Code of Ethics

The membership of The Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America (BSCA) objectives shall be:

  1. encourage, promote, and protect the breeding of purebred Bergamascos and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection;
  2. to protect and advance the interests of the breed and individual dogs and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows and obedience trials;
  3. to urge members and breeders to accept the Standard of the breed as approved by the BSCA and the American Kennel Club. 

  The Bergamsco Sheepdog Club of America, in accordance with the objectives of its Constitution, expects its members to use these guidelines in establishing a standard of conduct for themselves as owners, breeders, sellers and exhibitors of Bergamascos. All members must agree to abide by the code of ethics and laws of the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America listed in the code of ethics below.

BSCA breeders agree to:

  1. Be familiar with and abide by the Standard of our breed as per BSCA and the American Kennel Club.
  2. Be aware that the purpose of breeding is to maintain or improve the quality of the breed in accordance with BSCA's breed standard.
  3. Use only stock which is itself sound in body and temperament, exhibit good type, have no breed standard disqualifications and are in good health.
  4. Breed only when in a position to properly care for the bitch and litter, recognizing that offspring might need housing for a considerable length of time.
  5. Not breed a bitch prior to 22 months(24 months is recommended), nor breed her more than 2 out of 3 consecutive heat periods, taking the health of the bitch into consideration at all times.
  6. Refrain from breeding any male or female beyond an appropriate age for the breed.
  7. Prevent all breedings that are not carefully planned and provide adequate housing and conscientiously plan each litter of puppies for sale, selecting a stud dog and bitch to be mated based on their pedigrees, conformation and temperament.
  8. Not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed, nor falsely advertise, or mislead any individual regarding the performance of any dogs or puppies for sale.
  9. Adhere to AKC rules applying to litter and individual registrations, ensuring that any litter they produce is eligible for AKC registration.
  10. Register all stud breedings and new litters with the BSCA and AKC.
  11. Not substitute one stud for another without the knowledge and agreement of all parties.
  12. Enter into all breeding arrangements with written contracts.
  13. Keep accurate and thorough breeding records for a minimum of five years. Including: stud service contracts, pedigrees, all litters of puppies for sale, and all dogs/puppies sold.
  14. Keep and retain accurate records. Provide new owners the following documentation: this COE, BSCA membership application, AKC registration papers for the individual dog (unless a mutual contract is in place which states otherwise), health and veterinary care history, the individual's and/or sire and dam's health certifications or evaluations, a four-generation pedigree, recommendations for general care & training and a time frame during which the puppy or dog may be examined by a licensed veterinarian, at the buyer's expense, and, upon written recommendation of the veterinarian for specific reasons, the puppy or dog may be retuned to the seller for a full refund of all money paid.
  15. Pay careful attention to physical and emotional needs of puppies produced.
  16. Follow up on puppies after the sale to insure their continued care and remain available for advice, when sought, for the lifetime of the dog.
  17. Refrain from letting puppies go to new homes before ten weeks of age.
  18. Transfer puppies to new owners in accordance with the laws of their state and meet at least the minimum federal standard for transporting puppies.
  19. Use a written contract detailing all guarantees, obligations, and expectations of sellers, buyers, receivers and providers of services.
  20. Assure that all puppies be placed with an AKC limited registration and a non-breeding contract. A spay/neuter requirement is additionally recommended.

BSCA members are required to:

  1. Use a written contract detailing all guarantees, obligations, and expectations of sellers, buyers, receivers and providers of services.
  2. Assure that any dog they place which is not suitable for breeding is placed with a UKC limited registration and a non-breeding contract. A spay/neuter requirement is additionally recommended.

