We have plenty of incentives to make being a partner family exciting and worth while for everyone involved if you choose to take us up on those offers.
People often refer to the agreement as a co-own, this is a false term. The dog will be owned by myself (the breeder) and you (the buyer) are basically a foster family. You do not "own" the dog until the contract is fulfilled.
This partnership is NOT for anyone who thinks they want to start breeding dogs. These dogs are not allowed to reproduce for you, they are only a pet in your home, they may only be used for breeding by myself or for other established breeders. So if you think partnering with me in this way will allow you to have puppies of your own, this is not the agreement for you. You need to contact me about breeding rights.
So assuming a foster family partnership is what you are interested in we can proceed.
The first question you may ask is Why foster out some of our dogs?
Here I will explain how you can live with one of my show quality Aussies as a pet and I also get to keep the dog in my breeding program, or at least grow them out and see how they turn out in a year or two.
If you look at it from a breeders point of view. We can only keep so many dogs ourselves. Sometimes a really nice show/breed quality puppy comes along that is just an outstanding example of the breed or may have rare and desirable blood lines we need to preserve. Sometimes we would rather not keep every puppy ourselves for many reasons. It takes a lot of time to raise a puppy. That is time a lot of us are short on. Sometimes we have more than one puppy in a litter that is outstanding. It's best to try and only keep one puppy at a time to give it the most attention possible. Sometimes we have several males already in our home and a male puppy would interrupt the natural order already established. What ever the reason, we'd like to be able to watch the puppy grow up, and keep it close by so that we may be able to use it in our breeding program in the future.
If you look at it from a buyers point of view. There are a couple advantages.
The first is price. We offer some foster puppies for as low as $500. This means instead of $1500-$2500 for a show quality puppy, you are paying a lot less if you agree to all the terms. No other breeder is advertising this discount in Ontario that we know of.
You get a puppy that is of higher quality than the average pet. Only the best of the best!
Your puppy will likely go on to become a finished champion or get titles in other areas. If you like to brag about your puppy, this is one good way to do it.
You could end up getting that special colour or gender you've always wanted, instead of me holding it back for myself or for another family willing to do a partnership.
. While we can not guarantee which pups will be pet quality and which ones will be show/breed quality, the reality is that when pups are show/breed quality, we will ...
First hold them back for ourselves and our breeding program, this includes partnership puppies.
Second we may offer them to other breeders for their breeding program.
Last we will sell them as pets at a higher than normal price if no other option comes our way.
We try not to offer them for sale as pets to be spayed or neutered if we do not have to. So if you have your heart set on that blue merle female with blue eyes and I happen to have one born and she is show/breed quality at 8 weeks old, I will probably not have to sell her as a pet for any reason and you'd be out of luck. Likely between my needs and other breeders needs, a show quality blue merle will be spoken for very quickly. A partner family may be the perfect way to get the colour and gender your looking for sooner rather than later, specially if your looking for a merle. Merles are the number one most desired colour out there and have the longest waiting list. If you were really willing to partnership on a dog with us, you would get priority for the show/breed puppies over any "pet" home on my list. After all I do reserve the right to keep the best pup from each litter for myself and a partnership puppy is just that.
That said we really have no control over which pups are show breed. If you are set on only one colour, it may be several litters before we have that particular pup available on a partnership. If your considering a partnership for the discounted price, you may have to settle for a pet quality pup of regular price or wait even longer for your puppy if you are not flexible on colour and gender.
The contracts vary with each situation. It's something that must be discussed at great length. Every possible scenario must be clearly outlined so there are no misunderstandings between the buyer and the breeder. The contract must be considerate of both the buyer and the breeders needs when it comes to the dogs role in each persons lives. Thats why each contract is drawn up individually.
