Irish Wolfhound Association
of the Greater Smoky Mountains

Constitution/Code of Ethics








Membership Application and Code of Ethics

Membership Application
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Code of Ethics
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Code of Ethics
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The Irish Wolfhound Association of the Greater Smoky Mountains

Standard For Ethical Conduct

Approved 3/17/01

The following standard of conduct should govern the members of the Irish Wolfhound Association of the Greater Smoky Mountains in all actions concerned with breeding, selling, exhibiting, owning and protecting this breed. It is difficult to cover all situations and for this reason members should follow the intent of this standard even when specific areas are not covered.

The protection of any breed is in the hands of its owners.

Adherence to the Breed Standard insures that dogs will continue to be bred who conform to this standard through type and mental qualities.

This Standard for Ethical Conduct is designed to guide and educate those people who desire to protect their dogs from those who would damage the breed through lack of understanding or interest.

Responsible Ownership

The owner should put the welfare of each of his dogs above personal gain, profit and/or personal convenience. It should be remembered that each creature in our care is an individual with needs, hopes and desires, which we as its human advocates are responsible for providing. They are, above all, our pets and friends.

General Conduct of Members

Members will:

  1. Provide the best possible standards of health care for the physical and emotional well-being of their dog(s). This includes, but is not limited to, appropriate food, shelter, sanitation, immunizations, regular health checks, medical care as needed, and attention, exercise and affection always.
  2. Control their dogs at all times, both on and off your premises, in the form of fencing, leashes, or the appropriate training to effect this control. Avoid discredit to yourself and the dogs by curbing your dog where required and cleaning up after your dog in public places.
  3. Identify their dog(s) by using collars with tags, tattooing, or microchip implants.
  4. Make every effort to educate any new owner or interested person, and to be both instructive and constructive in their comments.
  5. Demonstrate good sportsmanship both inside and outside the show ring at all times.
  6. Always behave in a manner that will be conducive to the advancement of our breed and our Club.
  7. Conform to all the items regarding placement and sales listed under this Standard of Conduct if it becomes necessary to sell, give away or otherwise place a dog.
  8. In all questions of ethics not covered by the Standard of Conduct, act in the best interest of the breed and treat others as they would wish to be treated.
  9. If any of their dogs need to be euthanized, have this be done in the most humane manner by a veterinarian. It will not be done at a dog pound, humane society or experimental lab. Nor will their dogs be left alive at any of these places.

No member will:

  1. Fail to protect the dogs in their ownership by providing the attention and care outlined in this Standard for Ethical Conduct.
  2. Knowingly falsify pedigree or breeding information.
  3. Sell puppies to pet stores either on consignment or outright.
  4. Supply puppies for raffles or other such enterprises, including donations for fund raisers, shelters, etc.
  5. Knowingly sell to unethical breeders or persons whose intention to resell the dog is known or suspected.
  6. Maliciously degrade another member's Irish Wolfhounds or kennel.
  7. Import or export litters of Irish Wolfhounds, or sell entire litters within the United States, either to a private party or for commercial resale.
  8. Buy or sell bitches in whelp.
  9. Use their membership in the IWAGSM in advertising or other promotional activities.


The purpose of breeding the Irish Wolfhound is to bring their natural qualities, as outlined by the Breed Standard, to perfection. In order to do this, one must:

  1. Have a clear understanding and complete comprehension of the standard.
  2. Have a basic knowledge of genetics.
  3. Be informed about the pedigrees of both dog and bitch—understanding faults and strengths on both sides.

There exists a constant danger that disreputable or ignorant breeders may, by improper practices, produce physically and mentally unsound specimens of the breed. In addition, a member who undertakes to breed or bitch or use their stud dog must:

  1. Never breed for the pet market but only to preserve the breed and improve on one's breeding program.
  2. Breed only those animals free from hereditary defects.
  3. Breed only those animals which have attained the minimum height as specified by the breed standard.
  4. Be prepared to provide the proper care for both the bitch and the litter and retain the puppies for as long as is necessary to find the proper homes.
  5. The stud dog owners must be prepared to take responsibility for placement of the puppies, referring prospective purchasers to the bitch owner and helping with screening of homes, if necessary.

Both bitch and dog owners should:

  1. Ascertain that some homes are available prior to the breeding.
  2. Have a contract covering placement of puppies, screening of buyers, fee, return service and any other specifics.
  3. Do not split the litter in lieu of a stud fee for the primary purpose of resale, as this is considered unethical.