BSCA members agree to:

  1. Abide by and support the breed standard created by BSCA and adopted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) for the Bergamasco Sheepdog.
  2. Register dogs and new litters with the BSCA, AKC.
  3. Conduct themselves in a manner that gives credit to "the club," the AKC and the breed and Display good sportsmanship
  4. Promote and encourage public awareness of responsible pet ownership.
  5. Educate the public, new owners and interested parties on the characteristics, basic traits and breed Standard of the Bergamasco in accordance with BSCA and its Standard.
  6. Ensure that all dogs released to the care of others have received the health care appropriate for their age and needs.
  7. Ensure that in all dog related activities, the dog's welfare takes precedence over considerations of trainer, breeders, organizations, sponsors, owners and officials.
  8. Share knowledge constructively, respectfully and truthfully when conveying information concerning an individual Bergamasco or member.
  9. Support and/or participate in activities, events and programs sponsored by the BSCA to the best of their ability.
  10. Keep only as many dogs for which they can provide a high standard of nutrition, affection, health care, shelter, attention and overall care.
  11. Provide appropriate exercise, supervision and training to ensure their dogs are kept in safe conditions, well mannered and are not neglected or abused.

Members Selling a Bergamasco agree to:

  1. Maintain a reasonable price within one's locale, which price should also be compatible with national prices.
  2. Ascertain that the prospective owner has the knowledge, ability and facilities to properly care for a Bergamasco.
  3. Give the buyer an honest appraisal of coat management, physical, mental and nutritional needs peculiar to the breed.
  4. Provide a pedigree of at least 3 generations, typed or written legibly by the AKC.
  5. Supply records to the buyer regarding immunization, feeding and instructions for future care.
  6. Release only puppies which are in good health and guarantee the health of the puppy for a reasonable length of time.
  7. Provide written contractual proof of sale and guarantees. If registration papers are not yet available, a bill of sale, giving names and registration numbers of sire and dam and date of birth are required.
  8. Avoid false and misleading advertising.
  9. Ensure that all dogs released to the care of others have received the health care appropriate for their age and needs.
  10. Ensure that any dogs they place are not wholesaled, brokered or consigned through an auction, a pet shop, Ebay, Craigslist, classifieds, newspaper, online pet servcies or other commercial establishment; and are not offered as prizes in raffles, contests or fundraising events. Nor should any dogs be placed with anyone involved directly or indirectly with any of these activities.
  11. Discuss with the prospective owner the health care, coat care and behavior management needs for the dog and provide recommendations for general care prior to placing any Bergamasco.
  12. Provide assistance to dogs of their own breeding in need of re-homing whether through a rescue organization, a shelter or an individual. Stud dog owners should also assist with re-homing of dogs sired by their stud dogs.
  13. Each breeder must maintain his/her own website with links and affiliations to the BSCA . The BSCA is not responsible for placing puppies.

All members of the BSCA who own a Bergamasco, offer puppies for sale or adult dogs for sale to the public, should agree to the above Code of Ethics and be bound by its standard of behavior. Failure to comply will result in membership termination and removal from our Breeders Directory.

Members showing a Bergamasco agree to:

  1. Show and encourage the showing of high quality stock.
  2. Exhibit only the most creditable ring deportment and accept the services of only those professional handlers whose behavior is exemplary.
  3. Help the novice exhibitor and breeder. Use kind, constructive and honest criticism.
  4. Display good sportsmanship and conduct themselves, whether at home, traveling, at shows,or in hotels,in such a manner as to reflect credit upon the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America, themselves and the Bergamasco as a breed.
  5. Exhibit dogs that are clean, in good physical condition and under control.

As a member of The Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America (BSCA), I agree to abide by this Code of Ethics and its laws.


The BSCA is interested in the integrity of the breeders listed in its directory and welcomes comments and feedback (whether positive or negative) from anyone who contacts the breeders listed. For any complaint against a breeder listed in the BSCA Breeders Directory, please provide specific informations which describe why the Breeder is alleged to be deficient in his or her responsibilities with regard to the Code of Ethics. Complaints must be written and signed by a person who has had direct interaction with the listed member. Complaints should be sent to

Applicants to membership may be elected by a vote of the Directors. 

The BSCA reserves to right to accept or refuse membership and to terminate membership at any time if COE rules are not followed.