Guardian Home FAQ
How Do I Know if I am Eligible for the Guardian Home Program?
To be eligible for our Guardian Home program you must:
live between Victoria and Campbell River
be okay with the breeder choosing the dog for you
have no intact dogs of the opposite sex in the home
take your puppy to basic obedience classes or train the dog yourself
be able to meet at least once per month for socialization with the breeder and breeder's dogs
not move out of the approved area until the contract is complete (up to 5 years from purchase)
not breed the dog on your own
be able to give your dog back to the breeder for 2 weeks while in heat and 2 months when whelping and rearing pups (if female)
read the Guardian Home FAQ to understand the commitment required
What Do I Get for in Exchange for Being a Guardian Home?
In return for allowing a female dog to return to the breeder to have pups for up to 2 litters, the guardian home will receive:
a much shorter time on the waiting list
the price of the puppy paid back in full after her first litter
20% of the income from subsequent litters born from the dog
free grooming until her contract is complete
a stipend for each performance title earned with the dog
your dog spayed at the end of her contract at the breeder's expense and returned to you permanently
In return for allowing a male dog to return to the breeder to provide stud service as necessary, the guardian home will receive:
a much shorter time on the waiting list
the price of the puppy paid back in full after his first litter
a payment each time the male is used as stud service
free grooming until his contract is complete
a stipend for each performance title earned with the dog
your dog neutered at the end of his contract at the breeder's expense and returned to you permanently
What is the Difference Between a Guardian Home and a Co-Ownership?
A guardian home and a co-ownership are similar arrangements but have some important differences. In a guardian home, the dog is owned by the breeder and the breeder makes all breeding decisions about the dog. In a co-ownership agreement, the dog is owned by both the breeder and the owner and there is an arrangement set in advance on who makes what decisions about the dog's breeding futures. In a guardian home only the breeder breeds the dog but in a co-ownership the owner may have the rights to breed the dog as well, under mentorship with the breeder.
If you are interested in being a co-owner instead of a guardian home please contact us! We are open to mentoring a new breeder with the goal being the betterment of both of our breeding programs.
Do I Get to Choose the Dog's Name?
Yes! The puppy's call name is yours to choose. We will choose the registered name for the dog, but we welcome your input or will try to match the call name you have chosen.
How Long Will the Guardian Dog Be Used for Breeding?
The dog will be bred up to two times. After those two litters, you will have a chance to end the contract and have her spayed or continue with the contract and continue to receive payments from her litters, to a maximum of five years of age. If you choose to continue, you can choose to stop at any time afterwards. Once she is released from her contract she will be spayed and is yours to keep with no restrictions! The breeder may choose to end the contract earlier and the dog will be signed over to you at that time.
If you are a guardian home for a male, the male will remain in service for up to 5 years. After those 5 years you will have the opportunity to end the contract and have him neutered and signed over to you or continue to have him used as a stud and receive payments for any litter sired by him. The breeder may choose to end the contract at any time and the male will be neutered and signed over to you once the contract has ended.
How Long Will the Guardian Dog Be Away From Home?
The guardian dog will spend the first two years of their life mostly at the guardian's home, coming to the breeder's every month for grooming and to remain acquainted with the breeder and their dogs and home. The guardian will make the dog available for the breeder to complete the necessary health testing at the appropriate ages. Once the guardian dog is old enough to be bred, she will return to the breeder for 1-2 weeks while in heat to be bred to the intended stud. Once the breeding has taken place, the guardian dog will return home until about 10-14 days before the due date. At this time she will return to the breeder to settle in to have her puppies! She will remain with the breeder until her puppies are 8-9 weeks old and then will be returned to her guardian home.
If the guardian dog is a male, the dog will only be needed for breedings so depending on the location of the dog and the intended female the breeder may take the male to their house for a couple of weeks or the female dog may visit the male's house for dates under the breeder's supervision.
How Do I Manage My Guardian Dog While She is in Heat?
When a female dog is in heat she may be grouchy or want to sleep more. She will be bleeding a bit but generally will keep herself clean. If you wish, she can wear panties while in the house so she doesn't bleed on your furniture.
A female in heat is especially attractive to male dogs, neutered or intact. She must be kept away from any males during her fertile time (usually between day 7 and day 14 of her heat). If she is being bred, the breeder may take her for the duration of her fertile window. If she is not being bred (or sometimes even outside her fertile window) she must be kept away from all males. Even a neutered male can and will breed and tie with a female in heat. While puppies will not result, the breeding can cause damage or pass on a disease. Keeping panties on the female and a belly band on a male should NOT be trusted. They should either be crated and let out in turns or the male should go to another household until the female is out of heat. For these reasons we strongly prefer guardian homes with no male dogs in the household.
Extra care should also be taken that the female does not escape during this time as she can be bred by a random neighborhood dog.
