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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about 3 weeks away from bringing home my first Golden! I grew up with one but this will be my first time owning as an adult. I really want to bond with my pup and am interested in competing in obedience and agility trials. I have already looked into AKC registered training facilities and joining the GRCGLA etc.

I let my breeder know that I am interested in competing so she has been looking out for the best pup to fit the bill (alert, confident, focused etc). The one she has in mind is not only smart but gorgeous and she thinks suitable for conformation as well. He may be the pick of the litter (she plans on keeping a female). She asked if I would be interested in showing the dog which would require co-ownership. She said she could show me the ropes in showing etc.

It all sounds very exciting but I'm also quite apprehensive. Since I have yet to get my feet wet in the training/competing and what it all entails, I don't want to sign up for something I may not be able to commit to or at least to the extent the breeder may want. I've also read that it can be a very expensive endeavor...

Can anyone with experience in this, both breeder and buyer, shed some light on co-owning? If it was a positive experience, what stipulations were included in the contract? Can there be an expiration date of the co-ownership say after a few years or until a certain title is obtained? If it was negative, what happened and how was it resolved or what would you have done differently?

I plan on asking the breeder quite a few questions and voicing my concerns but would like to have a little more information under my belt before approaching. Thanks!
 

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I personally have avoided co owning both as buyer and breeder, bc if the personal relationship goes wrong the victim can be the dog. I really want control to make all medical decisions for my pups and all breeding decisions. On the other hand it is more common than ever for breeders to co own any dog on full registration, and I understand why. Most people have a good time learning from their breeder, and it is sometimes a more likely way to get a first show quality pup. I would make sure everything is spelled out in your written contract- who pays for what etc, and what point she signs off and you are the sole owner( CH? Age 2?). If you dog is bred, who gets the stud fees? All kinds of things to decide
 
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Another consideration when showing in conformation is who is paying for the pro handler? Does this mean that you will be expected to put your dog with a pro to go off on a trek across the US being handled at various shows to Champion or Grand Champion? There are quite a few expenses associated with sending your dog off with a pro. They could really add up.
 

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Something else to think about and discuss with the breeder is what the priorities are going to be. It seems from my observation that if a dog is going to do conformation that usually comes first and other competitive endeavors are added later. I seem to remember hearing some comments that while obedience dogs are trained to sit, conformation requires standing and sitting is to be discouraged. While the dog is spending time out with a handler it's not going to be moving forward in training for obedience and agility.
 

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I have Co-owned all of my dogs and likely will for the foreseeable future. I do have a little different scenario as my breeder is also my mom. I think the key is get it all out and preferably on paper and see if you can handle the expectations. Be prepared to miss out on that particular boy if you can not faithfully agree to the breeders expectations. If he really is that good the breeder will very likely want him in a home that is open to exploring his full potential, though I am sure there is likely another pup that would be a good fit for you with out the co-own option, but always ask as communication is critical here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another consideration when showing in conformation is who is paying for the pro handler? Does this mean that you will be expected to put your dog with a pro to go off on a trek across the US being handled at various shows to Champion or Grand Champion? There are quite a few expenses associated with sending your dog off with a pro. They could really add up.
Actually she had mentioned mentoring me in handling, although she also has a professional handler that shows her other dogs. This is definitely something to have clarified.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have Co-owned all of my dogs and likely will for the foreseeable future. I do have a little different scenario as my breeder is also my mom. I think the key is get it all out and preferably on paper and see if you can handle the expectations. Be prepared to miss out on that particular boy if you can not faithfully agree to the breeders expectations. If he really is that good the breeder will very likely want him in a home that is open to exploring his full potential, though I am sure there is likely another pup that would be a good fit for you with out the co-own option, but always ask as communication is critical here.
We've had a couple "open houses" were all buyers have attended and I don't believe anyone else is looking to compete, but it is a possibility that I could still lose this pup if I decline. She has a return customer also interested in this boy but only plan on keeping him as a pet. I would be happy with any of the pups but can't help but feel I'd be losing out if I said no. It definitely makes the decision more complicated.
 

