What is a Guardian Home?
In order to give my breeding dogs the very best quality of life possible, I feel it’s important to limit the number of dogs living in my home. But, to continue to produce high-quality dogs with outstanding health and temperaments – the whole goal of my breeding program! – I need to be able to keep a new puppy when I feel he or she would add to my program, as well as add brand new bloodlines when I feel they are right. But how to do this while limiting the number of dogs living in my home? The answer is Guardian Homes! A Guardian Home allows me to have every one of my breeding dogs living as they should: as a cherished pet in a home – no kennels! And no – you never give the dog up! It’s not like raising for guide dog organizations – the dog lives with your family for LIFE.
How does it work?
As an approved Guardian Home, you are given a puppy for a minimal fee, and the dog lives with you and your family for his/her entire life. I just retain breeding rights to that dog for a specified period of time, after which he/she is spayed/neutered and is yours forever with no further obligation to me! (Except to stay in touch and always send photos!) Every single Guardian Home contract is unique, but here is the basic info:
I retain breeding rights for a set amount of litters. Usually that’s between 1-4, depending on what I’d like to accomplish with her lines and how well she reacts to motherhood. Once she passes all of her health screenings, she is officially added to my breeding program. Once pregnant, she stays with you for most of her pregnancy (7 weeks) and then is required to be brought back to me 2 weeks before she’s due to have her pups. She will have and raise her litter here. Once puppies are fully weaned and are at least 7-8 weeks old, she returns home to you! When she’s older and has completed her breeding obligations, she’s spayed and is fully yours to enjoy life with you and your family.
With males, I retain breeding rights for a set amount of time rather than for a certain number of litters. Generally that would be until he’s about 4-5 years old, but again, every contract is unique and it may be less. With the boys, you are only required to make him available to me as needed for either natural breedings or semen collection by a reproductive vet. Once his breeding obligations have ended, he’s neutered and is fully yours to enjoy life with you and your family.
Guardian moms and dads are responsible for all regular health maintenance such as annual exams, vaccines, food, etc; basically everything that is not related to breeding. I am responsible for all costs related to breeding/pregnancy/whelping, such as genetic testing, hip x-rays, stud fees, pregnancy ultrasounds/xrays etc.
You never need to concern yourself with breeding issues: I will make the decision when the dog will be bred, and to whom, and all litters are raised here in my home.
Guardian moms/dads of females will need to deal with heat cycles and keep their female protected from unwanted males during that time.
Guardian moms/dads of females will need to learn to recognize the beginning of a heat cycle and must be willing to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with us to ensure a successful breeding cycle.
Guardian moms/dads of males will need to be sure their yard is escape-proof and that their dog is not left around intact females. Because of canine venereal diseases, males are ONLY allowed to mate with my approved females.
You must be willing and able to extensively socialize the pup, starting at an early age and continuing throughout their lifetime, so he/she does not have stranger anxiety or worries about new places/things/loud noises, and that he/she is comfortable, calm, and non-aggressive around children and dogs.
You must provide routine and/or emergency veterinary care when needed.
You must provide at least Basic Obedience training to your dog. If you live close, your group class with me will be free.
You must live no more than a 2.5-hour drive from southern Orange County, NY. (That’s most of CT, NJ, part of PA, and a whole lot of lower-mid NY.) You also must own your home and have a 6′ securely fenced yard. You cannot have any other intact (un-spayed or un-neutered) dogs in your home.
So, is it for you?
I know it seems like there are a whole lot of details, but really it’s pretty straight-forward. It’s a great opportunity for the right family to own a spectacular dog. It’s designed, of course, to make sure our breeding dogs are super happy and well-cared for, but also to give the right family a really rewarding experience. Not only do you have a wonderful dog, but you also get to share in one of the best parts of breeding high-quality dogs. You get to watch how your dog’s puppies develop and grow and see how they have added to and enriched others’ lives.
And, you’re helping us continue to breed happy, healthy dogs out of kennels. With their own families to love. Those dogs in turn produce happy, healthy pups. Win/win!
If you’re interested in becoming a Guardian Home, please fill out the Guardian Home Application.