks, medical care as needed, attention, exercise and affection regularly.

B. Keep only as many dogs for which the above can be provided.

C. Control your dog(s) at all times, both on and off your premises, in the form of leashes or the appropriate training to affect this control. Your Stafford(s) should never be allowed to roam unattended. Avoid discredit to the breed and yourself by curbing your dog where required and cleaning up after your dog in public places (i.e. Parks, hotels, motels, show sites, etc) and leaving public facilities clean.

D. Identification for your animals in the form of collars with tags, tattooing, or microchip implants. Accurate records complete with photos and a list of each dog's readily identifiable marks and/or characteristics should be available.

E. Fairness to your dog and the breeder. If for any reason you find you cannot keep, or do not wish to keep the dog you have purchased, contact the breeder. Responsible breeders make every effort to see that the dog is re-homed. NEVER turn the dog loose to fend for itself or attempt to sell the dog on Craigslist, Puppyfind, or other similar classified publication. If the breeder cannot be contacted your next step should be to contact the SBTCA for help.

F. A humane death for your dog when necessary. Euthanasia should be accomplished by a lethal injection and administered by qualified personnel.


Members who wish to breed Staffordshire Bull Terriers should do so only with the full understanding of the responsibility they bear to the future of the breed and to the future of the puppies produced by them. Breeders should understand the breed standard, be able to evaluate both individual dogs' traits and the traits of their ancestors and apply the principles of genetics to attempt to improve upon the next generation. Additionally, breeders should have knowledge of mating, the care of the bitch in whelp, raising a litter, and the time effort and resources required to engage in this activity.

BREEDING should only be considered:

A. With the intention of producing Staffords who are physically and mentally sound, of the proper temperament, and within the desired type and characteristics inherent to the breed  as described in the official Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed standard.

B. When the breeding stock has been selected based upon the breed standard, merit of the individuals, genetics, pedigrees, and when every reasonable attempt has been made to determine that the dogs selected are in the best health, temperamentally sound and free of any serious inheritable genetic disease or defect including but not limited to: L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (“L-2-HGA”), Hereditary Juvenile Cataracts (“HC”), Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (“PHPV”), and Posterior Polar Subcapsular Cataracts (“PPSC”)

The SBTCA encourages breeders to screen litters for PHPV before placement as it can be detected as early as 6 weeks of age.

C. When the breeder is in the position to offer proper care to the dam and the litter. Suitable homes are not always readily available, therefore the breeder must be committed to long term care and be able to provide the additional facilities needed for the physical and emotional development of the puppies.

D. Breeder must be prepared to ensure to the best of their ability that no stud dog or brood bitch owned by them is bred to any dog or bitch whose owner is directly or indirectly involved with any dog broker, puppy mill, pet shop that retails dogs, auctions, litter lot sales, or any other commercial enterprise whose business is involved in these activities.

The SBTCA Strongly Recommends

E. That all puppies are micro-chipped before they leave the breeder's house, with the breeder on the paperwork as an alternate contact.

F. That all breeding stock is DNA tested for L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (L2-HGA) and Hereditary Juvenile Cataracts (HC) as well as having a current CERF clearance (within a year) before being bred.


G. No stud dog or brood bitch shall be cross-bred to an unregistered dog or crossbred with another breed.

H. No brood bitch shall be bred for commercial gain.

I. Studs/bitches shall be properly registered with the American Kennel Club. Stud/bitch owners shall keep accurate, current breeding record, health records, and pedigrees according to AKC policy and make these available on request of the other party.

J. Stud dogs shall be over one year of age, in good health, parasite free and free of any known communicable disease or serious genetic defects.

K. No bitch will be bred prior to her second season and the SBTCA recommends she be at least 24 months old. She will be in good health parasite free, and free of any known communicable diseases or serious genetic defects.

L. No bitch will be bred more than twice in any three consecutive seasons.

M. No bitch shall be bred after her 6th birthday without a thorough exam by a veterinarian to determine the state of her health.

N Any bitch having two caesarians will be considered unfit for breeding.


A. Litters shall not be sold to a person en-bloc, to commercial sources, or for purposes of resale.

B. Breeders should consult with known authorities regarding countries outside the United States where dog fighting has not been made illegal practice and refuse ALL export to these countries.

C. No Stafford shall be sold with any defect that will interfere with its ability to perform and function as a pet or companion.

D. Puppies shall be placed in private, safe, and caring homes. Buyers should be as thoroughly screened as possible to determine their stability to provide proper environment. Prior to placing any Stafford puppy, the breeder should discuss with the prospective owner the health care and behavioral management needs of the dog and provide recommendations for general care. Breeders should remain available for advice when sought, for the lifetime of the offspring from their dogs.

E. Puppies shall not be sold prior to seven weeks of age, and with the proper temporary vaccination protection. Puppy buyers should be provided with a copy of the Breed Standard, all health care records, a bill of sale, and an accurate three generation pedigree, a registration application provided by the AKC or, alternatively, an AKC registration certificate, and a copy of the SBTCA Code of Ethics.

F. Breeders should follow up on the puppy after its sale to insure continued care and to evaluate the progress of his or her own breeding program. The buyer should provide reasonable opportunity for the examination and inspection of the premises and environment maintained for the puppy. Fenced yards are recommended.

G. Breeders shall provide assistance to dogs of their breeding in need of rehoming whether through a shelter, rescue organization, or an individual. Stud dog owners should also assist with rehoming of dogs sired by their stud dogs.


A. Advertising should be truthful and should not refer in a deprecatory manner to the methods, reputations, or animals of other Stafford owners. Advertising should not be used to promote the rearing of dogs for profit.

B. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier owner/breeder/exhibitor shall NEVER, under any circumstances, condone, support, or ignore the practice of pitting a dog against any other animals in a fight for pleasure or profit. Information regarding this type of abuse shall be reported to the proper humane authorities.

C. Good sportsmanship should be advanced by all. When participating in competitions refrain from the use of disparaging, false, and misleading statements about judges, fellow competitors, and other Stafford owners. Conduct yourself in such a manner as to reflect credit on the sport of purebred dogs in general, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in particular.

D. All Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners should stay abreast of current state/local laws and legislation related to the dog. Owners are encouraged to take the time to educate the public regarding the breed in order to help prevent breed specific laws.

E. All SBTCA members should be willing to help with Stafford rescue in any capacity they can, whether it is in identifying a possible rescue case, fostering, temperament testing, training, transport, doing home checks, or a donation to the SBTCA Rescue Fund.

**Members who blatantly disregard this Code of Ethics risks the possibility of having their membership brought up for review by the Board of Directors as a complaint can be filed by a member in good standing as per Article VI Section 2 of the SBTCA By-Laws.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:29
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