Owning A West Highland Terrier: Know Your Rights!

Image taken from www.learnallaboutdogs.com

Image taken from www.learnallaboutdogs.com

Friday, April 04, 2014

Hello everyone!

This is Sharda again for another West Highland Terrier Breeder newsletter.

In almost every country there will be a kennel club or national organization that acts to enforce the standards of each breed of dog that it recognizes, as well as to keep records of registrations of new puppies to the breed. So as such, you must know your rights for owning a West Highland Terrier.

The national organization will also host and sponsor dog shows and events, and will provide an opportunity for breeders to show their dogs for championships.

These registries will also keep a point total, that can help breeders and other interested individuals determine the strength of various lines within a given breed.

In Canada, the governing body is the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). In the USA it is the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

In the United Kingdom there is The Kennel Club (KC).

In addition to these major registries, there is also the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which is the World Canine Organization.

It is different from the kennel clubs in that it does not register animals or provide pedigrees; rather it recognizes dogs of a particular country.

A breeders’ contract is more that just a bill of sale for a Westie puppy or a dog. It is the agreed upon rights that both the buyer and seller have with regards to the dog.

It is important to realize that the contract is a binding agreement, and if you have any concerns with the contract, you should get them clarified before signing and finalizing the document. At the very minimum the contract should include:

  • A bill of sale

This bill of sale is important to prove ownership of the animal. Make sure that you understand the legal aspects of buying a dog or puppy. Many areas require that the animal have basic health vaccinations and a clean veterinarians report. There may also be laws that require the seller to take the animal back if it is found to be unhealthy within 48 hours of purchase.

  • Registration Application

This will be partially filled out by the seller. The seller will need to complete the sections for the breed, colour, sex and identifying features of the dog or puppy, the date of birth, the registration numbers and names of the sire (father) and dam (mother). The breeder will also have to indicate their name or the name of their kennel, as well as their signature.

  • A basic health guarantee

This indicates the responsibility the breeder has to ensure the animal is free from disease. This includes hereditary and genetic conditions that may not be visibly present at the time of purchase.

  • Lineage

The breeder should also provide a lineage chart or guarantee of lineage statement. This will be important if you plan to show or breed the dog or puppy.

In addition to the basic clauses listed above, many breeders will also require the following ADDITIONAL clauses:

  • Breeding restrictions

The Westie breeder may indicate that the pet must be spayed or neutered if not shown. They may also state that the dog cannot be bred until the age of 2, and only in consultation with the breeder. This is done to ensure strong bloodlines, and to prevent people from breeding the dogs inappropriately. In addition many breeders require that the dog be spayed or neutered if it does not meet breed standards.

  • Showing dogs

The breeder may indicate that the dog must be shown so many times per year. In addition, as the buyer you will want to confirm that the contract guarantees that the animal can reproduce, and is free from genetic concerns.

  • Health notification

Many breeders that are concerned with improving the lines and developing the breed will require that they be notified of any health issues that develop with the dog after the purchase. They may also require that in the event of the dogs’ sudden or unforeseen death, an autopsy be performed and the results sent to them.

  • Selling or giving away the dog

Most reputable breeders will insist that, if for any reason you decide not to keep the dog, it be returned to them. This means that you cannot sell or give the dog away without consulting with them. Again, this shows the commitment that the breeder has to the individual animals, and his/her love of the dogs they have bred.

Choosing the correct West Highland Terrier breeder, and carefully reading the contract will help you feel confident with your purchase. A good breeder will spend the time that you need to understand the contract.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarification on all issues prior to signing the contract and paying for the dog. Make sure that the contract is available when you pay for and pick-up the dog or puppy, as it is your written agreement regarding the animal.

Hope you learned a lot from today’s West Highland Terrier newsletter.

Sharda Baker