In general:

  1. The only justifiable reason to breed is to preserve the breed and improve one's dogs. One should never breed for personal profit or commercial exploitation of the breed.
  2. While it is expected that breeders will sell their most promising puppies to other serious students or guardians of the breed, breeders should sell on a non-breeding contract and encourage spaying and neutering of all others.
  3. Breed only those bitches between the ages of 24 months and 6 years which are in excellent health.
  4. Breed an individual bitch no more than two out of three consecutive seasons, and this only under exceptional circumstances, and not produce more than three litters in her lifetime.
  5. Breeders will act responsibly towards all puppies produced by their bitch for the lifetime of the puppies.
  6. We strongly discourage advertising the sale of Irish Wolfhounds in the newspaper and on the Internet.

Care and Sale of a Litter

  1. Be prepared to give up 3 months of your life to care for the bitch and puppies. This bitch needs supervision and care while in the whelping and nursing phase and the puppies need constant care and socialization from birth until they leave at 10-12 weeks.
  2. All puppies shall be provided with proper veterinary care and a clean and safe home environment. They should have dewclaws removed as deemed appropriate by the breeder/owner of the dam/litter, be parasite free, have a good diet and the necessary immunizations.
  3. Any puppy which is deformed or irreversibly ill shall be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian.
  4. Bearing in mind that all puppies and dogs should only be sold to loving homes, the litter may be graded as to quality but do not term them show quality as it is difficult to ascertain this prior to 10-12 weeks. Grading them as "promising", "better than average" or "pet quality" is preferable.
  5. Any pet puppies should be sold on a non-breeding contract.
  6. Only the most promising puppies should be sold without the non-breeding contract, and then only to homes after the breeder has carefully investigated the new owners' qualifications for becoming future breeders.
  7. Prospective buyers should be screened on their desire and ultimate intent for each Wolfhound. Their interest and ability to provide a safe, adequate and loving home should be determined. Fenced yards and crates should be strongly recommended.
  8. Give the prospective buyer an honest appraisal of cost management, as well as the physical, mental and nutritional needs peculiar to the breed.
  9. No puppy should be released to its new home prior to 10 weeks.
  10. Every puppy at the time of sale should be accompanied by the following:
    1. Feeding instructions.
    2. Medical records which include number and type of vaccines, dates of vaccinations, date of dewormings.
    3. A 4 generation pedigree.
    4. An IWAGSM membership application.
    5. A copy of this Standard for Ethical Conduct.
    6. A bill of sale.
    7. A copy of the Breed Standard. AKC registration specifying Breeding or Non-Breeding.
  11. Breeding arrangements should never be established which would encourage the average buyer to undertake a breeding program. If a Breeder does not have the time, facility or desire to manage the mating, whelping and aftercare of a particular potential matron, that bitch should not be passed to another person, just to produce puppies. THIS PRACTICE IS CONSIDERED TO BORDER ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A "PUPPY MILL" AND IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED.
  12. All new owners should be told to have their puppies checked by a veterinarian within 48 hours of delivery.
  13. All new owners should be advised to keep the breeder informed about the development of the puppy and should be told to contact the breeder immediately concerning any health problems, physical abnormalities, and/or death of the dog.
  14. The breeder should likewise keep in contact with the new owner for the life of the dog.
  15. The contract of sale should include a stipulation whereby the breeder will be notified of any plan on the part of the owner to resell or otherwise dispose of the puppy. This stipulation would also require the buyer to either return the dog to the breeder or place it with new owners who have been approved by the breeder.
  16. If a puppy is to be co-owned, a contract should be drawn covering all details of the co-ownership and signed by both owners.
  17. Puppies under the age of 11 weeks should not be exported or imported.
  18. Each breeder should be willing to replace a puppy that has been sold or to refund all or a portion of the purchase price if the puppy proves to have a structural defect. Such a problem should be confirmed by breeder and owner's veterinarians.
  19. All advertising of puppies and adult dogs, written or oral, should be factual and honest in both substance and implication.


Complete and accurate records shall be maintained as follows:


Members should:

  1. Show and encourage the showing of high quality dogs only.
  2. Exhibit only the most creditable ring deportment and accept the services of only those professional handlers whose behavior is exemplary.
  3. Help the novice exhibitor. Be kind, constructive and honest in your comments.
  4. Exhibit only those dogs in good physical and mental condition.
  5. Not exhibit under excessive weather conditions.
  6. Show veterans only if they are in top physical condition.

