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Amy current or past dog breeders on here?

Momof3litt

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So I've been talking to someone who breeds standard poodles, my #1 choice for a dog for my family. She has a program where she sends a puppy out to live with you, for free, and then taken her back for a period of time when she's ready to breed. She spends the season with the breeder, and then returns to her family, spayed, to come back to being a pet.

Is this a legit type of practice? The breeder said the dogs go back when they mature, around 18 months old, and then have 3 litters between 18 mons and 2 years.

That seems like a lot all at once (although not so different from what is done with birds) but is it really if her "career" lasts only one season?

I've gotten past the preliminary "hi, my name is..." with this person, what else should I ask her or want her ask me?
 

MnGuy

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Do you end up paying for the dog once it's sent back to you after breeding?

Whether or not it's a legitimate practice, the issue is whether you'd be comfortable with such an arrangement and how you'd feel losing your pet for as long as two years.
 

Momof3litt

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You don't pay for the dog, she comes back spayed.

My understanding is that she would be gone for about 6 months, not 2 years.
 

Sparkles99

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I’d rather pay for the dog outright & have her spayed at my expense & on my timeline (when growth plates have closed).

You should be very careful. You must know that you live in the animal mill & backyard breeder capital of Canada, AKA Quebec. Going to pet stores on the other side of the river is awful!!! On the plus side, the SPCA is always thrilled to receive donations in kind that you no longer use. They’re not half so well funded as the humane society.

I don’t breed anything but think three litters is a lot in general. Even if she will just sell you a dog, it’d be someone else’s precious pooch in the same boat having that litter.

And what if something unforeseen happens to the dam during the pregnancy? You’ve got kids to think about. How would you explain this?! I’ve never bought a dog, but I’d run, not walk.
 

macawpower58

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There are breeders who let folk foster/raise dogs and the breeder keeps breeding rights.
Usually this is only done though with close friends, or other breed enthusiasts interested in improving their breeds.
Your situation sounds iffy though to me.
Most good breeders don't breed at 18 months.
And most would not spay a female they feel is breed worthy, and most likely you'll have no rights to breed her.
You'll need to read the contract very carefully, as most breeders will have terms you must comply with.
In the end you'll own the dog, but you must be comfortable with the contract.
 

Toy

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I bred toy poodles for 40 years. I didn't have a kennel, mine were all in house raised with us. Free roam of the house, part of the family. We had a puppy coral in the living room & the puppies were spoiled to the max. Most reliable breeders will do 1-2 litters one year, then rest the dog a year. Most breeders will breed up to age 8 then stop. My breeder was in Nebraska & I'm in PA. I chose her after I called at least 13 breeders in different states here. We drove all the way to Nebraska, twice, to get a puppy. I wanted to see her kennels & how she raised her dogs. They live on a cattle ranch, al dogs/puppies were very spoiled, very well kept. I had others flown or driven in to me since then.

Sorry but this deal sounds very fishy to me. This person gives you a puppy. You keep it until it reaches 18 months, mature breeding age. Then this person expects to breed this dog & get puppies 3 times in 6 months? NOT possible. They don't come into heat that fast. Then they spay the dog & send it back to you. Pure puppy mill. They want you to raise the pup, they breed it, they keep the pups to sell & you get your dog back & who knows how it was treated while away from you. Most likely kept in a cage the whole time. Imagine how the dog feels handed off to strangers & not with it's family. If it were me I would not get into this deal period!

You'd be better just buying a puppy & get it fixed. Keep looking until you find a good reputable breeder.
 

tka

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I don't like it. Three litters for one female is a lot and I don't see how she can have three litters in the timescales you mention. Females only come into season every six months; three litters would mean that the breeder keeps the dog for 18 months. I don't think females should have back-to-back litters as raising a litter is enormously demanding and she needs time to recover.

The UK Kennel Club recommends that there should be at least a year between litters.

 

Shezbug

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Omg. What??
I can’t believe anyone would seriously suggest this situation- very concerning.
I just can’t even imagine handing my pet over to a person I don’t know to breed it.
6 months for 3 litters is impossible.
 

Wardy

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My wife used to breed Yorkshire terriers she bred Lucy 3 times over a 6 year period and she bred Tess once.
Tess was a terrible mum and we had to actually let Lucy raise her pups so we never bred them again.
Both of the dogs lived with us and had the pups in the house overseen by my wife what you describe sounds very over the top and potentially harmfull.
 

