The basic reason for breeding and exhibiting St. Bernards is the improvement of each generation of the breed over the previous generation. All breeding and exhibiting activities should be viewed this light. In keeping with this aim the following practices are suggested to all owners and breeders of St. Bernards in Ireland:
Breeders shall strive for perfection of the St. Bernard in accordance with the Official Standard set by the Irish Kennel Club. In this regard they shall:
- Maintain high standards of health, care, safety and humane treatment of their dogs.
- Remember that not all St. Bernards are of breeding quality. Over production of the breed should be avoided
- Use only physically and tempermentally sound stock. St. Bernards with outstanding defects should not be bred from.
- Refuse stud service to any bitch that is unregisterable with the Irish Kennel Club or shows obvious defects.
- Study and learn the good and bad points of their own stock, never doubling up on a known or visible fault or faults represented in the pedigree of the dogs concerned.
- Ideally x-ray for evidence of hip-dysplasia at the age of one year or older, treating the mild cases as they would any other fault and excluding from breeding programmes, dogs with more severe evidence of hip-dysplasia. X-rays should be sent to the agreed authorities on the HD Scheme.
- Refrain from breeding the bitch until her second season, preferably waiting until at least 18 months of age. A bitch shall be bred no more than two out of three seasons this depending upon the size of the litter whelped and her condition. It is suggested that in most cases a period of one year lapse between litters.
- Breeders shall not sell stock nor offer stud services without true representation to the public, nor use misleading or untruthful statements verbally, in writing, or in advertising
- No member shall buy or sell St. Bernards through commercial pet outlets, nor buy or sell in litter lots [puppy dealers], nor knowingly sell to persons whose activities tend to degrade the breed.
- The buyer shall be supplied with a truthful four generation pedigree, written instructions concerning the care, feeding and training of the dog purchased, a written statement as to the innoculations and other veterinary care and a receipt of purchase.
a] Certificate of Registration.
b] Signed Transfer form.
c] Full Pedigree of puppy [4 - 5 generations].
d] Veterinary Cert. - inoculations.
f] Diet Sheet.
All papers [originals] must be passed to the buyer on payment of full buying price.
5a. Registration papers shall be supplied without extra charge with every IKC registered dog. If the dog is not for breeding, this may be agreed to in a written contract between buyer and seller by endorsing the registration documents accordingly
5b. No fee
5b. No fees to be paid prior to collecting puppy, unless the puppy is born and has been viewed and selected by the proposed buyer. The buyer should be free to make the final decision having viewed and examined the puppy they will buy. The idea of forcing a sale to a potential owner who no longer wants to continue, is not in the best interest of the puppy, the St. Bernard breed nor the St. Bernard Club of Ireland.
- A breeder shall guarantee the health of his stock subject to a veterinarian's examination within 1 week of the sale.
- A breeder shall try to keep in touch with the progress of his breeding in order to better analyse his own programmes. A breeder shall keep accurate breeding records, registration and pedigrees.
- Breeders shall exhibit at dog shows where feasible. In so doing, they shall show a spirit of good sportsmanship and behave so as to enhance the public opinion of Saint Bernards.
- Members shall not degrade any other kennel or member. It is the obligation of all to give as much advice and assistance as possible to less experienced Saint owners in a spirit of kindness and courtesy.
Finally the committee of the Saint Bernard Club of Ireland will be happy to provide any member of the public with specific information in relation to any of the above items.