What is a breeding cooperative?

A breeding cooperative (co-op) is a group of like-minded breeders who share goals, advice, and breeding dogs. The Functional Dog Collaborative is enabling the creation of breeding co-ops as a way to bring together breeders for mutual support. Breeders who are cross-breeding or who have goals that do not align with any breed club’s may find working on their own to be challenging. Working with a co-op provides many benefits:

  • Increasing breeding population size by networking with other breeders with similar goals
  • Making population-level breeding decisions rather than focusing only on the next litter
  • Working with others with similar breeding goals to get advice and mentorship, and having a safe space to discuss difficult decisions
  • Providing a referral network for potential puppy buyers

For more information about breeding cooperatives, listen to the Functional Breeding podcast episode “Marina Phillips: Breeding Cooperatives.”

Breeding Cooperatives with the FDC

The Functional Dog Collaborative supports the Copilot Breeding Cooperative and the Companion Dog Project, both of which focus on breeding healthy, behaviorally stable pet dogs, including mixed breeds and purebreds.

Additionally, the Functional Dog Collaborative is actively working to set up new multiple breeding cooperatives. If you are interested in participating, contact us. Your cooperative will need:

  • Goals (“breeding good pets” or “breeding service dogs”)
  • Standards (“mellow in the house,” “short coat,” “decreased incidence of particular disease”)
  • Requirements for members (for example, health testing that you will require for any breeding dogs)

The FDC will work with you to develop the technological support you need (database to share information about dogs, forum for conversations, website if desired) and to develop the protocols and procedures that your co-op will use (when to meet, any rules you might wish to have, how much to publicize yourselves, etc.).

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