Note: While all IGCA members are required to sign
the Code of Ethics, it serves primarily as a guideline for breeders,
or Implied by IGCA. When researching breeders it is the consumer’s
responsibility to personally verify information received on health
testing, condition dogs are maintained in, references, etc.
ITALIAN GREYHOUND CLUB OF AMERICA
Code of Ethics and Recommended Breeding Practices
Approved December 3, 2001
These recommendations were established and approved by the membership
of the Italian Greyhound Club of America (IGCA) as a voluntary standard
for members, and as a guide for non-members. The goal of these recommendations
is to protect, preserve, and improve the breed and its future, as well
as protect individual dogs. All members of the IGCA have an obligation
to put the welfare of the breed above personal gain and refrain from
activities that would be detrimental to the best interests of the breed
or IGCA. These guidelines are presented with the realization that ethics
are difficult to regulate and that most individuals desire and intend
to do what is right. Education and communication are the preferred
methods of obtaining compliance to these practices.
Members shall provide all dogs in their care with the highest possible
standards of nutrition, shelter, cleanliness, veterinary care, exercise,
training, socialization and individual attention so that all the dogs
may become well-adjusted companions. No member shall engage in false
or misleading advertising or other misrepresentation of his/her Italian
Greyhounds. Breeders shall not malign other breeder's Italian Greyhounds
or breeding practices, but are encouraged to provide pertinent information
about their own dogs or those of others, providing such information
is accurate and verifiable.
Breeders should be straightforward and honest about their stud's or
bitch's strong and weak points as well as about results of past breedings
and family history. Breeders should refuse to allow their dogs to participate
in matings that, in their judgment, are not in the best interest of
Breeders should seek the best possible environment for each Italian
Greyhound. No member of IGCA shall sell, consign, or donate Italian
Greyhounds to such places as commercial/USDA breeders, pet stores,
pet brokers, or catalog houses. Italian Greyhounds may not be offered
to events such as raffles, auctions, drawing, lotteries, contests,
or laboratory experiments, and breeders should not knowingly deal with
Breeders must comply with all record keeping requirements of the AKC
publications Procedures for Registration Matters, Chapter VII: Regulations
for Record Keeping and Identification of Dogs and Rules Applying to
Registration and Discipline.
The breeding of purebred dogs is not an exact science. It is not always
possible to prevent the occurrence of inherited diseases, as there
are not yet definitive tests to identify carriers of genetic diseases.
A breeder's obligation with regard to genetic diseases is to make every
effort to prevent their occurrence and to share openly and honestly
all information available regarding the genetic health status of his/her
dogs. While elimination of genetic diseases is a worthy goal, the converse
is that excessive culling of animals from the gene pool may have the
equally deleterious effect of limiting the gene pool in the breed.
Breeders should be cautious about removing animals from the breeding
pool solely because they are distantly related to an affected individual.
The IGCA recommends waiting until a dog is at least two years of age
prior to breeding it. All prospective breeding animals should be carefully
observed and evaluated for any health problems that might develop as
the animal matures. Breeders should research the pedigrees of all animals
to be bred and provide or require documented health testing as listed
in Appendix II. Breeders or owners of dogs identified (by testing or
clinical signs) as being affected by an inherited disease, should make
very effort to notify owners or breeders of closely related dogs. Such
notification should include copies of test results and diagnosis so
that other will have more complete information when planning future
breedings or monitoring their dogs for potential problems.
A dog or bitch that has produced offspring with an inheritable disease,
or that has a sire or dam affected by an inheritable disease is considered
a carrier of that condition. Breeding of a carrier is generally discouraged
and should be considered only if a) the individual is considered to
be of excellent quality in all other respects, b) owners of prospective
mates are clearly notified of the carrier's status, c) pedigrees of
prospective mates are carefully evaluated in an effort to find a mate
that is not a carrier of the condition and d) prospective purchasers
of puppies are clearly notified of the carrier's status.
Responsibilities of Breeders and Stud Dog Owners
Each member who contemplates breeding a litter, or who allows the use
of their stud dog to the same end, shall direct their efforts toward
producing Italian Greyhounds of exceptional quality. The breeding of
Italian Greyhounds should never be offered or taken lightly. All breeders
should refrain from breeding until they understand the official AKC
standard sufficiently to distinguish between correct and incorrect
conformation. Such ability presupposes the knowledge of basic genetic
principles. Breeding arrangements are often confusing; they are best
written and agreed upon by both seller and buyer.
Breeders should research the pedigrees of all animals to be bred and
provide or require documented health tests as recommended in Appendix
II of these animals. Known health or temperament problems in any animals
used for breeding, or found in litters they have produced, should be
disclosed to the owners of any prospective mates.
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. Breeders
are responsible for all puppies they breed and must be willing to accept
the return of puppies for the entire lifetime of the dog. Each member
should be assured that a reasonable portion of an anticipated litter
(the member's breeding or that resulting from use of member's stud)
is suitably spoken for before a breeding takes place.
