Puppy Papers, Guarantees, and Contracts
by Elena Smith



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An ethical breeder will often provide the buyer with a written guarantee. There are two types: health, and show quality.

The first type covers health and genetic defects. For instance, a guarantee may state that the animal is free from hip dysplasia, which is a crippling genetic defect. In most medium to large breeds both parents should be OFA certified es free of hip dysplasia. This independent certification can only be done on adult dogs, and is preferable to a simple X-ray showing the dog is clear of hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia isn't the only genetic defect to be guaranteed against. Each breed is prone to different genetic health problems. Should any of these develop in the puppy, the breeder should return the money paid or replace the puppy.

The other guarantee covers a puppy that is sold as "guaranteed show quality." It would state that the puppy's conformation (good looks) are such that when he is shown, he will achieve an AKC championship.
If the show puppy doesn't grow into a show dog, the breeder can do one of two things. She can either refund the difference between a pet and show quality puppy or replace the puppy with one from the next available litter.

Proof of neutering or spaying of the previous puppy is usually required. The buyer should be able to keep the puppy if he wishes to do so.
Armed with knowledge about puppy papers, contracts, pedigrees and guarantees, buying a fine quality puppy from a serious breeder can be easy.

Elena Smith is a breeder and exhibitor of Weimaraners. She is the past vice president of the Weimaraner Club of America.

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