News and updates

DOGS NSW - Distinguished Service / Life Membership Awards


The Distinguished Service and Life Membership awards exist to recognise the valuable contribution of individuals to the current and future existence of the organisation. In particular, the Awards System, described below, is intended to recognise a wide range of factors, more than simply by being a long-term Member. It also seeks to create awards so that significant contributions to DOGS NSW may be recognised appropriately.

The two Awards available to Members are:
1. Distinguished Service Award
2. Honorary Life Membership

Please click here to view the criteria and how to nominate.

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The National Code of Practice of Responsible Dog Ownership Amendment


Please note the recent amendment to the National Code of Practice of Responsible Dog Ownership, Clause 10, which now reads:-

  1. A member shall not dispose of dogs owned or bred by the member to a pound or animal refuge.  Breed Rescue Clubs run by ANKC Ltd members are exempt.
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ANKC Health & Well Being Committee COVID 19 - Advice to breeders


Realising that bitches were mated or whelped prior to the introduction of travel and social distancing restrictions, the CHWC hopes that the following advice will help in the process of transferring puppies to their new owners.

In addition the ANKC has received many inquiries in regard to continuation of breeding during this time of Government limitations, this of course is a personal choice but the ANKC recommends that before you mate a bitch, you give serious consideration to difficulties that may be encountered in relocating puppies to their new homes, transporting puppies both inter and intrastate can be a problem as are limited flights between states.

COVID 19 – the basics
COVID 19 is one of a large group of Corona viruses that affect many species. These viruses, like most, are generally species specific and rarely transfer to or affect any other species.
Both dogs and cats have corona viruses, but these are genetically very far removed from COVID 19. There has been no recorded transfer of dog and cat Corona viruses to humans and vice versa.

Socialising during the COVID 19 pandemic
Because of the limited movement and social distancing of people during the COVID 19 lockdown, breeders will have to be more inventive with their puppy socialisation, particularly if there are no children around.

Lots of play activity, try having different outfits, hats, noises, toys; most of which are usually done anyway. Take a few puppies out at a time in a trolley or pram to walk around the park or the block to see different places, people running past etc.

Do more one on one handling, particularly in those breeds that really need the individualisation (GSD, Rottweiler, etc). Stress to new owners that they will need to keep up this socialisation after they leave your care. 

Placing a Puppy during COVID 19 – Safety Advice
1. Do most of your normal checks, talking to prospective owners by phone, email, Facebook etc, ahead of time. Send photos, videos of the puppies, how they are being kept and raised, shots of the parents etc.

2. Check the credentials of the new owners, safe yards and fencing, members of the family, young children etc. Give copies of the relevant health certificates to people you expect to take a puppy. Have your puppy pack ready with dietary advice, spare puppy food, vaccination certificates etc, all ready to go before people arrive to see the puppy (or puppies).

3. Explain to prospective owners ahead of time what to expect. Ask whether anyone has had contact with anyone with COVID 19 or whether they have a cold or flu. Ask that older and/or compromised people and young children do not come to view the puppies. Only allow 1-2 people to come at any one time. Have everyone use a hand sanitizer or soap and water before handling the puppies.

4. Put the puppies to be viewed in a playpen, preferably outside, where the puppies can be placed into before the people arrive. Limit the number of puppies brought out. Prospective owners can then handle the puppies without direct contact with you. Any puppies not going can be wiped over with disinfectant (or washed) after the other puppy has gone.

5. Have all the paperwork ready, if anything needs signing, use a pen that they can then keep or you wipe it down with disinfectant/hand sanitiser. Keep the time spent with prospective owners to a minimum. Wash your hands and all open surfaces around the puppy area after the people leave.

6. With the restrictions on travel and only for essential business, it becomes quite difficult to sell puppies and comply with the necessary requirements. All the advice that we can give is how to limit your exposure to the virus when people come to view puppies.

[Note: It has been brought to our attention that in some jurisdictions people visiting your home, to pick up a puppy may be considered to be non-essential and therefore a finable offence, please check you State or Territory COVID 19 Regulations before arranging for puppies to be viewed or picked up.]

