Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct for KUSA Judges

Posted in Working Discipline Judges


(Effective 01.07.2019)


1. Every person who has made an application to the Kennel Union of Southern Africa for the registration or transfer of a dog, registration of an Affix, entered, exhibited or handled a dog, officiated, judged or taken part in any Show held under the Kennel Union Licence, holds membership, is a registered owner, or holds membership of any club affiliated to the Kennel Union shall be bound to this Kennel Union Code of Ethics relating to responsible dog ownership including the keeping, welfare, breeding, selling and disposing of dogs as detailed in Regulation 2 below.

2. Every person designated in Regulation 1 above pledges in respect of any dog or dogs which at any time they may have under their control that they will:

2.1ensure that at all times such dogs are properly housed, watered, exercised and transported and will receive Veterinary attention from a qualified person, as and when required;

2.2provide adequate shelter for any dog/s kept outside the house or premises;

2.3ensure that the exercise area for such dogs be of sufficient size for the movement of such dog/s and to have the exercise area/s fenced or walled so as to restrict the movement of such dog/s to their property and that the exercise area is kept clean;

2.4ensure that correct control is exercised with regard to Municipal Meter Readers, Postmen etc, whilst recognising at the same time that such dog is there to protect the owners and their property;

2.5ensure that such dog/s does not cause a public nuisance to any neighbour;

2.6not allow such dogs to roam at large, keep their dogs on a lead, and under effective control, in all Public spaces, except those specially designated where the dogs must be trained to return on command;

2.7clean up after such dogs according to Municipal Regulations in any Public place or place where they are being exhibited or exercised;

2.8not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed, nor falsely advertise or mislead any person regarding the performance and/or quality or health of any dog;

2.9ensure that all persons acquiring dogs from them clearly understand their responsibilities for the care and welfare of such dogs and they, the new owners, have the time and facilities to undertake their obligations as laid down in this Code of Ethics;

2.10provide to all persons acquiring dogs from them, whether by sale or gift or some other means, written details of all dietary and immunization requirements and/or an appropriate publication relating to such requirements and responsible dog ownership;

2.11ensure that the correct inoculations, as required by law, are administered at the proper time;
2.12ensure that prompt qualified medical attention is administered should they become sick or injured;

2.13Not knowingly permit any purebred dogs registered on the KUSA breed registers, to mate with a dog of a different breed, to a cross-bred dog, or to an unregistered dog of the same breed, or to any dog that is registered with any organisation, society or association that is not recognised by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa, save for permissible inter-variety
matings between KUSA-registered dogs which are subject to the prior approval of the Executive Committee.

2.14ensure that no puppy bred by him is released on sale to a purchaser until it has reached a minimum age of six (6) weeks from date of birth and has been microchipped (w.e.f. 01.09.2010);

2.15breed only for the purpose of improving the breed;

2.16not knowingly sell any dog directly to commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow any dog to be given as a prize or donation in a contest of any kind;

2.17ensure that when selling or transferring a dog that, when available, the necessary signed document/s be provided to the purchaser or transferee;

2.18ensure that no dog kept by them will have its ears cropped;

2.19bring to the attention of the appropriate authority cases of alleged fraud, dishonesty, cruelty or neglect and not commit such offences themselves;

2.20will not engage in dog fighting;

2.21ensure that no dog is left confined in a vehicle or area exposed to the elements (heat or cold).

2.22any person or persons as designated in Regulation one (1) of this Schedule who fails to observe any of the provisions of the Code of Ethics as detailed in Regulation two (2) of this Schedule 9 resulting in a judgement against such person or persons in a Court of Law, may be dealt with in terms of the KUSA Disciplinary Rules

3. The provisions of Schedule 2 Regulation 12.2 shall apply to any person or persons who breeds from any bitch in their ownership before it is twelve (12) months of age.

4. The provisions as stated in the ‘Code of Conduct and Practice for KUSA Judges’, attached hereto as Schedule 9 - Appendix A, shall apply to any person or persons who are registered KUSA Judges. This applies to Judges officiating for KUSA in all forms of dogsport.



The conduct and practice of Judges officiating for the Kennel Union of Southern Africa in all forms of dogsport, whether as Learner Judges, or Licensed Judges, must stand up to the highest level of scrutiny and the comportment of Judges should manifest their status within dogsport. Judging at a Kennel Union-licensed event requires the Judge to be a member of the Kennel Union and, apart from adherence to the normal Conditions of Membership, the Code of Ethics (Schedule 9) and the Terms and Conditions of Contract as per the Judging Contract (J1), Judges at any level shall be bound by this Code of Conduct and Practice for Judges Licensed by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa:

In General:

1. Judges shall maintain continuous and unbroken membership of the Kennel Union of Southern Africa throughout their judging career as contemplated in Article 25.2 of the Kennel Union Constitution.

2. Judges shall be mindful of their elevated and respected status in dogsport and in all their actions and dealings set an example for all participants in the sport.

3. In their communications with officials, exhibitors and competitors, Judges shall act with dignity, finesse and decorum and their conduct in all interactions shall be above reproach.

4. In accepting assignments, whether local or foreign, Judges act as ambassadors of the Kennel Union and in word and deed shall take the utmost care to neither embarrass themselves, nor the Kennel Union.

