German Shepherd Dog > Breeder Rights? Breeder Greed? (242 replies)
Breeder Rights? Breeder Greed?
by Wanda on 02 September 2011 - 01:57
|A recent post caused me to question how a breeder who has sold dogs would think that the (SOLD, NOT LEASED) dogs should immediately be returned to the breeder should the owner die or the dogs need to be rehomed for any reason. Dogs that have been trained and titled by the owner are certainly worth more that the puppy price. It seems that breeders expect the dogs to be returned to them with no compensation for what has most certainly greatly increased their value. The goal of these contracts seems to benefit the breeder who will likely resell them for a profit. |
The breeder seems to underestimate the dog owner's ability to rehome the dog appropriately. While it may be more convenient for an owner to turn a dog over to the breeder and be done with it, then both the breeder and owner will be grateful for a contract that will protect a dog from ending up on craigs list or in a shelter. It is the breeders responsibility to prevent such from happening to dogs that they bred and in this case the contract serves it's purpose.
A contract that gives breeders the right to have dogs they have bred and sold returned to them without fair compensation is one that indicates a greedy and unethical breeder. One for whom the dollar and ego rate far higher than the dogs welfare. And one that I would most certainly avoid.
by Ibrahim on 02 September 2011 - 02:05
|I thought a contract states for, in such a case, returning the dog back to breeder/or selling it back to him/her. If the concern of the breeder is that his/her bred dog does not go to a shelter then that is fine but if the contract is made in a way so the breeder makes more profit from the returned dog then that is wrong. And the contract should only give the breeder the priority to buy the dog and not oblige the owner to only sell it to the breeder.|
by Jenni78 on 02 September 2011 - 02:06
by Ibrahim on 02 September 2011 - 02:08
|I couldn't agree more to Jenni practice on such a case.|
by Wanda on 02 September 2011 - 02:19
|Thanks Jenni. It is good to know there are breeders out there with a conscience. I have been devestated by the ruthlessness of the breeder of my dear, recently deceased, friend and training mentor as I continue to care for her dogs as she would.|
by hexe on 02 September 2011 - 02:39
|"This is why I have a buyback guarantee instead of a giveback guarantee"|
And this is why the breeder I apprenticed under held to the credo, "Never sell a pup or dog for more money than you can afford to refund on a moment's notice--you never know if you'll need to buy back that dog unexpectedly to preserve the dog's best interests."
Wanda, I'm surprised the breeder would be pursuing custody of the dogs if he/she knows they're in good hands...did your friend not leave anything in writing that indicated what she wanted for the dogs after her death? I'd think most breeders would be relieved to learn that the dogs were in no danger and their futures were secure....
by Wanda on 02 September 2011 - 02:56
|The breeder has never once inquired about the welfare of the dogs. |
On the evening of my friend's death, we received a call from the her, the breeder, who threatened to come get HER dogs. No condolences whatsoever. Meanspirited and cold to say the least.
I can assure you they are much better off living in the home they know and being cared for by someone who has known them all their lives than being confiscated and carted off by a 'stranger'. The owner's wishes are clearly stated in the will and are being carried out under the guidance of an estate attorney.
Unfortunately this experience had left me bitter toward breeders, but your comment is restoring some faith..........
by eichenluft on 02 September 2011 - 03:09
|In my case, being in exactly this situation right now - I am a breeder whose contract states a first right of refusal to get the dog back should anything happen causing the owner to have to place the dog - no mention is given in the contract for "buying back" or "giving back" the dogs - this arrangement would be between the owner and the breeder should the dogs need to be (given away or sold). At that time, arrangements would be made between the owner and the breeder for the breeder to get the dogs back - in my case I would get the dogs back either by purchasing them back, or paying the owner back after the dogs were placed (sold) into another home better suited for them (whatever the case may be, the reason the owner needed to place the dog). Or, the owner may choose to GIVE the dog back to the breeder. I've had both happen - and it's up to the owner and the breeder to decide what works best for them depending on the situation.|
In this situation the owner passed away, and dogs were left in the care of friends, unknown to the breeder. The owner had agreed to place the dogs back with me (the breeder and also a friend of the owner) should anything happen requiring her to place the dogs. She had agreed to this and signed the contracts for both dogs agreeing to this. Payment (or no payment) had not been discussed, of course that would have been something discussed at the time of the need of placement of the dogs.
