Most reputable breeders will sell their puppies with contracts. These contracts serve as documents to define what is expected from the breeder and responsibilities of the buyer. The contracts should include a description of the purchase; including price of the puppy, registered name, birthday, registered name of the parents, etc. Most breeders will have conditions of the sale for show vs. companion puppies. Most breeders will require you to spay or neuter your pet. Some breeders will have health guarantees. Make sure you read the contract carefully and understand everything in its contents.
In every litter there will be show and companion quality puppies. Some people don’t want show puppies, but they should still get their puppy from a reputable breeder and a planned litter. A good breeder will grade the litter around 8 weeks of age. The grade usually is based on physical structure, temperament, markings, and bite. Make sure the breeder doesn’t grade the litter solely on markings. Some breeders will put show quality puppies on a pet home under a Co-Ownership.
A Co-Ownership between breeders and owners are common and serve as a tool to keep the breeding program diverse without the breeder keeping all the dogs. The co-Ownership could split the cost of the showing and breeding, but should never be used for the new owner to give up ownership of the puppies. Usually the breeder will get one pick puppy.
Some breeders will sell show puppies on Co-Ownership and will not sign the puppy over to sole ownership until the health clearances are preformed for breeding. This helps avoid the dog being bred before two years of age or without normal health clearances.
Co-Ownership is not for everyone. You should never have to breed your dog unless you want to. Some people don’t have the time to show their dog or want to. If this is the case you should not get into a Co-Ownership. The only type of Co-Ownership that you should consider is one with a spay/neuter contract. Some breeders will stay as a Co-Owner until the puppy is spayed or neutered. Once they receive proof of this they will sign the dog off to the new owner. This makes sure the puppy is not bred and the breeders lines stay pure.