Can I Come Visit My Guardian Dog While She Has Puppies?
Having puppies and rearing them can be stressful for a mother dog and it is best to not have her guardian family visit in the first 4-5 weeks as it may upset the mother dog when they leave again. If everything is going well and the mother is well-adjusted and happy, a visit may be possible after the puppies are 4-5 weeks old. For mothers that are a bit more sensitive, it may not be possible to visit them while they are at the breeder's house.
Will My Guardian Dog Be Sad to Leave Her Puppies?
While mother dogs do love their puppies, it is also natural for them to be okay with the puppies leaving around 8-9 weeks old. Most of them don't even notice! We try our best to have some of the puppies go to their new homes before the guardian dog goes back to her home so it isn't an abrupt transition but we will do whatever is best for both the mother and the puppies depending on the situation.
What if I Have to Move While Still Under Contract?
If you have to move out of the area while your guardian dog is still under contract you can either return the dog to the breeder, make the trip to see the breeder even though it is farther away, or the breeder may choose to end the contract early if they decide they don't need the dog in their program anymore. The dog may also be returned to the breeder to complete her contract then given back to her guardians permanently after her contract is over.
What if I Need Somebody to Watch my Guardian Dog While I am Away?
Except in certain pre-approved situations, we require that any guardian dog come back to us if their guardian family has to go on vacation and needs a dog-sitter. There is no charge for this service.
What if Something Happens to the Guardian Dog While in the Guardian's Care?
Any minor accidents or ailments not related to breeding are the responsibility of the guardian. Any breeding-related mishaps (including ailments that are a direct result of the dog being intact) are taken care of by the breeder. If the dog is injured or sick to the point where the dog can no longer be bred, the contract will be ended and the dog given over to the guardian home except in cases where such injury or ailments were caused by the neglect of the guardian home in which case the dog will be returned to the breeder and financial restitution may be sought.
What if Something Happens to the Guardian Dog While in the Breeder's Care?
If the guardian dog is in the care of the breeder (during groomings, babysitting, or while they are being bred / raising puppies) and is injured or becomes ill as a result of something that happens while in the breeder's care, the breeder will be responsible for any medical costs that such an injury or ailment incurs.
What if the Breeder Decides Not to Breed My Guardian Dog?
We may decide against breeding the guardian dog for many reasons. The dog may not pass their health testing, may develop a personality issue, or may have a less than ideal coat or conformation. We may also choose to go a different direction with our program. If the guardian dog has had at least one litter, the dog will be spayed at the breeder's expense (or breeding rights may be purchased by the guardian family in some cases). If the guardian dog has not had any litters yet and we decide not to use them for breeding, the dog must be spayed at the owner's expense or her breeding rights may be purchased in some cases. Once the dog has been spayed or breeding rights have been purchased, the dog will be released to the guardian home permanently.
What If the Breeder Is Done Breeding the Guardian Dog But I Want to Breed Her Myself?
Once the guardian dog is no longer under contract she is signed over to the guardian home but that does not come with breeding rights. In some situations it is possible that we will allow the guardian home breeding rights on a case-by-case basis however a new contract must be drawn up and certain terms must be agreed to before this will be allowed. In cases where the female was not used or retired early because of health or temperament issues we will not allow her to be used to breeding.
Do I Have to Participate in Dog Sports With my Guardian Dog?
While we do prefer that a guardian dog trains and competes in dog sports, it is not required. When choosing a guardian home we do prefer those that do sports but also realize that most homes just want a nice pet. To encourage homes to compete in dog sports, we give stipends to the families if the dog earns a performance title.
How Do the Title Stipends Work?
We want to encourage our guardian homes to participate in dog sports! We will give a small stipend for each performance title earned with the dog. The amount varies based on the complexity of the sport and level of title earned. For example a Champion title will pay more than a Novice or Starters title. Only performance titles earn stipends (such as agility, nosework, rally, conformation, etc), not fun titles such as trick titles. Once the dog has been fully signed over to the guardian home we will no longer give stipends but we encourage them to participate and trial in sports.
Do I Have to Keep the Dog in a Specific Haircut?
For a female dog, up until the dog has puppies we require the dog be kept in a poodle cut (shaved face, feet, and pompom tail) but that can be anything from a lamb cut to a full continental show trim. We want to present the dog nicely and looking like a poodle should so we can take some professional photos for litter announcements, etc. Once the dog has had puppies she will be shaved short and after that can be kept in any style you desire (but will continue to be shaved short for raising puppies).
For a male we require the dog to be kept in a poodle cut of some sort that keeps him looking like a poodle and presents him nicely. Once he is at least a year old and we have taken some nice professional photos of him you may change his haircut to whatever you wish.
Any Other Questions?
This page is still being added to. If you have any questions or suggestions for things people may ask about guardian homes please let us know and we can add to it!