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
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
Armed with knowledge about puppy papers, contracts, pedigrees and
guarantees, buying a fine quality puppy from a serious breeder can
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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