Maremma Sheepdog Club of America

Maremma Sheepdog Club of America

Maremma Sheepdog Club of America Code of Ethics

The MSCA Code of Ethics reflects the Club’s dedication and stewardship of the Maremma Sheepdog. 

To become an MSCA Code of Ethics Breeder, please print, sign and submit the MSCA Code of Ethics.
Please remember to include the OFA and/or PennHIP certifications (or a link to the dogs individual OFA page).

Printable MSCA Code of Ethics Form

Click to view the document

Please remember to include a copy of your breeding Maremma's OFA and/or PennHIP Certifications.

The Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, Inc. aspires to protect the development of Maremma Sheepdogs by encouraging breeders to adopt the following Code of Ethics to promote and foster the highest standards among breeders who are concerned with the propagation of physically, mentally and temperamentally sound Maremma Sheepdogs of proper breed type, and to encourage cooperation in the improvement, advancement, and protection of our breed. 

Understanding the importance of this Code is as relevant as the adherence to the letter of this Code. Measures should be taken to acquaint the general public with the contents of this Code so that they may not become innocent partners in improper breeding practices.

Consistent with the above, in Maremma Sheepdog breeding, the emphasis shall be placed upon working ability and other outstanding qualities of character of this breed, as well as health, structure and temperament. 

If I breed my bitch or use my stud dog in service, I agree to keep accurate records of stock, mating’s and pedigrees and to register my breeding stock with the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, Inc. (MSCA).

As a breeder, I recognize I am responsible for the protection, well-being and improvement of the breed and agree to the following:

I will breed discriminately and only upon strong evidence of the possibility of finding suitable homes for the resulting puppies. I understand and agree that to over-breed or to breed in-advisedly may lead to over-population and contribute to the deterioration of the Maremma Sheepdog breed.

I will educate myself about the Maremma Sheepdog and its history, temperament, needs and health issues. I will endeavor to share my knowledge with those genuinely interested in seeking to better understand this breed. I will accept and support the current MSCA Maremma Sheepdog breed standard. 

I will breed only those Maremma Sheepdogs which have no radical departure from the official breed standard as accepted by MSCA, including temperament flaws. In addition, I agree to breed only those dogs who have received either OFA hip certification as being clear of hip dysplasia, or PennHIP DI scores of less than 0.51. I will provide to the MSCA, and to any puppy buyers, a copy of both the sire’s and the dam’s hip clearance certificates and/or I will record all tests openly with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

I will breed only for the purpose of improving the quality of the breed as livestock guardians. I will conscientiously plan each litter of puppies, selecting a stud dog and bitch to be mated based on their guardianship abilities, conformation, pedigrees, and temperament. I understand that no breeding should be conducted solely for breeder convenience or profit, but only in an effort to improve the breed. I understand that close line-breeding or inbreeding should be conducted with great caution, since both practices can reinforce bad as well as good characteristics.

I will not breed any male or female until they are physically and mentally mature, and I will not continue to breed any male or female beyond a reasonable age for the breed. I shall refrain from breeding any dog or bitch that consistently produces progeny with serious faults or hereditary health issues and I will diligently strive to eliminate these defects from the breed.

While I understand that breeding accidents may occasionally occur, I will make every effort to protect my dogs from accidental breeding’s. If dogs involved in an accidental breeding have not received their hip certifications I will make every effort to have the testing done as soon as possible.

As owner of a bitch, I will breed only normal, healthy mature bitches. Puppies that are deformed or that deviate substantially from the Maremma Sheepdog standard will be euthanized or registered as non-breeding quality only. 

I will be available to buyers for whatever advice, reasonable aid or assistance they may need for the life of the dog. I will make every effort to educate prospective Maremma Sheepdog owners of the advantages, disadvantages and responsibilities of owning a Maremma Sheepdog.

I will take responsibility for all offspring produced in my breeding program and to assist in their lifetime placements and re-homing if necessary. I will assume responsibility for any dog of my breeding if the owner must relinquish their dog, or for any dog of my breeding which comes into the possession of a rescue network or shelter. I understand that this responsibility also applies to me if I am the co‐breeder of a dog. 

