I had done this about 2yrs ago, and wanted to try again. I have to redue my Pet contract. I revamped my computer and forgot to save it. To make a long story short, I have seen some opinions about contracts on this site recently, and wanted to hear from you all on some ideas.
I give a lifetime genetic health guarentee on all my puppies. I will guarentee my puppies to be free of life altering genetic problems. It has to affect the dogs quality of life, and must be genetic. In other words, I don't want someone contacting me when a 10+ year old dog has kidney faliure wanting a refund.
Most breeders I have come across will only guarentee for 2yrs, and I get alot of nasty emails about my guarentee. The biggest issue I am having, is I don't always belive in only replacing a puppy. On the other hand, I don't feel I should have to give a full refund if the dog is up there in years, as most problems occur younger in life.
This is my thought, and I want your opinions on it. If a dog/puppy has life altering genetic defict, the breeder(me) has the right to a second opinion by the vet of my choice. If the defict is found to be true,for dogs/puppies age 8wks to 6yrs the breeder will pay up to the paid price of puppy/dog for medicines or surgery. The buyer also has the option to returning puppy/dog to breeder for a replacement. Replacement will be same sex/color of dog/puppy given back. For dogs/puppies over the age of 6yrs, the breeder will give the same options as above, but with 1/2 the price paid.
let me know what you all think. and thanks in advance.
I appreciate your dilemma, but I'm afraid I can't offer much advice. I believe it depends on the breed.
I know on this website (and many others) that people who sell my breed offer a lifetime or 2-4 yr health guarantee. HOWEVER...I always tell people who come to me for inquiries that a guarantee is only as good as the co-owner or breeder who will return their phone call when there is a problem. I work with my national breed-club rescue and find this to be true time and time again.
In your breed, I realize a health guarantee may be neccessary. My experience is only with one breed, and I refer to breeders who show and are members of our parent club for my advice. (I offer a 4 yr guarantee free of heart/kidney/etc, and BAER test before they leave.) The only way I can compete with the people who offer a lifetime guarantee is to make sure that everyone who calls/emails me is educated on asking questions regarding health tests before buying a pup. I tell them to ask for the RESULTS of x, y, &z tests from both parents that should be standard for anyone selling my breed of dog. (Echocardiogram, BAER testing, UPC, etc)
I'm sorry I can't help you with the contract, but I wanted to you see that people ARE reading your post!
I can't offer advice either - but I find your concerns very ethical. A wonderful thing in this world! It sounds to me like you truly care about the dogs you breed & are concerned about bettering your breed. I deal mostly with bassets (rescue, not breeeding) and know that there are some conditions etc. that they are predisposed to. I'm sure that each breed has their own potential problems. Good luck with your decisions - I'm am thrilled you are taking potential problems to seriously.
A round of applause for Illusions! Your post proves what a great breeder/dog owner you are. I guess my answer would depend on how long Mini Aussies generally live. Maybe offer 1/2 the purchase price back if the dog is diagnosed with a genetic condition before the age of 5 and a 1/4 is the dog is older. It's not really fair to give a puppy to someone with an 8yr old dog with a health problem. Maybe you could void the contract if the dog isn't properly tested by the time they are 5. I'm not a breeder, so take my post with a grain of salt.
I'm one of the people who is very turned off by the replacement puppy idea. I would never be able to return a puppy, even if I'd only had it for a couple of days. In addition to being attached, if one dog has a major health issue, it would seem likely that the replacement would too. I like to think most people are the same way. I wouldn't buy from a breeder that only offers "replacements." If I were a breeder I wouldn't want to give another puppy to someone who wasn't reluctant to return a pup.
Breed is definantly a factor. Something that is more common than not would be considered normal for that breed, but may not be for other breeds. So every breeder can't cover the same things to the same extent.Ex: There are some breeds which tend to actually be born with hip dysplasia because of their build, so it would be the severity and not the existance which would be the issue. My contract says beyond normal for the breed and debilitating/life threatening. We can't really expect our breeder to cover things that exist just because we chose the breed we chose. You would also have to clarify somehow I guess that normal issues of old age, or enviromental or care issues are excluded? Like, do you wanna cover it if the liver or kidney damage is due to a medication given at some point for seperation anxiety or something? Or if an issue arose due to the fact they put off vet care or something? You would also need their records for the dogs entire lifetime to figure something like that out. And everything needs to be clear of course. I don't actually think that a replacement would necessarily mean the same health problems. It WILL happen, some times, no matter what, it doesn't mean the whole line is messed up necessarily (but it might take alot to figure that out). I think price matters a little too. $1500 back on $3000 or $150 back on $300 is a big difference. Please keep us posted, I'd like to know what you decide to do :-).
