Code of Ethics (COE) for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Canada (RRCC)

(Rev 2012)

Members of The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Canada (the “Club”) have an obligation to the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed to preserve and improve the breed without exploiting it. Members also owe an obligation to current and future Club members, and others interested in the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed, to supply factual information without misrepresentation

     1.  An ethical owner is an active member of their breed club(s), as well as a promoter of their breed through activities such as conformation, obedience and other canine sports.

      2. All members of the RRCC will make a conscious effort to represent the breed in a positive manner.  They will not engage in the misrepresentation of the breed nor intentionally make misleading or false comments against fellow owners, breeders, exhibitors, or against the RRCC, the CKC or its members.

      3. All members of the RRCC are obligated to maintain the health and well-being of their dog(s), including but not limited to; the provision of regular veterinary visits, adequate food and water, proper housing/shelter, appropriate age/health related exercise, training and socialization.  When it has been deemed necessary to end their dog's life, owners will ensure that this is performed in a humane fashion by a veterinarian.

     4. As education is a core value to the RRCC, members of RRCC are expected to provide prospective owners (and the public at large) with information about the pros and cons of this breed.  Provision of such honest and unbiased information about Rhodesian Ridgebacks (RR) will help to ensure that prospective owners can make informed decisions as to the appropriateness of including a RR in their family.

     5. Anyone breeding a RR (bitch or stud dog owner) will ensure that all the puppies are registered with the CKC (or recognized equivalent in their country of residence).  Per CKC regulations, all puppies must be permanently identified (by microchip or tattoo) prior to leaving the breeders premises.  Breeders shall provide a written contract that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of all parties involved, and the breeder will provide ongoing support to owners.

    6. Anyone breeding a RR (bitch or stud dog owner) is responsible for all of the progeny for the lifetime of every animal.  Should the situation arise that a RR enters rescue or is in need of re-homing, the breeder of that dog must either take the dog back or assist the owner in rehoming the dog.  Should the breeder be unable or unwilling to take the dog back or is unable to assist in the care and placement of the dog, the owner of the stud dog is expected to assume responsibility.  If a RR bred by any RRCC member enters rescue due to the fact that the breeder is unwilling or unable to take the dog back, the breeder should reimburse rescue for all costs incurred during the rehoming of the dog.

     7. No ethical breeder will put puppies on generic web classifieds for the sole purpose of immediate sale or knowingly sell their puppies to a commercial distributor (e.g., pet store or dog broker), nor allow a dog or puppy to be given away as a prize.  They will not engage in overbreeding, nor will they engage in or encourage breeding merely as a source of income or profit.  An ethical breeder will encourage puppy buyers to spay or neuter their pets by educating owners about the health benefits of sterilization and will sell pet quality puppies with a non-breeding registration.  All puppies shall be sold under a contract that stipulates the breeder’s expectations regarding the care and rearing of the puppy and which includes a return to breeder clause.

    8.  Anyone breeding RRs (bitch or stud dog owner) will use purebred Rhodesian Ridgebacks only and will neither breed nor sell a Rhodesian Ridgeback that cannot be registered with the CKC.  They will only use animals that are healthy and are certified free of the following heritable diseases: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, thyroid disease (only valid for 1 year from date of test), cardiac disease and degenerative myelopathy (DM). It is highly recommended that all dogs and bitches that will be bred be tested for the presence of eye diseases- CERF (when available). Breeders should only breed a known DM carrier to a DM certified clear dog or bitch. Anyone who claims that their dogs are free of certain diseases, must (when requested) provide written proof showing the up to date/current disease free certification.

   9. An ethical person will not breed a dog or a bitch before the age of 24 months, and prior to it being certified healthy and free of the heritable diseases identified in section 8.  Bitches must not be bred on their first heat cycle.  While it is recommended that a bitch not have two litters within a rolling twelve month calendar period, such back-to-back litters may be undertaken only with the approval of the breeder’s veterinarian.   If such a breeding is undertaken and a bitch has litters from successive heat cycles, she must not be bred on the next heat cycle.  When breeding a bitch that is seven years old or older, additional precautions should be taken  including (but not limited to) a written veterinary consultation.