Irish Wolfhound Association of the Greater Smoky Mountains {IWAGSM}

Constitution and By-Laws

Approved February 15, 2003
Revised August 21, 2010

ARTICLE 1: Name and Objectives

  1. The name of the club shall be: Irish Wolfhound Association of the Greater Smoky Mountains
  2. The objectives of the club, as a SPECIALTY CLUB, shall be:
    1. to encourage and promote quality in the breeding of purebred Irish Wolfhounds and to do everything possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection;
    2. to urge voting members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by The American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Irish Wolfhounds shall be judged;
    3. to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at
      1. dog shows,
      2. obedience trials,
      3. field trials
    4. to conduct
      1. fun matches and or
      2. sanctioned matches,
      3. dog shows,
      4. obedience trials,
      5. field trials
      under the rules and regulations of The American Kennel Club
    5. to perform rescue function
    6. to provide education opportunities
  3. Dues: Currently voting membership dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors, and payable on or before the 1st day of July of each year. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year.
  4. Election to Voting membership: Each applicant for voting membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board of Directors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by the constitution and bylaws and the rules of The American Kennel Club and IWAGSM. The application shall state the name, address, and occupation of the applicant. Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit dues payment for the current year.

    All applications are to be filed with the Secretary and each application is to be read at the first meeting of the Club following its receipt.

    Applicants for voting membership who have been rejected by the Club may not reapply within six months after such rejection.

  5. Termination of voting membership: Voting memberships may be terminated: a) by resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon Notice to the Secretary, but no member may resign when in debt to the Club. b) by lapsing. A voting membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member’s dues remain unpaid 90 days after the first day of the fiscal year; however, the Board may grant an additional 30 days of grace to such delinquent voting members in meritorious cases. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any club meeting whose dues are unpaid as of the date of that meeting. c) by expulsion. A voting membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these bylaws.

ARTICLE II: Meetings and Voting

  1. Club Meetings: Meetings of the Club shall be held at least 6 times a year typically within the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Notice of each meeting shall be made by the Secretary at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such meetings shall be  at least 5 voting members in good standing.
  2. Special Club Meetings: Special club meetings may be called by the President, or by a majority vote of the voting members of the Board who are present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the Board; and shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by five voting members of the Club who are in good standing. Such special meetings shall be held typically within the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the person or persons authorized herein to call such meetings. Notice of such a meeting shall be made by the Secretary at least five days and not more that 15 days prior to the date of the meeting, and said notice shall state the purpose of the meeting, and no other club business bay be transacted thereat. The quorum for such a meeting shall be 20 percent of the voting members in good standing.
  3. Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held within the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area as needed at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board. Notice of such meeting shall be made by the Secretary at least five days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
  4. Special Board Meetings. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President; and shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a written request signed by at least three voting members of the Board. Such special meetings shall be typically within the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area at such place, date, and hour as may be designated by the Secretary at least five days and not more than 10 days prior to the date of the meeting. Any such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other business shall be transacted thereat. The quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
  5. Voting: Each regular/household member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one vote at any meeting of the Club at which the member is present. Proxy voting will not be permitted at any club meeting or election.

ARTICLE III: Directors and Officers

  1. Board of Directors: The Board shall be comprised of the officers and 2 other persons, all of whom shall be voting members in good standing and all of whom shall be elected for one-year terms at the Club’s annual meeting as provided in Article IV and shall serve until their successors are elected. General management of the Club’s affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors.
  2. Officers: The Club’s officers, consisting of the President, Vice President, Reading Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer, shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and the Board and its meetings.
    1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in these bylaws.
    2. The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President’s death, absence or incapacity.
    3. The Secretary and Corresponding Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club; have charge of the correspondence, notify voting members of meetings, notify new voting members of their election to voting membership, notify officers and directors of their election to office, keep a roll of the voting members of the Club with their addresses, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these bylaws.
    4. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due or belonging to the Club. Moneys shall be deposited in a bank designated by the Board, in the name of the Club. The books shall at all times be open to inspection by the Board and a report shall be given at every meeting on the condition of the Club’s finances and every item of receipt or payment not before reported.
    5. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person, in which case the Board shall be comprised of 7 persons.
    6. AKC Delegate {for clubs elected member clubs of the AKC}
  3. Vacancies: Any vacancies occurring on the Board or among the offices during the year shall be filled until the next annual election by a majority vote of all the then voting members of the Board at its first regular meeting following the creations of such vacancy.

