I offer a one year health guarentee and require that the puppies are spayed/neutered (except under VERY special circumstances). I do not refund deposits unless the puppy picked out gets injured or killed (GOD FORBID, this has NEVER happened!). I was told last night by a possible new owner that my contract is not good enough, any comments? I have been told it is a good contract, but am always looking for ways to improve. Thanks. I would tell you my website to see my dogs, but I have pups for sale! Check it after March!
Well can't remember what breed you have, but do you have any kind of guarantee for hips or eyes. If small breed what about luxuating patella, or knees and even elbows for large breeds.
A one year guarantee is good for a health guarantee, but not for a genetic one.
Though most dogs with hip problems get them in the first year. It might not show up until later if it isn't a sever case.
I guarantee hips and eyes for 26 months of age. Though I am thinking about extending the eyes to 38 months. Since I know of some dogs that didn't have eye problems until they were three and were cerf'ed before then.
Did they say why they felt it wasn't good enough? I would have asked them want they wanted in the contract and see if it was something you could have added or would want to add. You can't add every little thing in a contract, but you can cover the big issues. Then when little things pop up you can do a case by case decision.
Do you have a return policy in the contract?
Hope some of this helps. Good luck. Also google guarantees that is what I did when I did mine up. There are a lot listed on the web. Some are very strick and some are very layed back and then there is the ones in between. I pick and choose what I thought sounded far to all three parties and did my contract that way.
Thank you for the advise. I breed Doberman Pinschers and do have congenitive (sic - sorry long day and not spelling well!) health issues covered for one year, but I will seriously consider your advise to extend that. They did not say what they wanted added. They felt it was too limited. I require spay/neuter, returning dog for any other reason, for life, without funds returned. They were mostly upset that if they put a deposit down ( I require $100.00) then they change their minds, that is non refundable. Am I making a mistake there? My dogs are my life. I am very careful and their application was everything I am looking for in a family. But it was their decision and I respect that. I wished them well in their search for the perfect Dobie for their family. Thanks for the help! Welcome any more advise.
My deposits are non-refundable as well, in the case that they change their minds. If it ever happened that I could not let them take the pup for some reason, I would refund it. I dont find that unreasonable at all, figure that you take the pup off the market and make it unavailable, lose sales and then they change their mind, now you must go back through the motions to once again offer the pup for sale. Not unreasonable at all espec it being only $100, I have seen many breeders with a half down non-refundable deposit.
I do agree that your health and genetic guarantee definitely need improved upon though.
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
I agree with lang... Really, the only reason a breeder offers only a 1 year guarantee is if they know they have health issues in their line and don't want to cover them. Most joint problems show up as the growth plates start to close - in larger breeds that can be after a year. I also agree on the eyes...
I offer a 3 year guarantee - I think 2 year guarantees are almost a necessity. Mine covers anything that would make the dog unsuitable as a companion without treatment - or that requires a treatment that exceeds the cost of the puppy - provided it's proven to be congenital. You should know as a breeder that your lines are sound enough that you're only going to see a rare occurance of a problem - and in those cases, my personal view is that if the other person is going to keep the dog and treat it and care for it, the least I can do is refund their purchase price to help them do so. In most cases, the surgery or treatment is going to be A LOT more than the price their paid for the puppy and a refund is only going to make a small dent in what the medical expenses will be.
For me, I never stop thinking like the buyer... I don't want to lose my butt - but I've been on the receiving end of a puppy with a health issue and know what goes into caring for a dog with a problem. Even if it's a fluke occurance, I think breeder and owner should meet part way.
The non refundable deposit is NOT out of line. You've invested time into answering their questions and if they back out, you have to rescreen a home for that puppy. Your time IS worth something. And before committing to a puppy with money, you should know what you're agreeing to. I think if the reason they can't commit is a death in the family or something reasonable, I'm usually willing to work with them - but if you don't make people accountable, they will abuse the system. Mine is a $75 deposit - but $100 is totally reasonable.
BTW - Most problems WILL show up in the first year - but that 2 year guarantee makes a big difference. If someone finds something at 11 months, they will be inclined to make a snap decision. Largely why I offer a three year guarantee is because I don't want my families feeling like they have to find something wrong and get it diagnosed in the first year to use the guarantee. OFA won't even prelim hips until a year. You can't get the official OFA results until 2 years. I personally feel that OFA results are necessary for hip problems. I don't want people feeling rushed into making a decision.
I've only had one puppy come back with a health problem in 5 years - and they called me when he was 15 months old to let me know about it. I would have felt TERRIBLE as a breeder if I'd only had a 1 year guarantee. It was obviously a congential problem and they kept the dog and shelled out $1200 to fix the first knee... My $600 refund check only HELPED pay for it... But they were greatful they had that option and it paid the first payment to the vet for them...
Like I said, think like a buyer at least 25% of the time. :) It helps keep you honest and fair...
I don't get it. I think they are missing the purpose of a deposit. What is the point of taking a deposit if you are going to give it back if the buyer change their mind. that defeats the purpose of a deposit, doesn't it? if they don't like the terms of the deposit, tell them that you will agree to give them the money back if they agree that you can sell their pups if someone better come along with a better offer. lets see if they will like that.
HI Everyone, Thank you all SO much for your great input! I am changing my health guarentee to 3 years. I have no problem with that. But I am standing firm on my no deposit return. I have also added a stipulation that if for WHATEVER reason they do not want the dog, beyond health issues, that I will take the dog back without refund to either add back into my family or find it a new home. I specifically asked that the dog never be taken to a shelter, kill shelter, no fighting families, etc. I never said that implicitly (not a lawyer!), so I thought that would work better if I had it in writing. Again my contract is on my site, but I have puppies for sale and don't want to break the rules. I will run a copy by you all after mid March. I also added that if they do purchase the puppy and can not pick it up until after the age of 8 weeks, I will charge a $7.00 oer day boarding fee. Is this fair? I will not release my puppies until 8 weeks of age. Any thoughts?
