Vizsla breeders: Let's get real
I'm currently on the hunt to purchase a vizsla puppy (using a burner account for obvious reasons). Our family's first V passed away ~4 years ago at age 15. It took a while, but we're now ready to bring another crazy vizsla into our lives. We're absolutely nutso about the breed -- indeed, several of our closest (human) friends were introduced via our mutual love of vizslas.
However, I’d describe our recent experience with vizsla breeders to be "interesting", to say the least. We've had a few mis-starts with 3 different breeders, which stemmed from the breeder's caginess over whether there were actually puppies available and just generally poor communication. We've visited a few vizsla puppy litters too. Both my wife and I noted that during our visit, the breeders tended to talk non-stop and always treated my wife and me as though we'd never previously seen a vizsla. More of a minor annoyance than anything...I'm all for learning more about vizslas, but we've spent lots of time being "talking at" rather than "having a conversation with", if you catch my meaning.
Over the last several weeks, we met a breeder and visited a gorgeous litter of vizsla puppies. We were very, very excited and felt like we'd found our new little one. However, relatively late in the game, we've had to walk away. The breeder's contract was unworkable and has scared us off of the purchase. The contract runs 16 (!) pages in length. It had a large number of micromanaging provisions that mandated a ton of vague buyer requirements regarding the puppy’s future training / socialization, nutrition, a variety of health provisions, etc. Essentially, these provisions gave the breeder ongoing control rights on detailed aspects of raising the dog. Even worse, violating these very, very broad provisions allowed the breeder the right to re-possess the dog from us. As a buyer – particularly one with prior vizsla experience -- I cannot imagine agreeing to re-possession rights, particularly when coupled to a large number of broad terms that are subjective and open to interpretation.
Finally, the breeder has extremely strong views on neutering. The contract required us NOT to neuter until age 3, and then only with the breeder’s permission. This provision in particular made it seem like the breeder wanted a provisional contract and the right to take back the (non-neutered) dog if the dog turned out to be show-worthy.
The breeder’s contract was characterized as her “standard” contract and an identical version was presented to all of the other buyers of the rather large litter.
As a buyer, I understand the need for provisions against future breeding and other standard stuff. I'm not opposed to signing a contract at all. However, there should be “contract terms” that are limited in scope and enforceable, and then “breeder recommendations” on the issues like socialization, training, health, etc. Those are different things, and breeders need to get that.
We certainly had no issues in purchasing our first dog. Breeders need to understand that these onerous contracts do not actually protect their dogs: in this case, it will prevent one of their dogs from ending up in a wonderful home with experienced vizsla owners. We walked away and will continue our search.
Any other buyers out there who have experienced micromanaging vizsla breeders and issues with the purchase contract?