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I thought I was going to have to co-own in order to get a conformation puppy on a full registration. As it turned out, my breeder ended up not requiring a co-ownership. Most of the ones I spoke to did not split any of the handling/entry/show related fees. Many would also sign off on the co-ownership once the dog received it's championship and passed all clearances. Some signed off once all clearances had been obtained. I spoke to one breeder that co-owns and they split all expenses and all profits from litters.


Overall, this verbiage below seemed to be the most common:
In addition, the breeder, will remain listed as a co-owner on the above mentioned dog for the purpose of approving breedings and for showing purposes. The breeder will have no right to financial benefits that may result from the breeding of the
above mentioned dog except as listed in this contract. The breeder has no financial responsibilities of the above mentioned puppy/dog including but not limited to the costs of regular care, breeding, and showing.

If you do decide to co-own, I would just be really careful that everything is in writing. I spoke to another breeder that co-owned and it was a total disaster and she would never co-own again so I think it just depends on the parties involved.

As for sending a dog out with a pro, it definitely gets very expensive fast. Some of the full registration contracts had mandatory championship requirements by a certain age and a minimum number of shows required each year. Since this was my first time in conformation, signing a contract like that made me very nervous.

I'd definitely ask some of the more experienced folks on here about some of the things that should be discussed if you go with the co-ownership.
 

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I have co-owned all my dogs, except Roxy, and I would say it depends on who you are co-owning with. I have had a very good experience, particularly with my girls, but my experience is not the norm. Most co-owns go bad somewhere. The biggest thing to make sure you agree upon is, what right(s), if any, will the breeder retain to the dog. If it's literally just in name only to make sure the dog isn't irresponsibly bred, then fine. If they are owed breedings, etc, then make sure the agreement is very specific.
 

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I have a few friends that send their dogs to the states to be campaigned. If I remember right the cost was $750/dog/month + show entries + food + vet bills + transportation to and from home + anything else that comes up. Can a dog get a championship in only a month? Sure, but not likely. Say it takes 10 months, that's $7500 + expenses...

Showing your dog yourself is an uphill battle against pros with years of practice and knowhow. I've tried showing my girl for 2 years and finally threw in the towel. Others on this forum have done very well as owner-handlers. Your success will depend on your abilities as a handler and groomer. Grooming a dog and attending shows is very time consuming if you do it all yourself. Even though I now have a pro, I still do all my own grooming. If your breeder is mentoring you, you will need help not just in handling at the show, but also grooming your dog.

I would ask the breeder this question: how quickly do your lines mature? Are we looking at 3 years old before your boy is ready to show, or are we looking at 10 months? That makes a big difference in your time commitment.
 

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I am new to co-owning, my puppy is 21 months old right now. So far it has been a very rewarding experience. My breeder lives 10 minutes away and has a training school. She and her co-breeder have been mentoring me and my daughter. I have learned SO MUCH and continue to learn every week. They have taken Sailor to a few shows, but will start to show her more often now that she is finally beginning to look grown up. I have also shown her, but I am terrible.

I am financially responsible for Sailor and I pay for the clearances and events. My breeder and her network of friends will handle her.

My breeder is even going to let my daughter be active in assisting the whelping of her next litter that is due in a few weeks. In addition, she wants my daughter to Junior Handle another one of her dogs - so my daughter's name will go on this dog too just so she can handle her.

My breeder is beginning to co-own more of her dogs lately. It is a way for her to keep an eye on them.

One thing in my contract that is really important to note is that I can be fined a really high fine if my puppy has an accidental pregnancy.
 