As owner of a stud dog, I will breed only normal, healthy, mature dogs. I will refuse stud service to any bitch which I consider to be in poor health. As a stud dog owner I understand my obligation to share in the responsibility for the offspring sired by him. Therefore, if the owner of the bitch (breeder of the litter) is unable or unwilling to take responsibility for the puppies produced from breeding with my stud dog, I will assist the breeder or assume the responsibility in care and placement of the offspring.

When using a foreign dog, I will make every effort to see that the Code of Ethics is adhered to, if possible. Exceptions may be made if frozen semen is used from a deceased stud dog, elderly dog, or when using frozen semen from a dog in another country. 

I agree to maintain good standards of health, nutrition and care for my dogs, including proper veterinary care.

I shall use a sales contract or written agreement/guarantee with any sale or purchase involving a dog. To the best of my ability, I will state clearly to a buyer whether the puppy or dog being sold is potentially a working or companion dog. I shall not release any puppies before they are eight weeks of age and only with the full knowledge that they are healthy and have had the required medical vaccinations and care.

I shall give buyers of puppies or adult dogs accurate health, breeding and registration records and at least a 3 generation pedigree if possible. Registration papers may be withheld on a dog which is suspected of carrying a serious fault or health condition that would make it detrimental for breeding purposes until the dog has been proven otherwise or rendered incapable of reproducing. I shall urge my puppy purchasers to provide public obedience training at the proper age if the dog is not strictly a livestock guardian. I will recommend to my puppy buyers that they render incapable of reproducing any dog which has developed serious faults, or a hereditary or genetic health disease.

As a breeder I will make a serious effort to see that every dog will have an adequate home and will be properly cared for. I shall refuse to sell to dog wholesalers and retailers.

I agree that I will not co-own a dog and participate in the breeding of said dog with a person who does not subscribe to and support this Code.

I agree that my advertising, oral and written, shall be factual and not worded so as to attract undesirable buyers, or to encourage the raising of purebred Maremma Sheepdogs as an easy money making scheme. I will not misrepresent my dogs to anyone, either by temperament, working ability, or soundness.

I shall conduct myself at all times in a manner which will reflect credit upon me, the breed, and the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, regardless of the location or circumstances. As such, I will not publicly or privately engage in false, misleading or maligning statements (written or verbal) regarding fellow members, another dog, or misrepresentation of my own dogs. 

If I should become aware of the maltreatment, misuse or need for relocation of any Maremma Sheepdog. I will notify any or all of the following for resolution of the problem: a member of the Board of Directors, the correct authorities in my area, the breeder.

Documented misconduct or violation of this Code of Ethics should be presented to the MSCA Board of Directors. Not adhering to any section of this Code of Ethics may result in suspension from being a Code of Ethics breeder. Education and communication are the preferred methods of obtaining compliance with the Code of Ethics.

Flagrant, serious and/or repeated disregard of the Code may result in formal charges brought before the MSCA Board of Directors by a MSCA member(s).

I have read and understand the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America Code of Ethics, and I agree to conduct myself at all times in accordance with this code.

MSCA COE Enforcement Guidelines

Read about the history of the MSCA Code of Ethics in this letter to the membership from former MSCA President Deborah Reid, Black Alder Ranch.

MSCA Breeder Incentive

 The MSCA would like to recognize those Breeders who are instrumental in educating their puppy buyers about recognizing the importance of hip testing and certification of their dogs – For every owner who submits proof of the puppy’s OFA/PennHIP hip certification, the Breeder of the puppy will receive a $5.00 credit towards their annual MSCA membership dues, up to the full yearly fee.

Click “HERE” to download form!

Maremma Hip Testing Incentive Program

​Have your MSCA registered Maremma’s hips certified through OFA or PennHip and receive a $25 rebate check from the MSCA!

Click “HERE” to learn more!

The Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, Inc (MSCA) does not guarantee the services or dogs obtained from any breeder, nor does the MSCA assume any responsibility or liability regarding any agreements you may enter into with any breeder. The MSCA does not recommend, guarantee, rate or endorse any breeder or their stock. Buyers should check all matters relating to registration, health and quality before making any decision to purchase any dog. The MSCA does not guarantee or accept any responsibility or liability of any kind for the quality, health or temperament of any dog purchased from breeders on this list; nor for the warranty, guarantee, integrity, honesty, reliability, expressed or implied, by any MSCA member included on this list.