Buyers / Sellers

This is a complicated area and each case is determined on its own merit. If you become embroiled in a civil dispute you may want to contact us – see our “How we can help”.


There are no special laws that apply to a contract for the buying and selling of a dog. If a buyer simply changes their mind after purchase, they have no automatic right to return the dog and to require a refund (unless that’s what the contract says).


Unless the seller sells dogs in the course of a trade, then the principle of caveat emptor applies. This means ‘let the buyer beware’ ie. it is up to the buyer to satisfy themselves at the time of purchase that the dog is acceptable, and if it turns out to have defects they are unlikely to have any remedy.


The situation is different if:-

  • The seller expressly stated things about the dog which were not true, or
  • If the seller sells dogs in the course of a business


If either of these situations apply, then the buyer may be able to take proceedings for their losses and/or may return the dog and demand a refund.


In addition to the above, we frequently provide advice on:-

  • endorsement arguments (eg. the circumstances in which they may be released)
  • contractual terms (especially on when ownership has passed or whether a dog has to be returned)
  • the difference between an adoption and a fostering arrangement
  • when a deposit has to be refunded
  • breeding contracts


Please note that the above summary only relates to the law in England and Wales. You must not rely on it as constituting legal advice and so for specific guidance on your particular doglaw issues please contact us – see our “How we can help” section for details.