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Dog Breeder Contracts, Is This Where the Equine Industry is Headed?

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  • Dog Breeder Contracts, Is This Where the Equine Industry is Headed?

    I am thinking about purchasing a puppy from a breeder, I always say I am going to do this and then one turns up on my porch so I see that as Gods way of giving me a dog .
    As I read over the websites of these breeders, several of them have extremely restrictive contracts. These dogs cost more than some horses (1k+) yet these contracts have first right of refusal, spay and neuter clauses, registration restrictions, questionaires, feed requirements etc. Some of these dogs are show quality, some are bred more for field trials (golden retrievers and labs). If I pay 1k + for a puppy, I expect that puppy to be mine, to register and show/do field trials/ride in my truck/train/etc with as I see fit.
    Is this where the equine industry is headed? We are seeing more and more of looking for a "forever" home from private sellers as well as rescues. We are also seeing more first right of refusal clauses. Do you think this is a good business model for equine breeders? Do you think you will continue to see stricter and stricter requirements on people trying to purchase from breeders both equine and canine?
    www.michelesfindinghappiness.com

  • #2
    Just like everything else, there are good breeders, bad breeders, helpful and supportive breeders, and crazy breeders. The price of the dog is irrelevant to the breeder contracts - for $1K you can get a breeder who is bat sh!t crazy or a breeder who will be awesome.

    Not all dog breeders will have such restrictions, so keep looking until you find one that has the type of breeding program you are interested in. More likely than not, the internet is not the place to look....go to a dog show or a field trial and ask around.

    And no, I don't think the equine breeding business will go that way either, but do think you can find bat sh!t crazy everywhere.

    Comment


    • #3
      Most dog purchase contracts do NOT stand up in court. Breeders have taken buyers to court for sterilization of a "show/breeding" prospect and the courts have upheld the right of the purchaser to spay or neuter "as that is the responsibile thing to do"

      Non breeding contracts also do not stand up in court. They have ruled that IF the breeder does NOT want an animal to be bred it is THEIR responsibility to sell it spayed or neutered.

      The right of refusal has been an "iffy" one. Some states have dismissed the charge and others have supported it HOWEVER the courts have NOT agreed with most of the buy backs where they have "up to 90 days" to purchase back.

      Many contracts state that the purchaser MUST show to an American Championship OR a Field Trial, or CD etc but there is a catch. The buyer can just state "no money to promote" . The Breeder MAY ask if they can have the dog to get the championshp at their (breeders) expense however many cases have resulted in the breeder refusing to return the dog (possession 9/10th of the law) hence many buyers just refuse.

      The courts have not...to my knowledge..MADE a buyer show a dog or purchased pet/livestock.

      The contracts only stand up IF both parties are realistic and honorable. And then, if that is the case, they never go to court.
      The Elephant in the room

      Comment


      • #4
        I have no problem with a right of first refusal clause, and those dog breeder restrictions have been around for at least 40 years that I know of.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't know about ROFR, showing, etc restrictions, but cat breeders also typically include a spay/nueter contract for animals sold as pets (no breeding rights - get blue papers so offspring won't be able to be registered). Both my cats had a "no declaw" and "non-outdoor cat" clause in the contract (and from what I've seen that's typical).

          My aunt breeds dogs and from what I understand some of the restrictions (like Laura said) have been around for a while.
          The Sempiternal Horse

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sempiternal View Post
            Both my cats had a "no declaw" and "non-outdoor cat" clause in the contract (and from what I've seen that's typical).
            I understand the spay/neuter clause, and would be "easy" for the seller to verify by checking ads for puppies/kitties. But how can you enforce "no declaw" and "indoor" clauses? Are the breeders watching their clients that closely?
            ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

            Originally posted by LauraKY
            I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
            HORSING mobile training app

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I understand that some of these requirements have been around for a while. I found it odd that many of the sites had simillar questionaires, that I found pretty invasive. With questions like what is your occupation, your spouses occupation etc. It made me feel similar to some rescue contracts. Which is why I wondered if this trend would make the swing over to horse breeders.
              I understand that if I don't like the rules, don't buy the puppy. I just really like the idea of the health certifications that I get with a purposefully bred animal. It will be a pet, spayed/neutered etc. But I am not letting the breeder come to my house, and I am not registering a dog that can not reproduce.
              www.michelesfindinghappiness.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                I understand the spay/neuter clause, and would be "easy" for the seller to verify by checking ads for puppies/kitties. But how can you enforce "no declaw" and "indoor" clauses? Are the breeders watching their clients that closely?
                The breeders I purchased from haven't (other than seeing the vet report for the nueters so I could get the papers). I think it's more of a "I know this isn't enforceable, but for the cat's sake I hope you follow this" thing.

