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Guardian Homes

894 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mufar42
Hello Everyone. I was just wondering how many of you have heard and/or participated in a Guardian Home for breeders. I am in talks with a breeder and am contemplating doing this. I just want to get any feedback and thoughts on this if anybody is familiar with this? Thanks for your time.
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I am considered a guardian home for my poodle. If you have specific questions let me know! It was the perfect situation for us. I guess the most important thing when getting into a guardian home scenario is that you trust the breeder 100% and that both parties are completely okay with all terms of the contract. Also make sure that you agree wholeheartedly with every aspect of their breeding program to avoid problems. I wanted a show dog but did not want to breed so it worked out very nicely for us. Our breeder is local to us and we are great friends and both have the best interest of Luna in mind.
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I raised one litter in my own home with my own bitch, working very closely with a breeder (she was the owner of the stud, but not the breeder of my bitch). So that is a different situation. But I saw my girl go through the experience of raising a litter, and I think she really needed to be in her own home with support from her full-time owner (me). She had the happy confidence of being in her own home, fully supported by me, and I think that she passed her happy confidence on to her puppies. It all worked out very well for everyone.

But that is not the way most guardian relationships work. Things to consider and think long and hard about:

1. If you have a girl, does the breeder expect that you will send her back to have her babies at the breeder's house? For 8 or 9 weeks of the most sensitive and exciting time in her life? If so, I personally would not agree to that. Think about what life would be like for your girl whelping and raising her babies at the breeder's house, and think about whether she would be a happy and secure momma while at the breeder's house. (I do know of one case where I think this kind of arrangement worked out well, but the bitch was owned by the brother of the breeder and the breeder's house was like a second home to the momma dog.)

2. For a girl or a boy, does the breeder require that the dog be sent off to live with a handler (in a kennel) while being shown? If so, for how long? And what requirements would there be for you to help with maintaining a show coat? Personally I don't like the idea of sending my poodle off to live with a handler, and I don't like keeping a dog in a continental clip. (That is why Sam does not have an AKC championship, even though I have been told that his structure, movement and coat are all fabulous -- and I know that his temperament is solid as a rock.)

3. If you are getting a boy, make sure you understand what happens when he is bred. How often? Where? Any long trips? Any time away from you? What happens if you get to the point where you want to neuter him for any reason (humping, marking or other behavior problems, access to dog parks or day care, etc.).

4. Ownership and control: Does the breeder own the dog, or do you, or is it joint ownership? Who makes the decisions?

5. Money. Are you paying for the dog? Who is paying the costs (food, vet bills, testing, showing)? Do you get any share in the proceeds from sale of puppies or stud fees?

Taking everything into account, for this to work well, it should be a good deal for you, a good deal for the breeder, and good for the dog. It really helps if you and the breeder share the same values. Conceptually, the idea that a breeder can breed more dogs than he/she can keep in her own home makes sense. So the idea of guardian homes seems good. But I think there is a lot to be concerned about as mentioned above.

Finally, make sure that EVERYTHING is in writing.
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I did it two years ago (not for a poodle). Unfortunately I couldn’t keep the dog because of allergies, but the whole experience was very positive to me and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Maybe with a male though, because I had a female and had become attached so rapidly I don’t know how I could have let her go for three months, twice.
I think it could be a great opportunity to own a well bred poodle. A breeder I follow was looking for a guardian home. She offered..yearly vaccinations (her protocol), and would even groom, (most don't do the grooming) you had to live nearby and willing to bring the dog to her for sting, probably not more than 2 x, when ready to whelp return to her she would raise the litter and return the dog to you. I would do it in a heart beat, and I'd take my vacations while the dog was in her care. Would be a win win for me. That being said it all must be clearly understood by both parties and in writing.
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