I do a middle of the road contract a 5 year one, I wanted to do a lifetime but was alway afraid some people would take advantage of that, plus I think the 1 and 2 year contracts are phoey especially in my breed, HD is very high in my breed and if a contract is only good for 2years how am I supposed to get hips certified in that time frame, especially if my girl comes into heat right at 2 years old which is usually what happens :), so then I would have to wait an extra month. I have found to it is a security blanket for buyers too and they do appreciate those of us who DO try to offer a fair contract, but I do state in my contract no Money refunds even though I will refund money and have done it , I had a pup go to a home with a bladder infection which my vet and I both missed, now this is something I would not cover, except the pup must of had one before leaving as they took to their vet within 3 days and there vet found it, and anyway they spent countless money and even sonogram to see if there was indeed a genetic problem which there was not, but I opted to just refund there money because I felt it was the right thing to do as I missed it and felt HORRIBLE, but I let people know When or if I refund money I may take up to 90 days to do so, and If someone want a replacement pup they do not have to get one right away say within x amount of years they may also keep original dog but it must be spay/or neuter. Contracts are Such a HARD thing we want to protect ourselves but at the same time do right by people and stand behind our dogs. I would LOVE to know how you decide to do it, I would just be so afraid of those people who expect everything for FREE, you know what I mean. WE as breeders WORK OUR butts off, up sleepless nights, we become mothers ourselves to these pups, heck people who do not do it or just throw 2 dogs together and let them whelp in the barn then start selling them at 5 weeks do not have any idea the joy, sweat and heartache we put into our dogs. And I really wish people would not take advantage of us, but there is always 1 that will try!! If all of us put our heads together may be we can come up with an AWESOME contract!!
I pretty much set up my contract like I stated above. I just did 5yrs instead of 6. It states that it has to be proven genetic. I did put anything about a cash refund, I figured I would leave that up to the individual situation. I also put that when money is paid for surgery/medication, I will pay directly to their vet. I also have a right to a second opinion, and they have to be in touch with me from the moment a problem arises. I figure that covers my butt, and if they move ahead with out my knowledge, I have the right to refuse. Hopefully I wont have any problem ever lol. I will always have perfect puppies. (hey wishful thinking)
It is actually one of my bitches. When she was about 8wks old. She used to sleep agaist the couch covering her nose with her paw. If you send me your email in a pm, I can send you some pics that you would die for. She was such a ham. Loved to be under blankets and everything.
BreezyRidge, I might be misunderstanding your post, but do you mean that you can't get your breeding stock OFA'd or Penn Hip certified, before breeding them? Illusion I think it's great to try and have a lifetime contract, but in my breed it would not be realistic. Boston Terriers are a relatively young breed, and no matter what health testing I do, which is everything possible, there is always the possibility of something popping up that I never imagined coming. For example, I had a litter 2 years ago, out of CH parentage, and completely healthy sire and dam. Both were OFA'd, Baer tested, and Cerf'd. When that litter was 4 months old, one of the adoptive parents phoned me, and told me his puppy had a grade 3,bordering on grade 4 patella luxation. The puppy had jumped off the couch and slipped. Now although I could have said that puppy hurt himself jumping off the couch, I felt as though there had to be some predisposition for that joint to have failed so totally, at that age. I felt absolutely sick about it. I reimbursed his money, because he had to pay $3,500 in veterinary costs to repair that leg. In my contract I only guarantee juvenile cataracts, and juvenile seizures. Beyond that, I just can't guarantee that something won't crop up, I wish I could. I do stipulate that every puppy that goes to his/her forever home must be checked thoroughly by the new parents vet,, with in 72 hours of leaving my premises. The puppy that ended up with such a bad luxation checked out fine, at 9 weeks old. I also have a stipulation in my contract that if I am privy to information that leads me to believe the dog is being mistreated, I take the dog back. I also point out that if the new parents end up in dire straits, or just can't keep the pup for some reason, I am to be notified, and I will take the pup back. So it's not easy making guarantees. You're lucky if your breed isn't susceptible to certain conditions. If you have a breed like mine though, it's unfortunate that you can't guarantee that dog's health for the rest of it's life. Good luck in coming up with a good , fair contract. I know it is not easy to do so.
