Leasing bitches – seeking wiser heads than I

I’m pointing a finger at Kate for making me think about this – she leased Bronte for the recent litter and she’s looking for another bitch to lease for this coming year. Now you all know how I feel about Kate, and I’m going to be SUPER excited to see what happens. She did such a fabulous job with the Bronte puppies that I think she should raise EVERYONE’S litters ;).

But she reminded me that I have, seriously, less than no idea of what a typical leasing arrangement is and how well they usually work, even though I leased Bronte to Kate. That was a special case and the arrangements were, I think, not typical. Leasing has been recommended to me several times but I’m honestly kind of overwhelmed with how little I know and I’ve never really pursued it even mentally.

So I really do want your stories and examples, so I know how to think about the possibilities. Have you ever done it? How did the money arrangements work? How much did you spend/charge? (No need to be exact here, but a ballpark would be really helpful). Were you happy you’d done it in the end? Why would you lease rather than buy? Why would you lease out your own bitch; what goes into the decision for you? How do you approach a breeder or owner about leasing? Are there questions I haven’t even thought of?

You all know how much your input means to me. I count on all you smart people more than you could even believe.

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11 thoughts on “Leasing bitches – seeking wiser heads than I

  1. I honestly have no idea on leasing contracts.

    As far as my own bitch, I wouldn’t be “looking” to lease her out, but if someone I respected and trusted was looking for a bitch to lease, and I was not planning to breed her, then I’d consider it. I’d probably prefer not to lease a maiden bitch to someone. And I’d probably also ask questions about sire, health tests, etc, because even though my kennel name wouldn’t be on the puppies, my bitch’s name would be.

    And I also think it’s fair that given an average sized litter there be at least some monetary compensation in most cases, because you’re essentially “selling” a breeding cycle on your bitch. I hate to put it that way, but it’s true…if you only want a girl to have a max, say, 4 litters in her lifetime, then you’re selling one of those to someone else. I have no concept of how much though. My gut instinct would be somewhere around the cost of one puppy, but that’s just a total WAG.

  2. I need advice, too.

    I will be eternally sorry for “breaking” your bitch. I have told you and I will say it publicly over and over that you are welcome to anything I breed at any point to make up for that. I know it was just a case of bad circumstances (and bad knowledge on my part), but I still feel very responsible, and I’m grateful for your understanding. I know a lot of “dog people” would have gone ballistic over this.

    • If I thought you broke her, I wouldn’t be talking about her publicly. That’s not how I do things. It wasn’t anything YOU did; it was just a perfect storm of circumstances. You don’t even HAVE Lyme disease where you are. She came with a subclinical infection that she got at my house last summer or fall; that’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

      Trust me, the idea that you somehow did something to cause this is the FURTHEST thing from my mind. You did her (and me) a huge favor by giving her the happiest home in the world and letting her raise puppies (which she obviously thinks is the best thing in the universe).

  3. Hi Joanna, this is off topic, but i am wondering if you have any good videos you could recommend to a future (pet) dog owner (that would be me. 🙂 ) I suddenly have a lot of time on my hands due to a back injury. I value your opinion & wonder if there is anything dog-themed that woud be helpful to watch.Thanks! ~B

  4. I’m leasing a bitch (Malcolm’s littermate Pebbles) for a litter later this summmer or this fall- and I’m doing a breeding that her breeder REALLY does not care for. 😛 We have really different priorities right now (For me? #1 criteria was a normal-eyed stud dog; for her, she’d like to breed to a dog who has nice refinement, no depth of head, and moderate size- I wanted all those things but I wanted a normal eyed boy with a fantastic work ethic and drive- so I’m breeding to a boy who isn’t finished but has 13 points and one major, his CDX, his AXJ and AX, his HX and WTCH (ASCA)- and accepting the fact that I’m going to get dogs with clunky heads who should have GORGEOUS movement. PEbbles’ front is one of the nicest fronts I’ve seen in collies, and I *ADORE* her coat (most of the rough collie people focus on her lack of volume- I like the fact that it’s so rough and tough that NOTHING sticks in it, and NOTHING tangles it- it’s the ideal working coat, IMO- and I’m breeding her to a smooth anyway). It’s an outcross litter, so even though he’s a carrier of CEA, there’s a good chance of getting mostly milds on the affected puppies. And he’s still sound and competing in all venues at 7. Unfortunately, his NE sire is no longer alive (or may just be retired- I’m not 100% sure), but went HIT at the national in herding nad was a DC. Her breeder just asked that I give her the price of one puppy whenever I sell him/her and I’ve offered to pay for Pebb’s OFA and will be showing her in UKC as a favor.

