Breeding Contracts

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Breeding Contracts

Postby choclabwife » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:43 pm

Hi there,
I'm choclab's wife and little does he know, I read these forums too! :smile:
I wanted to find out what you all thought about hunting dogs and health contracts/ gurantees. We're thinking about breeding our chocolate lab, Maggie, in the future and would like to get all this straigtened out before we do. We will be OFA certifying her hips and elbow, and testing her eyes as well. We are thinking of breeding her to an amazing stud (Am / Can CH Skyfire's Oughta Be A Law JH CD WC...I know I know, a show dog, but I like the look, and he has multiple field dogs in his pedigree...), or to something with a similer pedigree, regardless, he and his ancestors will have had their hips, elbows, and eyes all done at the very least.
Now, I have read numerous horror stories about a breeder guranteeing a dog, never having issues with any other dog in their history and out of no where a case of hip dysplasia developes, usually when the dog has been trained to death it's first 6 months, however with no clause in the contract about this the owner of the dog expects his/her gurantee (money or a new dog- someone I read about wanted a fully trained dog for their gurantee...).

Because of this I was leaning towards writing a contract that does not gurantee a dogs hips/elbows and or health, except for possibly helping with treatment, and simply stating the certifications both parents have gone through and that in buying any dog, especially Labs, there is a chance for hip dysplasia, ect. I realize that this would mean probably selling the pups for less and all that, but we aren't looking for money really, and I would perfer not to be sued....is there any other way to do this? Writing an "iron clad" contract outlining the dogs training regimin seems a bit much for me...let me know your experiances and thoughts!
Sorry this was so long!
Sierra
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Postby cmelik10 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:39 pm

First off, what are your reasons for breeding? I do not totally understand why you wouldn't offer a guarntee. If you are going to get all the tests done and the sire has all the tests done and you are insuring that both parents and in sound health why you wouldn't offer a guarntee. Sure there may be odd ball cases where a dog gets hip problems or other problems because of their environment, but most people are aware of the hazards and will take precautions to prevent it. If you are breeding dogs with good-excellent hips (please do not breed anything but) then you should have very little to worry about.

I personally feel that a responsible breeder will guarntee the health of the animals that they are selling. Because of this then they will do what it takes to make sure that they are breeding healthy sound animals. If you do not want to give a guarntee on your pups how are you going to feel if you sell one that ends up coming down with hip dysplasia and the family has to put the dog that they have grown to love to sleep. If you are going to breed please do the responsible thing and offer a guarntee on your pups, its the responsible thing to do.
Teach and the BUILD then build on what you TEACH. Baby steps, its all about baby steps.
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Postby hunt-chessies » Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:51 pm

i'm not all that knoledgeable on the breeding side of things but i wouldn't trust a breeder that wasn't backing up the pups with a guarntee. if you've done your homework and got good dogs in your lines then i agree the responsible thing to do is back it up. if its going to be a hunting dog for the new owner then there is too much time and money put into a dog not to have the guarntee
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Postby choclabwife » Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:24 pm

My reasons for breeding (assuming Maggie passes all health tests, etc.) would be to produce sound, working retrievers that may or may not be good enough for the show ring (that would be a secondary...field ability is before that, temperment is before either). Maggie is working her way towards a UKC title right now, we plan to get her into AKC tests this spring.
The reason I am unsure about offering a gurantee is because there are a lot of people out there who take advantage of that kind of thing, sure *most* people know to keep their dog out of heavy training until it's bones/joints are solid and know to keep the pounds off...not everyone does and as much you I, as a breeder, can preach that kind of thing over and over and a person can tell me that they will do that, but there is no gurantee that they will. So what happens if a person buys a puppy promising all these things, put it into heavy training early on in it's life and it winds up with hip dysplasia? None of the other puppies in the litter have this problems, parents are cert. OFA good or excellant....what happens? I owe this person money or another puppy when the owner is at fault? Is that just something you have to include in the contract? I have no problem with a health gurantee except for that, and as I said before, i'm not breeding dogs for the money, all breeding stock will have the appropriate health certifications, and if a dog dosn't meet my/breed standards, I won't breed her/him.

I guess that my other question would be what do you all expect in a gurantee, return on your money, a new pup, both?
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Postby cmelik10 » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:52 am

Thing reason for getting hips tested is to insure that the parents are free of dysplsia. Thusly if one of your pups comes down with it then yes you do either have to refund the money of replace it with a pup for the same of very closely related breeding. This is part of being a responsible breeder. I think its great that you are taking step one and getting all the test done before you breed, as well as entering her into AKC and UKC HT to prove that she is a solid hunting (and show as you have stated) dog.

The great thing about owning the litter is that you have the right to refuse a puppy to anyone. If someone comes to see the pups and you get the feeling that they are not going to be a good parent you can tell them "sorry".
Teach and the BUILD then build on what you TEACH. Baby steps, its all about baby steps.
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Postby IBBoykin » Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:49 pm

My two cents, for what it is worth.
First off, open a special savings account at your bank. When you sell the puppies, 100% of the funds will go in there and not to be touched for the duration of the length of the contracts. Putting a guarantee behind a dog really says something about the breeder (yes, there are always exceptions). Guarantee them for 26 months, giving the owners time to have their OFA hip evaluations at 24 months. If any come up, then you have the funds on hand to refund, no problems. If someone comes back to you at 26 months and 1 day or beyond and they have a problem with a dog, well they are just plain ole out of luck, their contract has expired.
You will also find that in many many cases, the new owners will never have their dogs hips OFA'd, with no intentions of breeding.
Go ahead and do the right thing, stand behind the dogs or do not breed them.
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