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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First apologies if this is in the wrong area.
Has anyone heard the term "Guardian Homes?"
I hadn't but then recently when exploring HOW MANY doodles breeders are out there, I came across the term. Has anyone heard of this in connection with other breeds? I'd never heard the term before and wonder when it crept into the vocabulary. Seems a misnomer to me
 

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First apologies if this is in the wrong area.
Has anyone heard the term "Guardian Homes?"
I hadn't but then recently when exploring HOW MANY doodles breeders are out there, I came across the term. Has anyone heard of this in connection with other breeds? I'd never heard the term before and wonder when it crept into the vocabulary. Seems a misnomer to me
Yes, every standard poodle breeder I've worked with has had some dogs in guardian homes. It can be a win-win situation for everyone under the right circumstances. People who are serious about breeding and showing will often own too many dogs to keep in one household. The breeding dogs, the ones currently being shown, the puppy prospects: it can add up to a lot of dogs. Placing some of their dogs into guardian households gives the dogs a chance for one on one attention from a family instead of just being one of many dogs in a kennel. The dog lives with its family and retires with the people it loves after its breeding career is over.

However, guardian agreements can also work out badly. I know one breeder had a problem with one of her guardian households and took the dog back. I wasn't particularly sympathetic to the guardian - she chose to break her contract - but my heart broke for the dog. If I were ever to become a guardian myself I would read the contract very carefully to ensure I was comfortable with the breeder's expectations and that I had a clear path to eventual ownership of the dog.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Yes, I’ve heard this term. It’s a way to expand one’s breeding program while still treating dogs like dogs rather than livestock. In this regard, it’s a very good thing. But I couldn’t personally do it.
 

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Yes, I know of breeders of Collies, Giant Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers, Poodles of all sizes, that use guardian homes. It's a means to be able to breed for litters they want to continue their work in their breeding lines without having to house all those dogs & them not get the individual attention they deserve. It can really be great.
 

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I was a guardian home for a short while but I had to return the dog due to my allergies.
 

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I haven't heard the term, but my breeder has 5 girls at home, but she keeps her favorite stud at a friend's place miles away. She says with 5 girls going in and out of heat, it just not fair or practical. Her boy comes for visits when no one's in heat.
 

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Can be good, can be bad. When good there are reasonable expectations and all three parties get what they want from the arrangement. When it's bad, a breeder can exploit a guardian who is naive enough to sign a bad contract. But reputable breeders don't do this. Reading the contracts is extremely important to understanding the particular situation.
 

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In the guardian home contracts I've read. the guardian is not the legal owner. The breeder retains ownership.

It's not an arrangement I would enter into, but the breeder, the dog, the guardian, and the contract would all need to be on the same page.

This is a contract from a reputable poodle breeder, identifying info removed.

Guardian Program - Only One Special Puppy Per Litter

In an effort to provide excellent family homes while expanding our breeding options, we offer a Guardian program option to one pick one puppy per litter. As the gene pool for quality Poodles is very limited, having more animals available allows more genetic diversity possibilities for future breeding to produce healthy puppies. In this program, the Guardian family raises the puppy like normal while the AKC registration remains in the breeder’s name.

Just like buying a puppy, the Guardian is responsible for the daily care, veterinarian costs, food, maintenance grooming, training costs, etc. The Guardian is also responsible to put at least five AKC or UKC titles on the puppy. The title(s) can be in conformation and/or performance sports including obedience, rally, agility, tracking, hunting, fly ball, therapy, etc. Although not required, we do prefer people who have previous dog experience. Of course we provide guidance with any questions concerning the dog sport world. We often also offer to handle the puppy in the show ring as needed. Putting a title on a dog proves the animal is stable, intelligent, and can work in a stressful environment. We can offer show grooming until the puppy finishes the Championship title as most pet groomers are not familiar with show trims.

As the breeder, I pay for all health testing associated with breeding, initial AKC registration fees, microchip, and housing and care while being used for breeding. If all the health testing, performance, structure, and temperament shows the puppy is of breeding quality, they might become an active part of our breeding program after 2 years of age. The dog will return to us for breeding. Males are only needed for a couple days typically. Males may be kept intact for up to the age of 10 years old. We do not have behavior problems with our intact males, but we will not allow a Guardian home to have a male if they also have another intact female of any breed to prevent accidental breeding.

If the puppy does not prove it is a good breeding candidate or when it completes its breeding career, it will be neutered and live out its life as a cherished family pet. At that time, all AKC registration paperwork will be changed to reflect that the Guardian is the sole owner of the dog. Your home is their home for their entire life.

