Today I'm going to tell you all what it means to co-own a dog.
A lot of you might not know this (and I always forget this!) but technically, I'm Christmas' co-owner. Under the "owner" part of his AKC papers, it says the names of his two breeders and then mine. Before you all freak out that Chris isn't actually my dog, calm down! Just because Chris is technically just co-owned by me, the breeders consider him to be fully mine and so do I. Oh, at the end of this post I'll insert a picture of me signing the papers to own Christmas the very first day I met him and started training to become a dog handler.
I got Chris when he was nearly 2. His breeders thought he would live with them forever but when I came along looking for a show dog, they gave him to me. For example, if I got him as a puppy, the breeders would know that they were looking for a home for Chris and they wouldn't be his permanent owners and they wouldn't have signed to be his owners. Because that already happened and they didn't know a junior handler would be coming along to become his new parent (me), they were still tied in to being two of his owners.
Christmas' breeders refer to him as my dog and just because Chris' papers say otherwise, he's basically my dog. I pay for his supplies and care for him because he lives with me and I love doing that for Chris. The breeders are still an important part of Chris' lives, especially because we visit their farm so I can do dog show training and visit my cockatiel, Muppet.
Christmas remembers that he used to be with his breeders and he's always glad to see them and be in the home he once lived in. He was only in the house at night or when the weather outside was extreme, because they kept him and their other 20-30 Dachshunds as outdoor dogs in kennel runs, but he still knows the little house well. Chris also stays at his breeder's place for free when we go on vacation or go away for a weekend. It doesn't happen often, but it's still better than paying for boarding AND forcing my dog to be in an unfamiliar boarding environment with several strange dogs.
Co-ownerships usually happen between breeders and dog owners so the breeder still has the privilege of breeding the dog, having some control of the dog, etc. but I don't have any of that with Chris and his breeders. Like I said, they were already owners of Chris before they knew he would meet his new mom one day, which means I had no choice but being one of his three technical owners. I should also mention that both his breeders and I have agreed to never use Christmas for breeding.
That's everything about co-ownership! No matter what AKC papers say, and even though Christmas still loves his breeders and is always welcome to be with them, my boy knows I'm his forever mom and this is his forever home.