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Hello, I stumbled upon this breeder in Illinois Erica’s Doodles and noticed in her puppy contract it says if you don’t fix your puppy by 4-5 months then she will sue the buyer for $50,000. This seems an absurdly large sum, especially considering the current research that fixing a puppy who is not yet fully developed can increase their risk of cancer later in life. Is this normal behavior for a breeder?
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Uh, no. While a breeder will usually sell pet puppies on spay/neuter or non-breeding contracts, and might charge a fee for the buyer not complying, that sum is ridiculously high.
 
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I'd say, yes, in that a good many breeders have high cash penalties in their contracts if the buyer doesn't spay/neuter and provide proof they did so by a certain age. However, 4 to 5 months is extremely young. Most breeders make that 6 months. More and more are going for a year, and one breeder I recently emailed with agreed to 18 months (I'm starting a puppy search). The good breeders have read the research, just as those of us looking for puppies have. The problem for the breeders is they really, really don't want the puppies they sell as pets bred, and the older the puppy gets still intact, the greater the chance of an accidental breeding. Right in this forum there have been posts by people playing with fire and letting a bitch in heat stay with an intact male, sure they can stop a breeding because they're in the same room.

Also, while I've seen financial penalties in contracts before, I've never seen one that high - one I saw recently at $12,000 struck me as ridiculous. If the buyer fought it, I sincerely doubt any court would enforce it. That's the problem with a lot of breeder contracts. They contain provisions no court is going to enforce, and the breeder is probably not going to put out the money to sue anyway. The contract is just a way of trying to make sure the buyer adheres to certain standards.

That said, I personally read anything before signing and absolutely do not ever sign anything I'm not willing to abide by even if the most unlikely situation unfavorable to me arises. Defending the most frivolous lawsuit would be expensive and stressful.
 

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Agreed that this probably isn't enforceable by law (insert 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer here), but they could still bring you to court and waste your time and money trying to follow through with it. Something like this would absolutely make me cross a breeder off my list. Maybe they're not up to date on the health risks vs. benefits of early sterilization, maybe they've had bad luck with people breeding dogs after claiming they wouldn't. But either way, this is an extreme requirement with an even more extreme punishment, whether it's enforceable or not.

In my opinion, stuff like this detracts from the whole purpose behind a puppy contract, which is to protect seller, buyer, and puppy. When one requirement is so out there and unenforceable, it makes it difficult to enforce things like the seller getting the puppy back if there's evidence of abuse, or the buyer getting appropriate compensation if the puppy has a serious genetic issue or contagious illness upon arrival. Contracts need to be realistic, and some breeders go way overboard. I need to be able to make my own choices about what's best for my dog's health and happiness, with guidance from my vet where necessary, so I'll never buy from a breeder who has extremely strict requirements for how their dogs should and should not be raised and cared for, especially when those requirements are against my own beliefs, like mandatory early sterilization. Just not worth it. There's other breeders out there.
 

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I cannot imagine a judge holding up such a clause..

She is a breeder of mutts. High end dogs (in spite of puppy prices) are unlikely to be represented here.
I would not buy from this person.

I would also ask if she would be willing to sign a contract wherein she owes YOU $50,000 if the dog develops ANY genetic disease from dysplasia to seizures to eye issues....
 

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I'm on my computer now, and took a quick look at their website... how the heck to they get merle Bernedoodles when merle is not a coloration found in either Berners or Poodles without some other breed being snuck in somewhere along the line.
 
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choose another breeder.

.. Looking at the breeder, they state they have 'hip" OFA's but OFA doesn't do screenings for mutts, sus

Breeding of merle dogs, even though Labs, Goldens, Poodles, And bernese mountain dogs do not carry the merle color. the breeder is lying about the breed make up of their dogs.

I'm also seeing Obese dogs

Frequent breedings, lots of dogs kept in the home.

Prices are rased based on color.

yeah.. awful breeder. This is like 2 mins of my time looking into this breeder. Bet i can find more.

beyond that, doodles in general are unhealthy dogs, due to the fact that very few people breed doodles in a reputable breeder. Everything people want in a doodle (friendly, non shedding etc) can be found in many other pure breeds. A well bred pure bred will be healthier, and more even tempered than a doodle.
 

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Sadly, there's lots of merle "poodles" out there that people claim are purebred because the merle was introduced several generations back. It's misleading at best, and definitely not an honest way to present your breeding program. I'm not against cross breeding on principle, but I do expect a breeder to be open and honest about their methods and goals, as well as making sure the bare minimum genetic (like making sure both parents aren't carrying a gene that'll make any puppy who gets two copies slowly go blind) and structural health testing (like confirming hips are well-formed through x-rays and professional, third party evaluation) is being carried out for the breed(s) they're working with.
 

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.. Looking at the breeder, they state they have 'hip" OFA's but OFA doesn't do screenings for mutts, sus
Uh, yes, actually, they do. I personally know of two that were evaluated, both of them mixes of unknown breeds adopted from a shelter.

From the FAQ page: https://www.ofa.org/about/faq#hipselbows

I have a mixed breed. Can she get an OFA number?
Yes. The OFA does not require dogs to be purebred or registered in order to perform an OFA evaluation or to register test results into our databases.
 
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