5. Judges shall not accept an invitation to judge unless they can declare with a reasonable degree of certainty that they would be able and fulfil the assignment and be fit to do so in accordance with the expectations of the show-holding Club or entity.

6. Judges who need to withdraw from an assignment for whatever reasons need to give notice of their intentions to withdraw at the earliest possible opportunity and in a manner prescribed by their contract.

7. Judges shall ensure that their arrangements regarding reimbursement of expenses by show-holding Clubs or entities are clear and unambiguous, thereby to ensure that they do not cause embarrassment or discontent.

8. Judges shall not claim any expenses from a show-holding Club or entity to which they are not entitled and cannot provide proof of entitlement.

9. Judges shall embrace continued education as an integral part of judging and undertake self-motivated learning throughout their judging careers.

10. Judges shall keep themselves apprised of changes to the Kennel Union’s regulatory framework applicable to Judges and judging.

11. Judges shall keep themselves apprised of changes to the FCI’s regulatory framework applicable to Judges and judging and apply these regulations in an FCI judging environment unless they are in conflict with the Kennel Union’s regulations.

12. Judges shall be meticulous in noting changes to Breed Standards of breeds they are licensed to judge and apply these changes once they become effective.

13. At shows held under the Regulations of the FCI, Judges shall meticulously and consistently apply FCI Breed Standards to all the breeds they are contracted to judge.

14. Judges shall not interpret any Breed Standard in a manner which conflicts with the functional health of the dog.

15. Judges shall not solicit judging assignments, either locally or overseas, which includes, but is not limited to, pleading, asking or canvassing for an assignment, either directly, or through an intermediary.

16. Judges shall not solicit the entry of any Dog, Exhibitor and/or Competitor.

17. Judges shall not travel to a show with a person who will be exhibiting a dog under them.

18. Judges shall not accept accommodation from a person who will be exhibiting a dog under them.

19. Judges shall avoid socialising with exhibitors who are likely to exhibit dogs under them prior to the show.

20. If placed in an unavoidable compromising position as a result of a relationship with an exhibitor, Judges shall encourage those exhibitors responsible for creating an awkward situation by leaving them conflicted, or rendering their awards suspect, to do a “lap of honour”, instead of subjecting their dogs to assessment and placement.

21. It is suggested that, during a discernible period (at Judges’ discretion) preceding any judging assignment, Judges shall refrain from acting as a spectator to the judging of the dogs they are likely to judge in such scheduled assignment.
22. In deference to the principles of neutrality and impartiality, Judges shall exercise the utmost discretion when discussing dogs likely to be judged by them, or by other Judges, with any person, as not to show favour or prejudice of any kind.
23. Similarly, in upholding the principles of neutrality and impartiality, Judges shall exercise sound judgement when commenting on dogs likely to be judged by them, or by other Judges, on Social Media, as not to reveal predilection or dislike.

24. When commenting on dog- or dogsport-related issues, Judges shall use Social Media advisedly and prudently and confine their opinions to reasoned discourse based on fact and refrain from speculation, innuendo and aspersion.
25. Judges shall not criticise the work of other Judges, either verbally, in print or on Social Media.

26. Judges shall not indulge in offensive or slanderous conduct aimed at discrediting the Kennel Union or the FCI.

27. Judges’ licences are granted at the sole discretion of the Kennel Union and, in securing such licence, the Licensee (Judge) assumes a fiduciary relationship with the Licensor (KUSA), and part of any such relationship is that the Licensee shall not act contra the interests of his principal (KUSA). It should be understood that a licence is granted at the behest of the Licensor and can be suspended at any time and that, although KUSA welcomes constructive criticism or the airing of grievances through the appropriate channels, it will not tolerate being besmirched on Social Media and its reputation tarnished by persons to whom its licences have been entrusted in good faith.

In the Ring:

28. Judges shall be courteous, polite and respectful towards Exhibitors and/or Competitors, Ring Steward or Club Officials.

29. Judges shall be punctual for assignments and avoid inconveniencing Exhibitors, Competitors or Show Officials through lateness.

30. Judges shall not leave the showgrounds before they have completed all their assigned duties.

31. Judges shall not consult the show catalogue before or during a judging assignment.

32. Judges shall assess dogs or their performance in a thorough, competent, systematic and kind manner.

33. When judging, Judges shall exercise the highest degree of objectivity and discard any knowledge of a dog’s background or ownership.

34. Having regard for the weather, Judges shall dress in a manner which creates a professional, yet comfortable, appearance in the ring, avoiding bulky or noisy accessories.

35. Judges shall not smoke or drink alcohol in the ring.

36. Although it’s permissible for Judges to have electronic devices in the ring for the review of a breed standard when necessary, such devices shall otherwise remain switched off and under no circumstances shall Judges take telephone calls, or receive and send text messages, while in the ring.

37. Judges shall not address handlers by their name in the ring.

38. Judges shall complete all the requirements of an assignment diligently and efficiently, with regard for time constraints imposed by the show-holding Club

In devising this Code of Conduct and Practice for Judges Licensed by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa, we gratefully acknowledge the papers and guidelines of the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Council and Dogs New Zealand.