WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A BREED CLUB?
Breed clubs function in a number of capacities. The overriding purpose of a breed club is protection of the breed. How this is
done will vary with each breed club and to some degree will be influenced by the breed of dog. Some breed club
membership consists of only breeders while others are all inclusive. As a pet owner the breed club provides a resource for
breed specific information, provides a venue for shared knowledge and experience and sometimes will sponsor and/or
facilitate functions that bring together breed aficionados.
Breed Clubs often sponsor competitive shows as well, conformation, agility and obedience being the most common. These
shows provide a great opportunity for both the pet owner and the professional to meet and greet many breeders and to learn
more about the breed. You do not need to be a breeder to participate in any of these events, however conformation does
necessitate keeping your dog intact. Training and competing in shows is a great way to develop better communication and a
deeper relationship with your pet.
The greatest value of a breed club is to maintain the health, integrity and well being of the breed. This is accomplished by
requiring breeders to comply with certain standards as held forth by the club. Typically, these standards are developed and
approved by a board of directors. The governing body of an established breed club is voted in by the membership for
determinate terms. Please take note that I say “typically” since there is one particular Coton Breed Club that is not
structured in this fashion.
Typically, in order for a breeder to be accepted as a Code of Ethics Breeder, he or she must sign an agreement that they will
comply with a written set of expectations and/or rules. These rules can be a specific as stating that a breeder will not whelp
more than four litters in one year to “a breeder shall not have more dogs than he or she is able to provide a companionable
relationship”. There is oftentimes much that is left to interpretation that has its drawbacks but also makes allowances for the
individual circumstances. A
Code of Ethics could be analogous to neighborhood covenants; some dictate everything right down to what shrubbery you
can plant in your yard whereas others have very general requirements that may only be called into question if someone is
flagrantly flaunting them. The breeder’s signature on the Code of Ethics states that he or she agrees to abide by the rules or
suffer the consequences.
As far as I know there are not any appointed Coton Police so the system is primarily based on honor and integrity. However,
one cannot consistently and negligently disregard the rules without colliding with someone’s radar. Breed Clubs receive and
investigate complaints. The Coton Community is still small enough that a miscreant breeder will not fare well if kicked out of
Though there is no absolute guarantee that a COE breeder will be the bastion of the Coton Community, the buyer certainly
stands a much better chance than purchasing a Coton from Joe Schmo down the street or in the paper or, heaven forbid, in
the pet store.
The following excerpt has been copied from http://www.cotondogs.com/recent_news.htm
American Coton Club Code of Ethics breeders are committed to:
o preserving the genetic health of the Coton de Tulear
o producing beautiful and well mannered puppies while maintaining a viable and vibrant gene pool
o regular health testing of their breeding Cotons
o lifelong education and a commitment to becoming ever better breeders
o lifetime support for their puppies and puppy buyers
o finding the best possible homes for their puppies
o standing behind their puppies for the life of the dog
o providing the best possible socialization for their puppies to ensure a wonderful start in life