Great Pyrenees Club of America

Code of Ethics

The Great Pyrenees Club of America, in keeping with its aims of encouraging the development of finer Great Pyrenees, has adopted the following Code Of Ethics to promote and foster the highest standards among breeders and owners, and to encourage cooperation in the improvement, advancement, and protection of our breed. All members of the Great Pyrenees Club of America shall abide by this Code of Ethics. Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the Club or Breed.

Member Relations

  1. Members shall be aware at all times that the Club exists to protect the breed and that these aims are to be uppermost in the minds of members in all their activities in the breed.
  2. Members will at all times, whether at home, traveling, at shows or at motels, display good sportsmanship and conduct themselves in such a manner as to reflect credit upon the club and the breed.
  3. Members shall refrain from unnecessary and unconstructive criticism of another’s dog and from personal attacks upon a fellow member.
  4. Novices are encouraged to seek the advice and assistance of more experienced owners and breeders, and the more experienced shall graciously assist the novice with his problems, and share for the good of the breed, the benefits of his knowledge.
  5. In all questions of ethics, covered or not covered by this Code, the individual member shall act solely in the best interests of the breed, and the membership as a whole shall willingly aid any fellow member in upholding these interests.
  6. Members shall bear in mind that a Code of Ethics is more than a set of rules; it is a commitment to a high standard of practice in owning and breeding and that adherence to the spirit of the Code is as important as adherence to its law.


  1. All Great Pyrenees owned by, or in the care of, members shall be given a proper, healthy environment, nutrition and care at all times and no member shall have more dogs than can be safely and adequately housed and cared for. No member’s dog may be treated in an inhumane manner subjected to cruel or unusual punishment or abused. Nor may it be subjected to any conditions likely to eventuate in unnecessary danger to the dog’s life.
  2. Members shall be diligent in the handling of their dogs in public places and shall do so in a manner to minimize the risk of trauma or danger to any human being or animal.
  3. Members recognize their responsibility to protect the name and reputation of the breed and shall not allow their dogs to roam at large unsupervised, nor to become a public nuisance, nor to become a public trust.
  4. Treatment and handling of active livestock guardian dogs owned by members shall be consonant with the best management techniques for such dogs.


  1. All advertisement of puppies and adult dogs, written or oral, shall be factual and as forthrightly honest as possible in both substance and implication.
  2. Advertising and promotion, written or oral, shall be confined to the aspects of the breeder’s stock and shall not degrade the stock of others.
  3. The breeder shall be cautious in discussing show prospects of any animal lest it imply a guarantee of show success that cannot or will not be insured.
  4. The breeder shall be equally cautious in encouraging buyers as to breeding prospects, inasmuch as the breeding of a Great Pyrenees is not to be undertaken lightly by any owner.


  1. Anyone breeding a bitch bears great responsibility to the future of the breed; therefore a breeder shall plan each breeding with the paramount intention of advancing and protecting the breed, and only when in a position to give proper care to both bitch and offspring.
  2. The bitch owner safeguards a bitch from breedings which are not carefully planned.
  3. Recognizing the extended growth pattern of a giant breed, the breeder shall not breed a bitch before her second heat; breed a bitch before 20 months without the express approval of a veterinarian; breed a bitch more than 2 out of 3 heats.
  4. A breeder carefully selects stud and matron with an eye to conformation and temperament and only after careful study of the breed standard, the individuals and their near relatives, the pedigrees and the basic principals of genetics.
  5. All animals to be bred shall have sound, typical structure, conformation and type, and shall be of sound temperament and free from crippling or disabling hereditary defects.
  6. A breeder shall refrain from using an individual who, although free from such hereditary defects, consistently produces afflicted offspring from different mates.
  7. Any breeder breeding from lines in which any serious or disabling hereditary defects occur has an ethical obligation to disclose that to all buyers.
  8. Dogs being bred shall have been x-rayed for hip dysplasia. The results of these x-rays shall be made known to the owner of stud and bitch and to all buyers of pups. If the animal is not free of dysplasia, the implications of that fact shall be made clear to all buyers. Members should be aware that it is inadvisable and genetically risky to breed an animal which is not totally free of hip dysplasia. If an individual is bred on the basis of a screening x-ray at under 18 months old , it shall be re-x-rayed at over 18 months. Adult x-rays shall be submitted to the GDC, OFA or Penn Hip.

