Under what conditions will a reputable breeder sell you a breeding dog?

I have thought about getting into breeding for a few years now. I asked myself many questions first and I know it's something I really want to do. Not as a business but as a hobby because I love dogs so much and being able to help create and give people healthy happy little pups sounds great. I have a 4 year... show more I have thought about getting into breeding for a few years now. I asked myself many questions first and I know it's something I really want to do. Not as a business but as a hobby because I love dogs so much and being able to help create and give people healthy happy little pups sounds great.

I have a 4 year old Australian Shepherd that is registered with the AKC club and the ASCA club as well. She was given to me by a retired breeder and friend and had a couple litters in her life. I do not want to breed her, but she has inspired me to become an Aussie breeder. I just love the breed so much.

I just want to know if I would have a hard time buying an Aussie from breeders for breeding.

Or is it a must to have a dog in conformation in order for them to sell you a "show quality" dog, as all "pets dogs" are sold on a spay and neuter contract.

If most breeders only agree to sell a breeding dog to a novice I am sure that they would have to be a co-owner for that dog for a period of time.

If I am incorrect, can someone tell me what conditions there usually are for the buyer in buying a breeding dog?

Thank you.

Also, let me say that I have done extensive reading on breeding, showing and health of the breed but I always have more questions, so please don't be quick to say I know nothing and have no chance at being a reputable breeder.
Update: Wow, great answers! Thank you very much. I love the mentor idea. I will certainly do that!
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