Now the dogs are with friends who had nothing to do with the contract and agreement between the owner and the breeder, a signed contract agreeing to return the dogs to the breeder (me). In my case of course I would be more than willing to pay for the dogs. But pay who? The owner, who paid for the pups in the first place, and put the work, time, training and titles into the dogs, is dead. So pay who? The friends who have kept the dogs for the few months since she went into the hospital? The estate? Now the friends get two very nicely trained, titled and promising dogs they themselves paid nothing for?
Of course offers of payment were made to the solicitor, to pay the person(s) keeping the dogs for their time and expenses in keeping the dogs, and/or to pay the estate for a fair worth of the dogs. I have not (in my case) been priviledged to the knowledge of who has the dogs or how they are being taken care of, so I have to only assume they are in good hands and appropriate homes for their drives and temperaments, and health needs. I can't know that they are in appropriate homes for their needs, being working-bred GSDs they do have certain needs and requirements, and I have no way of knowing if those requirements are being met or not. This situation of "not knowing what happens to the dogs" is certainly not in my contract or the spirit of the agreement between the owner and the breeder in this case.
by eichenluft on 02 September 2011 - 03:33
|Also in the case a person owning a high-drive working GSD who needs to be owned by someone appropriate for their breed and reason they were bred - if the dog needs to be placed for any reason, the very best place the dog should be is back with the breeder, who loves the dogs, who values the dogs, and who is interested in the very best and most appropriate home for the dogs. Not knowing that these dogs are in such homes where their needs are met, is a terrible burden of "unknown" for me, who is a breeder who continues to communicate with and keep in touch with owners from the moment the puppy leaves until the moment the dog passes away. |
For these particular dogs to be in homes where they are not the chosen breed of dog, and they are not receiving the care, exercise, training and work that their owner gave them, is not fair to the dogs - and is the reason I continued to communicate with the solicitor, who is the person who made the decisions regarding the dogs, and stopped communication with the (very nasty, self-rightous) friends of the deceased owners, who obviously mean well but are not doing what is best for the dogs. Returning the dogs to the breeder is best for the dogs, who would be with someone who values them and who is involved in every aspect of their wellbeing including continued training, proper care and exercise and health care for the one who has specific health requirements. This is what the owner would have wanted for her dogs, and in fact agreed to when she signed her contract and kept in touch with me the breeder until the day before she went into the hospital, certainly not expecting to lose her life before making arrangements for the dogs.
by sentinelharts on 02 September 2011 - 03:37
Wanda, I agree with your statement and your theory. I recognize the amount of time, effort and expense that goes into titling a dog. I would gladly purchase a titled dog of mine should the owner come into problems at some point down the line and have to sell or just decide to sell and start again. I as the breeder would expect the first opportunity to purchase the dog at a fair price.
by Kalibeck on 02 September 2011 - 04:01
|Not taking sides....but wouldn't the death of either the owner or the breeder (for arguments' sake) make the contract null & void? Unless there is a specific clause that covers the death of either party & disposition of the animals covered by the contract.|
And what happens in the case of the breeder's death, should someone decide to return a dog...is there a surrogate set up to receive the animal?
I must give kudos to those who make arrangements for the care of their animals after their demise or incapacitation....that is true love & the ultimate in responsible ownership. I would think most would assign their animals to someone who would be caring & capable, anyone thoughtful enough to plan this is surely thoughtful enough to make certain the animals are well-placed.
It would be nice to know that the breeder would support the new handlers who may have questions or concerns. They are most likely grieving & trying to adjust to a new reality without their friend or loved one, whilst taking on a new responsibility themselves. That way the truly concerned breeder could over see the care of said animals, & ensure their well being, rather than adding stress by threatening a seizure-type scenario of animals that may be a survivors best link to the decedent.
Just after a loss of a dear friend or loved one is an awful time to suffer another loss. And not a good time to attempt to renegotiate a contract. Extreme sensitivity to the situation protects everyone involved, including the animals. A sympathy card, with a little note offering the breeders services to the bereaved might go further to protect the breeders interests in the animals, while opening the door to further discussions on the animals welfare.
Just a few thoughts on the subject from someone who assists the bereaved with issues routinely.
by crhuerta on 02 September 2011 - 11:19
This is one of those "damned if you do & damned if you don't" topics....
by Bob McKown on 02 September 2011 - 12:05
If you don,t like the contract either don,t buy the dog or renegotiate it with the breeder. But don,t whine about it after the fact.
