paragraph of the agreement sets forth the basics--a description of the puppy sold, and the selling price.
paragraph provides for registration of the puppy by the seller with a border collie registry, and prohibits registration with the AKC. This provision also specifies what the damages will be in the event the prohibition is violated. This is always a good idea in cases where it might be difficult to prove the extent to which someone has been damaged by a contract's being broken. The Seller will probably want to specify a figure that would be large enough to impress upon the Buyer the seriousness of the prohibition, and also large enough so that a lawyer's fee would be covered in case the provision had to be enforced. One breeder has used the figure of $10,000.
paragraph guarantees the pup's present good health. The Seller might wish to shorten or lengthen the time within which a health claim could be made, or might wish to provide for a replacement puppy rather than a refund in such a case.
paragraph guarantees the pup to be free from the principal hereditary defects known in Border Collies. Again, the Seller might wish to modify this provision to shorten or lengthen the time within which a claim could be made, to specify how serious the defect must be to warrant a claim (some contracts, for example, provide a refund only where the defect is serious enough to merit euthanasia), to require that the pup be returned as a condition of the refund, or to specify the type of evidence sufficient to show that the defect is truly a genetic one.
paragraph controls the conditions under which the dog may be bred. It is not good for the breed, the dogs, or the breeder's reputation if dogs he/she has produced are bred indiscriminately, or by persons not knowledgeable enought to make good breeding judgments. There are a number of other ways of dealing with this problem, any one of which may be more appropriate in a given case than the one used in this sample contract. Here are some alternative examples:
A. The Buyer shall have the puppy spayed or neutered before it reaches the age of eight (8) months, and shall forward to the Seller a spay/neuter certificate from the veterinarian performing the procedure. Upon receipt of that certificate, the Seller shall [refund to the Buyer $_______ of the purchase price] OR [shall forward the registration papers for the puppy to the Buyer]. [Note that if the second option is used, paragraph 2 will have to be changed to say that the Buyer will register the pup and hold the registration papers for transmittal to the Buyer after evidence of spay/neuter is provided.]
B. Registration with the ABCA, as provided for in Paragraph 2 above, shall be NB (non-breeding) registration. NB registration bars registration of any offspring of the puppy. If at any time the Buyer desires to breed the puppy, he/she shall consult with the Seller, and if the Seller agrees that such breeding would be desirable, the Seller shall contact the registry and obtain the lifting of the NB restriction.
paragraph places requirements on the Buyer as to how the puppy must be cared for and maintained. If the Seller so wishes, he/she can spell out these requirements in some detail, thereby using the provision as a tool for educating the Buyer. The Seller can specify, for example, that the puppy must be kept in a fenced yard and not permitted to run loose, that it must be given a booster shot every 3-4 weeks until it is 16 weeks old, that it must be checked annually for heartworm and intestinal parasites, and the like. Such detailed provisions are unlikely to be enforced, since the breeder will probably not learn of violations, but they can be useful in making the Buyer conscious of the dog's needs. This type of provision can also be used to require the Buyer to have the pup's hips OFA'd or its eyes checked even if it is not to be bred, so that the Seller can acquire as much information as possible about the genetic health of his/her breeding lines.
paragraph would be used by breeders who wish their pups to go to permanent homes and to ensure that they not be passed through many hands. It is probably most practical for a pup who is being sold as a pet, and least practical for one that is being sold primarily for working or trialing.
paragraph is is intended to make sure that neither the pup nor its descendants will end up in a puppy mill or pet shop.
Sometimes breeders are concerned that they may scare away buyers if they insist on a contract. Most of the time, buyers' reactions are the exact opposite from what the seller fears. Particularly if they are new to Border Collies, buyers often welcome the educational features of a contract, and regard a sales contract as a reassuring sign of professionalism on the part of the seller. A good sales contract lets both buyer and seller know where they stand, and helps to maintain high standards on the part of those who breed and those who provide homes, all to the ultimate benefit of the Border Collie breed.