There are a lot of questions that circulate around about the guardian program. The collection of questions and answers below are our best attempt to address all questions. It really is a very simple program even though it may seem like it has a lot of details. The main thing to remember is, if we as a people truly reject the idea of puppy mills and irresponsible breeding, there is no better way than this guardian program to breed dogs in a humane, loving environment. People will find a way to get a dog for their family, and most people unknowingly choose puppy mills because it is the cheapest and fastest way to get dogs to the public. We value our dogs as family members and we hope that you can see how this program benefits families and our four-legged friends!
Guardian Homes FAQ
Putting Our Trust In Each other
What guidelines do I need to follow when raising my puppy?
Guardian homes must feed their puppy a high quality diet approved by us. Free from fillers, corn, and by-products. We are advocates for healthy nutrition and there is extensive research showing great health benefits and reduced chances of disease such as cancers and tumors, by feeding a well balanced diet.
Guardian home is responsible for keeping the dog up to date on all vaccinations.
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 can 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.
Commit to in-person playdates and get together every 3 months.
When do you start breeding the dog?
After all health tests are completed and preliminary orthopedic X-rays.
We will usually breed around 2 years of age. If a dog goes into heat at any time beyond 12 months, you must notify us immediately. 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 a dog pregnant?
Typically between 55-63 days.
Can we visit her when she has the puppies?
We do not allow visitation until the puppies have received their first vaccinations to ensure the litters health and safety. This will be around 6 weeks of age. We will provide weekly updates and pictures upon request.
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.
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. It is important that she becomes very comfortable with being in our house and being with us all the time. We do not want the mom to feel threatened by us when she is getting ready to whelp. She will go home after 8 weeks.
What happens during pregnancy and what do I have to do differently with the dog?
Pregnancy is actually very easy. I have a list of what happens each week during the development of puppies, and I 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 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 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?
While the dog is in guardian's care and home, 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.
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 before retiring the dog?
We contract for four litters. We may only breed three or two, or one, 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.
What are the grooming requirements and do you want us to keep the dog clipped a certain way?
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 and not matted and in bad shape.
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 be aware you'll be paying the difference if you choose a vet who charges more. The average spay fee is between $125 and $175, but some vets charge as much as $400.
What if we decide to move?
Committing to being a guardian home means you are committing to stay within 1 hour of Sun Valley Goldendoodles until your female has completed her contract and ownership has been transferred to you.
If you decide to move out of these boundaries you must inform us immediately and we will discuss options. If you're moving too far we will have to place the dog in a new guardian home or you'll be asked to pay the full purchase price.
Guardian Home Application
Please review our guardian home application thoroughly to ensure this program is a good match for the both of us. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.