    • That’s absolutely the kind of breeding I’d do. I love a pretty, herdy face but I am the opposite of a head breeder and movement is my HUGE HUGE HUGE priority. If a dog can move it’s almost certainly sound all over and that’s what I care about.

      What colors are you expecting?

  5. Everything except whites- she’s a sable merle rough, he’s a tri smooth.

    BOTH of them are BIG- Pebbles is a big ‘doggy’ but given how much easier it is to get RID of bone and size than it is to bring it in, I suspect I’ll be okay, especially considering her family in general is pretty refined. I’m not expecting a very consistant litter- he’s NOT at all tightly linebred, but she is (the COI in the dogs that she’s from is higher than I like overall) but I think it’ll be a good place to start from. And if she fits in well here, I’ve got the option to buy her- she’s just such a PUSHY girl that I think she’s not going to be so happy here where I expect her to WORK. ;P

  6. erp- big should be ‘bit’.

    One thing I like in looking at Cardi litters is that I’ve been around them long enough to go “Oh, hey, this is a pedigree crossing like that one over there, I’ll like that, I bet” and be right most of the time, in general. In collies, I can’t do that yet- I can tell you I love the type of the litter I planned for this past winter that didn’t happen (her littersister was also bred to the same sire) and the puppies are very what I wanted TYPE wise- but they have HORRIBLE eyechecks. Very few people are making eyes a priority, so I’m having to kind of experiment to figure out which normal-eyed lines are going to work best with what I’ve got. I’d LIKE to breed a dog to ZZ, at Special in NY- but I don’t think it’s going to happen right away. Pebbs is out, since she’s merle. Maybe a tri daughter from this litter, if there is a nice NE one. He’s got a grandson (WHSable) that is a nice NE-NC- but he’s throwing low stops, which is a persistant problem in the line I am already working at, so I’d rather go back to grandad who doesn’t throw that.

  7. Oh, yeah, I am with you there. In Danes if someone says “I have a bitch from XX and I am thinking of breeding her to Y” at least in the blues/blacks (and a little in fawns) I can say “Hey, great, you should get some beautiful toplines from that” or smile politely and say wow, it’s wonderful to be anticipating puppies, isn’t it; they’ll be SO CUTE.

    In Cardigans, aside from the fact that I know that some dogs always produce something (which is a huge step, and I was not anywhere close to that a year ago) I am still totally feeling my way.

  8. I’m still not great at TYPE in Cardigans – but I do know what I like. 😛 It’s sort of a relief being out of showing them- I can like litters just because I like them- no pressure to think about “Would I want to show this/present it as breeding stock/would he/she be a contributor to the breed?” 😛

  9. On the bright side, I bet Bronte will be just fine with time…most bitches look like cr*p when their puppies are this age, she had the bad luck to have other things going on. She’ll bounce back and 8 months down the road look like a different dog.

    On leasing bitches…there are honestly very very very few people I would trust. Things happen. First of all, it has to be someone who will listen! If they call me when the bitch is in whelp and there is uterine inertia going on, and I say “C-Section, now!”, they need to be able to stand up to Jo-blow vet and tell him to do it. I’ve seen litters lost because the vet wanted to wait, or bitches who had to come back later. Not that it’s going to be required, just a personal pet peeve. I’ve seen and assisted enough sections (thought 2 – I won’t go to a vet who doesn’t respect me and breeding anyway, but that’s a different matter). A written contract is a must – and as bitch owner I’d require to be a back up to the breeder and bitch owner on the puppy. (ie return clause and guarantees).

    I’m not sure that randomly asking for any bitch is a good idea. Maybe figuring out where one wants to go and approaching the breeder with those lines and seeing if they have a bitch or know of one – otherwise it comes off as breeding-just-to-breed-my-dog.

    I’ve leased out bitches (one of my Ibizan hounds and technically Hannah). Both went well. I do think it’s important that you have a clear agreement on responsibilities. With the beezer litter on the lease I had nothing to do with it and luckily the person was a very up front gal who told me what was going on with Marti’s other owner (I offered a free lease, Patti charged her $1000 and didn’t require the health checks that were my stipulations…and it just got worse). Leasing/co-breeding Hannah to Megan was a different situation entirely but would be the ideal in every respect – a good friend with similar goals.

    I think its fair to ask for 2nd pick puppy (sell if I like) as I’d be loosing my bitch for a breeding. And it’s a good way of not having to have a whole litter!

    Note to Kate – btw I’d not hesitate to lease Hannah to you, but at this time (until these guys grow up and I see what she produced) I’d worry about making moose cardigans. Gogo is about 12 lbs bigger than Wally and Hannah is a BIG bitch. Maybe to a son of his, or ??? Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of mature bitches at the moment!

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