                Both my boys look like mini leopards (one more so than the other) and I'm sure if they were found wandering around someone would take them home and not think twice.

                And declawing is extremely painful (think amputation) and IMO unnecessary if you clip the nails regularly.

                ETA: Both cats could be taken to the vet within the first two days and if the vet found that they had an untreatable disease or congenital defect the breeder would offer a full refund (onc the kitten was returned) or allow an exchange for a different kitten.
                The Sempiternal Horse

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MMacallister View Post
                  I understand that if I don't like the rules, don't buy the puppy. I just really like the idea of the health certifications that I get with a purposefully bred animal. It will be a pet, spayed/neutered etc. But I am not letting the breeder come to my house, and I am not registering a dog that can not reproduce.
                  I bought a fairly expensive lab puppy. He has restricted papers. This means any of his puppies can't be registered. I knew that when I bought him. He is NOT breeding quality. Like you I wanted the testing done on the parents/grand parent/great grand parents etc... for hip, elbow, cardiac, eye.
                  There were available options in the contract such as if I before I neutered Cooper the breeder inspected him and determined he was breeding quality we could have the papers changed to full registration papers.
                  If you want to dog you can breed then pay the extra money and buy a show puppy.
                  Most quality breeding programs are not going to issue full registration papers on all the puppies in the litter. They are only going to issue those on the ones that look to be breeding or show quality. Which is the big difference between a back yard breeder, puppy mill and quality breeder.

                  My lab breeder did have a questionnaire that we completed. She did not do a home inspection. I had no problem with the questionnaire.

                  Many people on this board wish that the Jockey Club could issue papers that would good for proving pedigree/breeding but would restrict future racing. Similar idea just the opposite of what restricted papers are for AKC.
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My cats came with a spay clause & could have been registered as pet quality. There were no other restrictions. If I was given a questionnaire by any breeder or seller (horse, dog or cat), I would hand it back, uncompleted, and be on my way.
                    Visit my Spoonflower shop

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MMacallister View Post
                      I understand that if I don't like the rules, don't buy the puppy. I just really like the idea of the health certifications that I get with a purposefully bred animal. It will be a pet, spayed/neutered etc. But I am not letting the breeder come to my house, and I am not registering a dog that can not reproduce.
                      Good breeders often work very hard to ensure their animals are treated well and bred/not bred along the same ideals as their own kennel. That is a Good Thing, IMO.

                      If you are purchasing a pet puppy with limited registration, are the breeders requiring you to register? I wouldn't think it would make much difference if you do or not.

                      FWIW, I have dogs from one of the top kennels in the country for my breed. We did have to go out and meet them (several states away) before purchasing our first puppy, but they did not come to our house. The contract is extensive although not unreasonable...if you would like details, I can pull it out for review. I have purchased both show quality and pet quality.

                      You may find that if you actually TALK to some of these kennels versus just reading their requirements online that they are less objectionable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you want to pay $1,000+ for a puppy and not have to worry about a contract, or showing requirements, or questionnaires go to any pet store and buy a puppy. They won't ask and they won't care.

                        Any breeder who doesn't ask you a ton of questions (or has consolidated their questions into a questionnaire) is only after your money.

                        Before you by a puppy from me, we know all about each other. And if I don't like you, or get the feeling you're BS-ing me I won't sell you a puppy. My bitches have tried their hearts out for me, and went through pregnancy and whelping for me, and I am not about to break their trust by selling one of their precious pups to someone who a) doesn't know about Jack Russells, b) who doesn't have a vet with whom I can chat; c) doesn't have a fenced *for small dogs* yard; d) doesn't have a CLUE about breeding but doesn't want to spay or neuter.

                        I have a simple contract. Is it really enforceable? No, but it makes prospective buyers THINK. If they have questions we talk them all out before they sign.