I keep mine till 12 weeks generally, but not ure what breed you have. I think the $7 a day boarding fee for every day past 8 weeks old is asking too much. Not everyone is available the exact day they turn 8 weks to come out and pick it up. As long as they come within a reasonable amount of time I cant see charging boarding.
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
I keep my puppies until 9 weeks and I give my families until they are 10 weeks to accept them (unless I opt to hold the puppy longer). If they can't accept them until after 10 weeks I charge $2 a day for boarding and cost on any additional vaccines I have to do. I also charge for a second vet visit to get a health certificate if they can't accept the puppy within 10 days of the first vet visit I do with the litter (the first check is included with the puppy - but as my vet charges me $25 a check up, and having to have a second one is not my choice, it's up to them to cover this).
IF the reason they can't pick the puppy up or accept it by 10 weeks is in the best interest of the puppy, I will meet them half way on expenses (I had one family from Florida 2 years ago that asked me to hold their puppy until after Hurricane Season was over - they were evacuated due to Hurricane Ivan and really wanted the puppy, but didn't want to risk having to try and evacuate with him - I only asked them to cover the extra vet check and vaccines and I held on to the puppy until he was 4 months and did most of his potty train, leash trained him, and taught him basic commands before he left me. I admired that they were thinking of the best interest of the puppy and they'd been waiting for 6 months for a puppy from me and I wasn't planning another litter for another 4-5 months.)
In some cases, holding a puppy a little longer is not a bad thing (if they are going on vacation the next week and it means the puppy is going from you, to them for a week, and then to be boarded for a week - I'd rather I kept the puppy for the extra 2 weeks - but you have to make it worth the people's while and if they have to pay 2 weeks boarding instead of one, they may not see you keeping your puppy as an advantage). Basically, I figure food, cleaning supplies, and the extra training and socialization time I put into the puppy is probably worth a couple of bucks a day (I enjoy it - so I can't charge them much when I'm having fun :).
But give them at least a week window to get their puppy (some people need to wait until the weekend to come to you - or need to arrange time off work).
You're on the right track! It's nice to see you're trying to be so responsible! I learned so much from folks on here when I first joined that I've made A LOT of improvements in my own breeding program. I NEVER take other peoples advice or opinion as gospel - but it's nice to see where you can do more research and this is a great way to interact with other knowledgeable breeders to help better your program. I know I'm ALWAYS trying to do better! (I started off with no mentor, no help, and a couple of good books. Let's just say, I'm miles from where I started!!!)
AbbyLynne! Thank you SO much for that great advise. I was just being lazy. My last litter, I ended up taking care of 3 puppies for over 3 weeks while their owners "got ready for them" (after they had deposits down for about a month!). I breed Dobermans and 8 weeks seems to work for them to go to new homes. As I breeder, I am sure you love picking up poop storms 6 -7 times a day!LOL!I wlll take your advise and find out what the delay is, and I was thinking what a kennel would charge per day, now I feel greedy! BAD! Anyway, thanks so much, you have all been great. I have my contract updated to 3 years for health, and have added nothing about boarding. I love this site for all the great information I get. My dogs stand for themselves (as you will see mid March!) but I also want to be the most responsible breeder I can be. I want that reflected in my contract as well as how I treat and house my dogs and puppies. THANKS SO MUCH!
Okay first I'm not a breeder. I have purchased several dogs from breeders though. A deposit is just that and shouldn't be refunded unless the puppy the deposit was for is not available. Secondly, when I purchased my corgi we were planning a family vacation and would be gone over two weeks. The breeder offered to keep the puppy at no additional cost. Thinking back now it (it was almost 20 years ago) I don't know if she required another vaccine or not during that time. All I can say is I really appreciated that. I'm not sure I would have the boarding thing in the contract but would do it on a case by case basis. It is certainly NOT reasonable for someone to take 2 weeks to get ready for the puppy. The breeder also refunded $25.00 from the price of the puppy if I showed up with a crate. I never heard of a breeder doing that before or since.
I also breed dobes, and I DO NOT refund deposits,period.(only if the pup is not fit foe sale, but I wouldn't offer it for sale in the first place). I also do not give a generic health guarantee either, because that opens the door for a lot of problems down the line. I require the buyer to do post purchase exam within 14 days of purchase,and if there's is a problem which again is unlikely due to a health certificate exam, they must return the pup to me within 2 days of purchase with a written report from their vet. Then I would ( I've never had this come up) take the pup to my vet and if the opinion is the same I refund their money. If my vet says the pup is healthy, then no refund. One of the only and biggest problems I face is BUYER'S REMORSE...it is a demon that rears it's ugly head often unless you protect yourself with these types of contracts. These strict contracts will weed out dingy people that aren't sure they really want a puppy. And that is why mu deposits are non refundable. I've heard every excuse in the book, I'm pregnant, we found a puppy closer, we changed our minds,we're moving new job blah blah blah heard it before...too bad so sad...I sound mean and cynical, but I'm not.It costs money when you take a puppy out of sale to hold for a new owner. And my customers are the best, because when they read the contract on line, they know that they will get a quality bred Dobe from an upright honest breeder, but I don't have time for games. Most folks appreciate it cause they don't have time for games either. They send the money, I send the puppy everyone's happy. Be sure you really have superior puppies,an honest price and you will do well. If you want to chat, e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org