Guide to the Dog Breeding Contract
at Sale and at Stud.
The dog breeding contract is important dog breeding information to understand.
For example, when buying puppies that are purebred you may be faced with contracts that prevent you from breeding with your dog.
You certainly should also expect a health guarantee contract.
And if you are planning to breed your registered pedigree dog the stud contract is very important to understand.
Buy Puppies Contracts
Breeders who follow sound breeding practices and screening of their breeding dogs for genetic diseases common to their breed will be confident about the health of their puppies.
As such you should expect a guarantee that your puppy is genetically sound.
I guarantee the health of all my Miniature Schnauzer puppies
Since so many serious inherited diseases don’t become apparent until a dog is several years of age, the contract should ideally be in the form of a lifetime health guarantee.
However, there are very few breeders who offer this. You’d be lucky to get a 12 month guarantee if any at all!
In any case, the health guarantee should be signed by both you and the breeder with copies given to both parties. Most breeders who offer health guarantees limit their liability to refunding the purchase price or replacing of the puppy free of charge.
Veterinary fees and other costs are not usually covered. Pet insurance may be the answer to cover unforeseen veterinary costs, which can be prohibitive.
If your puppy should develop a genetic disorder serious enough to compromise its general health and function as a viable pet the first step is to have the problem properly diagnosed by your veterinarian.
Either you or your vet should then contact the breeder and tell them of the problem as well as send them evidence of it.
Most breeders are picky about who they allow to use their dogs for breeding. Why?
• It allows them to keep the supply of puppies low, and hence preserves their market value.
• It also protects the investment of time and money they have put into developing their breeding lines.
• Breeders maintain control of the dogs their own are bred to, so they can avoid contributing to “inferior” lines that could damage their reputation.
• If you express interest in showing your puppy, the breeder can wait and see if the puppy grows into a dog that is worthy of full registration.
If it does, and you prove keen to show, then the registration can be upgraded to allow it to be bred.
However, many breeders even then might insist on full control over the breeding and even that all resulting puppies remain their own property.
As you may be beginning to realize, with all these dog breeding contracts going on, it can be pretty hard to break into the world of dog breeding!
So, how do dog breeders make all this stick?
Limited Registration is one way they can enforce non breeding conditions.
The Limited Registration of your puppy is evidence that it is a purebred, and records you as the owner with the appropriate kennel club. However, no litters produced by that dog are eligible for registration.
Further, a dog registered with a Limited Registration is not eligible to be entered in a breed competition in a licensed or member dog show.
However, it can be entered in any other licensed or member events such as Obedience, Tracking, Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Herding, Lure Coursing and Agility.
What normally accompanies the Limited Registration is a “Non-Breeding Agreement” dog breeding contract.
The Non-Breeding Agreement Dog Breeding Contract
Under such agreements, the breeder of your puppy only sells it to you on the understanding that you will not use it for breeding.
The terms go something like this:
• Upon completed payment for the dog you will be given a Certificate of Registration recording you as the owner.
• No one can use the dog for breeding purposes and its progeny wont be eligible for registration as purebred.
• If the dog is transferred to a new owner, they also have to sign a “Non-Breeding Agreement”.
• If both you and the breeder agree, the agreement can be cancelled by lodging a special form with the appropriate kennel club.
Stud Dog Breeding Contracts
Pre-Breeding Health Checks
To protect the health of breeding dogs it makes very good sense to insist on proper health screening and clearances prior to a mating taking place whether you own the bitch or the dog.
Some breeders may insist that either dog is certified by a Veterinarian as fit and healthy before any breeding takes place, their vaccinations are current and they aren’t suffering from parasites.
Silvanglen Black Knight – an Australian stud Miniature Schnauzer
In any case, to protect her unborn puppies you should treat your bitch with a good all-wormer on the first day that she comes in heat (as well as during week 5 or 6 of her pregnancy).
If your dog breeding contract stipulates payment of a fee whether the service is successful or not, you should ask the stud owner to provide a certificate that proves that the male dog has viable semen.
To further protect your investment under such circumstances, you should also have your bitch’s sex hormone levels monitored once the heat has started so that you can accurately pinpoint the best time for a successful mating.
In countries where it is endemic (such as the USA – but luckily, not in Australia as yet) it is essential that both dogs are tested free of brucellosis, a highly infectious bacterial disease that can rip through kennels and cause sterility or spontaneous abortion in affected dogs.
Further, to protect your reputation as a breeder it is sensible that any dog you use is screened as unaffected by any major genetic diseases for your breed.
Of course, this won’t prove, for most genetic diseases, that the dog isn’t a carrier for the problem, but at least screening reduces the risk – provided, of course, that at testing the dog is past the usual age that the problem disease becomes evident!
The Stud Dog Breeding Contract
Any reasonable, responsible breeder will do their best to help you achieve a successful mating from your investment in their dog’s stud services.
However, better to be sure than sorry!
Work out a written dog breeding contract with the owner of the stud dog before breeding occurs. There is no set contract – the details depend entirely on what each party agrees to.
Whatever agreement you come to between you, the contract should set out all stud fees, obligations and circumstances, be signed by all parties, and a copy given to each.
Some things to expect in your dog breeding contract are:
How many matings will take place, how many days apart and possibly even the number of witnesses there must be.
• Payment terms:
Traditionally the stud owner had the right to the “pick of the litter” or money to the same value for the use of their dog. This means that you might owe the stud the highest price you got for your puppies, or the value of a registered puppy if you sold any.
Where it’s a money only deal, the contract might require a deposit up front with the remainder of the stud fee to be paid upon delivery of an agreed upon number of live puppies.
A reasonable contract would guarantee at least 1 or 2 puppies alive at 2 weeks of age or no further fee is payable.
• If the mating is unsuccessful:
The contract may allow for a repeat breeding of the same bitch if the mating does not result in the minimum number of viable puppies, at no additional charge.
This is common courtesy! The only additional cost may be that of boarding your bitch at the stud for the repeat matings.
Remember, no resulting puppies can be registered without the owner of the sire signing the kennel club application form, so have a clear agreement that you are happy with and do your best to fulfill it.
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