CODE OF ETHICS

SECTION A
INTRODUCTION
1 Rule 2 Objects states:
The objects of the Club shall be - To improve the breed of Great Danes, to have their excellent qualities better known to the public and to do all things possible to promote the interests of the Club. To encourage and foster interest in the breed in Ireland”
This document amplifies that statement by giving guidelines intended to assist Members in attaining these worthy objectives; it also complements the Irish Kennel Club's General Code of Ethics which is reproduced in full in Appendix 1.
2 In all matters affecting the breeding, health and fitness of a dog the professional advice of a qualified veterinary surgeon takes precedence over these guidelines.
3 Members may disagree in part with these guidelines because of their experience and the idiosyncrasies of their stock, nevertheless, they must remember that these guidelines have been adopted by a majority of Club Members and should give each clause due consideration.
4 The title "Ethical Guidelines" implies a moral aspect. Clearly the club and every member of the Club have a moral duty to do everything possible to improve the breed. The Club wishes to discharge its duty without having to resort to the imposition of rules, which it would find difficult to enforce.
5 The Committee commends these guidelines to you and urges all Members to:
a. Accept them in the spirit in which they are issued
b.Abide by them as far as is humanly possible in support of Club Rule 2 and the betterment and welfare of the breed.
6 If you can work to the word and spirit of these guidelines then you will be a welcome member of the Club; the converse is also true.
SECTION B - BREEDING
1. BETTERMENT OF THE BREED.
Breeding should only take place for the betterment of the breed. To avoid matings, which could be detrimental to the breed, members are advised to:
Spend at least 3 years in the breed before even thinking about breeding.
Think and check carefully before allowing your Dane to be used for breeding.
Think long and hard about what is going to happen to the puppies you cannot sell.
Check prospective homes for puppies very thoroughly and, ideally, check on their welfare after sale.
Only established breeders should consider having bitches out on sub-contract breeding terms when, ideally, it would be limited to no more than two.
IF you are NOT prepared to do this, DO NOT BREED  
2. SOUND STOCK.
Owners should only breed from sound, healthy Danes, which are free from contagious diseases and are registered with the Irish Kennel Club. Before starting a mating the backgrounds of both Danes should be thoroughly investigated. No Dane should be used for breeding purposes, which carries a serious hereditary defect adversely affecting the Dane's well being.
3. TIME OF FIRST MATING
A bitch should be allowed to have her first season naturally (that is to say without the use of any artificial preventatives such as “Ovarid”) before she is used for breeding.
A bitch should not be mated:
(i)after her 7th birthday
(ii)before she is at least 21 months (preferably over 24 months) and has completed two full seasons
Every mating and/or whelping should be done under veterinary advice and supervision. In particular, a maiden bitch over 5 years should only be bred from under veterinary advice and supervision.
Note: The optimum age for breeding a bitch is 2-3 years of age (i.e. less puppy mortality).
No more than 3 litters should be bred from a bitch in her lifetime.
4. TIME BETWEEN MATINGS
No bitch should be bred from on consecutive seasons; at least one full season should elapse between matings and then only if the bitch is in good health. If, however, on a veterinary surgeon's advice a bitch is bred from on consecutive seasons she should then be rested.
5. RECORDS
A breeder should keep accurate, colour coded pedigrees, stud details, breeding records and kennel club documentation
6. FACILITIES
Breeding should not be attempted unless adequate facilities and personal attention are available. Advice from an established breeder and your veterinary surgeon should be sought before embarking on this serious matter.
7. ADVERTISING
Advertising must be honest and free of ambiguity. It must not be open to misrepresentation or fraudulent application.
8. STUD DOGS
The owner of a stud dog should supply all relevant information, i.e. physiological listing regarding hereditary & congenital conditions.
SECTION C - SELLING DANES:
Further to fulfilling paragraphs 2.6 & 2.7 of the Irish kennel Club code of ethics the Breeder must:
1. BEFORE SELLING:
Do everything you can to ensure that the prospective owners:
a.Really want a Great Dane and are aware of its adult size, appetite, housing needs and the costs involved.
b.Are aware of the Irish Kennel Club’s Code of Ethics.
c.Will follow your advice on rearing.
2. AGE AT WHICH TO SELL A PUPPY.
Ideally a puppy should not leave its breeder until it is 8/10 weeks old.
3. DANES WITH OBVIOUS DEFECTS.
If a Dane has an obvious hereditary or physical defect it should either NOT be sold OR sold as a pet. When sold as a pet under these circumstances the breeders must then have the Registration Certificate endorsed by the Irish Kennel Club with any one or all of the following endorsements:
a. Not for Show. b. Not for Breeding. c. Not for Export.
This applies to puppies or adults. Clearly, no Dane with such defects should be used for breeding purposes.
Puppies with known serious defects, which would adversely affect their quality of life, should be put down.
4. PUPPY DIET SHEET AND ADVICE.
A full diet sheet from date of sale to maturity (18 months) should accompany each puppy when sold. If the new owner is not a knowledgeable Dane person, he/she should also be given details and advice on such matters as worming, exercise, training, showing and useful Dane books to read, together with the breeder's telephone number and the address of an experienced Dane person in their own area to whom they may go for help and advice.
5. SALE DOCUMENTATION
Full pedigree and the Irish Kennel Club registration certificate should generally accompany all Danes sold. Application for registration with The Irish Kennel Club must be made before puppies are sold.
6. PEDIGREES
All pedigrees must be correct, up to date and explicitly colour marked. Apart from Merle and Boston, which should be entered in full, suggested abbreviations for colour marking are as follows:
F: Fawn BR: Brindle
BL: Blue BK: Black
H: Harlequin BLH: Blue Harlequin (note not accepted FCI Colour) 
M: Merle BN: Boston
SECTION D — WELFARE OF DANES
1. BREEDER’S RESPONSIBILITY
A breeder should take full responsibility for re-homing a Dane which he/she has sold and which has subsequently become unwanted.
It should be impressed on the person buying a Dane that the breeder is the first one to be informed if they have problems with the Dane or are no longer able to cope with it.
2. GENERAL CONDUCT
All members of The Irish Great Dane Club shall conduct themselves in such a way as to reflect credit on the ownership of dogs.
They must treat all dogs with such kindness and consideration as to ensure their happiness, dignity and continuing well-being; and to demonstrate to prospective dog owners what standards will be expected of them as owners and as Members of The Irish Great Dane Club.
3. SHOWING
At all times Great Danes should only be shown in Good Healthy Condition and Clean. With regard to Coat Treatment, attention is drawn to the Irish Kennel Club rules & regulations regarding the preparation of dogs for exhibition.