Dr. Karen Hedberg BV.Sc
ANKC Ltd Health and Wellbeing Committee

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DOGS NSW Media & Government Legislation Committee Press Release: COUNCILS AND PLANNING LAWS



Press Release: DOGS NSW Media and Government Legislation Committee

Re: Councils and Planning Laws

At a recent meeting of the DOGS NSW Media and Government Legislation Committee, concern was raised at the sudden proliferation of Local Council proposals to limit dog ownership.

Past experience has indicated that some of these propositions have been predicated on flawed interpretations of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

DOGS NSW have had some success in mediating with Councils who were contemplating actions, that would have resulted in the compulsory reduction of dogs kept on a property.

Subsequently, the Committee has obtained expert professional advice on the unsound interpretation of the DCP (Development Control Plans) that may be of assistance to members who are threatened by proposed Council Legislation enforcement.

Click here to view this advice.

If you are experiencing difficulties in this sphere please contact the DOGS NSW Animal Welfare & Community Liaison Officer via email: Deirdre Crofts | DOGS NSW

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ANKC LTD Golden Retriever Survey



ANKC Ltd is seeking the views of Golden Retriever owners if they wish to have Litter Registration Limitations in respect to Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Hereditary Cataracts.


Elbow Dysplasia:

Heritable elbow dysplasia is an orthopaedic disorder that results in the abnormal development of the elbow joint. These developmental anomalies can be associated with pain, forelimb lameness, and reluctance to extend or flex the elbow joint.

Several large studies have examined the genetic basis of elbow dysplasia, which appears to be inherited differently in different breeds. To complicate matters further, there is evidence that the different diseases of elbow dysplasia could be inherited independently. The differences in inheritance suggest that elbow dysplasia is a common end point for a variety of genetic disorders which disturb elbow development through various mechanisms.

Because of the complexity of inheritance and the effects of environmental variables in disease expression, it is unlikely that genetic testing for elbow dysplasia will be possible in the foreseeable future. Despite the ability to treat affected dogs, there is no satisfactory medical protocol or surgical procedure to significantly alter the progression or cure the disorder. This makes it increasingly important to reduce the incidence of the disease through selective breeding. Selectively breeding phenotypically normal individuals has been shown to reduce the incidence of the disorder.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a group of inherited eye disorders that is characterised by vision loss due to degeneration of the photoreceptor cells in the retina, eventually leading to complete blindness.  The mode of inheritance appears to be consistent with autosomal recessive and the age of diagnosis is most commonly at approximately 5 years of age. The Golden Retriever is on Schedule 1 of ACES and has more than one genetic form of PRA and it is thought that PRA can be caused by at least four different mutations three of which have been reported and account for approximately 91% of the cases in the breed (prcd-PRA (<1% of cases), GR_PRA1 (61% of cases) and GR_PRA2 (30% of cases) The genetic explanation for approximately 9% of cases remains to be identified.  Patented commercial genetic tests are available for prcd-PRA, GR_PRA1 and GR_PRA2 forms of PRA. These tests identify those dogs with one copy of the mutation (carrier) and dogs with two copies of the mutation (affected). By ensuring that at least one parent is Normal/Clear of GR_PRA1, GR_PRA2 or pcrd-PRA then no GR_PRA1/pcrd-PRA/GR_PRA2 affected offspring will be produced in a mating.  Because genetic tests are not available for approximately 9% of PRA cases in the Golden Retriever a yearly eye examination by a veterinary ophthalmologist is important to reduce the incidence of the disease through selective breeding.

Hereditary cataracts

Cataract is defined as any opacity of the lens or its capsule. There are many reasons for cataract formation, fortunately, the age of onset, appearance and evolution of hereditary cataracts are quite specific, enabling inherited cataracts to be distinguished from other non-inherited types of cataract.

Hereditary cataracts are a Schedule 1 disease for the Golden Retriever. Studies suggest that hereditary cataracts might be a complex disease, possibly involving several genes that might act independently or together with the environment to influence the development of hereditary cataracts. Since non-hereditary cataracts also occur, an examination by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist is necessary to determine if the cataract is suspected to be hereditary.

