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About Us

​Updated 01/21

Our OES

Guardian Home Program Basics

In order to give our breeding dogs the very best life possible,  it is important to limit how many dogs we personally keep and house but also we understand in order to breed the highest quality dogs which is our main goal, we also need to keep, evaluate, and add quality bloodlines to our breeding program.

So, how is all of this going to be possible?
For us and many like us the answer is the Guardian Program.
Our Guardian Dog program has allowed us and other dog breeders like us to expand our dog breeding program with pride and has helped us to breed the very highest quality Sheepadoodle and Bernedoodle puppies the right way..Out of kennels and in loving homes!  

Being a Guardian Home is an excellent, low cost way to have a top quality family pet. A non-refundable security fee will be collected and the new puppy becomes your family pet. We provide our guardian families with a monetary litter gift per litter their female guardian dog whelps.

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. The family must be approved as guardian parents and agree to abide by our contract of care.

​Becoming a guardian home for one of our breeding dogs can be an excellent way to have a top quality dog as your family pet. 

As a Guardian home, the dog stays with you as your family dog for the life of the dog and we retain breeding rights for a certain amount of litters starting at sexual maturity and ending once the female has whelped a set amount of litters.. Each guardian dog contract is unique but it’s usually between 3 and 4 litters depending on what we’re trying to accomplish with that particular female and how well she reacts to being a Mother.

Our guardians are responsible for the dog’s regular health maintenance: annual exams, vaccines, food, etc. We pay for genetic health testing required for breeding, and all breeding related expenses. 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 then she’s returned to her guardian family. 

​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 approved females.

We’re looking for local families with dog experience who live in the Ligonier, Latrobe, Greensburg, Somerset, Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, Preferably within a 2 hour drive from our home in Ligonier Pa.

Qualifying to be a Guardian Home:
Guardians must have previous dog experience
Guardians must keep the dog on a leash or in a fenced area
Guardians must be willing to train the dog the very basic obedience commands (off, down, sit, back, leave it, crate)
Guardians must ensure the puppy is socialized to adults, children and other animals 
Guardians must provide appropriate veterinary or emergency care when needed
Guardians must feed the dog a diet approved by the breeder which would be any of the high end grain free dog food brands available at your local feed store or pet store.
Guardians must be able and willing to identify and notify us immediately when a female begins her heat cycle
Guardians must not allow a female in heat near intact males
Guardians must not allow a male guardian to breed with unapproved females

Guardians must be willing to allow me to visit their home and be able to visit my home so that the dog and I are familiar with eachother.
It is important that your puppy/dog become a member of your family and not a backyard dog. 
Guardians must live within a reasonable driving distance from Ligonier, Pa.
Guardians must communicate, cooperate and coordinate with the breeder regarding testing, mating, whelping, and other breeding related activities
In closing…

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 my 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.

If you’re interested in becoming a Guardian home, please fill out our Guardian home application.

Your application will be saved and once we have openings then the people we think will be the best fit will be contacted for an interview. 
Please don’t take it personal if we don’t contact you right away. It does not mean we’ve denied your application... You’re more then welcome to email us with your questions at anytime. 
​​
Interested in being a Guardian?
Fill out our Application!

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Guardian Program FAQ

There are always a lot of questions that people have about the guardian program. The collection of questions and answers below are our best attempt to address all the most frequently asked questions.
Hopefully the information doesn’t overwhelm you. It’s actually a pretty simple program.
 
What guidelines do I have to follow when raising a Guardian puppy or dog?
Guardian families must feed a “grain free” dog food. We’re advocates of feeding a high quality dog food. The dog food we ask you to feed are easily found, but are a little more spendy then your grocery store bought dog food. I personally recommend Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo but you may use any any of the “grain free” dog foods. You also MUST socialize your guardian dog with other dogs, people, kids and strangers. They must be potty trained and have some basic obedience skills. 

What about Vet Bills, do you pay those?
We pay for all Veterinarian bills that are related to pregnancy, reproduction, whelping and all necessary genetic testing. We do not pay for Well Pet Visits, Preventive Medications or Immunization.
If the dog becomes sick or injured, we need the guardian family to notify us right away, we must be involved in all decisions regarding the health and veterinary treatment of the guardian dog/puppy.
We pay for all genetic testing appointments. We do ask that the guardian family provide transportation to and from these vet appointments. The guardian is free to attend these appointment. We try to work with our guardians on time and schedules in regards to the appointments but sometimes there is only a set date we can schedule and in that case we give at least a weeks notice to prepare.

Dog Handling and Living Arrangements:
We ask that our guardian families practice safe dog handling. For example do 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. Do not tie or chain your dog to a tree or post in the backyard. Provide basic obedience training so the dog has manners. Our guardian dogs MUST BE inside pets 85% of the time. Our dogs are very family oriented and thrive in a family environment. They love their people.  These are not outside only type of dogs.
These are all things that should be done to protect any dog but are especially important to us.

What about transportation?
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. Guardians will be notified 3 days in advance for any necessary trips.

What age do you start breeding the guardian dogs?
Depends, we breed on the second heat in most cases. They’re usually 1 1/2 years old at this time.