   10. Anyone breeding a RR will select breeding stock that conforms to the approved CKC breed standard to the highest possible degree, will have a sound understanding of inheritable traits/diseases and will only breed animals that are free of disease and which have sound temperaments.  They will not breed animals with defects that may cause pain and suffering to them or their offspring (e.g., over/undershot jaw, dermoid sinus, DM), and will not breed a dog that is in gross disregard of the Canadian breed standard (e.g., single descended testicle in dog, ridgeless). It is recommended strongly that both of the breeding pair should have their Champion designation.   An ethical stud dog/bitch owner will not breed their dog/bitch to bitches/dogs that do not comply with this COE.

    11. Breeders will not knowingly misrepresent their puppy's potential nor place any puppy prior to 8 weeks of age.  All puppies must be examined by a veterinarian prior to placement and a record of that vet check (along with its worming and inoculation record) must accompany the puppy at placement.  Any puppy that is found to have a dermoid sinus (DS) should either have the DS surgically removed at the expense of the breeder or, if the DS represents a significant health risk to the puppy, be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian.  The breeder maintains financial responsibility for removal of the DS regardless of when it is discovered (i.e., pre or post placement). .

Code of Conduct (COC) for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Canada (RRCC) (2012)

Code of Conduct (COC)

for Members of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Canada (RRCC)

This Code of Conduct has been developed to set out expectations of conduct by all Members. This policy is adopted in part with the kind permission of the UK Kennel Club and C Waller Orlandi, Ph.D

 Member refers to any individual in good standing with the RRCC. Members agree to abide by the COC and further respect the RRCC and the CKC bylaws, rules regulations and policies.


Self-discipline: A Member recognizes that self-discipline is at the heart of what you do and how you do it.

A Member has a fundamental obligation to act honestly and with integrity at all times.


This COC identifies the standard of behavior which is expected of all Members.


        ·         Members shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the principles and ethical standards set out in the RRCC Code of Ethics (COE).

        ·         Members shall display good sportsmanship (see: Sportsmanship and Etiquette  by Claudia Waller Orlandi, PhD.).

        ·         Members shall respect one another, as everyone has the right to be treated fairly, with decency and respect.

        ·         Members welcome, encourage and support newcomers to the sport.

        ·        Members will refrain from embarrassing the sport, RRCC or themselves in person or by the use of Social Media (see: Use of Social Media, The Kennel Club).




Note: The attached Sportsmanship and Etiquette1 and the Use of Social Media2  policy are presented as guidance and are not intended to be enforceable. Members tend to use social media to discuss their hobby and sometimes do not do so in the most appropriate terms. The RRCC has no remit to intervene and shall not enforce

Sportsmanship and Etiquette:

Getting The Best Out of The Sport of Dogs

By Claudia Waller Orlandi, PhD.


As with any activity which gives enjoyment or recreation, the breeding and showing of dogs is a sport. In the competitive world of today’s dog fancy, your success as a breeder or handler will be greatly influenced not only by the quality of dogs you produce and show but also by the perception others have of you as a sportsman and ambassador of your breed.




Webster defines sportsmanship as “qualities and behavior befitting a person who can take loss or defeat without complaint, or without gloating, and who treats his opponents with fairness, generosity, courtesy, etc ...”   Simply put, sportsmanship is another word for good manners. In the world of dogs, rules of etiquette apply to the judge as well as to your fellow breeders and exhibitors.


Sportsmanship in the Ring


All sports, from football to tennis to showing dogs, have “rules” of behavior and certain codes of sportsmanship which need to be learned by the “players.” Some of these are simply elements of common courtesy, others relate specifically to “how the game is played.”


Sportsmanship Towards Fellow Breeders and Exhibitors Outside the Ring


Participating in the sport of dogs can lead to the formation of lifetime friendships. Unfortunately, the reverse may also be true. There is some validity to the saying: “You will learn who your friends are when you really start winning.” Good friends are sincerely happy for your success.


Following are guidelines of etiquette outside the ring:


        ·         Even if you feel you had the best dog but still lost, congratulate the winner. Remember, the exhibitor does not point the finger! Congratulating someone does not necessarily mean you love his dog. It is saying you can be a gracious loser.

        ·         On a day when the loss was particularly disappointing, it may take 20 minutes or so to collect your feelings! Once you’ve got things under control, go back to the ring, watch the rest of the judging, and if you haven’t already done so, congratulate the day’s winners. If possible, cheer your breed on in the group, regardless of who owns the dog.

      ·         Don’t stand ringside and bad mouth the dogs or the judging. Chances are, people within earshot may own one of the dogs or a judge’s spouse or family may be nearby. Any comments about the day’s activity are best saved for the ride home.