For me a partnership should cover a few basic points:
1. YOU MUST LIVE RELATIVELY CLOSE! I am in Midland, about 45 minutes north of Barrie. You must live close enough to me that the dog can travel back and forth to Midland with no hesitation. This is the #1 hardest thing to find in partner families. You must understand that females are only viable for breeding for about 5-6 days during their breeding cycle. When she starts her cycle we MUST get the male to her within a few days, this allows him time to settle in and relax enough to breed ( yes many males will not breed if they are not comfortable). Females only cycle 1-2 times a year, sometimes as much as every 6 months but sometimes every 8 months or even only once a year. If we miss a breeding it is a long wait until we can try again so missing a breeding because a partner family is not able to get us the dog is 100% not acceptable and are grounds to immediately end the partnership and take the dog back into our care with no compensation at all to the partner family. If you live within an hour I can often arrange to pick the dog up myself, but farther than an hour and I am away from my own dogs and the farm for too long traveling and so we need the partner family to do a lot of the driving. You MUST be willing and able to drop all plans and travel in all weather. We do not take holidays, birthdays, sports events, weddings, dinners, kids after school activities or any weather as a good enough reason to not bring the dog back to us when we need it. This is our business and traveling to us is not optional in the agreement. You MUST be willing to make us a priority or the partnership will not work.
2. YOU MUST HAVE A FENCED YARD. I am counting on this dog being safe and not running away or getting hit by a car. We have seen accidents happen to the most diligent families and we do not want any hard feelings. So a secure fenced yard is a must with absolutely no exceptions. If you live in the country, you still must provide a fenced in area for those times you can not be outside with your dog. If you can not provide proof of a fenced area then you do not qualify for a partnership.
3. YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF PET INSURANCE. While the dog is in your care you are 100% responsible for all costs including accidents. Accidents can be very costly. Emergency vet care, broken bones, surgery etc can run you many thousands of dollars. Because of the dogs potential value to us, we do not want a strain on finances to mean the dog gets second rate care. We also do not want to burden your family with outrageous costs you can not reasonably afford and would not put into a pet. So to protect everyone involved, we now require our partner families to have pet health insurance of no less than $2500 for accidents and illness. (while the dog is in our care for showing/breeding we are responsible for anything that happens). If you are very well off financially and wish to discuss not having insurance we are open to discussion but we must know the dog will be well cared for before we will sign off on this term.
4. YOU MUST FEED RAW. I'm sorry but this is not negotiable for any reason. My dogs all eat raw and when a dog comes over and eats kibble several things happen. Your dog is not happy eating his kibble because he can see and smell the raw food, so your dog chooses not to eat well and that is not good for your dog. Next your dog poops huge gross piles of kibble poop and my dogs think it is a treat, disgusting to see them try and eat it and I don't want to have to smell it or pick it up. Raw poop does not smell and is small and easy to pick up. I like it that way. So if you won't feed raw, I will not co-own. Sorry.
5. YOU MUST AGREE TO MINIMAL VACCINATIONS We live a clean natural lifestyle and while I an not anti vaccine I am minimal vaccine. I expect all co-owners to abide by this and not over vaccinate the dogs in your care.
6. YOU MUST AGREE TO MINIMAL/NO PARASITE PREVENTION Again in following a natural clean lifestyle for our dogs we do not use any type of poisonous parasite prevention on our dogs unless it is 100% necessary and we have no other alternatives to work with. You MUST agree to this and must contact us before you do anything medical to the dog. If your vet is against these practices we have the right to tell you NEVER to bring your dog to that vet and to find a new one who is willing to support a natural lifestyle.
7. The buyer purchases the dog for an agreed upon price. The price is something to discuss when you contact us. We try very hard not to turn any family away due to money. Partnerships often solve this dilemma by allowing you to purchase the dog for very low prices.
8. The dog is in my name as the owner on all registration papers. It will only be transferred to your name once the contract has been fulfilled and the dog has been spayed or neutered. That way I have total control over what happens with the dog while I intend to breed it. My name must be on all paperwork including veterinarian care as a partner family or co-own, the term they use is not important but my name must be on there to prove ownership and to give me complete access to all medical paperwork and decisions. If you live close enough, I am happy to bring the dog to my own vet for things such as vaccinations.
