These guidelines represent some of the principles and practices which the Borzoi Club of America suggests breeders and prospective breeders of Borzoi consider and personally adopt.
The creation of any new life is a serious, far-reaching responsibility. Thousands of dogs are destroyed each year for lack of caring homes. Sadly, Borzoi are among them. The stud owner is as morally responsible for overpopulation problems as the bitch owner. Please, before you consider breeding a bitch or a dog carefully evaluate the market for Borzoi puppies in your area, or the area where the puppies will be whelped. Will you have homes for all of them? Do you have adequate facilities and the financial means to keep and properly care for as many puppies as necessary until such time as proper homes can be found? There is not now and has never been a large market for Borzoi and it is not unusual for a breeder to maintain many pups for long periods of time before adequate homes are found.
(A) Selection of Breeding
The selection of animals for breeding has as its aim the perpetuation of good qualities and the elimination of those that are undesirable, Even adherence to the following guidelines does not preclude the possibility of serious hereditary faults in any given litter.
(1) Planning Litters should be planned in advance with as much knowledge as possible about the individual animals, and those in the pedigrees of both the sire and dam. This knowledge should pertain to character, temperment, health and conformity to the Borzoi Club of America's standard for the breed as currently accepted by the A.K.C. for all of the subject animals.
(2) The Sire and the Dam The sire and the dam selected should be better than average specimens, in good health and of excellent temperament. Their conformation should not vary markedly from the ideal described in the Borzoi Club of America's standard for the breed as currently accepted by the A.K.C. No animal selected for breeding should have any serious hereditary defects as determined visually and by veterinary examination.
(3) Faults The sire and the dam should not have the same faults. Faults are noted in the Borzoi Club of America's standard for the breed as currently accepted by th A.K.C. as well as the Borzoi Club of America's Interpretation of the Standard.
(1) A stud owner is privileged to refuse service to a bitch for any reason whatsoever, especially if the dog has not been advertised as being at stud or if the ad states "to approved bitches only". The stud owner should refuse service to a bitch if he feels the breeding would be detrimental to the breed.
(2) It is customary for the bitch to be taken to the dog. Consultations with your veterinarian regarding smears etc. to determine optimum timing for a breeding should be considered. Boarding and vet fees for the bitch while she is at the stud owner's as well as any transportation fees involved should be discussed and agreed to by the stud and bitch owners when the breeding is arranged. This agreement should be in writing with both parties signing to signify their agreement.
(3) Stud fees are a matter of private agreement between the stud and bitch owners. Bitch owners should request the stud fee of any dog considered since fees commonly vary. Fees should be paid at the time of service and a signed Certificate of the breeding date should be given to the owner of the bitch. If other arrangements are made they should be in writing and signed by both parties. It is unwise for the owner of the stud to sign litter registration papers until full payment has been made and the puppies have been whelped.
(4) Puppies in lieu of cash stud fees are sometimes agreed upon, As with any agreement, it should be in writing, If puppies are taken rather than cash, a specific age for the selection of the puppy (puppies) should be agreed upon so as not to encumber the breeder with holding the litter an unreasonable length of time. The stud owner may agree to depend on the owner of the litter to make the selection. One puppy may be considered a litter. A selected puppy should have the same health guarantee as any puppy from the litter sold. All replacement or refund conditions should be agreed upon beforehand. As with all agreements, putting them in writing is the best insurance of their being understood.
(5) If no puppies are whelped as a result of the service, the stud owner should be so informed within four (4) days after the due date. It is customary, but not obligatory for the stud owner to offer a return service to the same bitch, to another approved bitch owned by the same person or to return the stud fee minus board, veterinary and/or transportation costs. As with all other matters this should be a part of a written breeding contract
(C) The Brood Bitch
Any bitch considered for breeding should be a better than average specimen, differing little from the ideal described in the standard. She should be in good health and of excellent temperament.
