The Puppy Contract

A sine qua non of a serious breeder is the puppy contract. It’s the instrument that breeders use to get their puppy buyers to obey their whims after the puppy is long gone.

Popular provisions include registration and naming demands (often putting the kennel name as the prefix, and sometimes following the cute pun filled theme for the litter), breeding rights and requirements for spay/neuter, co-ownership and conformation showing requirements, health guarantees and often the conditions under which the breeder will take the puppy back.

While these contracts are most popular in the show community given that it’s otherwise difficult to get a buyer to commit to the chore of showing their new puppy without putting it in writing, contracts are an increasingly popular way to clarify intent and obligations between breeder and buyer outside the show world.

When I came up with my own puppy contract, I found the sample published by The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation very helpful in writing the clauses and including the necessary protections in a thorough and complete manner.

My buyers appreciated having the mutual expectations down in writing and I think having a written contract enforced my intent to have a more active relationship with my puppy buyers (no sell ’em and forget ’em) and that they could expect unending assistance from me. You wouldn’t bother with a contract if you didn’t care about the future of your puppies. It’s a good message to send.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.