Thank you for your interest in our breeding program. We do not believe that puppies or dogs are best served by being kennel raised. By placing them in a home environment that will be their forever home from the time they are puppies, or by placing as a young adult, we are doing our best to ensure their happiness and best start in life. We never have to kennel raise a dog when utilizing guardian homes.
We have an increased need of families looking for special needs and therapy dogs along with well bred, healthy and loving pet homes. We are able to meet the current demand but, the demand for our dogs is growing significantly.
The majority of guardian homes are families who cannot afford to purchase a Golden Retriever. For those who could not afford to purchase a Golden Retriever outright, the guardian home option is a fantastic way to have a beautiful healthy Top Pick Golden Retriever. There are others who simply like the idea of how our program works and want to be a part of it with us!
We benefit as a breeder because we do not need to have or utilize kennels. We do not have to care for more dogs than we are comfortable with or can manage easily in our own home. We know each dog has a forever home from the time they are young. As we are a small family breeding program focused on Superior Health and Beauty with attention to our dog’s happiness and wellbeing at all times.
There are always a lot of questions that people have about the guardian program. The collection of questions and answers below are our best attempt to address all questions right up front so someone does not feel like they weren't really aware of how this program works. Hopefully the information doesn't overwhelm you. It really is a very simple program even though it may seem like it has a lot of details. The main thing to remember is, if we as a people truly reject the idea of puppy mills, to my knowledge there is no better way than this guardian program to breed dogs in a humane, loving environment. People will find a way to get a dog for their family, and most people unknowingly choose puppy mills because it is the cheapest way to get dogs to the public. We greatly value our dogs as family members and we hope that you can see how this program benefits families and our precious canine family members!
What guidelines do I have to follow when raising the puppy or dog?
- Guardian families must feed a dog food approved by us. We are advocates of healthy nutrition for dogs, and for feeding foods that will not cause health issues, like cancers, tumors, allergies, etc. The foods we ask you to feed are easily found, but are holistic, no by-products or fillers, etc. You will find the food we approve are easily found or available via our website.
- We require the family to avoid all chemicals unless necessary, and to ONLY give supplements or medicines approved by us. The reason for this is there are only certain items that can be used on breeding and pregnant females. This includes flea, heartworm, ear cleaners or any other meds. We use Advantage and Frontline Plus for the flea medications and your Vet will prescribe the heartworm medication which is fine at all times.
- Should the dog become sick or injured, we need the family to notify us right away so we are involved in all decisions regarding the treatment of the dog.
- We ask the family to practice safe handling of the dog. To not leave the dog outside if they are not at home. Don't let the dog sit in the back of an open pickup. Use a leash in public. Provide basic obedience training so the dog has manners. All things that should be done to protect your dog anyway.
- The guardian home is responsible for the transportation of the dog to us when needed for breeding, litters, or health test clearances. This is the most inconvenient part of the guardian responsibilities.
- Breedings are expected about every 6 months of dogs 2nd birthday.
- Dog will travel to us for whelping/birthing and rearing of the puppies up to 8 weeks of age.
- Health Clearances are done at (1 year) of age for echocardiogram on heart, (1.5 years) for Preliminary hip/elbow x-rays and (2 years) for final hip/elbow x-rays. We will cover all these costs but will need dog to travel to us the day before the appointment which we will schedule with you in advance.
(Should you NOT be able to drop off or pick up your dog, we can usually arrange for a drop off or pick up fee of $2 a mile after 30 miles per round trip). We do expect that the dog only come to us within 2-3 days of when needed, and be picked up 1-2 days after they are ready to go. We are not a boarding facility and have dogs coming and going all the time. This is the guardian home responsibility and part of how they earn the dog through the program.
What age do you start breeding the dog?
- We will usually breed on the heat following the dogs second birthday. This will depend on how many other girls are cycling and having litters, as well as the individual dogs age and situation. We would also like to be notified when your puppy has its first cycle, usually somewhere around 8-15 months of age, so we can have a calculated guess on when her next cycle will be.
How long is she with you when you breed?
- As soon as the family is aware the dog is in heat, we will have them arrange to bring the dog to us by day 5 - 7 of the heat cycle (day one is when blood is first seen). She will remain with us for about one week, and then the family can pick her up and take her back home. Again, please be aware that we will not house the dog for long periods before or after the times they are needed. If you are unable to drop off or pick up the dog within 1-2 days of when needed, you will be charged $30 day for boarding at Breeders discretion or you will be required to find someone else who can do so for you, or we can drop off or pick up your dog for a drop off or pick up fee of $2 for every mile after 30 miles per round trip).
How long is a dog pregnant?
- Dogs are pregnant for 63 days with respect to a day or two before or after. However, they are typically right at 63 days.
How long is she with you when she has the litter?
- She will come to us between 7 - 9 days before she is due with her litter. This gives her time to settle into our house, get used to seeing the whelping box. It is important that she becomes very comfortable with being in our house and being with us all the time. We do not want the mom to feel threatened by us when she is getting ready to whelp. She will go home after puppies are weaned. She will go home between 6 and 8 weeks.
Can we visit her when she has the puppies?