Stud Service

  1. Anyone using their dog at stud bears great responsibility to the future of the breed; therefore a stud owner shall use the dog discriminately and with the paramount intention of advancing and protecting the breed.
  2. No member shall offer at stud an animal who does not meet the requirements set forth above for bitches in sections 4-8.
  3. If the stud has not been bred before or has not produced a live litter or has had breeding problems in the past, such information shall be provided to the bitch owner before the bitch is accepted for breeding.
  4. Prior to accepting any bitch for service, it is the obligation of the stud owner to advise novice breeders of the responsibilities, problems, obligations and expenses involved in breeding a litter.
  5. It shall be the responsibility of the stud owner to ascertain that any bitch brought to any stud shall meet the requirements of the Code, whether owned by a club member of not. The stud owner shall further ascertain to the best of his ability that any produce of the breeding shall be raised and sold in a manner in keeping with the ethical standards of this Code. The stud owner shall supply any bitch owner who is not a GPCA member with a copy of this Code and explain its provisions.
  6. The owner of the stud is under no obligation to provide stud service for a bitch who when brought to the stud dog is not as represented by her owner or presents serious hereditary defects or is not in good health.
  7. The owner of a male shall not accept a bitch for service if the bitch cannot be maintained in a safe and healthy manner.
  8. Bitches shall be bred only to the stud specified by her owner unless an acceptable substitute is agreed upon by both parties.
  9. Insofar as is possible, at least 2 services shall be effected, and it is the obligation of the stud owner to offer a free return service under the same conditions if no litter results. A litter is defined for the purposes of this Code as a minimum of 2 live pups at 36 hours.
  10. Owners of stud and bitch shall sign a written agreement, clearly stating the conditions and terms of service.
  11. The owner of the stud dog has an obligation to all pups sired by his males (s). Therefore, if the owner of the bitch (breeder of the litter) refuses to take responsibility for the puppies produced as set forth in “Sales” the owner of the stud dog shall assume that responsibility.


  1. A breeder shall be discriminating in the sale of all dogs and concerned with the type of home in which they are placed. No member shall engage in wholesaling litters, or in individual sales or consignments of pups or adults to pet shops, dealers, catalog houses or other commercial establishments. Nor shall they be donated or given as prizes in contests, raffles or fund raising events, no matter how charitable.
  2. A breeder shall be available to buyers for whatever advice, reasonable aid or assistance they may need for the life of the dog. GPCA members shall help and support their fellow members in fulfilling this obligation.
  3. Any member selling or placing a Great Pyrenees is expected to assist any buyer in finding a suitable new home for their dog at any time that the buyer wishes to relinquish it. If the buyer is unable or unwilling to find such a home, the member shall assume physical and/or financial responsibility for that animal. The same responsibility shall be assumed for any animal sold or placed which comes into the possession of any rescue network or shelter at any point in the dog’s life. This applies to all co-breeders of the dog.
  4. A breeder, for the protection of both breeder and buyer, shall provide adequate written contractual proof of sales and guarantees. No promise shall be made orally which is not put into writing.
  5. It is recommended that a breeder supply a Copy of the Code of Ethics to all buyers and explain to them its provisions.
  6. The breeder shall supply the AKC full or limited individual registration form or a written guarantee that it shall be supplied by the time the pup is 4 mos old, or on completion of sale. A puppy may, for good cause, be sold without papers if this in understood and agreed to in writing by both parties, as specified by AKC.
  7. Any animal sold under the designation “pet/companion” shall be sold without full registration papers and on a mandatory spay/neuter contract. A breeder may supply full registration papers upon proof of sterilization or upon the breeders reassessment of the animal as being of “show/breeding” quality.
  8. It is the responsibility of a breeder to grade all litters as to quality. A breeder shall not offer a buyer the choice of purchasing the same pup for one price with full registration and another price with limited registration. A breeder may choose to change a registration from limited to full at a later date. The buyer may be offered this option which may be contingent upon a change of contract and terms but not contingent upon payment of an additional price.
  9. It is the ethical obligation of a member breeder to guarantee dogs produced and sold to be as represented. Any replacement or refund arrangement agreed to by breeder and buyer and just to the interests of both parties shall be considered satisfactory. It is understood, however, that any dog which dies or must be destroyed before the age of 18 months due to physical or temperamental conditions which are hereditary, shall be replaced one for one, within a year of death. or If that is not possible, the full purchase price shall be refunded.
  10. Upon releasing any Pyr, pup or adult, the breeder shall follow these guidelines:
    1. He shall supply a pedigree of no less than 4 generations.
    2.  He shall provide written information of the care of the animal.
    3. He shall supply records which detail all dates and types of medical care given the animal including shots,
    4. He shall release only animals which are to the best of his knowledge in good health.
    5. Animals being released shall have had all the necessary inoculations and worming for their age.
    6. All puppies leaving the breeder shall be at least 8 weeks old. Those to be shipped shall be 9 weeks.
    7. He shall request that buyers take the animal to a veterinarian of their choice upon receipt and if the animal is unhealthy, allow buyers 72 hours to return the animal at their expense for a full refund.
    8. If the animal has not been seen by the buyer or the buyer’s agent before shipping, the breeder shall allow the buyer 48 hours to return the animal at the buyers expense if not satisfied that the animal is as represented by the breeder. A full refund shall be made.