How long is she with you when you breed her?
She is with us for about a week, we breed every other day until we’ve completed a successful “tie” 3 separate times/days.

How long is a dog pregnant?
Dogs are pregnant for 63 days.

How long is she with you when she has the litter?
2 months. Just long enough for her to whelp her puppies, wean them and then the last 2 weeks is a very important time where the Mama dog will teach her puppies socialization skills. She teaches them how to be dogs basically. So, even if the puppies are weaned and could be separated from their Dam and survive we believe that the last 2 weeks is very important and ask that our guardians stay here with their puppies until they’re 7-8 weeks old.

Can we visit her when she has the puppies?
Yes, you may come for a few scheduled visits during her stay. 

Does this negatively affect the dog emotionally to go from the guardian home to the breeder’s home?
There is an initial “Where is my family going?” when the guardian bring their female to us for whelping, but in every situation the dog is settled and comfortable and doing very well within an hour or two. Dogs live in the here and now. We also try very hard to help them feel comfortable and at home we want their stay with us to be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. The less stress and the more relaxed she is, the better it is for her babies. It’s also very important that the guardian family not make the transition difficult for the dog. If  the guardian is crying and acting nervous or sad about leaving her, then she will feel that even more greatly and we need to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Humans can project nervous emotions on to their dogs. It is super important to stay upbeat during the transition from your home to ours because if not then your dog may sense it and THEN yes, it may affect her negatively. This is not only something you should consider as a guardian but as a dog owner in general. You should also practice leaving your dog alone for longer and longer periods of time so that they understand that if you leave them it’s not the end of the world and that you will be back for them. If you never leave your dog alone then they can start to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for ANY amount of time which is unhealthy.
Dogs do not live in the past or the future, as humans do. They live in the moment.
What happens during pregnancy and what do I have to do differently with the dog?
Pregnancy is actually very easy. The dog may act a little more tired, or not eat normally for a few weeks. 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 is fine.

Whelping a Litter, do they need to go to the Vet for this?
Our Standard Poodles,Bernedoodles and Sheepadoodles are very good free whelpers, meaning they usually need very little human support to successfully whelp their litter of puppies, we have never had a c-section in our bloodline ((knock on wood)). We put them in a big toddler plastic swimming pool in our room with blankets and towels and we usually stay up all night making sure each puppy is delivered safely and is placed on their Mom to nurse. We never leave them alone to whelp and are very diligent with our whelping Dams. If we see something that is not normal then yes, we would take them to the Vet right away. Animal instincts are amazing however and there is usually not a whole lot we as humans need to do for our dogs to successfully whelp and care for their puppies. It is beautiful to watch a dog who has never had a litter automatically know what to do.

What happens if the puppy gets sick or injured while in the guardian home’s care?
While the dog is in guardian’s care and home, any illness or injury that happens is their financial responsibility and visa versa if we have the dog then anything that happens here is our responsibility.

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 genetic health testing for breeding purposes, all breeding expenses and litter expenses. We make all decisions on what tests are done and when.

How many litters do you usually breed before retiring the dog?
This depends on each individual contract.

Who pays for the spay surgery?
We pay for the spay 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. We only pay up to $200 for the surgery, so if you choose a vet that charges an amount that is more than the average we’ve found throughout Pennsylvania, be aware you’ll be paying the difference. The average spay fee is between $125 and $175, but some vets charge as much as $400.

What are the grooming requirements and do you want us to keep the dog clipped a certain way?
We ask that families keep their guardian dog in one of the typical cuts for their breed for their 6-9 month photo updates.
We require that the dog be kept groomed and matt free. If you’re unable to keep the coat in good shape yourself, then you can use a groomer to do so.
Guardian dogs are ambassadors for our program. It is important that they’re coats are kept up and not matted or in bad shape.
We ask that you provide us with pictures on a regular basis (every 2-3 months) for our website and so that we can see our Guardian dogs as the grow. We don’t feel like this is a lot to ask since most people love to take pictures of their dogs anyway and we want the type of families who would keep their dogs coats up regardless  if they were guardians or not.

What your puppy comes home with...

* Extensive puppy package
* Owner's Manual (training, feeding instructions)
* Tails and dewclaws done
* Up to date vaccinations
* Up to date deworming
* Health Record
* Food Sample   'ROYAL CANIN Mother Baby Dog or Royal Canin Puppy Starter ' is what I feed my babies.  
* Toy with mom's and siblings scent on it to ease into the transition to your home (If puppy is being picked up only, Airline Regulations do not permit toys to be shipped)
* Blanket with mom's and siblings scent on it to ease into the transition to your home
* Collar (they do outgrow them so fast)  (If puppy is being picked up only, Airline Regulations do not permit collars to be shipped)
* Leash (If puppy is being picked up only, Airline Regulations do not permit leash to be shipped)
* Tote  Bag (If puppy is picked up only, Airline Regulations do not permit totes to be shipped)
* Registration papers
* 24-hour, 7 days a week, life time, breeder support.
*Pups will begin housebreaking at 5 weeks of age. Trained to go potty outside only, sorry we do not train them to go on peepads!


                                         All prices are for Limited AKC Registration.   
          Full AKC Registration (breeding and show rights) contact us for an additional fee.

Past pups