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Discussion Starter #1
A few recent threads got me thinking, doesn't happen often. :laugh2:

When looking at breeders I have seen some very odd (to me) requirements. Curious what people think and what they would agree to.
I can tell you that I will agree to contact the breeder first in a crisis, I will agree to routine vet care and an exam when I take possession, I will agree not to alter before 2 and to keep the breeder apprised of my/the dogs whereabouts, I will agree not to breed and to house and care for the dog appropriately.
I would not ever agree to annual vaccines, specific food, supplements, mandatory speuter, access to vet records(unless I was returning the dog), nor would I agree to return or surrender the dog if defects were found with or without a replacement or refund of part purchase price.
Things I may negotiate on include training and titling. If the breeder has a requirement that you need to complete a basic obedience class I would discuss that. If I am required to go to their wife/husband/cousin/friend/etc. for $4000 worth of companion dog training forget it.
Similarly if the breeder would prefer that their pups obtain a basic title in something I would be open to discussion. If they want me to spend thousands and tour around the country for a few years it's a no.

Curious what others think.
 

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contracts mean nothing to me.

I agree to care for the animal to the best of my ability. I agree to not breed the animal until it's titled and deemed breed worthy.

I ask that the breeder take the animal back for rehoming in the event of my death, illness or inability to care for the animal as needed.

If there is something genetically wrong with the health...why would I want another from the same lines? and they can't have my dog back. It's MY dog.

so...contracts to "protect" me are pretty much worthless to me.
 

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That sounds about right to me ... I agree with pretty much everything you mentioned. Most of the crazy clauses I've seen in various threads here seem pretty well unenforceable to me... Even so, I'd probably walk away from a contract with them anyway.
 

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My breeder has a simple contract. She meets people face to face and tries to determine if they have a clue about taking care of a German Shepherd. She is not about to spend her limited resources check up on all the pups that have left her program to make sure people are keeping up their end of the bargain. She does offer a health guarantee but admitted to us it is because people request it. She really doesn't want the unhealthy pup back. She knows when most people realize that a breeder may euthanize the sick pup, they don't want to give it up. She offers a new future pup and hopes that the family will give the unhealthy pup the best life they can. We do know of a family that had a pup die a few days after they brought it home. The kids were devastated and dad thought that he'd have to fight her for a refund. But she offered a full refund, no argument. After talking a bit the family ended up back at her facility choosing another pup ( a sibling of our gal-dog). Shortly after they adopted one of her retired breeding gals. They are good people, that family.

If she had asked us not to breed we would have accepted, since we didn't plan to breed anyhow. She didn't require training or titling, but does offer training and IPO at her facility. She recommends food, etc, but I am sure she and her staff have no time to see if people are following her recommendations. She doesn't insist that people return pups to her but will offer to help rehome if someone finds themselves in a rough place.

We found it was the GSD rescues that wanted to micro-manage their adopters. I understand why but we found some of them were unrealistic in their expectations.
 

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Breeders can ask anything they like. We can choose who to buy from. I read one contract that was pages long and so intrusive I would never consider buying from that breeder. I don’t think the breeder wants to sell the dogs because few buyers will put up with that kind of control. You can find a breeder who agrees with your philosophy on dog ownership.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Breeders can ask anything they like. We can choose who to buy from. I read one contract that was pages long and so intrusive I would never consider buying from that breeder. I don’t think the breeder wants to sell the dogs because few buyers will put up with that kind of control. You can find a breeder who agrees with your philosophy on dog ownership.
I understand that. What I am curious about is what different people are willing to agree to, and I was hoping some of the breeders might weigh in with their views as well.
 

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It might depend on the breeder. If I really, really wanted a dog from Joe Schmoe and he was trying to get an ROM on his bitch, and wanted for me to title and show the pup, I might agree to that, if I could honestly make a run at it.

If a breeder wants for me to follow their naming scheme, I will do that.

If a breeder requires a basic title or a completed dog class, I understand the sentiment, and because I generally do anyway take the dog to classes, and titles are easy, I would probably agree to that.