(1) A bitch should not be bred before she is at least two (2) years of age and had two (2) complete normal seasons. She should not be bred past her ninth (9th) year. No bitch should be allowed to have more than two (2) litters in a two (2) year period.
(2) A veterinarian should be consulted concerning worming and immunizations prior to breeding, whelping or both. Many stud owners also require a brucellosis test prior to breeding. In addition, a veterinarian signed health certificate listing all immunizations, worming and their dates should be available for the stud owner's inspection.
(3) A veterinarian should be consulted concerning nutrition of the bitch before breeding, while carrying the puppies and after whelping.
(1) Close cooperation with a veterinarian or other experienced individual is recommended. In large litters (more than seven), it may be advisable to give the puppies some supplemental food after they are 48 hours old. Any decisions regarding the humane culling of any puppies are personal and best considered after consultations with your veterinarian.
(2) The age for weaning is determined by the bitch and her puppies. The presentation and acceptance of a properly prepared, well-balanced, high quality puppy food usually begins at about three (3) weeks of age. Weaning is usually completed by seven (7) to eight (8) weeks of age.
(3) Most puppies need worming at least by six (6) weeks of age and again at nine (9) weeks of age. Consult with your veterinarian early and prior to worming. The parasite load in your area of the country as well as the parasite load of the dam, may dictate worming the puppies as early as three (3) weeks of age.
(4) An immunization program for infectious diseases should be established for puppies by a veterinarian according to the latest immunization information available. (5) For advice on socializing and training puppies, refer to the Borzoi Club of America's `Bibliography of the Borzoi'.
The goal of selling puppies and dogs is to provide each animal with a suitable, caring, permanent home where it will be a credit to its breed, breeder and owner.
(A) Articles to Accompany Each Sale
(1) The A.K.C. registration application; or an individual registration; or an agreement signed and agreed to by both the buyer and the seller * stating the reason(s) that no registration papers are being given or transferred. According to the A.K.C., registration papers belong to the individual puppies or dogs and may not be withheld unless there is an agreement regarding their withholding signed by both the buyer and the seller.
(2) A four (4) generation pedigree signed by the breeder with the A.K.C. registration numbers of the animal's parents and any available hip/eye clearance numbers of the ancestors.
(3) A medical record. This should consist of the following:
a) A schedule of dates and types of vaccines used in inoculations to date and the name of the person who administered them. Any adverse reactions should be noted.
b) A schedule of the dates on which the the puppy or dog was wormed, the type of medication used and/or the date its stool was checked and found free of infestation. Any adverse reactions to administered wormers should be noted.
c) A health certificate signed by the breeder's/owner's veterinarian attesting to the animal's condition and noting any serious infections, special diagnosis, surgery etc.; and certification of all inoculations administered by him.
d) A 48-hour health guarantee. This gives the buyer time to have the puppy or adult checked by his own veterinarian to assure its health. If the veterinarian finds any serious defect which would render the puppy or adult unfit for the purpose for which it was purchased, he should note this in writing.
4) A feeding schedule and enough of the animal's food to last several days. This can be used to tide over the new owner until the same food can be obtained, or it can be mixed with a new food to ease the transition onto that food. If possible, consider doing the same thing with the animal's water supply. A container of water replaced by that of the new owner's as it is consumed, so that the water is slowly changed may help prevent digestive upset that occasionally accompanies a rapid change in water.
(5) A booklet concerning ordinary puppy care.
(6) B.C.O.A.'s pamphlet on the interpretation of the standard which also contains a short history of the breed.
(7) Special Considerations.
a) Any ribbons and/or trophies won by the animal.
b) Photos or copies of photos of the animal's parents and the same of the animal's early days.
c) A favorite toy.
It is not the intention of the B.C.O.A. to recommend any specific price structure for either puppy or adult Borzoi. Honesty and fairness in the Breeder-Purchaser (Seller-Buyer) relationship should prevail. The Borzoi is a living, feeling creature and should be respected and treated as such.
