American Whippet Club Code of Ethics
The American Whippet Club Code of Ethics was approved by vote by the AWC Membership in December, 1996. A copy of the Code of Ethics is provided to each new member of the AWC. The Code of Ethics describes the conduct and sportsmanship of an ethical whippet breeder and competitor, and the responsible selling/placement of whippet puppies with the public. Just as our AWC breeder-members are striving to breed whippets which conform to the ideals of our breed standard, it is expected that they will also strive to uphold, through their own conduct, the ideals of the AWC Code of Ethics. The Code is reproduced is its entirety below.
The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to provide guidelines for the members of the American Whippet Club that promote the ideals and principles necessary to properly maintain and protect the Whippet breed. The primary aim of the members of this club is to breed, maintain, and present healthy, happy Whippets, true to their heritage and the standard of the bred. Each member must consider the welfare of the breed when engaged in any activities involving competition, breeding and selling of Whippets and must refrain from any activity that would be prejudicial to the best interests of the breed and of the club.
1. Rules and Regulations
Each member shall be familiar with and observe the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club, the American Whippet Club, and this Code of Ethics. Each member attending an exhibition or competition shall comply with the rules of the sponsoring organization.
Each member should understand and accept the breed standard as presented by the American Whippet Club and should, whenever breeding a litter or allowing the use of a stud dog, direct all possible efforts to producing individuals of quality that conform to that standard.
All breeding stock should be of characteristic type, exhibit sound structure and stable temperament (neither shy nor vicious), be in good health and condition, and be free of communicable diseases and serious genetic defects. While it is recognized that individual breeders may choose to emphasize either conformation or performance excellence in their programs, Whippets should always be bred with the goal of achieving success in at least one of these areas, and not for sale to the pet market alone.
Members should endeavor to stay current in their knowledge of genetic problems present in the breed, should utilize available testing procedures to detect serious genetic defects in their breeding stock, and should refrain from breeding any dog that either displays or is known to carry these defects. Should a Whippet that is already well into its breeding career be found to carry a serious defect affecting either longevity, overall quality or life or fecundity, the owner should notify other breeders with closely related animals, and shall be honest about the potential problem with prospective buyers of breeding stock or stud service. The breeder shall do everything possible to minimize the spread of the defect to the breed as a whole.
Ideally, a bitchs breeding career should begin no sooner than her second season (unless she is slow to reach sexual maturity and is over two years on her first season) and should end by her ninth year.
Stud dog owners should exercise great care when accepting bitches for breeding, with an aim not only to maximize the potential quality of the resulting litter, but with assurances that the puppies will be properly maintained and eventually appropriately placed.
Members should not undertake the breeding of a bitch unless they are prepared to keep the resultant puppies, however long it takes until each is properly placed. All breeders shall accept the responsibility for each Whippet bred by them for its lifetime. Should a Whippet of their breeding turn up in a rescue situation, each member should do whatever is necessary to ensure the welfare of the dog, either retrieving the dog personally or assisting rescue in every way possible.
3. Maintenance and Sales
All puppies and adult Whippets should be maintained in a suitably clean and healthy environment, with proper socialization and exercise of primary importance.
No member of this club shall engage in the wholesaling of litters of Whippet puppies, or the sale of breeding stock or individuals to pet shops or other commercial sources of distribution.
Whippets shall never be supplied for raffles or lotteries.
Any puppy or adult Whippet offered for sale shall be healthy and free of communicable diseases, up to date on appropriate vaccinations, and accompanied by complete and accurate records.
A puppy or adult showing a disqualifying fault, as described in the Standard, or other faults such as cryptorchidism, unstable temperament, or other problems that the breeder considers unacceptable for breeding stock, should be sold with limited registration papers with the understanding that the dog should be neutered. This should be clearly understood by the buyer and the breeder should have a signed statement to that effect.
All other puppies or adults offered for sale shall be registered, or eligible for registration, and the breeder or owner of the dog shall be in full accordance with the rules of the American Kennel Club regarding record keeping, registration, sale, and transfer of dogs.
Members shall demonstrate tolerance and regard for each other, a genuine desire to work together for the good of the breed, and an interest in sharing experience and knowledge, not only with established fanciers, but especially with newcomers. No member shall malign his competition by making false or misleading statements regarding a competitors dog, breeding practices, or person.
No member shall engage in false or misleading advertising or other misrepresentation of his Whippets. Each member shall state or publish only those facts, records, or claims which are demonstrably true, and each member shall bear the responsibility as to the accuracy of any information supplied for publication.
Each member shall present his Whippet for competition or exhibition in proper condition and free from infectious diseases and shall see to it that it is properly attended to during and following the event, ensuring its health and well being.
Each member at any competitive event shall conduct himself with consistent good sportsmanship, treating all present, including competitors, judges, officials and spectators, with respect and courtesy.
Each member shall take all appropriate measures necessary to assist any Whippet in distress in any circumstances.
No member shall have surgery performed on any Whippet to alter cosmetic features (as mentioned in the AKC Policy Manual, Section XII Change In Appearance) to serve the purposes of exhibition.
No member shall knowingly provide breeding stock or breeding services to anyone who has violated any of the principles set forth in the Code of Ethics.
Nothing in this Code of Ethics should be construed to be in violation of the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club or the Constitution and By-Laws of the American Whippet Club.
Each individual applying for membership shall receive a copy of this Code of Ethics and, in joining the American Whippet Club, thereby signifies acceptance of the Code in its entirety. Any documented violation of the Code shall be dealt with as provided for in the By-Laws, Section IV Discipline.
Each member of the club has accepted the responsibility to protect the interests of the breed by conducting himself in a manner designed to reflect credit on himself, the Whippet breed, and the on the American Whippet Club.