Quite apart from the undesirable perpetuation of abnormality within breeding lines, a proportion of inherited cataracts progress to produce visual impairment and blindness. Selective breeding of clear stock is important to lower the incidence of hereditary cataracts in the golden retriever.

Breeders of litters whelped on or after 1st January, 2020, will be required to comply with the above requirements as a prerequisite to registration of any litter on the ANKC Ltd Main Register. Dogs must be positively identified by microchip prior to being x-rayed and examined. Litters which do not meet the above requirements will only be able to be placed on the Limited Register and will be flagged not to be upgraded.

The survey can be undertaken here

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A survey was conducted by ANKC Ltd earlier this year to ascertain the feedback from all owners of registered Labrador Retrievers in relation to the Minimum Breeding Age for Labrador bitches being 18 months at the time of mating (unless a veterinary certificate is produced stating that for health reasons the bitch should be mated before 18 months).  The response received indicated support.


As this was an amendment to current regulations, the result of the survey was referred to the ANKC Board of Directors for consideration at their October 2019 Special Board meeting where it was endorsed.


As a consequence the following new clause will be added to Regulations Part 6 – The Register & Registration which will be effective from 1 January, 2020:


8.12.2  The Minimum Breeding Age for Labrador Retriever bitches must be 18 months at the time of mating (unless a veterinary certificate is produced stating that for health reasons the bitch should be mated before 18 months).  Breeders of litters whelped on or after 1st June, 2020, will be required to comply with the requirements as a prerequisite to registration of any litter on the ANKC Ltd Main Register. Litters which do not meet the above requirements will only be able to be placed on the Limited Register and will be flagged not to be upgraded.



Tracey Barry


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Emergency Survival Plan + DOGS NSW Donation Relief



In light of the recent and current bush fires that are ravaging NSW, please take the time to put together a survival plan in case of emergency. The weather is not set to improve in the near future, in fact CATASTROPHIC CONDITIONS are forecast for today, Tuesday 12 November. Taking the time to discuss a plan, can save you, your family’s and your animals' lives.

For advice on a plan of action, please visit click here.

To view fires in your area, and regular updates from the Rural Fire Service, please click here

If you and your dogs find yourself in need of emergency assistance, the Australian Dog Community group may be able to assist. Please click here

Please be aware that Evacuation points are located at DOGS NSW grounds at Orchard Hills Showgrounds and we are currently working on identifying other suitable locations for safe zones in Country Regions. Advice on this will be circulated as soon as it comes to hand.

Plans include future fundraising activities are under consideration, however this is not a priority at present. It is important that the assistance we offer is strategically targeted to assist members and is effective and timely in its deliverance.

We have been advised that one of our members has been devastated by the current bush fires, and lost everything they own. DOGS NSW is appealing to members for assistance with monetary donations or donations of non-perishable items, dog food, crates, bowls, dog beds, along with any items which would assist our members with their dogs at this time of need.

Please email the office at or call on 02 9834 3022, and the office staff will take your name and details. All donations will be gratefully received and can be dropped off at DOGS NSW Office at Orchard Hills. These will be stored until distribution can be arranged to those in need.

It would also be advantageous to develop a stockpile of these type of items in preparation for any future needs that may need addressing in future emergency situations.


The following was a FB posting from Anne Sorraghan reprinted here with her permission.

• Do you have your woollen jumper, jeans, boots, mask, hat and goggles at the door? Covering up can save you.
• Fuel driven fire pumps may not work as the fire sucks the oxygen away 1/2 a kilometre ahead of the front!
• Windows melt!
• Spot fires erupt 15kms ahead of the front!
• The horrific winds blow trees over the roads so you can't escape.
• Visibility is zero in thick smoke.
• Burning logs and a million embers land on the roof carried by the fire storm!

While we patrolled the house as it burned, spraying against window ledges and the roof, outside the fire would go out, then erupt again, then go out, as the oxygen was used up. Inside kept us alive. Our neighbour asphyxiated beside his pool.

Have you tested how long it takes to pack the kids and dogs in the car?
Your dog trailer will NOT save your dog’s escaping through a fire! Fit them all in the car if you have to leave through flames.


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