In general, prices vary with geographic area and the pedigree of the animal(s) involved. If a breeder finds that he can not obtain what he believes to be satisfactory prices he should examine his reasons for breeding, breeding program, practices and the market environment for Borzoi in his area. Economically depressed areas or those sparsely populated usually have a limit to their demand for all pure-bred dogs. One possible recourse for a breeder in this situation is to curtail his breeding program, spacing litters farther apart than he currently does. The price of a puppy or adult should be sufficient to reflect the fact that the new owner has made an investment in something important. On the other hand, no puppy or adult should carry an unrealistically high price tag.
a) Puppies under six months of age seldom should be termed "show quality." Instead puppies in this age bracket are more appropriately referred to as "promising," or "better than average." This recognizes the developmental changes many of these puppies must still go through. The prices of puppies will vary depending on their quality with those described as above average typically commanding higher prices.
b) Adolescent and adult Borzoi are available from many breeders. These more mature Borzoi typically cost more than puppies. Their "show potential" is more fully realized than a puppy's with some already having accumulated show wins. Some Borzoi in this category are also proven sires or dams so their breeding record, exemplified by their offspring, is also more readily evaluated. Buyers interested in serious "show" or breeding stock are more likely to achieve their goals by purchasing more mature animals.
c) Selling or buying a male and female pair of puppies as a breeding pair is not advisable and is to be discouraged. Until they mature it is too difficult to determine if they will be suited to each other. See previous sections in reference to Stud and Brood Bitch qualities.
d) Euthanasia should be considered for any animal with a crippling or debilitating physical defect, a bad temperament or an unreliable disposition which makes the animal unsuitable for a pet. Stable, well-adjusted Borzoi are typical of the breed and what the average buyer expects. That buyer is not prepared to cope with a bad-tempered, potentially viscious animal. Breeders must and should take responsible courses of action with respect to the animals they have bred.
e) Giving an animal as a gift is discouraged since often the animal is not really wanted or appreciated. Offering animals as raffle prizes or promotional prizes is not only discouraged by the B.C.O.A., but is also illegal in many states and/or communities.
(1) Payment should be made in cash (or by check), preferably in full, at the time of sale.
(2) If installment payments are to be made, the terms of the agreement should be in writing, signed by both parties. Usually it is unwise to schedule payments in cash or services covering a period of more than eighteen (18) months. If payment, or partial payment is to be in puppies or stud services, then a longer time period would be reasonable.
(3) If the animal is to be shipped, payment should be made and/or all agreements should be signed prior to shipping. Registration papers should be sent with the animal or prior to shipment, provided payment has been made, checks cleared, and/or all contracts signed. NOTE: Registration papers, according to the A.K.C., belong to the individual animals and may not be withheld pending full payment or for any other reason unless there is an agreement to the withholding signed by both the buyer and the seller.
(4) Consider all of the possible ramifications that a contract between buyer and seller may entail. Although buying a male with a clause entitling the breeder free use of the dog as a stud has few readily apparent problems, contracts regarding bitches may place significant future obligations upon the buyer. Buying a bitch on a contract that requires that she be bred and puppies from her remitted to her breeder places the buyer in the position of having to pay all or a significant part of the costs commonly associated with a breeding, whelping and raising a litter. These costs commonly include stud fees, cost of the bitch's transportation to and from the stud owner's location, possible boarding and veterinary costs while there, puppy food for a litter, inoculations, wordings, etc., etc. Quite frankly this burden should be accepted by a buyer only with full knowledge of the potential costs and commitment involved.
(5) Before entering into a co-ownership agreement carefully consider the potential financial and legal obligations and ramifications that you may be accepting. Breeders should not use a co-ownership as a gimmick to unload a puppy or adult Borzoi for a lower price.
(6) The best advice is to have everything in writing. In contracts try to use simple, precise language clearly defining all obligations, situations, ramifications etc. that you can possibly envision. Make certain that both parties read, understand and agree to the contract before signing it. No matter how well written the contracts, they are often difficult to enforce and expensive to pursue. Contracts with many hard to enforce stipulations should rarely be made with novices or people the breeder does no know well.
