IWAWC Code of Ethics

The Board of Directors of the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast on April 23, 2005, approved and formally adopted a Code of Ethics by which members of the IWAWC are now governed. This Code replaced the former Breeders’ Guidelines.

The Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast, in keeping with its constitutional aim of protecting and breeding finer Irish Wolfhounds, has adopted the following Code of Ethics to promote and foster the highest standards among its members. It is difficult to cover all situations, and for this reason members should follow THE INTENT of this standard even when specific areas are not covered. The Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast is a club comprising members devoted to a noncommercial basis for continued betterment of the breed. The Code of Ethics is predicated upon this fundamental philosophy.

I. RECORDS – Complete and accurate breeding records shall be maintained as follows:

A. For the Sire and Dam:

  1. AKC registered name, number, and date of whelp.
  2. Names and addresses of registered owners.
  3. Dates of actual breeding.

B. For the Resulting Litter:

  1. Date of whelp and AKC Litter Number.
  2. Number and sex of puppies whelped alive.
  3. Number and sex of puppies dead at birth.
  4. Name, sex, registration and sale/transfer dates for each live puppy.
  5. Name and address of owner of each live puppy.

C. All records should be made available to the Irish Wolfhound Club of America for incorporation into statistical data. All records of this nature are for informative purposes only and are kept confidential.


A. The purpose of breeding Irish Wolfhounds is to bring their natural qualities to perfection in accordance with the Standard. There exists a constant danger that disreputable or ignorant breeders may, by improper practices, produce physically, mentally, or temperamentally poor specimens to the detriment of the breed.

B. A member who undertakes a breeding shall:

  1. Be selective, with an eye to the conformation, physical well-being, and temperament of the pair to be mated.
  2. Breed only after a careful study of the breed Standard, the basic principles of genetics, and the pedigrees of the pair in question.
  3. Be prepared to provide the proper care for both the bitch and her offspring, and to retain the puppies for as long as necessary for their placement in suitable homes.
  4. Use for breeding only those animals free from major hereditary defects.
  5. Breed only those animals which have attained at least the minimum height for dogs and bitches as specified in the Standard.

C. The owner of the stud dog shall:

  1. Exercise exemplary conduct in contraction for the use of his dog, and shall abide by the standards as set forth in this Code of Ethics.
  2. Use his dog only on bitches which are an asset to the breed and whose owners agree to conform to this Code of Ethics.
  3. Follow the progress and sale of any puppies resulting from the use of his stud, and ensure the well-being of these puppies, as he is equally responsible for the resulting litter.
  4. Not split the litter in lieu of a stud fee for the primary purpose of resale, as this is considered to be unethical.
  5. In the case of natural breedings, provide one free return service for a bitch who has been bred but failed to conceive. In all other cases, owners of the bitch and stud dog will agree in writing what procedures will follow in the event of a failed breeding.

D. The owner of the bitch shall:

  1. Breed only those bitches between the ages of twenty-four months and six years which are in excellent health.
  2. Breed an individual bitch no more than two out of three consecutive seasons, and not produce more than three litters in her lifetime.


A. All puppies shall be provided with proper veterinary and home care.

  1. The elimination of parasites.
  2. The necessary immunizations.
  3. The proper diet.

B. Any puppy which is deformed or irreversibly ill shall be humanely destroyed.

C. All of the puppies in a litter shall be graded as to quality, i.e. pet or show stock, and shall be priced accordingly. It is recommended that two or more experienced breeders participate in this grading process.

D. Any pet stock puppy shall either be altered or transferred with Limited AKC registration. Withholding the AKC registration papers requires a written agreement between buyer and seller, a copy of which must be sent to the AKC.

E. All potential new owners shall be screened in order to ascertain their suitability as Irish Wolfhound owners. Special attention should be paid to matters such as adequate physical facilities and the financial responsibility for proper care.

F. The Association recommends that no puppy be released to its new home at an age younger than ten weeks, and preferably twelve weeks.

G. Every puppy, upon being turned over to its new owner, shall be accompanied by the following items:

  1. Feeding instructions.
  2. Puppy medical records, which shall include immunizations, types of vaccine used, dates of inoculations, date of wormings.
  3. A four-generation pedigree.
  4. An Association membership application.
  5. A copy of the Code of Ethics.
  6. AKC Registration papers for those puppies sold for showing or breeding purposes. Limited registration papers for companion puppies, as above in III D.
  7. Information on the available literature about Irish Wolfhounds.
  8. H. All new owners shall be encouraged to have their puppies checked by a veterinarian within forty-eight hours of time of delivery.

I. The new owner should be advised to keep the breeder informed about the development of the puppy, and of any problems that may occur during the life of the dog. When possible, the breeder should be informed on cause and date of death of any dogs bred.

J. The breeder shall make it clear that he is prepared to take back the dog at any age in the event that the new owner is unable to keep it or find a good home for it.

K. If a puppy is to be co-owned, it is recommended that a contract signed by both owners should be drawn up stating the exact terms of the co-ownership.

L. Puppies under twelve weeks of age shall never be exported or imported.

M. All advertising of puppies and adult dogs, written or oral, shall be factual and honest in both substance and implication.

N. The price of a puppy should be reasonable and dependent on the quality of the animal.


A. Members shall be aware at all times that the Association exists to improve and protect the breed and that these aims are to be uppermost in the minds of the members in all of their activities within the breed.

Provide the best standards of health care for the physical and emotional well-being of their dog(s). This includes, but is not limited to, appropriate food, shelter, sanitation, immunizations, regular health checks, medical care as needed, attention, exercise, and affection always.

B. No member shall:

  1. Knowingly falsify pedigree or breeding information.
  2. Sell puppies to pet stores either on consignment or outright.
  3. Supply puppies for raffles or other such enterprises.
  4. Sell to unethical breeders or persons whose intention to resell the dog is known or suspected.
  5. Maliciously degrade another member’s Irish Wolfhound or Kennel.
  6. Import or export entire litters of Irish Wolfhounds, or sell entire litters within the United States, either to a private party or for commercial resale.
  7. Buy or sell bitches in whelp.

C. Members shall:

  1. Make every effort to educate any new owner or interested person, and to be both instructive and constructive in their comments.
  2. Demonstrate good sportsmanship both inside and outside the show ring at all times.
  3. Always behave in a manner that will be conducive to the advancement of our breed and our Association.
  4. Maintain sanitary conditions for their dogs, and provide adequate exercise, the proper diet, and the necessary inoculations.
  5. Conform to all the items regarding placement and sales listed under Section III of the Code if it becomes necessary to sell, give away, or otherwise place their dogs.
  6. If any of their dogs need to be euthanized, have this done in the most humane manner by a veterinarian.
  7. In all questions of ethics not covered by the Code, act in the best interest of the breed.


A. It is the responsibility of each member to make an inquiry concerning suspected violations of this Code. Should such a violation appear to exist, the Board of Directors should be notified and action may be taken in accordance with Article 6 of the Constitution of the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast.

B. Board members may not take an active part in decisions which personally affect them.

VI. APPEALS – An appeals method shall be established by the Board of Directors in accordance with the Constitution and Standing Rules of the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast, whereby a member found guilty of a violation of this Code may appeal that decision.

VII. EXCEPTIONS – It is recognized that legitimate exceptions to this Code of Ethics will arise from time to time. Any member with a possible ethical problem may, at his request, have that problem reviewed by the Board for its recommendations. Furthermore, the Board of Directors may, upon sufficient evidence and under certain conditions where the good of the breed is protected, waive any of the foregoing provisions.