AWSC Breeders Ethics Guidelines
The term breeder used in this document refers to both the breeder (owner or if the dam was leased, the lessee of the dam when she was bred) and the stud dog owner.
The American Water Spaniel enthusiast, will at times, both as an owner and/or breeder be responsible for making decisions and taking courses of action that can impact the continued improvement as well as the preservation of the American Water Spaniel Breed and his or her individual dogs. The following "Guidelines" represent a compilation of the views and concerns of the members of the American Water Spaniel Club, Inc. and set forth acceptable practices and a number of precautions to all those involved in the breed with the intent that both the breed and those involved shall benefit.
Breeding should only be undertaken with the intent of making a quality contribution to maintaining and improving the American Water Spaniel by breeding only those American Water Spaniels who exhibit natural hunting ability, conform to the written standard as recognized by The American Kennel Club, are physically sound and possess stable, tractable and trainable temperaments.
Breeders of American Water Spaniels should make every attempt to stay informed in the field of genetics and work persistently to eliminate hereditary problems from the breed. No dog or bitch lacking natural hunting ability or showing a serious inherited defect in type, structure or temperament should be used for breeding purposes. Nor should any dog or bitch which has produced offspring with poor temperament, or serious inherited defects detrimental to the animals well being, such as, but not limited to blindness, deafness, subluxating patella, epilepsy, or impairment of vital functions, and produces like results with a different mating partner be used for any further breeding.
Breeders should breed only healthy dogs and bitches two years of age or older who have had hips x-rayed free of hip dysplasia and OFA Certified, have been examined by a Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist and are CERF Certified at one to two years of age and every 24 months thereafter, and are free of other serious hereditary problems.
Breeders and owners should take care in placing puppies and adult dogs, screening prospective purchasers with the intent of placing them in responsible, permanent and caring homes. They should require that any adult or puppy of obvious non-breeding quality be spayed/neutered and said puppies be registered with AKC Limited Registration. Furthermore, he/she should encourage the same commitment to the quality and preservation of the American Water Spaniel Breed of persons purchasing his/her breeding quality puppies and dogs.
Puppies should not be placed in new homes prior to reaching 7 to 8 weeks of age, should be in healthy robust condition and be accompanied by a complete health and vaccination history, care and feeding instructions, AKC papers and written documentation of all agreed upon sales conditions and guarantees, and a pedigree of at least three generations.
Every breeder should know full well that the puppies he/she has produced did not ask to be born and are his/her responsibility for placing them in a proper home where they will be cared for their lifetime. He/she should be willing to help relocate dogs of his/her breeding when necessary.
Reputable breeders and owners do not sell, supply, donate or surrender any puppy or adult dog for which they are responsible to a pet shop, catalog house, wholesale dealer in dogs, humane society or laboratory.
Lastly, all breeders and owners of American Water Spaniels should be willing to accept some responsibility for the breed as a whole. All members of the American Water Spaniel Club, Inc. should conduct themselves at all time in a manner which will reflect credit upon themselves and upon the breed, regardless of the location or circumstances, but especially at club meetings, field events and dog shows whether as an exhibitor or spectator. All members should be familiar with and abide by the rules and regulations of the various events in which they compete. All members should refrain from making false and /or misleading statements, or misrepresentations of their own dogs or the dogs or practices of other members. Experienced enthusiasts, breeders and owners should be willing to advise and assist newcomers to the breed so that they may be guided in the ways that can best protect and improve the American Water Spaniel.