About the Puppy contract

How puppies are bred and raised has lifelong effects on the puppies and their new owners. Good breeding and care can help ensure puppies have happy and healthy lives. Irresponsible breeding and poor care can cause health and behavioural problems in puppies and stress and expense for owners.

For breeders and sellers the contract is a record of the thought and attention they have devoted to their puppies' breeding and care. The contract can be used for all puppies, whether they are pedigree or not, and by any breeder or seller, including rescue centres.

The puppy contract has been developed to empower puppy buyers and help them to avoid the problems that can arise from buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder. Puppy buyers can use the information provided by the breeder or seller to make a decision on whether they want to buy the puppy they have seen.

Download the puppy contract and all of the information you need to use it! (2.3MB PDF)

Thinking about buying or selling a puppy? Download a copy of the contract before you start your search and ask your chosen breeder if they use it. Talk to your local vet if you need any help or advice.

What is the puppy contract?

    1. The Puppy Information Pack

    The breeder/seller completes the Puppy Information Pack (PIP) before the puppy is sold with information about the puppy and the puppy's parents. For example this will include details of any relevant screening tests the puppy's parents have had and the experiences that the puppy has had to prepare him/her for life in a new home.

    2. Contract for the sale and purchase of a puppy

  • The breeder/seller and puppy buyer sign two copies of the contract and PIP so that both have a signed copy.
  • The contract makes clear the seller's and buyer's responsibilities in relation to the puppy's health and welfare. Because the PIP is referenced in the contract, it has legal force, meaning there are legal consequences if any of the information in it is inaccurate.
  • The key difference to the puppy contract compared with similar contracts currently in existence is that it requires the seller to disclose to the buyer information about the puppy to the level of detail required in the PIP. This means that buyers will be able to make an informed choice about the puppy they take on, and the costs and responsibilities that go with that.
  • The breeder signs the contract to say that all of the information they have given in the PIP is true and complete.
  • The buyer signs to say that they understand the information that has been given to them in the PIP and that they intend to meet the puppy's future health and welfare needs.
  • 3. Guidance notes

  • The guidance notes explain why it is important for the owner to know and understand the information in the PIP before buying a puppy. They also explain the meaning behind some of the answers that the breeder/seller could give.
  • The notes are numbered and link to the PIP question with the same number.
  • Breeders/sellers should refer to the guidance notes when they are filling out the PIP.

How do I get the puppy contract?

The three parts of the puppy contract - PIP, contract and guidance notes - should always be used together. It's easy to download all three parts - just click on the 'download' button. The puppy information pack and contract should be printed out and completed.

© BVA AWF and RSPCA 2012. All rights reserved.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is a charity registered in England and Wales no. 219099.
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