Guardian homes must stay in regular contact with us and should be within a 2 hour driving radius of our home. The Guardian program is excellent for people who want to show their puppy in dog sports at a reduced price for their puppy. It is a partnership with the guidance and mentoring of an experienced breeder. Guardian homes are an integral part of the family! As an incentive, Guardian homes receive a $800 discount off their puppy. We only offer one Guardian puppy per litter, so please let me know if this option sounds like a good fit for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I saw one explanation (it wasn't a contract as it was just on a website) for a doodle puppy, female. The breeder said they would want 4 litters from the dog. I couldn't do it. Not that I want a doodle anyway. It's just that I had never seen that term before.
I had a good relationship with the breeders of my current oldsters (not poodles) and the breeder showed them both, but there was no breeding involved. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, they were so spoiled that the show ring was not in their skill set. The female had stage fright and the male rolled over thinking the judge would rub his tummy.
 

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Guardian homes can be a very good option. It is good for the breeder as they expand their breeding program without the added work of having an additional dog in the house. However everything must be spelled out. From vet visits, grooming, time period for the guardianship and how often and the arrangements for breeding, whelping. I recently came across a very reputable breeder who was looking for a guardian home for one of her dogs. She was including all vet checks, vaccinations etc. and grooming, she wanted 1 litter from this particular dog, after all the health tests were performed. That would have been at least a 2-3 year commitment before the dog, which then would have been spayed would transfer ownership to the guardian. You also usually need to live nearby and not more than 2 hours away, that also must be stipulated in the contract. It can be a win if you are settled, can't really afford a well bred dog and are willing to be without same during whelping and raising of pups. I would do it at this point of my life as I know I'm not going anywhere, and would be willing to work thru with the breeders terms. When I was young maybe not as life was forever evolving.
 

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In the guardian home contracts I've read. the guardian is not the legal owner. The breeder retains ownership.

It's not an arrangement I would enter into, but the breeder, the dog, the guardian, and the contract would all need to be on the same page.

This is a contract from a reputable poodle breeder, identifying info removed.

Guardian Program - Only One Special Puppy Per Litter

In an effort to provide excellent family homes while expanding our breeding options, we offer a Guardian program option to one pick one puppy per litter. As the gene pool for quality Poodles is very limited, having more animals available allows more genetic diversity possibilities for future breeding to produce healthy puppies. In this program, the Guardian family raises the puppy like normal while the AKC registration remains in the breeder’s name.

Just like buying a puppy, the Guardian is responsible for the daily care, veterinarian costs, food, maintenance grooming, training costs, etc. The Guardian is also responsible to put at least five AKC or UKC titles on the puppy. The title(s) can be in conformation and/or performance sports including obedience, rally, agility, tracking, hunting, fly ball, therapy, etc. Although not required, we do prefer people who have previous dog experience. Of course we provide guidance with any questions concerning the dog sport world. We often also offer to handle the puppy in the show ring as needed. Putting a title on a dog proves the animal is stable, intelligent, and can work in a stressful environment. We can offer show grooming until the puppy finishes the Championship title as most pet groomers are not familiar with show trims.

As the breeder, I pay for all health testing associated with breeding, initial AKC registration fees, microchip, and housing and care while being used for breeding. If all the health testing, performance, structure, and temperament shows the puppy is of breeding quality, they might become an active part of our breeding program after 2 years of age. The dog will return to us for breeding. Males are only needed for a couple days typically. Males may be kept intact for up to the age of 10 years old. We do not have behavior problems with our intact males, but we will not allow a Guardian home to have a male if they also have another intact female of any breed to prevent accidental breeding.

If the puppy does not prove it is a good breeding candidate or when it completes its breeding career, it will be neutered and live out its life as a cherished family pet. At that time, all AKC registration paperwork will be changed to reflect that the Guardian is the sole owner of the dog. Your home is their home for their entire life.

Guardian homes must stay in regular contact with us and should be within a 2 hour driving radius of our home. The Guardian program is excellent for people who want to show their puppy in dog sports at a reduced price for their puppy. It is a partnership with the guidance and mentoring of an experienced breeder. Guardian homes are an integral part of the family! As an incentive, Guardian homes receive a $800 discount off their puppy. We only offer one Guardian puppy per litter, so please let me know if this option sounds like a good fit for you.
This contract is slightly different from what my breeders used. My breeders covered the cost of vet care and didn't specify anything about titles. (Either they didn't show or else they put titles on the dogs themselves.) One breeder had a clause specifying that the dogs needed to be protected from being bred; an oops litter was cause for removal.

I once saw a bad contract that didn't specify the number of litters expected and gave no clear path to eventual ownership. That one would have been a hard no from me.
 