Livestock Guardian Dogs

  1. All provisions of this Code apply to livestock guardian dogs, except as specified.
  2. Members will not engage in the breeding or selling of livestock guardian dogs unless they are willing to undertake the education and responsibility involved with such animals.
  3. In order to protect both type and function in the breed, breeders shall not separate show and guardian stock.
  4. It is the obligation of the breeder to determine the specific needs of the buyers and to be available to them for information and advice.
  5. Members recognize the growing impact on the breed of the indiscriminate production of livestock guardian dogs. Therefore, they will observe the following:
  1. All dogs intended to be primary livestock guardian dogs shall be sold on written spay/neuter agreements, and without registration papers .
  2. Registration papers may be supplied with dogs that have been spayed or neutered before leaving the breeder.
  3. Pairs of pups or dogs shall not be sold to the same party unless they have been spayed and neutered before leaving the breeder.
  4. Extreme caution will be taken in selling a breedable animal to anyone who breeds, or intends to breed, livestock guardian dogs if that person is not a member of the GPCA. Such dogs shall be sold on co-ownership with written contracts specifying that the buyer shall abide by the provisions of this code.


Not adhering to any section of this Code of Ethics, may be considered prejudicial to the best interest of the Club or Breed. Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct as described in the GPCA Bylaws, Article VI, Section 2-4.

Social Media – Code of Conduct for GPCA Members

  1. It is your responsibility to be respectful at all times on social media. You are expected to show the same respect and regard for people that you would when at a show, meeting or play match.
  2. Do not use social media to be critical of fellow Members, or their dogs or bloodlines. Negative comments and images, bullying, criticism and sexist remarks can be dangerous and harmful to people’s wellbeing and reputation and the image of individuals and the GPCA.
  3. Always assume the person you are talking or writing about will see what has been said or written. Ensure all comments are factually correct.
  4. Use social media as a positive outlet to promote kennels, members, dogs or bloodlines involved in Great Pyrenees. The GPCA has a page on Facebook for Members to interact with. Posting results and acknowledging individual and kennel performances on social media makes many people aware of kennel and individual Members and Dogs achievements. That can have a positive effect for many people and should be used, encouraged and embraced wherever and whenever possible.
  5. Do not tolerate or condone poor social media behavior or actions. If you are aware of or observe poor social media behavior or actions, do not accept it. There is no place for it in the dog world and it will not be condoned. You should remind people of their responsibilities when using social media and warn that action can be taken against them if they have abused it. If you believe the breach is serious, report it to a member of the Board of Directors.


Your actions on social media may have serious consequences. Negative comments and images, bullying, criticism and sexist or derogatory remarks not only impact negatively on the people they are about, they reflect badly on yourself, your kennel, and the people you represent. Whether on the public FB Members Page or your own individual FB page, email, Instagram, X (Twitter) or any other program, it is your responsibility to show respect and regard for any GPCA Member and their dogs. If you are found to have acted improperly on social media by breaching any of the code of conduct requirements or guidelines above, you will be permanently removed from the GPCA Members FB page as well as possible Code violations within the GPCA resulting in suspensions. NO EXCEPTIONS!

AKC Discipline Guidelines Addendum-A PDF

A publication of the Great Pyrenees Club of America, Inc.
Adopted 1985, revised 2001, 2006, 2007