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5 Puppy Contract Templates (PDF) in 2024

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By Nicole Cosgrove

dogs and contract

Most of us probably don’t consider it, but selling a puppy is a serious business. Like any other, you should have contracts in place to protect yourself from legal problems that might arise from the sale to an unhappy customer. Contracts spell out all of the expectations of both parties and greatly reduces the risk of arguments. However, nobody likes to deal with legal matters, and creating contracts sounds time consuming and difficult. Some people also worry that a customer might look elsewhere to avoid a contract.

We found most people will sign a contract as long as it’s fair, and there is no harm using a sales template that you can modify to suit your needs to create the document. We’ve assembled several different kinds for you to try out as you need, so keep reading to learn more about the contract templates that are right for you.

What Is a Puppy Contract?

Contracts spell out clearly what one party expects from another over a specific period. It’s more common to see them presented by the seller to legally bind the purchaser to a promise that they won’t breed the animal, get it the proper training, won’t miss any vet visits, etc. These contracts are usually to protect the seller’s business and the health of the dog. Buyers can also have contracts to ensure the breeder uses healthy parents, performs genetic testing, treats the dogs humanely, etc., to make sure they get a healthy dog that doesn’t come from the mill.

dachshund puppies
Photo Credit: ch_ch, Shutterstock

What Should I Expect to See in a Puppy Contract?

The contract should answer all of your legal questions. How much the dog costs, any steps you are required to take, and if you can breed the dog. If it’s not in the contract, it’s not legally binding, so if there is no mention of breeding, you are free to breed.

Most contracts will state all contact information, the dog’s date of birth, and breed, and provide a health guarantee. Some health guarantees will require you to return the puppy, so look for contracts that will offer you a second puppy if the first one is unhealthy because you will not want to give up your pet. There will also likely be stipulations about what happens if you become financially unable to care for the dog or are found to be mistreating it.

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The 5 Puppy Contract Templates

1. Animalso Puppy Sales Contract

Animalso Puppy Sales Contract

The Animalso Puppy Sales Contract is a perfect example of a complete and well-thought-out contract that protects the buyer and seller from any legal disputes. Almost everything is covered, and you can also add and remove questions as you see fit. You can change this and any other contract template to suit your specific needs, but this is one of our favorites since it is so complete.

2. Animalso Puppy Sales Contract and Agreement

Animalso Puppy Sales Contract and Agreement

The Animolso Puppy Sales Contract and Agreement is similar to the last version but is much simpler. Though it is not complex, it has all of the most important points like a health guarantee, outlines the buyer’s agreement, and outlines what will happen if the buyer needs to get rid of the dog. We believe this contract is suitable for most people.

3. Puppy Sale Health Guarantee

Health Guarantee

The Health Guarantee contract template does exactly what the name suggests. It helps you create a contract that outlines the health of the puppy you intend to purchase or sell. It’s on the simpler side, and you may need an additional contract or modify this one to include any other stipulations you might have, but this will make sure your new puppy is healthy.

4. Puppy Spay and Neuter Contract

Spay and Neuter Contract

Sellers will often provide buyers with a Spay and Neuter contract not only to prevent you from breeding the dog against their wishes but to protect the health of the dog. Many dogs can get more aggressive when the heat cycle kicks in and will engage in erratic behavior that can get them into trouble or put them in danger. Some dogs can also be more susceptible to cancer and other health problems later in life if their reproductive organs are kept intact.

5. Puppy Sales Receipt

Puppy sales receipt

The Puppy Sales receipt is one of the simpler contracts you can use, and its primary purpose is proof of purchase. It also provides a health guarantee and promises to release AKC registration papers once the pet is spayed or neutered. It also covers accepted payment types and down payments.

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What Should I Know About Dog Breeding Before I Sign?

If you are a dog breeder, you will need to have a solid understanding of the breeds you are working with as well as a good knowledge of genetics if you are going to be selling the puppies and providing health guarantees. Each breed has its quirks, and you will need to know how to recognize them in the parents to selectively breed healthy animals.

If you are the buyer, you should know enough about the breed to know you are getting the right dog. Learning more about breeding can help you choose a high-quality breeder and avoid puppy mills.

Lab Puppies Climb Out of Brown Wooden Crate
Photo Credit: Brook Robinson, Shutterstock

Do I Need a Contract for a Puppy Deposit?

Since we live in America, you are free to purchase a puppy or deposit down without a contract. However, if the deal goes south, there will be little you can do legally to get your money back, so only take this course of action if it’s someone you can put your trust in to live up to the terms of a verbal agreement. If you have ever put a down payment on a washing machine, television, or other devices, you have had to sign a contract, which is essentially an agreement, so you should expect to do the same thing when purchasing a puppy.

If you are selling the puppy, we recommend using the agreement contract in all cases to protect you and your business from potential lawsuits.

golden retriever dog with puppies indoors
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

What Should I Do If I’m Concerned About a Breeder?

  • Using a puppy contract is a great way to weed out bad breeders because they are often reluctant to sign them out of fear that they will face legal trouble in the future. Puppy mills keep their dogs in poor conditions and don’t care much about the animal’s genetic makeup. It will be challenging or impossible for them to provide you with a health guarantee because their business model is to sell as many puppies as possible. The questions you ask can also help you determine if a breeder is not worth your purchase.
  • Ask if the dog will be show quality or pet quality
  • Ask about the health history of the parents and a health guarantee for your pet.
  • Ask about health clearances performed on the puppy and parents.
  • See if you can visit the facilities where dog breeding takes place. Most unscrupulous puppy mill owners will not allow visits for fear you will call the authorities.
  • Ask about any shots or worm medication that the breeder provides.
  • Ask to meet the parents, especially the mom, to learn more about how your puppy might look like as an adult and see if she is in good shape. If she is thin or has problems with the fur, it could be a sign of a poor breeder and raises concerns about the puppy’s health. Aggression and fear in the mom can also be a sign of a mistreated dog, and you should make a purchase someplace else.
  • Most high-quality breeders will have a lot of concern about what you will do with the dog and will pry into your business as much as you do theirs. If the breeder doesn’t quiz you, it could be a sign that they don’t care about the dogs, and a lack of concern is a sure sign that you are dealing with a puppy mill.

If you have solid proof that someone is mistreating animals or operating a puppy mill, we highly recommend calling the authorities immediately and finding another place to purchase your dog. You should not attempt to interfere because doing so can put you in harm’s way both physically and financially. Standing up to a puppy mill operator can result in a lawsuit. Most authorities will allow you to report anonymously and look into the problem for you.

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Conclusion: Puppy Contract Templates

We highly recommend using the puppy contracts that we have provided any time you are buying or selling a puppy. These contracts will spell everything out clearly, so there are no accidents. You can also add or remove things from the template as you need to better cater to your needs. If you are signing a contract that someone else provides, we recommend taking the time to read it over carefully not to miss anything in the fine print.

Most contracts will specify the cost as well as the time and type of payment. It should offer a health guarantee, including what the seller will do if there are any health problems. Finally, the contract should stipulate rules about breeding and getting the dog spayed or neutered and whether it is a show-quality dog or meant as a pet. If the opposing side refuses to sign, then there is a good chance you weren’t going to be satisfied with your purchase, so it’s better to move on.

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about the legal side of purchasing or selling your puppies and found the answers you need.  If we have helped you feel safer about your next transaction, please share these five puppy contract templates on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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