(D) Returns, Replacements, Refunds
All agreements between buyer and seller regarding returns, replacements or refunds should be in writing, agreed to and signed by both parties. Wording should be clear and precise setting forth mutually accepted terms covering all foreseeable situations.
(1) Returns without refund: If possible, the breeder should be willing to accept the return of any healthy animal which he has sold, without giving a refund and pursuant to his clearly defined right, if and as specified in the purchase agreement or contract, to retain, re-sell or euthanize the animal at his option.
(2) Refunds or Replacements: If and as specified in in the purchase agreement or contract, a refund or replacement should be furnished depending on the following circumstances:
a) General dissatisfaction on the part of the purchaser with an animal, provided it is returned in good health no later than one month after the sale.
b) In the case of an animal (within two weeks after the sale) that does not die but is seriously ill of an infectious disease or illness the origin of which can be determined by a qualified veterinarian to have existed at the time of the animal's sale, a suitable financial settlement should be made. The amount of the settlement should be up to, but not exceeding the purchase price paid for the animal. A veterinarian's certification of the illness and its pre-existing nature shall be necessary to return an animal under this section, and shall be supplied at the purchaser's expense. This certificate shall set forth that the veterinarian has examined the animal, and that the animal has a contagious or disabling illness rendering it unfit for purchase and the precise findings of the veterinarian.
c) If a puppy originally sold as show stock subsequently is found to have some serious defect or disqualification, a refund or replacement, at the breeder's option, should be offered, provided that the puppy is returned to the breeder. This should be determined as soon as possible recognizing that being certified 'clear' of some defects can not occur until two years of age. A purchase agreement or contract between buyer and seller should address the terms and conditions under which replacements or refunds under this section are handled, Consider including a clause whereby if the owner wishes to keep the dog and have it neutered, the refund might reflect the difference between a "pet" and "show" price.
d) In addition, any puppy that develops a serious congenital defect up to two (2) years of age (defective heart, PRA, cataracts, hip dysplasia, etc.) which may well seriously affect his quality of life should be returned to the breeder for replacement or refund. Confirmation of such defects would, of course, be sought from one or more qualified veterinarians. (3) limitation on returns, replacements or refunds: Sections 2b, 2c and 2d above shall not apply where a seller (breeder), in certifying the health of the puppy or dog at the time of sale, discloses at that time the health problem for which the buyer later seeks to return the animal and adjusts the purchase price at the time of sale to reflect the animal's health condition.
(E) Wholesale Sales
Wholesale sales are defined as any sale where the seller does not meet or have actual knowledge of the ultimate purchaser of the Borzoi. Examples are consignment sales of individual puppies or entire litters to pet shops or any third party agent or broker. Sales to or through such establishments or individuals are detrimental to the breed. This type of sale is specifically prohibited by the B.C.O.A. Those breeders who resort to this type of sale are subject to disciplinary action by the B.C.O.A. The above is based on the uniqueness and aristocratic nature of the Borzoi as a breed and the special requirements for its care. It is hoped that every breeder of Borzoi will take the time to investigate prospective owners and place each puppy in a home where it will be loved and cared for, becoming a credit to the breed, its breeder and the owner.
(1) Advertising, whether written or oral, should be accurate, with no misleading statements or exaggerations or insinuations.
(2) Advertising should be in good taste, restrained, and without derogatory remarks made or hinted concerning the methods, animals, or reputations of other breeders.
(3) Well-mannered, attractive, even-tempered Borzoi in suitable homes, at dog shows, or at other public places are the best possible advertisements.
The foregoing guidelines are intended to be adhered to by all members of the Borzoi Club of America as a part of that organization's Code of Ethics. They have no legal effect unless based upon local, State or Federal laws; and the B.C.O.A. expresses no opinion thereon. Any question as to the legal effect of any of these guidelines should be referred to an attorney for a legal opinion.