Sportsmanship Guidelines

Sportsmanship, Behavior, and Safe Guidelines

Being a good sport means committing oneself to the values of fair play, honesty, courtesy, and vigorous competition, as well as winning and losing with grace. It means doing your best and allowing others to do their best without discourteous behavior from either party.

More than just words, the HCA is committed to doing all in our power to support the AKC’s ongoing efforts to ensure dog clubs and dog-events are safe from harassment, abuse, misconduct, and unsportsmanlike behavior.

The HCA Board practices constructive dialogue and engagement—when appropriate—aimed at listening, understanding, and considering multiple points of view without participating in antagonistic rhetoric.

In April 2024, The Havanese Club of America’s Board of Directors proposed, unanimously approved, mandated, and effective immediately that all Board members, National Show Chairs, and all HCA Show Chairs of our clubs licensed to hold Specialties be certified as having completed SafeSport Training. The U.S. Center for SafeSport produces abuse awareness and prevention courses.

AKC – Code of Sportsmanship

In 2022 the AKC addressed the rise in complaints stemming from social media and event behaviors by raising awareness of their Code of Sportsmanship and with the addition of going beyond dog events. Maintaining positive interactions online matters as much as it does in person and is key for keeping dog sports welcoming. In all interactions online and in person treat fellow dog people the way that you would want to be treated. AKC’s  Code of Sportsmanship Enforcement Polices speaks to complaints, regardless of where the post was made or the content of the post. Maintaining positive interactions online matters as much as it does in person and is key for keeping dog sports welcoming.

Event Committees are not to entertain complaints regarding the content of a social media post. Exhibitors should contact the AKC Compliance Department or 919-816-3546 for questions about how to file such a complaint.

In 2024, as an additional step in creating a safe and respectful sports environment for all, the AKC Board of Directors approved the following educational requirements policy and recommendations: on-site AKC staff, registered handlers, judges, and local clubs’ youth coordinators take training from the nonprofit Darkness to Light on recognizing and preventing child sexual abuse.