ARTICLE IV: The Club Year, Annual Meeting, Elections

  1. Club Year: The Club’s fiscal year shall begin on the first day of July and end on the last day of June.

    The Club’s official year shall begin immediately at the conclusion of the election at the annual meeting and shall continue through the election at the next annual meeting.

  2. Annual Meeting: The annual meeting shall be held in the month of July, at which officers (Delegate to The American Kennel Club) and directors for the ensuing year shall be elected by secret ballot from among those nominated in accordance with Section 4 of this Article. They shall take office immediately upon the conclusion of the election and each retiring officer shall turn over to the successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within 30days after the election.
  3. Elections: The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected. The 2 nominated candidates for other positions on the Board who receive the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected.
  4. Nominations: No person may be a candidate in a club election who has not been nominated. During the month of May, the Board shall select a Nominating Committee consisting of three voting members and two alternates, not more than one of whom may be a member of the Board. The Secretary shall immediately notify the committeemen and alternates of their selection. The board shall name a chairman for the committee and it shall be such person’s duty to call a committee meeting, which shall be held on or before June 15.
    1. The Committee shall nominate one candidate for each office {and for Delegate, who may but need not be an officer or director of the Club) and positions on the Board and, after securing the consent of each person so nominated, shall immediately report their nominations to the Secretary in Writing.
    2. Upon receipt of the Nominating Committee’s report, the Secretary shall, at least two weeks before the June meeting, notify each member of the candidates so nominated.
    3. Additional nominations may be made at the June meeting by any member in attendance, provided that the person so nominated does not decline when their name is proposed, and provided further that if the proposed candidate is not in attendance at this meeting, the proposer shall present to the Secretary a written statement from the proposed candidate signifying willingness to be a candidate. No person may be a candidate for more than one position (except for the position of Delegate).
    4. Nominations cannot be made at the annual meeting or in any manner other than as provided in this Section.

ARTICLE V: Committees

  1. Standing Committees: The Board may each year appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as dog shows, obedience trials, trophies, annual prizes, voting membership, and other fields which may well be served by committees. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid it on particular projects.
  2. Committee Appointments: Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full voting membership of the Board upon Notice to the appointee; and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose services have been terminated.

ARTICLE VI: Discipline

  1. American Kennel Club Suspension: Any member who is suspended from the privileges of The American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended fro the privileges of this club for a like period.
  2. Charges: Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary together with a deposit of $50, which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board following a hearing. The Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board or present them at a board meeting, and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to the best interests of the Club, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date for a hearing by the Board not less than three weeks nor more than six weeks thereafter. The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his own defense and bring witnesses if he wishes.
  3. Board Hearing: The Board shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the Board may by a majority vote of those present suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six months from the date of the hearing. And, if it deems that punishment insufficient, it may also recommend to the voting membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the defendant’s right to appear before his fellow voting members at the ensuing club meeting which considers the Board’s recommendation. Immediately after the Board has reached a decision, its finding shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary. The Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the Board’s decision and penalty, if any.
  4. Expulsion: Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the Club following a board hearing and upon the Board’s recommendation as provided in Section 3 of this Article. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the Club to be held within 60 days but not earlier than 30 days after the date of the Board’s recommendation of expulsion. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Board’s finding and recommendation, and shall invite the defendant, if present to speak in his own behalf if he wishes. The voting members shall then vote by secret ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the Board’s suspension shall stand.

ARTICLE VII: Amendments

  1. Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Secretary signed by 20 percent of the voting membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the voting members with recommendations of the Board by the Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the Secretary.
  2. The Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the voting members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for the purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting made to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
  3. 3. Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the voting members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for the purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting made to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

ARTICLE VIII: Dissolution

The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the voting members. In the event of the dissolution of the Club other than for purposes of reorganization whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Club shall be distributed to any voting members of the Club, but after payment of the debts of the Club, its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs selected by the Board of the Directors

ARTICLE IX: Order of Business

  1. At meetings of the Club, the order of business, so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows:
  2. At meetings of the Board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:

ARTICLE X: Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any other special rules of order the Club may adopt.

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Updated 22 January 2015
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