It’s the the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend.
I have had so many questions about the co-ownership of our dogs so that the subject of this week’s Follow-up Friday post.
I am sure there are different reasons people co-own their animals, but we co-own our dogs for breeding purposes. At its very heart, the AKC is just a dog registry. So when our dogs are registered, they are registered with at least one of their breeder’s names listed as an owner in addition to ours. Presto, “co-ownership”.
Often when a breeder has a litter they try to pick out a pup or two that they think might be a candidate for their breeding program. They may keep the dog themselves or enter into a co-ownership. A co-ownership allows the dog to have its own people and own home. The breeder is listed on the registration papers, but the dog lives with us and is our pup.
If you are a breeder, you want to have the ability to use the best animal you can in your breeding program. A puppy goes home at 8 weeks, but you have no way of knowing how that pup will mature. Will it have good hips? Will its bite be correct? Will it have the proper temperament? So many things you cannot control or predict at 8 weeks. Some breeders may co-own several pups from a litter until such time as they decide not to use the dog in their breeding program. It is a bit of insurance.
In addition to listing the ownership on our dogs’ AKC registration, we also have a written agreement which states what the co-ownership involves regarding the dog’s breeding obligation. The breeder is responsible for paying and obtaining any health clearances and any costs of the breeding. If the breeder does the breeding, then the puppies are their puppies. We could decide to breed our animals on our own and the puppies would be ours, but their co-owners would have to sign off on the breeding as necessary in order to register the litter.
I am sure there are many forms of co-ownership and/or breeding rights contracts. I am being general without getting into specifics of our agreements.
There are a lot of positives to co-ownership. Mostly, you have a direct line to all of the breeder’s years of experience. If you want to learn what is involved in breeding, or have desire to breed a litter, this is a great way. You get a good quality animal, (pending health clearances) and guidance. When we got Storm, her breeder/co-owner told us that if we wanted to breed Thunder and Storm someday, he would not object. Eventually we decided that we did not want to go that route, but it was an option.
There are also some negatives. The biggest being that you are agreeing to keep the dog intact, (no spay or neuter), until the animal’s breeding obligation has been completed. This is something to think long and hard about and definitely discuss it before entering into co-ownership. You are promising to be responsible with your dogs so as not to have unplanned puppies. The time a male dog needs to be available to do a breeding is short. Wham, bam…move on. A female involves a longer time commitment. There is the time of her season, then 60+ days until puppies, and then time to nurse until the pups are weened. The dog can be out of commission for hunting or hunt tests for quite a period of time.
For our lifestyle, it has been a bit easier for us to co-own our males. Storm has missed out on some hunt tests because she came into season and she can’t run them while in season. You aren’t even supposed to have a bitch in season on the grounds of a test so that has caused us a bit of stress when we have wanted to travel for tests and we can’t bring her along. Also, Storm was late starting her hunt test career and right now she has been running very well in training, but she has to stop and fulfill her breeding obligation. She missed a lot of tests last fall and will probably miss spring tests if this breeding takes.
But Storm is a great dog and she would not have been available to us if we did not co-own her. It is just unfortunate timing that she is ready to be bred at the same time she is ready to run Master Hunt Tests.
We are very lucky to have three quality dogs with breeding potential and that is because their breeders have allowed us to co-own these animals with them…
…and that is co-ownership in a nutshell.
Please go to the sponsoring blogs to find out who else is hopping along.
Have a nice weekend!