9. This dog will be show/breed quality. I will pick the puppies out of each litter that are show/breed quality at 8 weeks old. Only these puppies may be available on partnerships. You do not get to pick which puppy is going on a partnership. I will offer on a partnership only the puppies from each litter that would benefit me most in the years to come. So while it may be the puppy of your dreams, it may also not be the colour or gender you hoped for.
10. As a show/breed puppy I will normally require it to be shown in conformation. You can elect to show the puppy yourself (this keeps the price lower and increases the financial kick backs), or you can ask us to show the puppy for you. We are happy to do all the grooming required or teach you how to groom for a show. Our children and their friends have shown our dogs without any prior experience. It's really not hard. So if you were interested, we welcome you to join us. It's a fun social time. At the very least you must make the dog available for us to pick up on our way to shows so we can show it and obtain it's championship. We do not do many shows so it would only be a few times a year at best and sometimes not at all during the year.
11. The dog is to stay intact ( not spayed or neutered ) for a minimum of two years. During that time the dog must have it's eyes and hips tested to see if the dog is suitable for breeding. We as the breeders bring the dogs back here for that testing and we cover the cost. During the time the dog is not altered it is NOT allowed to reproduce in any way for you. It will be up to you to make sure the dog is properly confined and not allowed to reproduce. At the 2 year mark I will re-evaluate the dog and decide if it is going to be of use in my breeding program and stay intact for the duration of the contract, or whether it should then be spayed or neutered. I am the only one who can make that decision.
12. While the dog is intact and is being used for breeding, I am the one to make the arrangements. For you it is strictly a house pet and companion. You are not allowed to have a litter yourself. You may not offer a male to breed to anyone else's females, and you may not allow a female to have a litter of puppies.
13. While the dog is in your care and intact, you may NOT bring in another dog without my written consent. Even with the best of intentions accidental breedings happen and there is no morning after pill or simple abortion like there is in people. If a female is bred to another dog, the only way to not have puppies is by spaying. There is also a disease called Brucellosis which is a highly contagious disease that renders animals sterile and is passed on through bodily fluids. Dogs who contract Brucellosis must be destroyed, so to avoid these two devastating situations we must ensure the dog we entrust to you is not living with or frequently visiting other intact dogs. It's simply to dangerous.
If at 2 years old the dog fails any of it's testing or I decide I do not need it in my program for what ever reason. Then it will be altered at your cost and remain with you as a family pet with nothing else owed to me.
If at 2 years old the dog is clear for breeding then one of two things will happen:
FEMALES: For female dogs I will arrange for her to go to the males house for breeding. She will be gone for around 2-3 weeks. You may have her back at your house during the majority of her pregnancy which lasts around 9 weeks. When she is close to her due date she will then come to stay with me. I will have the puppies here, I will raise them and I will place them in their new homes. This is not in any way negotiable. When puppies are weaned at around 6 weeks of age, she is ready to go back to your home. She will only be bred once a year for a maximum of 5 litters and a minimum of 2 litters. This is something to be agreed upon prior to purchasing the puppy and the more I get out of the deal, the lower the price. In some situations where I get a larger number of litters, and where you are willing to show the dog and put titles on it, you will get a percentage of each litter to go towards the dogs care, shows, etc while she is intact. There are a ton of possible opportunities. The more you are willing to help out with her and put titles on her (obedience, conformation, frisbee, therapy etc) and the more you are willing to allow me to get from her, the more I can give you as a financial incentive. As much as $100 per puppy sold. Contact us to find out more.
