In order for us to give our dogs the best possible lives, it is important for us to limit how many dogs we keep in our own home. However, to be a breeder of quality dogs we need to continue, evaluate, and add quality bloodlines into our breeding program. We like to keep a few of our pick puppies to eventually fit into our breeding program -- we prefer to place these pick puppies in guardian homes. A Doodle needs to be a part of the family to develop their full potential, and this is why we have the guardian program. We are giving the dog to the guardian family to raise and love and keep as a member of their family. This program allows local families an opportunity to own one of the best Doodles available without paying an initial fee for it. The family must be approved as guardian parents and agree to abide by our contract of care. The guardian home program is an excellent situation for the dog, it's a great deal for guardian parents, and is ideal for producing an exceptional breeding program. It is one of those "win - win" situations for everyone involved. The family receives a quality, top pick dog for their forever pet, we are able to improve the breed by using only the best dogs, and the reason we instigated our guardian program -- the dog lives in a forever home, receiving one-on-one attention, training and appropriate care. We value our dogs as family members and we hope that you can see how this program benefits families and our four-legged friends! If you’re receiving a Guardian Home Puppy or Young Adult, we will require a visit to our guardians home every few months during the first year to assess the puppy, as well as, build a relationship with him/her for the future. This plan is used by many breeders and is often called a foster or “Guardian Home” program. Summarized – the breeding dog lives with their adoptive family and returns to us for breeding as needed. Females will return when in season, then again to deliver the puppies. Males return when a female that he is needed for stud is in heat. We work with our Guardian Homes using a simple contract and we provide support and guidance all along the way, staying in contact through the year. At the end of the Guardian Home Family contract, the dogs belong 100% to the Guardian Family. Guardian Homes Must Have The Following: Own their own home Have their own car to transport the dog Live within 2 hours of Hebron, NY Not work more than 8 hours/day, 5 days a week outside of the home (Preference given to people staying/working at home) Prior dog ownership experience Vet reference preferred Be willing to crate and house train the puppy. Complete at least (and show proof of) one obedience class Provide proper veterinary care, grooming, vaccinations and heartworm preventative Feed an approved dog food at least twice a day Notify breeder when female begins her heat cycle Not allow the female to be around intact males during heat cycle Not allow a guardian male to breed other females ($7,000 fee if not followed) Keep us updated on the dog’s progress via email Ensure that the puppy is well socialized with people and other dogs Use Seresto Collars for flea and tick prevention An interview at your home is also required before you can be accepted as a guardian home. If you think you would be interested in being a Guardian Home please fill out the form below!
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 health nutrition for dogs, and for feeding foods that will not cause health issues. The foods we ask you to feed are easily found. We require the family to avoid all chemicals unless necessary, and to not give supplements or medicines unless approved by us. Seresto collars for flea and tick prevention must be worn and your Vet will prescribe heartworm medication. If the dog becomes 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 testing. This is the most inconvenient part of the guardian responsibilities. Please think through this carefully. We will not meet families or pick up dogs ourselves. This is the guardian home responsibility and part of how they earn the dog through the program. We do expect that the dog only come to us within 1-2 days of when needed, and be picked up 1-2 days after they are ready to go. What age do you start breeding the dog? Bitches/Females have their first estrus (also know as season or heat) after six months of age, although it can occur as late as 18 months to two years of age. The bitch will not be bred during her first heat.We typically breed on the second or third heat cycle. Estrus recurs at intervals of approximately six months until late in life or being spayed. During estrus, the female is fertile and will accept a male. The bitch’s cycle is divided into four periods. Proestrus: The bitch attracts males, has a bloody vaginal discharge, and her vulva is swollen. Proestrus lasts approximately nine days; the bitch, however, will not allow breeding at this time. Estrus: During this period, which also lasts approximately nine days, the bitch will accept the male and is fertile. Ovulation usually occurs in the first 48 hours; however, this can vary greatly. Diestrus: Lasting 60 to 90 days, diestrus is the period when the reproductive tract is under the control of the hormone progesterone. This occurs whether or not the bitch becomes pregnant. False pregnancy, a condition in which the bitch shows symptoms of being pregnant although she has not conceived, is occasionally seen during diestrus. Anestrus: No