Tazlima

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6 months for 3 litters is impossible.
Yeah, the math is completely off. Let's assume she went into heat immediately upon arrival and was bred the same day.

You're looking at:
- 9 weeks gestation
- 6 weeks (bare minimum) before the pups are ready to adopt.

That's 15 weeks right there. If she went back into heat the very next day after the pups were pulled (not physically possible, because her body has to recover from the pregnancy and go back into heat first, but let's pretend), if she had three litters, you'd be looking at a total of 45 weeks spent actively pregnant or nursing.

Six months is only 26 weeks.
 

AussieBird

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I work closely with a dog breeder and have raised A Lot of puppies. There’s no way I’d go into a deal like that.
If a Breeder can’t do the math that @Tazlima just did, they are not a breeder.
 

Sodapop&Co.

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The time doesn't add up. Do you get the dog back while she's pregnant until she gets closer to labour maybe?
 

Sparkles!

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I’m a third generation AKC breeder of merit. Apologies now for length of this post. You’ve been warned.

Like almost everything, what you’re describing can be/is done ethically and correctly or it can *100%* be a complete sham.

In the ethical, good standard, well bred dog world: sometimes contracts are made regarding what’s known as “Co-ownership”: Where 2 or more people share ownership of a dog.

More often than not, a co-owned dog is going to be a female dog. And here’s why: More breeders will chance jointly chipping in the time and money into finishing (e.g showing the dog to championship or title- which can be very expensive and time consuming) a female dog than a male.

A finished, championed titled Sire is a foundational base to any breeding program, and there’s a good chance what you love about that sire is what your bloodlines and program represent (example: all of my Labradors must first and foremost be gundogs, so you won’t find a sire here that’s more beauty than brains). Most often you will see breeders have just 1 or 2 absolute bomb-tastic males that will get bred to their few finished champion females, keeping their bloodlines or program pretty linear to what their goals as a breeder are. Occasionally, one of those sires might be getting offered up to what’s known as “outside female dogs” of fellow breeders who have like programs, but that’s an entire soapbox for another day on the forum.

But female dogs are more…fluid. In many breeds, females can be *much* harder to show and finish to Championship. They go through heat cycles and will lose coat/condition. You battle the calendar. Many shows do not even allow females in estrus/heat to be on the grounds! Want to cause a dog fight? Bring a female in season to the floor. (Another soapbox for a different day- it’s your own job to train your darn males not to act like a hooligan and not blame outside influence as to why you can’t get your crap together in the ring or on the field) In many breeds, females also can take a good deal longer than males to “bloom”- when pups are born, established and experienced breeders can usually tell straightaway who is champion potential and as a pup if they’ve been born with the best qualities you as a breeder are looking for to further the breed standard and breed the very best dogs you can in your program. But in many breeds females often will look so-so at best as puppies. If you know your lines and have a really good handle for potential, a so-so female pup might turn up as one of the best dogs to come out of your program when she’s bloomed into fullness at 24-36 months.

Here’s where things can get tricky. Follow along: I bred my favorite bomb sire to a just fantastic little female who is now championed and well titled. The litter has been planned for 3 years. Let’s factor in a bit of cost: it cost me a grand total of $13,050 to show that little fantastic female to completion. I’ve spent another $8,000 on necessary health testing, genetic testing, specialist vet visits to certify that her joints and organs are in excellent shape and nothing bad is lurking. Pre-natal work ups and prep for pups is the least expensive costs involved coming in at $2 grand.

Pups arrive!!! Cue the confetti. At two weeks old it’s looking everyday like I’ve got 5 or 6 solid champion potentials on my hands! The other 5? Well… they’re fantastically bred but it’s not looking like they’ll ever be able to beat their parents in the show ring- maybe they’ll beat them in the field though, so we’ll just wait and evaluate those 5 in the coming weeks. But put those 5 out of your mind, and concentrate on the 6 show potentials. (And disclaimer: this is for my sporting breed. In the non sporting, terrier, and toy group breeders I know- any of their non show potential pups just get limited registration and put into pet homes. I don’t usually do that.)
So essentially for a mere, what…$24 THOUSAND dollars? I have 6 Labrador puppies that could *potentially* take my program and this breed further into the future.
Six weeks later, looks like I’m down to only 5 hopeful potentials as one of the pups looks like she might have a scar on an ear from her sibling chewing on her. Still super excited for the 5 though! Last litter I only had 2! So what the heck do I with these 5 high potential pups?