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My dogs breeder does co ownership agreements which I like better than the strictly guardian agreements where you don't own the dog. I have seen a lot of guardian agreements that look icky to me.
 

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I saw one explanation (it wasn't a contract as it was just on a website) for a doodle puppy, female. The breeder said they would want 4 litters from the dog.
Those kinds of contracts you described are equivalent loan shark interest rates on steroids and highly unethical.

Say you take custody of a female puppy with the agreement she'll have four litters by age 6. You do the work and usually pay for vet bills, with may or may not include a C-section or other pregnancy related problems.

You're puppy is valued at $2500. Let's say she has a modest sized litter of 5. The breeder keeps the entire litter valued at $12,500. With four litters, she has reaped a profit of $50,000, with ten she'd profit $100,000 while you have cleaned up and taken care of all those litters.

Often these contracts don't specify what happens if the dog dies in your custody before all the litters are produced, or if you're expected to start over again with another female with four litters.

The "buyer" will usually have the cost of shipping the puppies if she or the original breeder relocates. If the breeder dies during this time period, whoever inherited her property can claim the dog and you are left with no dog.

These arrangements can work out well, but personally I'd never to agree to more than raising one litter,or maybe two, with being able to keep the 2nd choice of each litter. The contract would be crystal clear in who pays the vet bills in the event of health problems, transportation, or otherwise. It would state what happens if the dog turns out to be infertile. Or if I or the breeder dies before the contract is fulfilled, i.e., you may have a family member who loves and expects to keep the dog, and the last thing they'd need is the breeder or breeder's relatives swooping in to reclaim it b/c you or she is dead. To avoid the latter problem, your name should also be listed as a co-owner on the AKC registration, or at the least, in writing in the contract on what happens in the case of an unfortunate demise.

In short, I think a person is better off getting a bank loan and purchasing their dream poodle free and clear than being burdened in most of the majority of these types of contracts which are heavily slanted toward the breeder and their profits.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Doesn’t she usually return to the breeder’s home for whelping and a defined period thereafter? I don’t imagine the guardian home would incur any of the costs related to the birth, nor would they take on the responsibility of raising the litter.

I still can’t imagine giving up my dog for that long. And multiple times? Nope, not for me. My friend is currently a guardian home for a doodle breeder and I’ve been following along on social media with mixed feelings.
 

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Honestly, the first time I ever saw a guardian home arrangement, it was back in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and was from the largest Doberman puppy mill in the country. We're talking a place that produced in excess of 500 puppies a year through bitches farmed out to guardian homes. Just about every other time I've seen it, it's from similar operations. I was cruising a local online classified ads website the other day, and someone was offering a "free" Bernese x Poodle bitch puppy for the low, low price of 6 litters from her (minimum of 4 puppies each), guardian home to pay for all vet bills, professional grooming, and would have to pay the breeder $6,500 if the bitch couldn't produce the required six litters (any reason from accident to illness to them moving out of the area and taking the dog with them). So I'm understandably leery of such arrangements.
 

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Honestly, the first time I ever saw a guardian home arrangement, it was from the largest Doberman puppy mill in the country. We're talking a place that produced in excess of 500 puppies a year through bitches farmed out to guardian homes. Just about every other time I've seen it, it's from similar operations. I was cruising a local online classified ads website the other day, and someone was offering a "free" Bernese x Poodle bitch puppy for the low, low price of 6 litters from her (minimum of 4 puppies each), guardian home to pay for all vet bills, professional grooming, and would have to pay the breeder $6,500 if the bitch couldn't produce the required six litters (any reason from accident to illness to them moving out of the area and taking the dog with them). So I'm understandably leery of such arrangements.
Yes, that's a horrible contract and definitely one to avoid. Six litters is unethical; never mind the rest of the sketchy terms. The contracts I've seen mostly cover any costs beyond what a normal household pet would incur: grooming, vet bills, food for nursing mothers, etc.
 

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I saw one explanation (it wasn't a contract as it was just on a website) for a doodle puppy, female. The breeder said they would want 4 litters from the dog. I couldn't do it. Not that I want a doodle anyway. It's just that I had never seen that term before.
I had a good relationship with the breeders of my current oldsters (not poodles) and the breeder showed them both, but there was no breeding involved. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, they were so spoiled that the show ring was not in their skill set. The female had stage fright and the male rolled over thinking the judge would rub his tummy.
4 litters is much more than I would get involved with 1-2 litters would be top for me. Especially since breeding does not take place yearly but every other in many cases. I might as well save over that period of time and get my own dog.
 
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