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Code of Conduct
Revised at the Annual General Meeting April 2022

Royal Kennel Club Code of Ethics

Points 1-14 form The Royal Kennel Club’s General Code of Ethics, these fourteen points are mandatory. All members of the Irish Wolfhound Society undertake to abide by the General Code of Ethics.


Code of Conduct Points 15-24 are breed specific and have been approved by The Royal Kennel Club (2022).


Society members:-

  1. Will properly house, feed, water and exercise all dogs under their care and arrange for appropriate veterinary attention if and when required.

  2. Will agree without reservation that any veterinary surgeon performing an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal, or who carries out a caesarean on a bitch, may report such an operation to The Royal Kennel Club.

  3. Will agree that no healthy puppy will be culled. Puppies which may not conform to the Breed standard should be placed in suitable homes.

  4. Will abide by all aspects of the Animal Welfare Act.

  5. Will not create demand for, nor supply, puppies which have been docked illegally.

  6. Will agree not to breed from a dog or bitch which could in any way be harmful to the dog or to the breed.

  7. Will not allow any of their dogs to roam at large or to cause a nuisance to neighbours or those carrying out official duties.

  8. Will ensure that their dogs wear properly tagged collars and will be kept leashed or under effective control when away from home.

  9. Will clean up after their dogs in public places or anywhere their dogs are being exhibited.

  10. Will only sell dogs where there is a reasonable expectation of a happy and healthy life and will help with the re-homing of a dog if the initial circumstances change.

  11. Will supply written details of all dietary requirements and give guidance concerning responsible ownership when placing dogs in a new home.

  12. Will ensure that all relevant Royal Kennel Club documents are provided to the new owner when selling or transferring a dog, and will agree in writing, to forward any relevant documents at the earliest opportunity, if not immediately available.

  13. Will not sell any dog to commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow dogs to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind. Will not sell by sale or auction Royal Kennel Club registration certificates as stand alone items not accompanying a dog.

  14. Will not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise dogs nor mislead any person regarding the health or quality of a dog.

  15. Will agree that the registration documents of puppies sold are endorsed “progeny not for registration”. This restriction can be rescinded by the breeder should it be wished at a later stage, but must be explained carefully to the prospective buyer before a sale, and confirmed in writing.

  16. Will be prepared to take back any hound whose home may no longer be able to cope with it, if necessary to buy it back on a reasonable basis, or contact the Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust.

  17.  Will never breed or keep more hounds than can be looked after personally, with individual attention either by you or a good kennel assistant. The practice of placing bitches out on breeding terms is strongly discouraged.

  18. Are strongly recommended to observe the following breeding limits for bitches: bitches not to produce a litter under two years of age: bitches not to produce more than three litters in their lifetime: bitches not to produce more than one litter within a twelve month period: maximum age for bitches to produce a litter is six years.

  19. Will agree to screen all puppies for Portosystemic Shunt, that only stock clear of the condition are sold and that affected hounds are never used for breeding.

  20. Are strongly recommended that all hounds used for breeding take part annually in a heart testing programme approved by the Irish Wolfhound Society: the minimum requirement being examination by stethoscope, ECG, and Ultrasound scan. It is strongly recommended that such a test be carried out prior to mating. It is recommended that members publish these results to the Irish Wolfhound Health Group website.

  21. Will be prepared to assist the owner of the bitch in finding suitable homes for any puppies sired by your dog.

  22. Will not allow puppies to go to their new homes earlier than eight weeks of age.

  23. Members are reminded that it is the duty of all Wolfhound owners to keep their hounds under control at all times, to keep them well exercised and in good health, and endeavour to further promote the image of the breed and its equable temperament.

  24. Are strongly recommended that hounds that have had corrective surgery for pathological conditions such as Osteochondrosis Dissecans and Entropion are never used for breeding.


Breach of these rules may result in expulsion from Society membership and/or disciplinary action by The Royal Kennel Club and/or reporting to the relevant authorities for legal action, as appropriate.


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