Breeders Contracts

What You Need to Know About a Breeder's Contract
By: Joan Paylo



The breeder's contract is a meaningful document in the history of generations in your dog's family line


I acknowledge Pet for the article below regarding Breeders Contracts. Be mindful that this is an American Article and so refers to the American Kennel Club for registration purposes. In Australia we have a similar controlling body the Australian Kennel Club which presides over the registered Breed Clubs and Organisations State wide in Australia.


Breeder's Contract

The contract that you sign when you buy your dog from a breeder is much more than a simple bill of sale. It guarantees your rights and the seller's rights in the transaction, sometimes for the life of your pet. It is also a meaningful document in the history of generations in your dog's family line.

A written breeder's contract can take many forms; its stipulations can be negotiated between you and the breeder. Many factors come into play whether you intend to show your dog, for example, or past experiences either of you has had in owning a purebred dog.

A responsible breeder is more than happy to discuss every aspect of your dog's future with you, to ensure that he's putting the dog into a good home. But even if the two parties are best of friends, a comprehensive contract helps guarantee they will remain so.

Bill of Sale

The bill of sale, or proof that you have paid the breeder or his agent for your dog, may contain some clauses required by law. Certain states, for example, require that a breeder or pet store take a pet back and refund your money if the pet becomes ill within 48 hours from the time of purchase. Before you pay anyone for a dog, review your state's or municipality's laws concerning pet sales.

A.K.C. Registration Application
The breeder's contract must guarantee that your dog qualifies for registration. In the United States, registration with the American Kennel Club is the most common proof of pure breed. The A.K.C., however, recognizes over 150 dog breeds, while the Continental Kennel Club recognizes 444 plus some crossbreeds. A few other organizations, such as Dog Registry of America, also track purebred lineage. Reputable breeders won't hesitate to answer any questions you have about registering your dog. Still, before reaching a final agreement, it's best to check rules and regulations on the Web site of their breed registration organization.

The American Kennel Club requires breeders to keep complete records and do a fair amount of timely paperwork. A breeder must register each litter with the A.K.C., listing the registration numbers of each parent, as well as clearly distinguishing each member of the new litter.

Once the litter is registered and the puppies are old enough to part from their mother, the seller must give you a properly completed A.K.C. registration application. This application must contain the breeder's signature as well as the dog's full breeding information, which includes:

Breed, sex and colour of the dog

Date of birth

Registered names (and numbers) of the dog's sire and dam

Breeder's name

It's up to you to complete the application and send it in with a fee.

The A.K.C. warns that as the buyer, you are responsible for submitting your dog's registration. They caution you to think twice before buying a purebred dog without an accompanying A.K.C. application. Although it takes a few weeks for a breeder to obtain one after the pups are born, the process allows plenty of time for the application to arrive if the breeder is prompt and efficient. If your breeder cannot produce a promised AKC application at the time of sale, you must at least get a signed statement containing all the information listed above to submit to the AKC.

Remember that just because the A.K.C. or other breed organization certifies your dog's breed, it cannot guarantee your dog's health or how closely it meets the highest standards for the breed's physical conformation. It's still important for you to do your homework in picking a reputable breeder in the first place.

Added Clauses

Once the basic provisions of a minimal health guarantee and lineage are included, either party can add provisions to the breeder's contract.

Health. Many breeders want to follow your dog's health and agility throughout her life so they can trace any problems or strengths in her lineage, such as hip dysplasia, personality problems or other hereditary defects. You may find that your breeder is willing to guarantee good natural health in your dog for one or two years. In return, he may ask you to seek prompt veterinary care any time your dog exhibits an unusual health problem. Occasionally, a breeder will even require you to give him a necropsy report if your dog should die without a veterinary diagnosis.

Reproduction. Unless you buy your dog to compete in shows, your breeder could require that you spay or neuter your pet. Or, a clause in the contract could specify that you will neuter your pet at some point in the future, if the breeder determines that your adult dog does not exhibit the best standard characteristics of the breed. The contract also might specify that you will not breed your dog until she is 2 years old, after many genetic flaws have had a chance to manifest themselves.

Title or show dogs. An entire set of rules governs the breeding and purchase of dogs that are to be raised to compete as champions. Briefly, you may require a guarantee from the breeder that your dog will be fertile and free from hereditary defects. Your breeder could require that you show the dog for a specified amount of time before breeding her.

