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The Good Dog Pod - Good Dog EPISODE 58, 28th July 2021
Dog Contracts: Concerns and Considerations
00:00:00 00:25:29

Dog Contracts: Concerns and Considerations

This week on the Good Dog Pod, host Laura Reeves is joined by an attorney and a dog trainer to talk about common concerns with contracts between breeders and puppy buyers. Both of our guests are also involved in the dog world as breeders and exhibitors.

What is a “dog contract”? Oftentimes, a breeder will require prospective buyers to sign a basic contract before selling a puppy to them. The contract serves as the foundation of the relationship between the two parties; it lays out the details of the puppy, the price of the puppy, and in most cases, a clause that states the breeder will take back the puppy in the event that the buyer is no longer able to care for it. Good Breeders can access exclusive sample contracts here

What are some common concerns regarding contracts? One common issue is when the contract contains a clause that is unenforceable. For the breeder, including a clause that is overly specific and unenforceable, even if it is in the puppy’s best interest, can cause the buyer to stop communication with the breeder. In some instances, one unenforceable clause can also invalidate other clauses in the contract. An example of an unenforceable clause is one that states the buyer must feed the puppy a specific brand of food. There is no way for the breeder to monitor whether or not the owner is following this clause. Another common concern is that an owner is hesitant to go to the breeder with their questions in fear that they accidentally violated a part of the contract. The two parties should keep regular communication so that everything they do is in the dog’s best interest. 

How can I build a good breeder-owner relationship? There are several things both the breeder and owner can do to build a strong relationship. The contract is only a tool to start a connection; both people should be open and empathetic in their conversations about the puppy. The breeder has years of experience with the breed, so they will be the best judge of whether or not the buyer’s lifestyle is a good fit. If there is anything in the contract that the buyer is uncomfortable with, they should start a conversation with the breeder about it. Because the breeder-buyer relationship is for the dog’s entire life, the breeder should choose the buyer carefully, just like the buyer should choose the breeder carefully. 

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