- We do not allow guardian homes to visit until puppies are at least 4 weeks of age. Please be aware though that no handling of puppies will be allowed. You may visit your dog and spend some time with her if she is doing well with leaving her puppies for short periods of time. It is best to limit this visit to one hour as our schedule is very busy and puppies are not best served by being away from mom for longer than that.
Does this negatively affect the dog emotionally to go from the guardian home to the breeder's home?
- No. There is an initial "Where is my family going?" when they bring her to us, but in every situation the dog is settled and comfortable and doing very well within an hour or two. We try very hard to give them so much attention and love the first couple days that it is a pleasant and enjoyable experience for them. This is also important as everything the mother feels causes things to happen inside her body that can affect the babies. The less stress and the more relaxed she is, the better it is for babies. So, it is very important that the guardian home not make the transition difficult for the dog. If they act upset or nervous or sad about leaving her, she will feel that even more greatly and we need to make sure that doesn't happen. Bringing her and hanging out in our house with her for an hour or so and just pretending like it's any other visit you'd make is very important. If we can have the family sneak out so the dog isn't even aware, they've left, that is usually best too. She rarely acknowledges for more than a couple of minutes that anything has happened.
What happens during pregnancy and what do I have to do differently with the dog?
- Pregnancy is actually very easy. I have a list of what happens each week during the development of the puppies, and I give that to our guardian homes at the time we begin breeding. The dog may act a little more tired, or not eat as much for a few weeks. This lasts through a couple weeks of pregnancy. She is usually becoming hungrier and sleeps more as time progresses. Otherwise, normal activity is typical and it is important to continue with walking the dog right up to the end. This helps during delivery. Being in shape is always best. Normal play and romping and running during the first half of pregnancy is great. During the second half of pregnancy, we limit activity to walks on a leash and no ball chasing type of activities.
- NO CHEMICALS OR MEDICATIONS may be given during pregnancy (heart worm meds are fine)! We have to be notified immediately of any illness or injury so we can be involved in determining how she is treated.
What happens if the puppy/dog gets sick or injured while in the guardian home care?
- While the dog is in guardian's care and home, any illness or injury that happens is their financial responsibility. We must be involved in treatment plans and know what is going on in determining medications, but the family is responsible for those expenses. Health insurance is recommended during her breeding years. We recommend Trupanion pet insurance.
- Thankfully we have never had an unfortunate situation or death occur but should this situation arise we would require a necropsy in determining cause of death. We expect no signs of neglect!
What expenses do the guardians pay for and what things does the breeder pay for?
- The guardian home pays for any normal care items. Food, dishes, leashes, beds, normal vaccinations or wormings, flea meds, heartworm meds, toys, grooming needs. Anything that would be normal for a pet family etc. The Guardian is responsible for all aspects of the dog unrelated to pregnancy.
- After the Guardian Home agreement has been fulfilled the dog is transferred into Guardians name and Breeder will refund the $500 deposit to Guardian. Guardian will be responsible for spay or neutering of the dog within a month of transfer. It is the guardian’s responsibility to pay for those expenses.
- Breeder will pay for all expenses related to health testing (OFA Clearances) for breeding purposes, along with all breeding expenses and litter expenses.
How many litters do you usually breed before retiring the dog?
- We contract until the age of 5 years. We may only breed three times or two times, or even one time, but we have the option of 6 litters. We are concerned for the well-being of the dogs in our program and their health and wellbeing comes first.
Who pays for the spay surgery?
- Guardian pays for the spay surgery after the girl has had time to recover from the last litter and have her hormone levels return to normal. This is usually about 2 months after puppies are weaned. The average spay fee is between $125 and $175, but some vets charge as much as $400.
What happens if the dog doesn't pass a health test like you want them to for becoming a breeding dog?
- At this stage in our business, we are very careful to know the lines we work with. It's not typical to have a health test fail and be unable to use the dog for breeding. Most of the testing we do is very specific, and we have already thoroughly screened the family line and health testing of parent dogs, so it's not likely we'll encounter a problem that would cause us to say we can't breed the girl.
- Should the dog of the Guardian home not pass a clearance then remember, that breeding quality and pet quality are two different things. Just because a dog may not be the best breeding candidate doesn't mean they aren't the perfect pet!
- The biggest problem with placing puppies to early is that if the girl were to have borderline tests and we decided not to use her in our breeding program, it makes financial sense for us to sell her as a pet either to the guardian home or another willing family. We recognize the hardship on the family and the dog if we were to have to sell the puppy either to the guardian home or another pet family so we have specialist test the dogs eyes and heart in advance for defects before placing in Guardian home. The clearances for eyes and heart will have to been completed once again as dog comes of age. This is a great start and covers all clearances except hip/elbow. A genetics swab panel will be done to show clear or carrier of genetic defects which are known through parentage. This test is a technicality to prove what we already know.
If a dog is not utilized as a breeding dog due to a failed clearance by 2 years old, or for ANY reason by the time they are 3 years of age. The guardian home would be responsible to pay $3,000 total. This includes the $500 deposit of which, otherwise, would have been returned to you at the end of her breeding career. there is also the option to have the dog replaced by another one of our dogs in need of a Guardian Home as needed.
We may have a need to reserve Guardian homes now or for the near future.
Please let us know if you are interested for more details
Text: (919) 667-3451