Well, I have options. I can keep them all, and show them all myself. Which would be stupid. I would be exhibiting my bloodlines all against themselves- the 4 females in this batch are all the same color! I’d have a mini class myself, and need to hire 3 other people to handle them ringside for me.

I could sell them to other exhibitors/breeders. But holy crap! I’ve spent $24 grand on this litter…and two years of my life getting that little female Championed and titled enough to meet my standards to breed. If I sell these 4 females outright, I will recoup that money but nothing replaces time. I could keep 1 of the little females and show her- I have time and space for that! But the other 3? How do I ensure that they can still be shown to titles? How can I not potentially lose this new generation if something catastrophic were to happen to the one female I’ve decided to keep? Answer: Co-ownership.

Pretend I call up say, Mizzely. I know she’s a breeder similar to my program and she could use some new blood in her program. I ask her if she’s got the time and money to show another dog. I tell her I’m willing to pay half of all the showing/titling costs of one of the female pups if she wants to go halves with me. We write up a contract that will benefit both of us. The dog gets registered as “Cutest Dog Ever!, Co-owned by Mizzely and Sparkles, bred by Sparkles Program, handled today by Mizzely” and hopefully that female pup grows up to be an amazing finished champion and titled dog. Mizzely and I split all costs 50/50 and decide together if/when the dog should be bred. At any time, either co-owner can buy the other out of the contract and take over full ownership. Most co-ownerships last the lifetime of the dog though. Together they decide any breedings- should CutestDogEver be bred to Mizzely’s foundation sire first? Or mine? Mizzely has never used her foundation sire on a chocolate before- so we use a sire from me. 8 puppies born? Mizzely desperately needs more Blacks, so of course I let her take the show potential black pup that’s born- after all we are breeding to IMPROVE THE BREED. I don’t need any colors or genders necessarily, but my son just lost his old senior dog to cancer and so I bring him to Mizzely’s house and my “pick of the litter” is used by my son who picks out the fattest roly poly chocolate pup ever. Mizzely and I decide to sell the remaining pups, and equally divide the proceeds from sale between us (which doesn’t even remotely cover any of our costs/fees but money isn’t why we bred our dogs to start with).

Next year, Mizzely calls me up and says that she would like to try her sire (who’s now another year older and hopefully more titles) on CutestDogEver. I agree. Pups born. It’s now my turn for 1st pick puppy, and I actually want 2 from the litter. Mizzely graciously allows me to pick 2, and I let her keep/sell the entirety of the rest of the litter. Because that’s good friendship and good breeder relations.

CutestDogEver is now probably about 6-7 years old. She’s lived with Mizzely her entire adolescent and adult life. I can just sign her over entirely to Mizzely if that’s what we feel the need to do, but honestly we are good enough friends that there’s no worry if the paperwork never gets updated because we both know that CDE is Mizzely’s dog. But CDE will probably never get bred again- there’s no need. Her sons and daughters are now what’s being exhibited in the ring and winning titles. She’s retired to just living the house dog life. CDE has enriched the gene pool and bloodlines now of 2 separate, well established breeder’s and the cross over lineage between using Mizzely’s sire after first using mine with her has further bettered the spread of well bred Labradors across the country. It’s a good deal for all entities involved-


ENTER SHAM:
I have a dog who just had puppies. I could sell them, but if I sell the females I can’t breed them. But I already have 3 females and I don’t have room for 4 more. But if I “give” those 4 females to “guardian homes” I can retain the rights to breed those female dogs. So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll advertise that I’m looking for ‘The perfect homes’ for these female pups. I’ll make the people sign a bogus contract that says I own the dog until I take the dog back at maybe 12 months (or second heat cycle if I’m busy) and breed a litter of puppies from it. Only after I get a litter of puppies that I can sell will I turn over ownership of that female dog to the people. I’m going to have writing in the contract that states a minimum number of puppies needs to be born, otherwise I get to do multiple breedings to make it profitable. If I place these 4 females all in guardianship homes, that’s 4 females I don’t have to house and care for but can still be cash cows for me.
 

April

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@Sparkles! Your post was so amazing to read. Thank you for such a detailed post!

Also, I now know the name of any future dog I have is :lol:
Yes seriously! That was one of the best posts about anything I've seen on here. I wish I could give it a million likes. I especially enjoyed @Mizzely 's part in the story lol.
 

Laurie

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Thanks for the detailed and interesting read.
 

Sparkles99

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Is it possible this breeder intends to use artificial hormones to induce heat three times in six months? I’m suspicious, but not sure it’s possible.
 
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