        ·         On days when you do win, don’t gloat! Be modest and remember there are people who didn’t win. Don’t brag about the virtues of your dogs.

        ·         If you win, don’t declare the judge a genius. If you lose, never tell the winner you think the judge did a bad job.

        ·         Remember that your entry fee entitled you to an opinion from a judge. If you don’t like what he/she did simply don’t show to that judge again.


I have long felt that there exists a positive correlation between kennel blindness and sportsmanship in that the more kennel blind one is the more likely he/she may be to displays of poor sportsmanship. Kennel blindness is a kind of “disease” which renders a breeder or exhibitor incapable of seeing the faults in his own dogs. These individuals are characterized by the following “symptoms”: (a) an inability to see and appreciate the good qualities in a competitor’s dog; (b) a belief that they have bred the “perfect” dog; and (c) a tendency to blame not winning on bad judging, politics or anything except the fact that there may be something wrong with their dog (Orlandi). On days when your dog does not “get the nod,” any or all of these traits may precipitate displays of poor sportsmanship in and out of the ring.



Some Final Thoughts On the Psychology of Competition


Webster defines a competitor as “a rival: one who endeavors to obtain what another seeks; one who strives for superiority.”  Research in the field of social psychology suggests that individuals engage in competition for 3 reasons: (1) it may be unavoidable because the desired goal cannot be shared; (2) the activity of competing is exciting and fun; and (3) competition may be a form of social comparison in which we can compare ourselves with others and learn about our own traits and capabilities (Baron and Bryne). In the sport of dogs, most breeders and exhibitors probably fall into all three of these categories.


If competing with others provides new information about ourselves, it benefits each of us to closely examine our reactions to winning and losing. Our displays of good or poor sportsmanship as well as our knowledge of the rules of etiquette, shape the perceptions others form of us, our dogs and our breed. Episodes of poor sportsmanship on the part of handlers for example, hurt not only their own reputation but also that of the dogs they are showing simply because these animals are on the ends of the lead.


The true sport of dogs goes far beyond the competition of the dog show to include our interaction with fellow breeders, the people we mentor and the new owners of puppies we place. What we convey through sportsmanship, common courtesy and fair play can greatly affect not only how many people we attract to our breed but also how much we get back from our sport.





Alston, GA 1992. The Winning Edge: Show Ring Secrets. New York, Howell.

Baron, R.A. 1981. Social Psychology: Understanding Human Interaction. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Forsyth, R. and Forsyth, J. 1989. The Forsyth Guide to Successful Dog Showing. New York, Howell.

Migliorini, M. 1982. Secrets of Show Dog Handline. New York, Arco.

Orlandi, C. 1998. “Kennel blindness” Tally-Ho (July-Aug). 12-13



Use of Social Media

This policy is reprinted June 16, 2012 with the kind permission from the Kennel Club, UK



The rapid growth of social media technologies combined with their ease of use and pervasiveness make them attractive channels of communication. However, these tools also hold the possibility of a host of unintended consequences. To help you identify and avoid potential issues we have provided some examples of the best practices which are intended to help you understand, from a wide range of perspectives, the implications of participation in social media.


General Guidelines

Maintain Privacy

Do not post confidential or proprietary information. Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured individuals on a social media site without their permission. As a guideline, do not post anything that you would not present in any public forum. Ask yourself, would I want to see this published in the newspaper or posted on a billboard tomorrow or ten years from now?


Does it Pass the Publicity Test

If the content of your message would not be acceptable for face-to-face conversation, over the telephone, or in another medium, it will not be acceptable for a social networking site.


Think Before You Post

There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts and pictures years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it’s wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed.


Understand Your Personal Responsibility

You are personally responsible for the content you publish on blogs or any other form or user-generated content. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time—protect your privacy.


Be Aware of Liability

You are responsible for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous or obscene (as defined by the courts). Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.


Be Accurate

Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later.


Correct Mistakes

If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.


Respect Others

You are more likely to achieve your goals or sway others to your beliefs if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.


Respect Your Audience

Don’t use personal insults, obscenity; also show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered sensitive. Users are free to discuss topics and disagree with one another, but be respectful of others’ opinions. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.


Take the High Ground

Remember that you’re most likely to build a high-quality following if you discuss ideas and situations civilly. Don’t pick fights online.

 Claudia Waller Orlandi, PhD. Sportsmanship and Etiquette: Part 2  

 The Kennel Club, UK. Use of Social Media Policy



© 2007 Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Canada