                        And why wouldn't you want to allow a breeder to come to your home? What are you hiding? Aren't you proud of your home? If you're afraid it wouldn't measure up to the breeder's expectations, then may be you need to ask what they expect. Most breeders are not going to judge your decor or your taste in furniture. They WILL want to make sure that the single family home with fenced yard you've described actually EXISTS. And YES that did happen to me and a puppy I sold spent 8 months in HELL because I didn't. Fortunately I was able to get her back (when her owner was sent to jail) and place her in a loving home which you bet your butt I went to see! So my point is, if you aren't prepared to invite the breeder into your life, then don't bother finding a quality breeder. Just go to the pet store, or buy the puppy off the internet. You'll be happy, and the money grubbing back yard breeder will be thrilled.
                        ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                        Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                        "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can understand some of the dog ones, as stated by the above posted, however I am currently looking for another dog, found exactly what I wanted (*ranch bred*, red, smooth coat border collie, female, puppy) but the contract stated at 2 yrs the breeder would finish health testing, breed the dog and retain puppies. Seriously? I have to keep my dog away from other males, and deal with her period and pay more to have her registered with my county because she's not spayed? A lot of a breeder to ask.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Btw Kryswyn, you're just being sarcastic about pet stores, right?

                            Horse aspect: hope not. A 1000# animal that requires POUNDS of specific food, shoeing, etc is largely different than a dog, that can eat anything, in a pinch.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TBRedHead View Post
                              I can understand some of the dog ones, as stated by the above posted, however I am currently looking for another dog, found exactly what I wanted (*ranch bred*, red, smooth coat border collie, female, puppy) but the contract stated at 2 yrs the breeder would finish health testing, breed the dog and retain puppies. Seriously? I have to keep my dog away from other males, and deal with her period and pay more to have her registered with my county because she's not spayed? A lot of a breeder to ask.
                              Well, no it's not necessarily a lot for the breeder to ask - he/she bred exactly what THEY wanted too - and want to be able to be able to show/breed this dog if it's terrific. If you don't like that arrangement, though, find a different breeder. For many breeders, this is their hobby, job, and life!

                              But again, if you are finding these breeders with these contracts on the internet (as opposed to through breed clubs, referrals, etc.)....I would be very careful. Many of these "great breeders" are just puppy mills in disguise. They retain ownership to everything so they can breed and breed and breed...and make lots of money. Not because they are so interested in the quality of each animal.

                              A really good breeder does not let "just anyone" co-own their best show and breeding quality dogs. There should be a line of other breed enthusiasts who would want those puppies, and give them exactly the kind of "show home" the breeder wants. If you find a breeder who will let ANYONE with the money co-own their breeding quality animals (with a big contract).... I would run the other way.

                              (I own a show dog and am good friends with his breeder; I would be happy to co-own a dog with her, or many other great breeders I know - anytime. And they would love to co-own with someone like me -- I am a good dog owner, I would show the dogs to a championship if they were good enough, and I'd be thrilled to work together with an established breeder if I thought the dog was breeding quality).

                              PS - there was no contract for my puppy. Good breeders don't need one (or a very specific one), because they hand pick their puppy homes.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MMacallister View Post
                                But I am not letting the breeder come to my house, and I am not registering a dog that can not reproduce.
                                Are you saying you want to be able to breed your dog or that you have no interest in registering it because you do not want to breed it?

                                Since registration is inexpensive, I'm guessing you mean the former and if you want to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, you will (or should) have a hard time finding one who will be on board selling you a puppy that you can later breed who has not either had a championship put on it or whatever working titles they deem necessary to prove the dog.

                                These breeders (most) put a lot of money and effort into breeding and to think that they will sell a puppy who then can be indiscriminately bred (including not upholding the agreement to finish the dog on your part) is not particularly realistic.

                                As far as the home visit, why should this be a problem? I do think any questions about occupation and income are invasive and that is none of their business but a home visit should be fine. For one of our puppies, we drove from Mass to Virginia with out current dog (same breed for which we were seeking a second puppy or breeding quality) so that the breeders could meet us and our dog and evaluate us as potential owners, then once we were approved, then I had to fly back and get the puppy because they would not ship her. The process of getting the puppy between the two trips was almost as expensive as actually buying the puppy. And in our case, the occupation/income was a bit relevant because we were getting pick of the litter for a show quality bitch and they wanted to know that we had the resources to compete with her, they never outright asked about income but in the course of getting to know us a little they could ascertain a lifestyle and feel confident.