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I have a few friends that send their dogs to the states to be campaigned. If I remember right the cost was $750/dog/month + show entries + food + vet bills + transportation to and from home + anything else that comes up. Can a dog get a championship in only a month? Sure, but not likely. Say it takes 10 months, that's $7500 + expenses...
It's more than that. You aren't taking into account the handling fees. If your dog is living with a handler it ranges from about $1500-2000 per month depending on the number of shows that month. Boarding alone is 600 plus, which may be the amount you are remembering.
 

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My breeder just told me this weekend it costs most people 15,000 to get a Championship.
Yep, I had heard an average of $12-15K myself (which is why I was hesitant to sign a contract with a mandatory championship)-most breeders seem to think that you'd spend roughly the same with a handler or showing yourself. Handlers are more expensive (the rate sheets I've gotten are about $85 a show, $125 for ringside handling, plus all the bonuses for different placements, plus boarding, etc. etc.) but they can typically finish them more quickly. As a newbie, I can tell you that they can instantly make the dog look better than I can so it's more than just politics-it's years and years of experience. Owner handling is less expensive (same entry fees but you don't have all the extra expenses-handling, boarding, grooming, etc.) but it typically takes longer to finish them without a handler and your travel expenses are higher.
 

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The owner of my girl's sister did ring side hand offs with a pro. The pro would groom her the day before the show cluster and touch her up the day of the show. She finished in 4 clusters of 3 shows each for a total of 12 shows. $75/show for handling, $100/cluster for grooming, $15/point, plus entry fees and driving her bitch to/from the shows each day. She finished in 4 clusters. All but one cluster within 1 hour of her house. Now that's about as cheap as you are going to go with a pro. That was a super fast finishing bitch and would be the extreme though. My bitch on the other hand, still isn't finished and 2.5 years later we're still dragging on. But until recently I was showing her myself. In Alaska our pros are all ringside handoffs. There aren't enough shows to have the pros that travel around via RV around the state.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My breeder just told me this weekend it costs most people 15,000 to get a Championship.
Wow! Ok, another newbie question then. Would most people bother w achieving a Championship if they don't plan on breeding in the future? I understand the title would be a great accomplishment, but for that price I assume that many do it for lineage/breeding purposes?
 

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Wow! Ok, another newbie question then. Would most people bother w achieving a Championship if they don't plan on breeding in the future? I understand the title would be a great accomplishment, but for that price I assume that many do it for lineage/breeding purposes?
Some people do it as a hobby, and just enjoy showing, but most of the time it is to prove your dogs are of standard for breeding purposes.
 

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I have had successful co ownerships. Both in dogs I have bred and have purchased... Except for one situation, it has been with people I already know and trust...
 

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I've had good experiences with all my co-ownerships, both breeders recognized the puppy was my dog and they were on only in name, until I fulfilled my contractual obligations. I found it was also kind of nice to share those exciting wins and moments with somebody else who cared just as much for the dog as I did, it can be fun so long as both parties respect each other and are committed in making decisions that is in the best interest of the dog.
 

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I've had really good experiences with co-ownerships. But mine have mostly been in name only, and I completely control the dog, have complete custody, make all decisions for the dog, and of course pay for everything. But the co-owners are there for support and mentoring, and it's great that we have a "team" feel when the dogs compete.

One thing to think about is that if you co-own a bitch you plan to breed, you need to understand that the co-owner has a kind of "veto power" over your breedings, because that co-owner will have to sign off on the paperwork for the litter (all owners of the dam have to sign, but not of the stud) or they won't be able to be registered with the AKC. So if the co-owner disapproves of the breeding or you otherwise end up in conflict with the co-owner, it can make it difficult and unpleasant if you breed the dog and he/she won't sign off on the litter.

The important thing in active co-ownerships where the co-owner is involved in the dog's life (as opposed to the passive kind I have had) is to have a complete understanding and agreement of every little possibility of anything that can occur throughout the dog's life, and to put it in writing so the agreement doesn't change five or six years down the road.
 
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