MALES: For male dogs, when a female is in season and ready for breeding, he will come back here or go to the other breeders home for breeding to their female. He will stay with us for around 2-3 weeks until she is finished breeding. When the breeding is complete, he goes back to your home until the next time he is needed for breeding. We will agree to either a set amount of stud uses (usually 8) or a set amount of time he will be left intact (usually until 6-8 years old). When the deal is fulfilled he will be altered at your cost and will remain with you as a house pet. If you are willing to show the dog and put titles on the dog and make him as worthy as possible as a stud dog, then we are willing to pay to you up to 50% of his stud fee's to other breeders. ($500). The more worthy he is, the more they will want to use him, so the more money you will make :) If you are not willing to do any of that work and he simply hangs out as a house pet, then other breeders will not choose to use him as a stud dog for their girls and we have no incentives for you. So the more you do with him, the more you will get out of it in the end.
I do not allow the dog to stay with the buyer during breeding regardless of gender. Partially because dogs only cycle every 6 months on average, we can not plan breedings around anything other than the dogs. When a female is ready for breeding we generally bring her to the male. To avoid life getting in the way and not being able to transport the female on time, or having a female who needs to be bred to your male on Christmas day for example, It's just easier to let the breeders deal with all the different inconvenient possibilities. It's what we do.
While my children and in-laws understand if I have to skip a holiday dinner or a school play to breed dogs, I'm not sure your family would like me at your place in the middle of dinner breeding dogs in the kitchen. Likewise things can and do go wrong. Sometimes dogs do not co-operate for breeding the way we hope they would. It takes experience to know when to step in and possibly do an artificial insemination. While my family now accepts everything involved in breeding dogs, I'm not sure everyone else's family would be quite so understanding. So to keep things under control, calm and organized, all the breedings take place at a breeders house.
Same with puppies. Birth can be a wonderful experience with healthy live puppies. It can also turn into a nightmare where we loose puppies or the mother. A hundred things can go wrong during delivery as easily as they can go as expected. Sometimes experience and quick thinking is needed. Sometimes a delivery is the last place the children need to be even though thats where they always want to be. To ensure the safety and well being of mom and pups and to give everyone the best chance possible, puppies are always delivered and raised in my home. My home is where I have the set up and experience to deal with all sorts of possibilities. This is absolutely not open for any type of negotiating at all. The bitch MUST come back here and if we are nearing the date I want her back and you come up with excuses not to bring her back and I have to travel to get her, the agreement is terminated as soon as I pick her up. Remember, because my name is on all of her paperwork as her Owner, this is my legal right and is enforcible by law (we have done our homework and have had lawyers involved to protect ourselves). We will bring the police with us to your house and press any necessary charges if you decide to with hold the dog from us.
Likewise the raising of puppies is an art and a full time job and not all puppies make it the full 8 weeks. My home is a revolving door for 8 weeks where I get very little sleep. I would not expect any one else to make all the sacrifices I make and to do all the extras I do. I would also not expect you to be able to make your home available for potential owners to visit. I would also not expect you to be able to answer all the questions potential buyers have when visiting puppies.
I put pictures up of puppies each week, No mater how many people send me proof of the pictures they can take they are never what I am looking for. This is my business and pictures are how I sell puppies. Since no one can take them the way I want, it is just one more reason we do not allow others to raise our puppies. So for everyone sanity, puppies are always raised here with no exceptions, so please don't even bother to ask. There really is nothing you can say that will sway me, not even if your a vet tech and have delivered puppies before. These are my dogs, my breeding program and I will be the one to deliver, raise and sell the puppies. Period!
If your dog is the parent to a litter of our puppies and you would like a second puppy added to your family, we are happy to give you priority over other families, specially if your willing to agree to another partnership with another show/breed puppy.
If you would like more information on partnerships and all the in's and out's I'd be happy to discuss it with you so we can decide if it may work for you or not. It may not be for everyone, but it can open doors and possibilities for us both.
Nothing is out of the question with a partnership. So if you have any questions on what may or may not be available, just ask. I'm happy to answer all your questions and entertain all your thoughts on the process.
So if you think a partnership is at least worth discussing, then let me know. I'm happy to talk to you.