The Norfolk Terrier Club Code of Ethics
(Revised February 2009)

This Code of Ethics is established to ensure the present and future welfare of Norfolk Terriers, and to put that welfare before any consideration of profit or personal advantage by the members of the Norfolk Terrier Club. As stewards of the breed, all NTC members, breeders and pet owners alike, are asked to read, sign, and abide by the basic principles contained in this Code of Ethics.



  • Members are expected to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of the NTC, and the rules of the American Kennel Club.
  • Members should adhere to the standards of the breed as adopted by the NTC, and approved by the American Kennel Club. They       should make every effort to assist the novice and educate the public by providing information beneficial to the general well-being of the breed, including grooming and training.
  • No members shall engage in false or misleading advertising, or any other dishonest behavior in representing the Norfolk Terrier. In competition members will not malign their competitors, but will conduct themselves in an exemplary and sportsmanlike manner. They will behave responsibly at show sites, trial sites, hotels and motels; and will treat other dog owners and their dogs with respect.
  • Members must maintain the highest standards of health and sanitation for their own Norfolk, and they should encourage the same high standards for other owners, members and non members alike.
  • Members should be encouraged to test their dogs for possible genetic abnormalities through the OFA, Penn Hip and CERF. Members should also be encouraged to participate in the CHIC program.


  • The primary objective for breeding the Norfolk Terriers is to improve the breed and to produce physically and temperamentally sound offspring. To achieve this objective, member-breeders shall:
    • Educate themselves before breeding on the basic laws of genetics, the standard of the breed, and the difference between correct and incorrect type.
    • Breed only stud dogs or bitches of characteristic type, sound structure, and steady temperament.
      Perform tests on hips, eyes, hearts, and patellas that may determine the genetic soundness of the dog or bitch.
    • Request a copy of the AKC Registration Certificate of the dog or the bitch, as well as the results of any genetic testing that may have been performed.
    • Request such testing, if it has not been done, to help insure a healthy litter.
    • Maintain a carefully screened waiting list of potential owners, or, as the owner of the bitch, be prepared to keep all of the resultant puppies until suitable homes are found.
    • Refrain from repeating any breeding which produced an inherited, genetic disease or defect.
    • Register and keep scrupulous health and breeding records on each litter
  • The AKC requires that a male not be used at stud until he is at least 7 months old. A bitch may be bred on her third season, unless her first or second season occurs after she is 18 months old: she should not be bred more often than two out of three consecutive heats, and then only if she is in robust health. A bitch must not be bred after 8 years of age.
  • The selling of Norfolk Terriers should be done in a manner that reflects each member-breeder's concern for the welfare of the dog, and with integrity.
    • All puppies and adults should be well socialized, raised in a clean environment, and released to a new owner in a
      well-groomed and healthy condition.
    • Any puppies sold should be sufficiently mature before they are released to a new owner; 10 to 12 weeks is recommended as an ideal age.
    • No puppy should be sold unless they are accompanied by a dated list of inoculations and an AKC registration form. The
      AKC provides an option for a limited registration which should be provided for companion quality puppies or adults
      exhibiting serious structural flaws, lack of proper breed type or any other deviations from the breed standard. Such
      limitations and any specific terms attached to the sale should be made by written agreement and signed by both the breeder and the buyer.
    • Written instructions for feeding, health care, training and grooming a puppy should be given to the buyer at the time of the sale.
    • Following any placement, a supportive dialogue should be maintained to ensure the dog's welfare and to answer the new owner's questions regarding any aspect of its behavior, health or appearance.
  • Member-breeders should consider the growing problem of excess dogs ending up in shelters and exercise prudent restraint in their breeding programs. Litters should be limited to numbers consistent with sound breeding programs and the best interest of the breed. It is recommended that member-breeders who have more than 2 litters a year contribute to the Norfolk Terrier Club Rescue Fund.
  • All member-breeders must accept lifetime responsibility for the welfare of the dogs they breed. To the best of their abilities, they should stand ready and willing to take back or to rehome a dog should an owner become unable to keep it.
  • No member shall sell a puppy or an adult dog to a pet shop, laboratory, wholesale dealer or any other questionable person: Norfolk Terriers must never be offered as prizes.