If they want for me to to follow their regimen for vaccines or feeding, forget it. The dog is either mine or it isn't. If it is mine, then I will feed it however I choose, and make medical decisions for the dog. If the require a specific food in order not to void their warranty, well, then they probably have some health issues going on in their line, and I would probably pass on the pup.
 

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Sure, I’d register the dog using a certain naming scheme too. Words on paper, nbd
 
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Great thread! I'm clearly no expert, as I'm currently raising the ONLY GSD puppy I've ever (a) bought, and (b) owned!

That being said, I have worked with contracts for years. And from my perspective, mostly what you see in these puppy contracts are stipulations that would absolve the breeder from honoring the health guarantee. So for me, more stipulations screams lack of confidence in their line! What you also see is that many of them stipulate that if there is a problem, they don't do refunds, they want to just give you another puppy.

Over my dead body is the only way I'd ever give up my dog, no matter what was wrong with them! And if I had a dog with health problems (a) I likely wouldn't want a new puppy, and (b) certainly not from the source that sold me the one I have!

So, essentially, the health guarantee has little to no meaning for me anyway. With that in mind I would agree to almost any stipulation then, that might somehow render their guarantee void...if I thought highly enough of the dogs and wanted one badly enough >:)

The thing I'd be really hesitant to agree to in writing would be the breeder's right to repossess my dog for any reason, see paragraph 3 above! But as Denise Fenzi's blog post mentioned above by @LeoRose points out, even that would have a difficult time in court, nor is it likely any breeder would have the will or the resources to track and enforce that stipulation. But I would think long and hard about signing a contract that included any situation that gives the breeder the right to repossess the dog, unless it was for mistreatment or something...
 

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So it looks like most of us are on the same page roughly.

I guess I don't care about silly things like names and such, but major things/day to day things are my decision and mine alone.
I was curious how people felt about stipulations that void health warranties or allow ownership to revert and it's interesting that we seem to have the same opinion.
I am also of the opinion that my dog is never being returned and why would I want another pup from those lines.
Breeders absolutely have a right to be concerned about the care the animals they produce will receive, but how invasive should that be?
Bud was given to me on the condition that he not ever be sold or given away. I was also not to breed him, although breeder reserved the right should he be breed worthy. I should have gotten his papers but his breeder died before that happened. No other stipulations were put on me, of course he knew me and had for years and Bud was not the first of his dogs to be placed with me.

But I liked that relationship, the dog was mine to do with as I pleased with faith that I would provide a good home. If I needed help or guidance I had only to ask, and if Bud had needed a home he was welcome back at the kennel be it temporary or permanent.
 

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When I bought Nyx I had the breeder agree in writing to cover any and all necessary Vet bills if she was in need of any treatment for anything when I took her to the Vet initially, excluding the office visit for evaluation, within 72 hours of taking possession. He agreed without hesitation! She's always been healthy as a horse, but to me that was a much more meaningful guarantee than what most puppy contracts offer!
 

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I'm chary of signing animal contracts that specify lists of dos/don'ts, and have walked away when the Crazy Bell went off. I expect and accept that breeders want to know that I have the requisite experience and will do my best to provide excellent care, training and management of animals in my care. But that sense of me should come via our conversations, meetings, watching me interact with their dogs, and from whatever references (e.g., other breeders, vets) I provide; not from a contract.

I will and have agreed to keep the breeder informed of the puppy's whereabouts and well-being. But, I'm not sending in monthly reports and I wouldn't sign any contract that required annual provision of vet records (I've seen that one too). Following a breeder's naming conventions/requests is NBD to me --- unless it's something truly dreadful (e.g., Daisy Duke von MessyPants). We might have to chat about those instances. If I'm no longer able to care for my animals, I'm willing to discuss placement options with the breeder. At base, however, it's my decision; it may be better for the animal to go to a friend who it knows and with whom it's comfortable. BTW, my animals are included in my will where arrangements, including funding, for their care are clearly laid out --- something that I'd encourage everyone to think about and put into effect. I've seen some disturbing things happen when those protections weren't in place.

