It can be a leg up or a stranglehold, depending on who you work with.
The co-ownership of show and breeding stock is not a new concept in the dog world and has been used successfully for decades. The evolution of, and partnerships created by, those co-ownerships in today’s dog world present some exciting developments in our ever-changing sport: from helping individuals share stock and responsibilities, to keeping their numbers of dogs low; working together to produce stock of the highest quality.
More than ever before, the increasing costs of keeping, breeding and showing dogs, coupled with new, restrictive legislation regulating how many (or how few) animals we may keep or breed, gives us pause to think hard about what type of commitment we can make to our canine friends. Commuting, our jobs and families, and other demands take more of our time, yet we still try to get to those dog shows. With long distances between shows, and higher costs involved in actual exhibiting, more and more enthusiasts carpool, share accommodation and meals. Increasing numbers also opt to establish partnerships forming co-ownerships on all or some of their show and breeding stock, to pool resources and share expenses.
The most basic types of co-ownerships are typically entered into for one of three main reasons: 1) A pet dog is sold to a buyer, and the breeder retains a co-ownership to make sure if that home does not work out, the dog will be returned to them. This option is chosen to prevent the dog being given up for adoption, or possibly ending up in a rescue situation. 2) A purebred dog is sold, and the breeder retains co-ownership until the spaying or neutering of the dog takes place, as provided for in the sales contract. Or 3) A dog from a breed with well-known and identifiable health issues (which may be undetectable in puppyhood, but may turn up at a later date), is sold, and the breeder retains a co-ownership to ensure that the dog or bitch shall not be bred until necessary health testing has been done, with acceptable results. Further, that dog is only to be bred to a dog or bitch which has also cleared all health checks.
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