The agreements I have on my dogs are if for any reason the owner decides to rehome or sell the dog the dog will return to me or atleast I have the first right of refusal. Or they don,t get the dog.
by Keith Grossman on 02 September 2011 - 12:35
|Hopefully, Wanda, you've read these responses and now better understand that greed is not necessarily the underlying concern when a breeder attempts to enforce his/her contract.|
by hunger4justice on 02 September 2011 - 15:35
|Also, in order to be enforceable, there has to be a mechanism to compensate if the dog is worth more due to training etc. A liquid damage clause is helpful and though most reputable breeders are only exercising the return clause due to concern over the dog and would likely agree to appropriate placement, so the dog not the damages is what is wanted returned, the clause can be enforced and is a powerful incentive to sell the dog back or return the dog.|
by Donald Deluxe on 02 September 2011 - 15:36
|I spend a lot of time dealing with property disputes, and there is no way in hell I would agree to terms providing the seller any future interest of any kind in any dog I purchase. My property, my choice as to its disposition, end of story - when I buy pens at Staples I walk out with all possessory interests and there's no reason for the purchase of a puppy to be any different. This is one of the reasons why my last two dog transactions involved importing pups from Germany - no muss, no fuss, no requirements to feed XYZ food for warranties to be good, no future interests remaining in the breeder - just simple commodities transactions.|
That said, Bob is 100% correct about contracts. Read them carefully, understand what the terms and conditions mean and get legal advice to explain the implications of any confusing terms and conditions, try to negotiate any terms or conditions you don't like out of the contract, and in the end if you don't like the terms or conditions then walk away and look elsewhere - after all, it's not like there's any shortage of pups or dogs out there.
by Red Sable on 02 September 2011 - 15:57
|DD, I couldn't agree more.|
by Niesia on 02 September 2011 - 17:09
Now because we are talking about 'property':
by Niesia on 02 September 2011 - 17:25
The only sticky point in Court would be if the person that takes over the estate wants to take over the agreement with the breeder (with all its earlier agreed clauses) as well and prove in Court that the dogs have a great financial value to the estate. In this case the Court would litigate it between breeder and his rights and a new owner of the estate (dogs in this matter). Only new legal owner as decided by Court would have any right in asking breeder for a ‘market value’ of the dog before giving him/selling him back to the breeder or whomever else.
by eichenluft on 02 September 2011 - 17:35
|Niesa, your description is exactly what I assumed was the way things would turn out. There was no will, at least not mentioning the dogs, as far as I know. If there is a will, I'm sure it doesn't mention any specific names in it. As far as I know, there is only one person mentioned in any document signed by the owner about the disposition of the dogs, and that is me in my contract signed by the owner.|
The friends certainly mean well, and I'm sure they want to do "what the owner would have wanted" in their minds. But their opinions are in fact anti-breeder, anti-schutzhund training, anti-kenneling, anti-breeding - and they are not persons who own this breed or should be owning working-bred GSDs. They got a few very nice dogs for "free" and now they attack the breeder for wanting the dogs back?
Basically the dogs were left in the care of friends when the owner went to the hospital. Owner was certainly not expecting to pass away after her surgery. When she passed away in the hospital/nursing home, the friends took it upon themselves to continue to take care of the dogs "as she would have wanted", disregarding my wishes to get the dogs back, or my interest in them, or my signed contracts. AND, they are disregarding what the owner would have really wanted for the dogs. The dogs are working dogs, who want to work and enjoy working. The owner worked them every day and accomplished many things with them. The younger dog was on her way to Schh titles. Now they are living in pet homes with pet owners who never owned or wanted to own, working GSDs.
The solicitor initially seemed interested in getting me the dogs back. They requested my contracts which I provided for them, then they stopped communication and told my attorney that my contracts would not hold up in court. I can only assume that the "friends" communicated with the solicitors about how the dogs should NOT go back to me, and how the owner would never have wanted that etc.
I sure wish I could be confident in my contracts or case holding up in court. Because if there was any way I could get the dogs back (in a legal manner) I would certainly be taking steps to do that. Because the best place for the dogs is with me, someone who has their best interests at heart, and someone who knows and understands the needs of this kind of breed and dog.