Finding a new home. Your breeder's contract could require that you notify him if you have to give up your dog. Besides having wide contacts with trustworthy people who might be interested in adopting your dog, the breeder wants to be sure he can follow your dog through life. Breeders often remain so involved in the lives of their dogs that they themselves will care for your pet if you can no longer keep her, or if you must be away from home for a long time.

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If your pet is showing any signs of distress or you suspect your pet is seriously ill, CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN immediately.
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Breeders Terms


Sometimes people hear the words breeders terms and simply don't want to get involved as they want to own the dog outright with no involvement from a 3rd party. There are many different stories out there and reasons why pet owners don't want to become involved with breeders terms. But Breeders terms are not as bad as people think. If both parties are happy with the arrangement sometimes it works out to be the best of both worlds and not just for the breeder. If you have a written contract between both parties then you know where you both stand. You have both agreed to it. Ultimately at the end of the day the BREED benefits cause you've allowed your dog to contribute to the future of the Golden Retriever breed.

Putting it simply is this, BREEDERS TERMS are conditions that a breeder places on that particular animal that they wish to still hold an interest in. Not all agreements are the same and they will vary from each animal.
Breeders put terms on certain dogs due to the fact that they don't want to lose a bloodline that is very important to them. But on the flip side a breeder cannot keep every dog they breed under the sun or else they end up with high numbers of dogs in their yard. Which for most of us is a lot of hard work and very expensive to maintain long term.
Not every dog that a breeder puts out on terms will be bred from, some breeders simply put terms on but don't always go through with utilizing that dog or bitch for one reason or another. But their door is left open so they can do that if they so choose to.
Our Kennels are a small and due to space limitations we can not keep the number of dogs that we would love have. So we have a small select number of Goldens in our yard but sell other dogs on breeders terms so that if we so choose to incorporate them into our lines the dogs are there for us.

Contracts can vary.
Any dog sold on breeders terms must have the eye, heart and hip score testing done.
If owned within South Australia - We generally have our girls back for 1 or 2 litters (depending on what happens). In this case Serngold Kennels is in charge of all matings, the bitch is to be at Serngold Kennels, until she's completed the cycle. She is returned to her family and stays there until the last week of pregnancy where she is returned to us for the whelping and remains there till the puppies are 6 to 8 weeks of age and then she is returned home. The pet owners of the mum are more than welcome to visit their dog and spend time with the puppies during this period. With this method all income and expenses are the responsibility of Serngold Kennels (whether she has 10 puppies or 2 puppies and a C section).

Another breeders term method we use mainly for interstate buyers is allowing you (pet owner) to buy the dog on terms but when you breed that bitch Serngold Kennels will get a puppy back either pick of litter or second pick of the litter. In this case you will be required to become a registered breeder in your own state. Again the dog or bitch must have all of the testing done.
If you happen to live in South Australia and wish to do all the work, then that is something that needs to be agreed upon and decided at time of contract. We are open to negotiations.

In regards to stud dogs this will vary. But generally at Serngold Kennels we might sell the dog but have access to the dog for our selves for FREE to any of our girls but if anyone else (outside kennels) wants to use the dog they must pay a stud fee of which the stud fee is shared 50/50 with the pet owner. (in these circumstances stud fee is paid once we know the girl is pregnant or after she has a litter). Serngold Kennels does all the hard work, houses the dog and bitch at their place during the mating period. We recommend this so the dog will never associate their pet home with matings. When dogs come back home they know why they are there and are quite happy to be here, (except when they discover they're only back for boarding lol ).

But generally this is what we do with breeders terms. It is a contract that is agreed by both parties and both parties will sign a contract so that we know where we both stand with the arrangements.

Our experience with pet owners so far has been good and we hope that it continues along that vein. If you as a pet owner are interested in breeding we are more than happy to support you on the proviso you do things correctly.

You must become a Canine Council member in your state. Abide by code of Ethics of the ANKC. Join your local Golden Retriever club. Breed ethically and responsibly as a registered breeder. Why become a backyard breeder when you can become a registered breeder and have access to all the top dogs in the world. Better than mating your animal to the local pet dog that doesn't have papers. Aim to produce TOP dogs only.

All contracts are open to negotiation prior to being signed. The above is just a general look at it. If you are interested in purchasing one of our puppies on breeders terms, please feel free to ask questions.

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Serngold Golden Retrievers - South Australia


 Lydia Sernecki
ph:  (08) 82485264