Whether an owner, exhibitor, or breeder, the Afghan Hound enthusiast is often confronted with decisions and courses of action which can impact the continued improvement and preservation of the Afghan Hound breed and the well-being of his or her individual dogs. All too often because of inexperience, or lack of forethought, the decisions made and the courses of action pursued are unfortunate ones with lasting detrimental effects.
With these voluntary guidelines, which represent as distillation of the personal codes of conduct and concerns of its members, the Afghan Hound Club of America is setting forth acceptable practices and a number of precautions; and is directing them to any and all involved with our breed with the intent that the pitfalls be avoided and the pleasures enhanced.
It is important that breeders examine their motives before undertaking any breeding. While the zeal to produce champions is understandable, the breeder must guard against becoming insensitive to the lives produced; must understand the costs in time and money; and recognize the difficulties in placing unwanted offspring in caring homes.
- Breeding should be done selectively with the intention of reducing faults to a minimum and producing healthy hounds of high quality, type and proper temperament.
- Breeding should be undertaken only when the breeder is in a position to properly care for the bitch and litter and with the plan of keeping at least one puppy to, hopefully advance and improve the breed. The breeder should recognize that it may be necessary to house offspring for a considerable length of time and to be prepared to provide suitable facilities during this period.
- No fancier should attempt breeding until able to distinguish between the correct and incorrect. Such ability presupposes careful study of the breed standard, the basic principles of genetics and the pedigrees of prospective stud and matron.
- Breeders should breed only stock which is in good health and which is physically and temperamentally sound. No dog or bitch should be bred that is known to have or is suspected of having any serious inheritable defect or disease (as listed in the Appendix).
- Breeders should make every effort to comply with the recommended testing and minimum recommended breeding ages set forth in the Appendix.
- No bitch should be bred more than twice in any three consecutive seasons. The physical and mental well-being of the bitch are the prime considerations at any time.
- The stud dog should be bred selectively. The owner should discourage the individual who wants to breed the pet quality bitch or one unsuitable for his stud, and explain why he does so. The stud dog owner should be certain the owner of the bitch has the necessary knowledge and facilities to care for the puppies as long as it requires to properly place them.
- Stud dogs or bitches who produce offspring of consistently poor quality are of no value as breeding stock and should not be used again.
- All bitches should be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian before breeding to determine that they are healthy, mature and suitable for this purpose. Inexperienced breeders should seek the advice of an experienced breeder or veterinarian before attempting to mate Afghan Hounds.
- Substitution of an alternate stud for an unwilling one or use of hormone injections or artificial insemination should not be practiced unless sufficient cause to do so exists and all parties are in full agreement; and even then should only be performed in accordance with AKC recommendations. Such practices should not be adopted merely to fulfill the stud dog's duty or to avoid the loss of a breeding season.
- All breeders must keep accurate and thorough breeding records in accordance with AKC requirements.
Selling and Sales Contracts
Problems resulting from sales and sales agreements are perhaps the greatest source of dissatisfaction and ill will in the breed. It is important that the seller be honest with himself and the buyer. It is equally important that all agreements and stipulations be recorded in written sales contracts.
- Sale prices of dogs and puppies should be based on the observable quality of the individual dog as potential show or breeding specimens. Since it is costly to raise a puppy to saleable age, these costs should be reflected in the sale price.
- No puppy should be released or shipped to a new home before the age of eight weeks.
- Ethical breeders do not consign Afghan Hounds to pet stores, animal brokers, or commercial kennels and do not donate them as prizes for any raffle or contest.
- The seller should give an honest appraisal of the coat care, as well as the physical, mental and nutritional needs peculiar to the Afghan Hound, to any prospective buyer.
- A breeder must be discriminating in the placement of his stock and should not knowingly deal with unethical persons. A breeder should not sell to, or aid in procuring an Afghan Hound for, any person who he or she has reason to believe will not provide the proper care and environment, or who may use the dog in a fashion that is detrimental to the breed.
- The new owner should be provided with at least a three generation pedigree, a health certificate with inoculation records and booster due dates and the name and address of the examining veterinarian. Novice buyers should also be provided with a thorough written list of instructions on diet and care.
- Breeding arrangements in lieu of, or in addition to cash payment, should be held to an absolute minimum and confined to the knowledgeable purchaser desirous of becoming a breeder. Such arrangement should be made only on a dog of such quality as to qualify it as show stock and only when the breeder-seller needs to retain such animal as part of a well planned breeding program.
