For us and many like us the answer is a Guardian Program. Our Guardian Dog program allows us and other dog breeders like us to expand our dog breeding program with pride and helps us to breed the very highest quality puppies the right way..Out of kennels and IN THE LOVING ARMS OF THEIR FAMILY!!
As a Guardian home, you get a free puppy/dog ($250 deposit returned with first litter) and the dog stays with you as your family dog for the life of the dog. We co-own the dog and retain breeding rights for a certain amount of litters starting at sexual maturity and ending at retirement from our breeding program... Each guardian dog contract is unique but generally male dogs are contracted for a period of time rather than a number of litters and for females it's usually for 6 litters depending on what we're trying to accomplish with that particular female, how well she reacts to being a mother, and the puppies she produces. I usually will breed them back to back twice so they may retire early, unless our vet recommends differently or timing doesn't work out for me (overlapping litters, etc). The contract may be extended (very rare) if both the guardian and we agree to it, or shortened if we decide no more litters are desired out of the girl. Guardians of females are required to alert us to when their girl is coming into season, and make her available to us for the breeding process. Approximately one week prior to whelping, the girl will come to our home for delivery and care of her pups. Once the pups are weaned (approx. 6-8 weeks) the female can go back to her guardian home. Guardian families are generally not allowed to visit more than once while the pups are young, but this varies depending on the female's reaction. Other experienced breeders have consistently found it is easier on the moms if they don't have the distraction. However, Guardian families are notified when labor begins and are welcome to quietly observe labor and delivery, and sometimes may even help, again depending on the female.
Our guardians are responsible for the dog’s regular health maintenance: veterinary care including annual exams, rabies vaccines, heartworm preventative, grooming, food, etc. Discounted grooming and flea preventative are available at our professional grooming salon in South Toledo. We also fully groom the dog for free at the time of breeding, when they come back to us for whelping, and prior to going back to their Guardian home. We pay for genetic health testing required for breeding, all breeding related expenses, provide all DHPP combo vaccines, de-worming, microchipping, and county license fees for the entire duration of the contract. Once the dog has passed their genetic health testing she/he is added to our breeding program. We decide when she will be bred and to whom she will be bred too, she stays with her guardian family during her pregnancy (63 days) and then is returned to us at least a week before her due date to deliver (whelp) and then raise her puppies (8 weeks). Once her puppies are weaned she is returned to her guardian family.
We provide our guardian families with a monetary litter gift of $25.00 per live puppy their female guardian dog whelps to be used towards her care (except first litter when deposit is returned). This often more than covers the entire cost of her care annually. This is not the case with our male guardian dogs as they do not experience increased nutritional needs (food expenses) during a pregnancy, however since a male will visit us more frequently for breeding, all grooming is usually done completely free of charge.
When the dog is older and completes his/her breeding obligations, the dog is spayed/neutered and comes home to enjoy the wonderful life you have provided for him/her since puppyhood or aquirement with absolutely no strings attached. Females in guardian homes may have up to six litters prior to being spayed, but the contract is completed usually by their 6th birthday.
There are many things that Guardian families need to consider. Guardians of females sometimes have to deal with several heat cycles and keeping their girl protected from unwanted males. The Guardian family will need to learn the signs of a heat cycle and be willing to communicate, cooperate and coordinate with us to ensure a successful breeding. Because of canine venereal diseases, male guardian dogs can only mate with females approved by us. Our Guardian Families get to enjoy the excitement of being part of our unique breeding program and seeing the offspring of their dog be placed with some really amazing families across the country, bringing others the same happiness that they've received from their Guardian Dog! Watching your dog become a mom or dad, watching their puppies grow up and getting to hear the stories from their families and how much joy they've brought into their lives and sometimes completely changed their lives for the better.. that to me is the biggest benefit of all because there is nothing like the JOY that bring me personally. Maybe not everyone will "get it" but if you do then our guardian program might just be a great match for you and if you don't get it.. then probably not.
This is not the "Get a free and expensive dog program"... This is a big emotional commitment. Please think it through before you apply!
Qualifying to be a Guardian Home:
The Guardian Home program is actually a very simple program even though it may seem like there are a lot of details. The main thing to remember is, if we as humans truly reject the idea of puppy mills, then to our knowledge there is no better way than the guardian home program to help reputable breeders continue to breed dogs in a humane and loving environment and out of cages so in order to continue to produce HAPPY and HEALTHY puppies for families who are looking for a forever pet or are in need of a service dog. We have adopted this wonderful program and it has worked very well for many experienced breeders and the families involved.
There are 5 steps to becoming a Guardian home:
Application, Telephone Interview, Veterinary/Reference Check, Home Visit, Puppy/Dog Matching
If you're interested in becoming a Guardian home, please fill out our Guardian Home application below. Your application will be reviewed and those we think will be the best fit will be contacted for the initial telephone interview. Please don't take it personal if we don't contact you right away. It does not mean we have denied your application.. Guardian home applicants are screened intensely and therefore we do not process them until we have the adequate time available to do so fully. We ask that you allow up to 30 days from the receipt of your application for processing, although we try our best to respond within one week. If we do not feel you would be a good fit for our Guardian Program, we will give you the courtesy of an email to let you know that we are unable to approve you. However, you are more then welcome to email us with your questions at anytime.
We're specifically looking for local families with dog experience who live in the Toledo, Maumee, Perrysburg, Rossford, Sylvania, and surrounding areas but will consider families that live within 1 hour driving distance verified using Google Maps.
THE MOST IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS ARE:
Commitment, Socialization and Trust.
BE willing to work with Us
Be a FANTASTIC dog owner for the LIFE of your dog.