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Old 11-08-2012, 05:01 PM
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"Sharing" a dog with a breeder?

Hello all.

So I've been in the search for a puppy for a couple months and have had discussions with various different breeders in the midwest. I recently struck up a conversation with a reputable (or atleast I read good things about them online) breeder who said that while she did not have any puppies in a litter available, the breeder she "co-breeds" with did and that I should contact her.

After having a few conversations via email and phone, the breeder offered a proposition I hadn't heard of before. She wants a puppy from her litter to "show" and potentially breed. Now I have no interest in showing and my plan was to spay/neuter as soon as age appropriate. She has one female in her litter left, and said she would feel comfortable giving me the female if I allowed to show her (at no expense to me, the breeder would come get the dog during events) and if the breeder decides, I let her breed the dog. In exchange for this, I have two options: A) Keep a puppy from the future litter or B) be compensated back my initial payment to get the original puppy (in effect, getting it for free.)

The breeder is about 2.5 hours from where I'm located and she keeps insisting that it won't be any extra hassle or expense on my part. She said she has had this arrangement with puppies in previous litter as well. In fact, the mother of the current litter is from a family out in Denver.

Is this normal? Normally I would move on but because she was recommended to me by someone who seems pretty trustworthy in communities I've researched, I am giving it more thought.

Any advice?
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:50 PM
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It sounds like a pretty good deal and yes, it is a practice some breeders have offered before.You will be dealing with your dog coming into season a few times before she is old enough to breed. Would you keep your Golden at home while she has her litter or would you let the breeder take care of her and the litter? Just know that while your dog is being shown she will be gone alot. Make sure that you have clearances on the sire and dam.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:15 PM
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I agree with the comments above. It's my understanding that it's not that unusual and would be something to think about if you wanted to get into showing etc. but if you want a family pet I don't think I'd go for it. If the dog is being successfully shown it could be with a handler for extended periods, weeks at a time. If you've never had a female dog before you should make sure you understand and are comfortable with what having a female "in season" entails.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:19 PM
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If you pursue this, I'd get an ironclad contract that spells out what each party's responsibility is. Who pays for clearances on the dog? What if the dog has complications from the pregnancy, who pays? If the dog has a case of pyometra, would you have the authority to spay?

Other things to consider. What makes your "pet" breedable? Is the breeder going to expect litters (and how many) even if she doesn't earn a single title? Also, how will the breeder evaluate her to ensure she should even be bred (conformation, temperament)? If she is going to be shown, there are going to be responsibilities on your part to keep in her at the proper weight and maintain the coat. Lots of things to think about.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:22 PM
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So long as you realize that should there be complications in the pregnancy your dog could die or face very expensive medical care that the breeder may not want to incur and you as the legal owner would be responsible for paying to the vet.

The bitch will stay at the breeders home with her puppies for 5- 9 weeks....Life has a way of changing people over time, what if you are not happy with the care that your girl receives or the puppy's care?

You will have no say in who the bitch is bred to - what if you don't like the temperament or the clearances are not in place?

What if girl develops pyo? Who pays for her care?
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:31 PM
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Not an unusual arrangement but be prepared to get to know your breeder real well
If the breeder has a track record of Champions and titled dogs then I would take it seriously.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:38 PM
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I think you should think on this long and hard before jumping in, there are many, many 'if's' to be considered some have already been pointed out.
Personally I would never agree to a deal like that because I want total control of my dogs. I couldn't stand to have my dog gone that much and also I wouldn't like my dog becoming that close to somebody outside my family.
If you think you would be ok with it then do it but you really do need to have everything in writing first.
Good luck, keep us informed. It will be interesting to see what you decide.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:13 PM
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In addition you will have to keep the girl in tip-top shape if she is going to show, including keeping her coat in competition condition, I know that would nix it for me!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:37 PM
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Are you interested in showing at all? If not, I would pass. If you are, then this is a great opportunity. I would echo the sentiments above, however, and make sure your contract is very thorough. A gentlemens agreement doesn't cut it with this sort of thing. What happens if you don't want to breed her at some point, but the breeder does? Who pays stud fees? Who pays vet bills associated with the whelping of puppies? Where will she whelp the puppies? Who pays for clearances? What if the breeder wants to show her but can't pick her up? Are you obligated to drive 2.5 hours each way to drop her off? Does she pay you for gas/your time to do so? How long will she be away to show each time? A week? A month? Until she finishes her championship? Are you ok with that? What if it requires the use of a professional handler to finish the dog? Are you ok with sending your dog to a handler? Who chooses the handler? Who pays for the handler? What if you have reservations about the handler the breeder chooses? How many times will she be bred? Do you have any right to a puppy out of her? What if you ultimately change your mind and decide you do not want to show or breed your dog? Is there a way you can buy out the breeder?

There are a lot of questions I would ask before agreeing to this type of arrangement. That being said, we have a true co-own with one of our dogs (Smooch) but her breeder and I were already good friends and had a good working relationship before we decided to do it. But we had to work through all those same issues and come up with an agreement everyone is happy with.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:11 PM
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It did sounds like the showing would be of no cost to this person...though a lot of details should be written out in the contract...and I would make sure this breeder has a history of finishing dogs...What happens if she doesn't pass her final clearances, do you still have to pay full price, even though for the first two years the breeder practically owned her? (and no breeding will ever take place for you to get your money back).
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