                                We had a contract that was about 3 pages long but really, most of it is to protect the dog and the rest of it is to protect the breed for which the breeders as a group have worked damn hard to bring back from near extinction.

                                As it turns out, our puppy turned out to be quite shy and she would not let the judges lay a hand on her in the ring. We chose not to force the issue although she is a stunning dog and would have made beautiful, $2000 puppies...but ultimately it worked the way it was supposed to, the breeder had a contract that made sure that the puppy was not reproduced unless she could prove herself, and she could not.

                                This is they type of breeder I want to work with. I know I anything ever happened to us, the breeders would make sure my dogs landed in a safe place. They keep us in the loop for any genetic developments, and potential issues in the breed and they keep spending those thousands upon thousands of dollars to breed and promote their quality dogs.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MMacallister View Post
                                  I understand that if I don't like the rules, don't buy the puppy. I just really like the idea of the health certifications that I get with a purposefully bred animal. It will be a pet, spayed/neutered etc. But I am not letting the breeder come to my house, and I am not registering a dog that can not reproduce.
                                  Why wouldn't you register it? If the dog is not registered you wouldn't be able to show. Registration is not just for breeding purposes. My blue Dobe bitch has a limited registration. She is NOT conformation/breeding quality but she is a damn good working dog!! I would never not register an animal because it "cannot" reproduce. Are you also against registering geldings?

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Easy Guys!

                                    Wow, I really wanted this to be more about if this is where the equine industry was headed. Because some of the contracts reminded me of horse rescue contracts. I wondered if there were any horse breeders starting to do this type of thing.

                                    But I will address some of your concerns. I do understand that the breeders are trying to do the best they can to find good homes for their puppies. I do not want to register the puppy, because it will be fixed, and I really have no interest in producing more puppies. Therefore it seems silly to be required to pay for what is to me a worthless piece of paper.
                                    The home visit thing, well thats because I am a little funny about having people in my house. I am fine with people coming to the outside of my home, it just makes me very nervous when people come into it. It is not spotless, but not hoarderish or scary or anything. It has free or very cheap furniture, my tv sits on the floor etc. So yea I guess I worry about people being judgy pants. I don't even like having my family over! But I would probably cave and let them over if I really loved the puppy.
                                    My yard is not fenced, I use a radio collar system hooked up to solar back up in case the power goes out. I have no idea how breeders feel about this.
                                    The required feeding thing is because the dog I got from the pound has a very very sensitive stomach. We tried all natural to cheapy stuff and finally found that Purina One Lamb and Rice stays down and keeps him happy. So that is what him and beagle eat. I really do not want to have to feed one dog one thing (other than puppy food for the growing years) and the other one something else.
                                    I am sure that I will call and talk to the breeders once I decide on a breed and exactly what I am looking for. Then they can decide if they want to sell me a puppy, or I can decide if I am willing to live with their restrictions.
                                    Or maybe God (or one of his redneck angels) will drop another one off on the porch and I can save my money on the purchase of a puppy.
                                    www.michelesfindinghappiness.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MMacallister View Post
                                      I do not want to register the puppy, because it will be fixed, and I really have no interest in producing more puppies. Therefore it seems silly to be required to pay for what is to me a worthless piece of paper.
                                      Ok first of all it cost like $20 to register a dog so it's not like it's really a lot of money.
                                      And second of all...I take GREAT offense to this statement! It is the farthest thing from a worthless piece of paper. It is your dogs IDENTITY!!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by vtdobes View Post
                                        Ok first of all it cost like $20 to register a dog so it's not like it's really a lot of money.
                                        And second of all...I take GREAT offense to this statement! It is the farthest thing from a worthless piece of paper. It is your dogs IDENTITY!!
                                        Yes but I will know my dogs identity because I bought him from a reputable breeder. The question is not the cost, it is the value to me, and since I have no interest in breeding or showing. Why would I register the dog? I could spend that $20 on dog toys, or treats, or vet care, or doggie shampoo or whatever.
                                        www.michelesfindinghappiness.com

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