sexual activity takes place. Anestrus lasts between three and four months. You must immediately notify us when your dog is in heat (even the first time so that we can plan accordingly). Notifying us immediately gives us time to assess whether or not we will breed. This will depend on other litter plans, as well as the individual dogs age and situation. We would also like to be notified when your puppy has its first cycle, somewhere around 9-12 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. She will remain with us for about one week, and then they 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. How long are male dogs with you for breeding? Male guardian dogs are much more simple than a female. He is only needed for 2-3 days at a time for breeding purposes, and then will be returned to his guardian family. If doing artificial insemination, he can even be returned the same day. Males are retired before 6 years old How long is a dog pregnant? Dogs are pregnant for about 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 etc. It is important that she becomes very comfortable with being in our house and being with us all the time. She will go home after puppies are weaned around 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 the guardian dog and spend some time with her if she is doing well with leaving her puppies for short periods of time. We do try 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 quickly the dog is settled and comfortable and doing very well. We 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. We will schedule visits prior to her being bred so she is used to visiting us. 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. We have a list of what happens each week during the development of puppies, and we give that to our guardian homes at the time we begin breeding. The dog may act a little more tired, or not eat normally for a little while. The last couple weeks of pregnancy she is usually becoming more hungry 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. After that, we limit activity to walks on a leash and no ball chasing type of activities. No chemicals may be given during pregnancy. 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 gets sick or injured while in the guardian home's care? Once the guardian contract is signed and they take possession, any illness or injury that happens is their financial responsibility. We must be involved in treatment plans and know what is going on and determining medications, but the family is responsible for those expenses. Health insurance is often an a good idea. 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 etc. If the dog needs meds due to worms, illness, infection or anything unrelated to pregnancy, it is the guardian’s responsibility to pay for those expenses. We pay for all expenses related to health testing for breeding purposes, all breeding expenses and litter expenses. How many litters do you usually breed the female before retiring the dog? We contract for four litters. We may breed fewer but we have the option of four. We are concerned for the well-being of our program dogs. If we find that the girl has problems with deliveries or it would be unhealthy for them to breed again, we will stop the breeding program with her and she will be yours. Males are retired before they are 6 years old. Who pays for the spay or neuter surgery? You pay for the 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. Male dogs will be retired and then neutered before they are 6 years old. What happens if the dog doesn't pass a health test like you want them to for becoming a breeding dog? We are very careful to know the lines we work with, and it's not typical to have a health test come back negatively. During the first year, we will have most of her/his genetic health testing completed. Once we receive the test results we decide whether or not the guardian dog will enter our breeding program officially. If a dog does not pass testing or it's decided that he/she will not be added to our program the guardian family will be offered full ownership of the dog and he/she will be spayed/neutered at the owners's expense.Most of the testing we do is very specific, and we have already thoroughly screened the 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 with that dog. The guardian home is responsible to pay $1,000 pet fee or return the dog to us. What are the grooming requirements and do you want us to keep the dog clipped a certain way? We ask that families keep the dog in one of the typical "puppy cuts" for doodles. The most important part is the head and ears. We want them to have the look a doodle is supposed to have, especially when they come to visit us the first time around 9 months of age as we try to get a lot of pictures of them for the website. It's very easy and most groomers will do okay if given specifics when you take the dog in.We do require that the dog be kept groomed and matt free. If you are unable to keep the coat in good shape yourself, you are required to use a groomer to do so. If the dog is brought to us with a matted coat, or a coat that is in bad shape, we have the right to take them in to our own groomer and have them shaved down or worked on, but you will be responsible to reimburse us for that expense before the dog returns to you. Guardian dogs are ambassadors for our program. It is important that they are maintained in great health and not matted and in bad shape.