No bitch shall be bred more often than 2 out of 3 seasons, then only
if in robust health. The physical and mental well-being of the bitch
is the prime consideration at any time. Breeders should remain in contact
with puppy buyers to monitor the puppies' progress and to keep a health
record for each puppy. Puppy buyers should be encouraged to have health
tests done even if the dog will never be bred, as such information
is essential in evaluating the overall genetic health of a litter.
Although the breeder has the greatest share of responsibility for puppies
they breed, the owner of the sire should also have enough interest
in the dog's offspring to be willing to help in the rescue and placement
of said offspring if necessary.
Stud dogs or bitches who produce offspring of consistently poor quality
in their first two breedings have no value as breeding stock and should
not be bred again. No individual showing a serious inherited defect
in type, structure or temperament shall be offered at stud. Likewise,
owners of stud dogs shall not accept for breeding any bitch showing
these same defects. The stud dog should be bred selectively. The owner
should discourage the individual who wants to breed a bitch lacking
in quality or one unsuitable for the stud, and explain why. The stud
dog owner should be certain the owner of the bitch has the necessary
knowledge and facilities to care for the puppies for as long as is
Substitution of an alternate stud for an unable or unwilling one, or
the use of hormone injections or artificial insemination should not
be practiced unless sufficient cause exists and all parties are in
full agreement; and then only 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 puppies and adults shall be sold in a clean and healthy condition.
All agreements and stipulations should be recorded either in a sales
contract or by simple written exchange of mutual expectations. For
the protection of the puppy it is recommended that a written agreement
be obtained from the buyer stating that should the buyer ever be unable
to keep the dog, the dog cannot b sold to a third party, but must be
returned to the breeder. No adult or puppy shall be sold without adequate
protection against disease. Concerning any puppy or adult showing a
serious deviation from the standard which renders it unsuitable for
breeding, puppies shall be sold with limited registration papers, puppies
and adults shall be spayed/neutered prior to the sale, or with a contract
requiring spay/neuter at an appropriate age. This shall be clearly
understood by the buyer and the breeder shall have a signed statement
to that effect.
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 arrangements should
be made only on a dog of breeding quality and only when the breeder/seller
desire to retain said animal as part of a well-planned breeding program.
Breeding arrangements should never be established which encourage or
demand the "pet" buyer to undertake a breeding or a breeding
program. No sales contract should compel any buyer to breed a dog or
bitch; therefore, any sales contract should provide remunerative release
options as an alternative to breeding arrangements.
Encouragement to breed, such as might be implied by advertisements
offering "breeding stock" for sale or lease should not be
made. In discussions with prospective purchasers the seller should
be extremely cautious regarding show prospects of any dog, lest he/she
imply that success with be automatic. The term "guarantee" if
used, should clearly mean replacement of one dog with another or return
for a refund, rather than positive analysis of the dog at hand. Breeders
are strongly encouraged to tattoo or microchip their dogs and register
this permanent identification with the proper registry, and/or encourage
puppy buyers to do the same.
Information provided to buyer
The breeder should always provide the new owner with the following:
1. AKC registrations paper or other identification as described in
Procedures for Registration Matters, Chapter VII : Regulations for
Record Keeping, C. Identifying Dogs at the Time of Delivery, and a
3 generation pedigree.
2. Immunization schedule and veterinary health records.
3. Written information concerning care, feeding, training, socialization
and accident prevention.
4. A recommended reading list that includes the Italian Greyhound books
5. A copy of the sales contract or agreement, containing any and all
stipulations agreed to by either buyer or seller.
6. A copy of these Code of Ethics and Recommended Breeding Practices.
The IGCA Health and Welfare Committee will periodically update these
Appendices in consultation with the IGCA Board of Directors.
Appendix I: Genetic Diseases in Italian Greyhounds
Research into the canine genome is proceeding at an explosive pace
and information about genetic diseases in dogs is becoming more readily
available very day. However, we do not yet have definitive information
about every disease that has a genetic component, or what its method
of inheritance is. Nonetheless, the following is a list of conditions
known, or highly suspected, to be inheritable in the Italian Greyhound.
1. Color Dilute Alopecia
2. Cryptorchidism (monorchid)
5. Idiopathic Epilepsy (seizures)
6. Juvenile Cataracts
7. Legg-Perthe's Disease
8. Luxating Patellas (slipped stifles)
9. Portal Systemic Shunts (liver shunts)
10. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
11. Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD)
Appendix II: Recommended Health Testing
1. Brucellosis. While brucellosis is not an inherited disease, it is
a sexually transmitted disease and can infect humans. Therefore, the
IGCA recommends brucellosis testing of all breeding stock prior to
2. CERF ( Canine Eye Registry Foundation) eye exams annually until
3. OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) hip x-rays and patella evaluation
once after age two.
4. OFA thyroid testing annually from ages two to four and then bi-annually
until age eight.