Most of the puppy contracts that I've seen aren't worth the paper they're written on; some were literally incomprehensible. That has changed, for the better, over the years, but it's still a problem IMO. Then too, courts don't generally uphold puppy contracts, even those that include co-ownership. Health/genetic issues that demonstrably predate the buyer's possession are the only exceptions that I've seen/heard of. That and breeding agreements that went awry.

Aly

ETA: Sometimes I think we bring expectations to our relationship/exchanges with a breeder (and vice versa) that are unwarranted and can lead to disappointment on both sides. My goal is/has been to find a reputable breeder who's experienced, educated, and ethical, and who stands behind her/his lines. I am not looking for a friend or a mentor, I'm looking for a healthy, stable animal. If a friendship develops that is delightful icing on the cake, but it's not prerequisite.
 

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I plan to adopt a senior for my next dog but that said, I plan on looking over the adoption contract/requirements first and if I were to buy from a breeder, would look over the contract before I visit any pups. As nutty as it sounds, I may even write up my own contract of what I expect from the breeder/adoption agency.

Off the top of my head: right now the only thing I would agree to since I got far enough in my research to consider the adoption agency or the breeder is the fact that they are reputable and that I'm a responsible owner. All else would need to be worked out. :)

Honestly, I don't know why responsible owners do not present their own written agreements. This is just something that I have thought about since learning from here and through my own experience. Would a reputable breeder even consider a customer who presented their own contract?

I have a tendency to look at things a skewed or from the flip side.
 
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I’ll agree to naming a puppy with their kennel name/litter letter, no breeding unless/until health tests and titles are done and passed (I’m not a breeder, so this doesn’t matter to me). Health guarantees are worthless to me unless it stipulates I get to keep the original dog AND I get my choice of replacement puppy or my money back (for genetic defects, hips/elbows not passing). If I ended up with a sick dog that was truly an anomaly in the breeder’s line, I would consider taking another dog from them in the future. A breeder’s reputation, with how they handle problems as well as the frequency of problems occurring, is more important to me than what their contract states. I would not buy a puppy from a breeder that stipulated which food, supplements, vaccines, meds or training my dog was required to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I know some breeders stipulate basic training and honestly I understand that. It's the same thing that drives me to help folks around here with basic obedience/potty training and crate training. The #1 reason people give up on dogs is because of overall poor manners and for some reason the common sense basics elude people.
As has been discussed, basic training also helps show people how to bond and engage with their dogs.
 

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I know some breeders stipulate basic training and honestly I understand that. It's the same thing that drives me to help folks around here with basic obedience/potty training and crate training. The #1 reason people give up on dogs is because of overall poor manners and for some reason the common sense basics elude people.
As has been discussed, basic training also helps show people how to bond and engage with their dogs.
I totally get that. But when I am buying a dog, it is with plans to pursue various sports (which the breeders are aware of), which implies there will be training. I just don’t want to be required to take specific puppy classes or anything like that. But I do understand a breeder strongly encouraging their buyers to go to training, especially if they are first time dog owners or new to the breed.
 

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Great thread!

The thing I'd be really hesitant to agree to in writing would be the breeder's right to repossess my dog for any reason, see paragraph 3 above! But as Denise Fenzi's blog post mentioned above by @LeoRose points out, even that would have a difficult time in court, nor is it likely any breeder would have the will or the resources to track and enforce that stipulation. But I would think long and hard about signing a contract that included any situation that gives the breeder the right to repossess the dog, unless it was for mistreatment or something...

I've seen this problem with rescue groups. If someone has to rehome a dog from the group they may be required to bring it back to the rescue, not simply find a new loving home. Even if they have moved and returning to that rescue is prohibitive. This becomes a problem when the dog is lost or gets loose. The shelter scans the chip and finds out that the dog has to go to the rescue and can't be returned to the new owner. It is a mess.

That is why I say that rescues can micro-manage way more than any breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There is a rescue(hoarder) in my area that will not adopt unless you agree to positive only training. I have called her out a few times. I train the dog in front of me and since I live with it I will never agree to someone else's methods. Even if they work I would not sign a contract stipulating it. I would agree to training, no details on what, how or why.
 
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