- Breeding arrangements should never be established which encourage the pet buyer to undertake a breeding program. No sales contract should compel a buyer to breed a dog or bitch; therefore, any sales contract should provide for remunerative release options as an alternative to breeding arrangements.
- Each person who sells or places a dog should provide the new owner with a registration application, a signed transfer or signed agreement between buyer and seller as described in the American Kennel Club Rules. It is recommended that a sales contract be executed for every sale.
- No owner should be forced to keep a dog he does not want or feels was misrepresented to him. Provision for such eventualities and the time periods allowed for return should be part of the sales contract.
- The breeder should take back any Afghan Hound that he or she has produced at any time during that Afghan Hound's life if the dog or bitch is no longer wanted by the original owner or any subsequent owner, or is found in a pound or animal shelter due to not being wanted by an owner. This does not mean the breeder has to buy back the Afghan Hound from the original buyer or any subsequent owner. It simply means that the breeder is responsible for the welfare of any Afghan Hound that he or she has bred for the animal's entire life and is prepared to fulfill this responsibility.
- All advertising of puppies, adults or stud services ought to be factual and without misleading implications. Likewise, advertising of show wins and breeding records should not be false or misleading.
- Advertising and promotion, written and/or oral, should be confined to the specific aspects of the seller's stock and should not allude, in a derogatory way, to the methods, animals or reputations of the breeders.
- In discussions with contacts resulting from advertising, the seller should be extremely cautious regarding the show prospects of any dog, lest he imply that success will be automatic - by virtue of pedigree - for animals too young for proper evaluation. The term 'Guarantee' if used, should clearly mean replacement of one dog with another, rather than a positive analysis of the dog at hand.
- Breeding encouragements, such as might be implied by advertisements offering "breeding stock" for sale or lease should not be made. The breeding of Afghan Hounds must never be offered or taken lightly.
While sportsmanship might be strictly defined as the art of playing fair, accepting defeat without complaint and victory without boastfulness, the additional concepts of sportsmanship, when practiced, can enhance the respect afforded the Afghan Hound Fancy and the pleasures of participation.
- Every enthusiast should at all times, when at dog shows, in the show ring, traveling or staying at hotels or motels, conduct himself in such a manner as to reflect positively on the sport of showing dogs and the Afghan Hound in particular.
- Experienced breeders and exhibitors should willingly offer the novice advice, constructive criticism or assistance with problems when requested to do so.
- Malicious criticism should never be made.
The General Recommendations of the Biological Defects Committee of the Afghan Hound Club of America, Inc.
- Afghan Hounds should not be used for breeding before the age of 24 months, at the earliest.
- Only individuals which are free from all discoverable, and assumed hereditary, defects should be used for breeding. "Discoverable" under present circumstances includes those forms of blindness whose incipient stages can be detected via competent eye examination, joint diseases such as hip dysphasia that are revealed through X-ray study, cryptorchidism (or monorchidism) that can be found by palpitation, and any gross and obvious abnormality, such as heart of serious skeletal defects, pronounced as "probably hereditary" by the attending veterinarian.
- The Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) certification procedures and available to all Afghan Hounds older than 24 months as useful detection of defects measures.
- In individuals which themselves have been examined and checked out "clear" but which are direct parents or close relatives of afflicted dogs must be regarded as relatively "high risk" breeding stock.
- There seems to be a high incidence of defects from bitches which either refuse to breed readily or have difficulty in whelping and raising puppies through the weaning stage. Although there may seem to be a good "accidental" explanation, such bitches should also be regarded as relatively "high risk."
- All contracts on co-ownerships, breeding rights, or repeat breeding, should contain a clause voiding them or otherwise providing terms of settlement without breeding if the Afghan Hound involved is subsequent to the date of the original contract, found to be "afflicted" or definitely "high risk."
- When, in spite of precautions, a defect (as listed in 2. above) appears in an Afghan Hound sold for show, breeding or even pet stock, the affected animal should be replaced (subject to sales contract exceptions) with one of equivalent value, but free of such defects - or other equitable restitution made to better encourage buyers to seep proper examinations and to eliminate any temptation to use defective hounds for breeding.
- Finally, when defects do occur, every attempt should be made to get as complete a diagnosis as possible and a detailed case history and the facts should be reported fully and in confidence to this committee or its medical designate.