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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there,
I am new here. I posted awhile back but had failed to read the rules and made some missteps. I would like to try again however. So, that said, Hello! I have been lurking and reading lots of posts and learning so much from all of you. I like this forum and I love German Shepherds.

I was wondering if you could all tell me what you think of Co-Ownership? I have been learning a great deal from a professional breeder and am wanting to get more involved in that aspect and also in some form of the sport as well with my dogs but I am a beginner and so learning all I can. I may have an opportunity to go into a co-ownership arrangement with a very knowledgable GSD person and am wanting to know how you all weigh in on this issue.

Look forward to hearing from you. THanks so much!
Best,
A:whistle:
 

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I was wondering if you could all tell me what you think of Co-Ownership?
Don't do it.

If you ARE going to do it, read the terms very carefully, and be sure they're agreeable to you. My experience has been that co-ownerships are skewed more to benefit the breeder than the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What kind of things in the terms should I look for?
 

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I think it depends on who you are co-owning with...
Multiple people in my Schutzhund club have co-ownerships and they have never had a problem. But then again, they were friends first and then had the co-ownership arranged. Most have known the breeder for close to a decade. Good part of it is personalized support from a knowledgeable breeder, help with showing and training etc. Especially if you are starting out, a co-ownership is a good way to learn all you can. BUT...it can go very wrong so be careful and take care of your own interests.

I would never do a co-ownership with someone I didn't know well. There has to be a certain level of trust and respect on both ends for it to work out well. I have heard of horror cases where one party ends up taking advantage of the other. Make sure you have a solid contract or agreement written up. The breeder has been around this business longer than you have so make sure you consult an outside source before signing anything.
 

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Unless you have a previous relationship with this person and KNOW THEM EXTREMELY WELL do NOT do it.

I am doing a co-own with my youngest female.

I have known my breeder for several years and had maintained a awesome relationship with her and her family over that time.

I had my eye on one breeding for a long time and when the litter was whelped and a few puppies stood out my breeder came to me and asked if I would be interested in it. I wasn't at the time financially ready for another dog, as I had just finished school and was looking for a full time career in my field of study. I had to tell her no.

She then asked if I would be interested in raising a puppy for her. We talked about the terms, made arrangements in terms of care, costs, training, etc. that we were both happy with and then we had several people evaluate the litter with the purpose of schutzhund in mind. We all came to the same conclusion on which puppy would be best - my Zefra.

Zefra lives with me, I pay for her food and training (even though my breeder has offered to pay for these things) and I will pay for her medical cost associated with "normal care" again, even though my breeder offers, I feel like it is something *I* want to do, but it is clear that she is responsible, but I do it because I feel like I can and want too.

Zefra once she is titled in schutzhund and has all her health clearances and breed survey will be bred to a stud of both of our likings as well as a few people who will weigh in for us who are more knowledgeable in the lines (Czech/DDR) we want to use. She will whelp her litter at my breeders home (I live in an apartment and no NOTHING of whelping or raising a litter!) and then return to me when the puppies go to their new homes. I hope I am in a place at that time where I can keep a puppy back, and my breeder will keep a puppy back as well so that gives us two pups out of that bloodline to raise and train and to see what is produced.

Zefra is only 9 months old (in a few days) so we have a LONG ways to go yet but so far everything has been great. We visit with my breeder, train with her and she is able to see how Zefra is progressing.

I have an ideal situation and not many people can say that. She is still a big part of my older dogs life as she helps me with medical questions, temperament questions as well as helping us get ready for trials! She also is just a friend to "talk dog" with and we are always calling each other up and discussing dogs, bloodlines and such for hours on end!

I can't see myself doing this again or with anyone else though.
 

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What kind of things in the terms should I look for?
Here is a sample co-ownership contract: Co-Owner Contract - Blue Ridge Shepherds

Some terms I've heard are that you might need to title/show the dog. You may owe the breeder litters (of which the breeder takes half). Sometimes co-ownership is temporary till you give the breeder a certain number of litters. In many co-ownerships, the breeder doesn't even charge the co-owner for the dog. In some situations, the breeder pays the bills for the dog and might take all pups out of the bitch or the co-owner can pay the bills and breeder/co-owner split the litter 50/50. Sometimes it alternates who gets the pick of the litter if both parties want to keep pups back. The breeder might give the dog to you for free on the condition that you title, show and co-whelp some litters in the future. Many times once the dog is retired from breeding, the breeder will sign ownership to you.

I would not pay for a dog in a co-ownership. If I buy a dog, I want my name on the papers. I would also not co-own a male dog. It makes sense for females because of pups, but for males, if you wanted to use the dog as a stud, you can just pay a stud fee to use the dog.

Anyway, make sure you have a good written contract. Everything might be ok right now, but it could all change 4 years down the line and you don't want to be sitting in court arguing over who gets the dog.
 

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I agree - make sure things are CLEAR and WRITTEN out and BOTH parties have a COPY with SIGNATURES on it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all so much for the insight. I will definetly tread very carefully when considering this option. I really appreciate your taking the time. I am very interested in getting more involved and so am just taking it one step at a time. I have two beautiful German Shepherds and have had my first litter (last year) and my girl is with the stud dog as we speak getting bred for her 2nd litter. I'm not sure if Co-Ownership is the next logical choice for me or not yet, but I do know that I need to get involved in the training and titling. I'm sure the local Shutzund club can help me get started with that part. Thanks again for all of your input!
 

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I agree with, making sure you read, understand and are very clear on the terms.

I co-own my aussie with the breeder, first dog I co-owned, she does it more or less to get "the glory" (which I don't begrudge her at all)...I made sure tho, that in the end, I have complete control and "say so" and all decision making is "mine".

I have to say, I have never once, had a problem with my aussie. I also have a great contract that gave me "rebates" for titles, the aussie is 12, I chose to spay her years ago, which wasn't a problem for my breeder tho she did want to breed her, and heck with the titles I got on her, I could have a 'free' puppy if I so chose.

Would I do it again? It would depend on the terms, because in the end, I want complete control and say so..
 

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I/we have co-owned dogs with a few very special people.....I have no problems with our co-ownerships. We are friends, and share a passion for the dogs.

Co-ownerships are only as *solid* as the people involved......not all co-ownerships are primarily for the breeders benefit.....both parties should benefit equally.

The excellent people that we are involved with at present, make the couple of "bad ventures" from the past......hardly worth remembering.
 

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I co-own both of my dogs with my breeder. I have never had a problem, they are my dogs , I have total control over what we do with them. Our co-ownership is more for the showing aspect. I pay for all vet expenses. She basically shows my dogs for free, I do give her money most of the time , although she fights me on it :).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have some co-owns also. It can be beneficial for some endeavors. The critical thing is the people involved and clear definition of responsibilties and expectations. Each co- ownership is unique and spelled out in writing.

This aricle makes some good points....

http://lawfordogs.com/assets/PDFs/lmc coownership.pdf

Thank you so much for this article....it is very informative and makes some great points about possible pitfalls. Thanks for sending it. I have not decided yet, but we are seriously considering it and will be asking a lot of questions over the next few months. Best to all of you!
 
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