Yeah, it's a catch 22. We HAVE to write the contracts to protect ourselves now, if we describe every single situation it would be a novel. So, most of us elect to say one thing, but if we in any way think it may have to do with us, we cover it, no matter what (But then there are the people who use that same wording to get out of something). For the ones actually reading them, it may sound harsh, or unfair. And, when the contracts DO actually come into effect or question, no matter what we do, we seem to be the bad guy. If we cover it even though the contract said we wouldn't, we're still horrible. If it actually had to do with them, we're REALLY the bad guy (guilt and ignorance are powerful motivaters). We really can't win any way it happens. I really don't think there is a contract that would make everyone happy, because it will always come down to the fact that they think something is our fault. Alot of people seem to attribute every single thing that happens with their dog to bad breeding now days. Maybe I will put in my contract that if they only expect to have to do regular vet checks, vaccines, and spay and neuter they should consider getting a stuffed animal instead? And, if you do some lifetime guarantee, then are you predisposing them to think you are responsible for every single thing that happens with the dog? I like to look through the complaint sites. I actually read a complaint yesterday I think it was, of someone complaining that their sheltie of 15 years passed away, and the breeder lied about the health problems for two years? There really wasn't a whole lot of detail, and they didn't mention any health problems, but 15 years. And apparently the breeder was still in contact with them, if they had been talking for the last two years. I don't get it. And Pen, I've been meaning to ask you, do you do natural or c-section with your boston's?
karibear08, knock on wood, I have had all free whelpers thus far. I like a particular build of bitch, and do not go for the very short, small sized Bostons. There was one whelp that I was extremely lucky with, and if I had to do it again, I may have taken the dam in for a section. One of my most prolific girls had a litter of 8, 3 years ago. Although she had good strong contractions for the first 6, the contractions slowed down considerably after that. I gave her a sub-q injection of calcium, and took her for a small walk outside...maybe 50 feet, and back. When we got back to the whelping box, I could see a paw, and a snout. I very gently rolled the bitch over on her back a few times, and then checked her. The paw was still there, but it had receded slightly. I manually and VERY carefully pushed the little paw back, and on the next big contraction, I grabbed the pup, and put a bit of even pull on him. The next contraction was the telling one, and she just gave the biggest push she could, and I had a hold of that little mutt!! He was an 11 ounce pup, with a head like a Mastiff lol. Now, had I been doing things by the book, I should have taken her in when I saw the head and the paw. I know a few tricks though, and that worked. After that the bitch whelped a little girl with a tiny push, and all were fine. I thought the big headed guy might be a bit flat, but I put him to the breast, and he clamped on there like a leech, and hasn't stopped eating since. The whole litter was fine, and with extra nutrition, and supplementation, everyone grew fat and happy. That's the closest call I've had, and I would never recommend what I did to anyone.I believe the only reason I got away with the free whelp that time, was the sheer number of pups, and luck. If my girl would have only had 4 pups, it would have been a different story, but as I said, she always had large litters.
Very simple, I tell the new owners to take the dog into the vet ASAP, within (3 days) to check for parvo etc, and NOT to take the dog into any public place before seeing vet. or I won't honor the guarantee. Next at that time they need to check for life threatening illness such as heart murmur or anything that will cause death to puppy or serious troubles. I hold the money until they report back (3 days-5 if it is a friday weekend-4 if it is a saturday),after the vet check. If troubles are found full refund and return ill pup. If a dog gets an illness later in life then there is no proof that it was from breeding, like seizures (could have been from a fall), kidney troubles (could have been from food choices), I don't think the breeder should have say at this point nor would it be fair for breeder to take the punishment or blame. Many breeders do, and I find that strange but if they are willing to take that plunge then I guess that is their choice. When the dog food epidemic hit, I can imagine how many breeders were swimming backward replacing puppies from their contracts for full life guarantee. That is why I suggest limited time frame, not years. Also, certain breeds are notorious for certain illness. The new owner should be familiar with those illness and again not the breeders fault but the breed itself is susceptibility. I think it is very important that the owner of the dog report back if any illness are found later in life to breeder. I had a dog that got a genetic disease at a young age (1.5 yrs old) and I was unable to contact breeder. That breeder should have been informed so that she could stop breeding the carrier (mother or father).
French Bulldog Puppies Ready for Walks, 1 neutered male 1-un altered male 1 female includes AKC shots Potty Trai