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Hi, I'm looking at getting a couple of GSP pups and have never gotten a dog from a serious breeder before. I found one that I liked, but when I saw the contract it had a clause in there about "Breech of contract" and a penalty of $1,500, if I ended up giving the dog away or selling it.

My question is... is that normal? Is it a typical thing for a breeder to have this in their contract? It seemed pretty extreme to me, but again, I haven't ever gotten a dog from a serious AKC breeder with a contract before.

Please enlighten me... :)

Thanks!

Aimee
 

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As far as I know I don´t think those contracts are legally enforcable. I dont know about fines and whether they usually or can do that, but it is standard for breeders to say that if you cant keep the dog it must go back to them.
 

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Hi, I'm looking at getting a couple of GSP pups and have never gotten a dog from a serious breeder before. I found one that I liked, but when I saw the contract it had a clause in there about "Breech of contract" and a penalty of $1,500, if I ended up giving the dog away or selling it.

I don't know if its normal but it impresses me that they included it. It keeps the pure breeds out of the shelters. There were so many pure breeds at the shelter when I was doing rescue that I could get any one the breed they wanted in a couple of months time. Why would you worry about that clause if your a serious owner. I would not get a dog if there is a chance you may have to give it up for any reason That is why the shelters are full.
 

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Many breeders want control of the dogs they produce. Some breeders sell dogs with various conditions to control the dog's future. Some require they co-own their pups for various reasons and have other stipulations in the contract. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather see a breeder with these type of contracts than those who sell to anyone with the price of a puppy. I do know that some breeders go to extremes, so it's up to the buyer to decide if they can live with the contract for the life of the dog.
 

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Yes, it's not uncommon. The purpose (with a good breeder) is so that the pups don't end up in a bad situation if the buyer winds up unable to care for them. Basically to ensure you come back to them first to find an appropriate home rather than giving the dog away or leaving it with a shelter or rescue.

IMO it's a sign of a caring breeder breeder, but some do take things too far. For example, I would never buy from a dog from a breeder that requires co ownership.
 

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It's becoming more common, because most contacts are so hard to enforce and if the judge does side with the breeder then the judge has to arbitrarily decided what the damages are in money. If they already have it spelled out if the contract, it makes it easier to enforce and there no question about what the damages are.
 

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Breeder Contracts are difficult to enforce, to either party's benefit. Skipper's contract doesn't contain a penalty, and honestly I don't remember if there was anything written down, but his breeder told me to let her know if I ever couldn't keep him, and she would help me find a new home for him/take him herself if it was a "Now or the Pound" kind of thing.
I'll straight up say I will never co-own a dog. Mandatory return policy, sure...but I want to 100% legally be the owner of my dog while it's in my possession. I understand why serious conformation showers do it, but for a Sport and Pet dog, I believe it just complicates things.
 

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followimg as want to buy from breeder in future
 

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Breeder Contracts are difficult to enforce, to either party's benefit. Skipper's contract doesn't contain a penalty, and honestly I don't remember if there was anything written down, but his breeder told me to let her know if I ever couldn't keep him, and she would help me find a new home for him/take him herself if it was a "Now or the Pound" kind of thing.
I'll straight up say I will never co-own a dog. Mandatory return policy, sure...but I want to 100% legally be the owner of my dog while it's in my possession. I understand why serious conformation showers do it, but for a Sport and Pet dog, I believe it just complicates things.
Even for serious conformation people I've seen it end up being a royal pain in the butt, especially if you have a particularly nice dog worth breeding. At best you have a breeder who is overtly involved in the dog's life and decisions you make about it, and at worst you have a breeder who tries to bully you into doing what they want with the dog so they can have those accomplishments in their name, keep the best pups out of the litter while you do all the work, etc. Co ownership is something that I would never recommend, though I can see the appeal in some situations. Even in those situations I would urge people to think long and hard about whether they can live with the situation if it goes sour.
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Thank you everyone for your responses! You've given me food for thought. I will contact the breeder again and ask them straight out if this is a co-ownership kind of deal, which I agree I Do NOT want. I understand them caring about their dogs, but this $1,500 penalty warning is pretty extreme I think. It's too bad because I really like everything else about this breeder, as well as the look of their dogs/puppies.
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses! You've given me food for thought. I will contact the breeder again and ask them straight out if this is a co-ownership kind of deal, which I agree I Do NOT want. I understand them caring about their dogs, but this $1,500 penalty warning is pretty extreme I think. It's too bad because I really like everything else about this breeder, as well as the look of their dogs/puppies.
I would also ask (to be certain), that this stipulates that you can return the dog to THEM without penalty, or work with them to facilitate re-homing the dog. If that is what they mean specifically, then the penalty is just there to protect the dog. I would buy from a breeder with those two stipulations.
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses! You've given me food for thought. I will contact the breeder again and ask them straight out if this is a co-ownership kind of deal, which I agree I Do NOT want. I understand them caring about their dogs, but this $1,500 penalty warning is pretty extreme I think. It's too bad because I really like everything else about this breeder, as well as the look of their dogs/puppies.
Levi's contract doesn't specify an amount, but it does say that should I re-home the dog, I am responsible for all costs accrued by the breeder to get the dog back. One of things I was looking for in a breeder was that should something go horribly wrong, the breeder would take the dog back. It reinforced that this person cares about each one of their dogs and it wasn't about mass-selling and getting the money.
Usually the contract will mention if there is a co-ownership prospect. Levi's states that he is a companion dog to me, and I only received his CKC Registration once he was neutered.
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses! You've given me food for thought. I will contact the breeder again and ask them straight out if this is a co-ownership kind of deal, which I agree I Do NOT want. I understand them caring about their dogs, but this $1,500 penalty warning is pretty extreme I think. It's too bad because I really like everything else about this breeder, as well as the look of their dogs/puppies.
It might seem extreme but it's very common.

I've seen breeder contracts that are nuts and very unenforceable.

However with this I don't see it as extreme to state that getting rid of the dog is a breach of contact. Any attorney will take you to specify an amount so from a legal standpoint of a contract it's not extreme either. Why would one be worried unless they plan to dump the dog in the shelter? Any good breeder will take a dog and any responsible pet owner I'd think would want to give the dog back.
 

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I didn't see that particular clause in any of the contracts while I was shopping for a dog, but I can tell you that I ended up just adopting a mutt from the shelter because I could not/would not go along with all the requirements of the breeders. All the breeders wanted to retain co-ownership and keep their name as the primary contact listed on the microchip. That was totally a deal-breaker for me.
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses! You've given me food for thought. I will contact the breeder again and ask them straight out if this is a co-ownership kind of deal, which I agree I Do NOT want. I understand them caring about their dogs, but this $1,500 penalty warning is pretty extreme I think. It's too bad because I really like everything else about this breeder, as well as the look of their dogs/puppies.
I wouldn't write them off without inquiring about the specifics. I assume you're not planning on rehoming the dog at some point, so the issue theoretically shouldn't come up. Of course, it's entirely possible that any one of us would fall in a bad situation at some point and need to rehome a dog. I wouldn't have too much of an issue with a $1500 fee for rehoming the dog as long as the fee doesn't apply if you send the dog back to the breeder or the breeder assists in finding a home/approves a home that you find. That shows that the breeder is in it to prevent the dog from going to Uncle Bob who keeps the dog chained up all day and doesn't believe in heartworm prevention rather than just adding insult to injury if you're in a bad spot. If you can safely send the dog back to the breeder or have the breeder help you rehome the dog then I'd be open to that.
 
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