WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GUARDIAN FAMILY? A guardian family takes a puppy/dog home as their own to be a permanent member of their family. They agree to raise, train, and care for a dog/puppy throughout their breeding career. In return for providing a home for one of our breeding dogs, ownership is transferred to the guardian family once the dog is finished with their breeding career. The dog becomes part of the guardian family, and only comes back to Archer Hill Farm when health testing needs to be done, when it’s time to breed, or for females, when she’s ready to have her litter of puppies. She stays with us for about 6-8 weeks to have her puppies, then returns to her guardian home. Archer Hill Farm pays for all breeding related costs (health testing, sonograms, etc.) and the guardian family is responsible for all normal pet costs (annual check ups and Vet visits, vaccines, heartworm, flea prevention, food, etc.).
ARCHER HILL FARM GUARDIAN HOME REQUIREMENTS
Prefer you live within 100 miles from New Prague, MN. Exceptions are made sometimes for those willing and able to drive the dog to us when needed.
Prefer homes have a fenced yard.
Guardian families must be willing to feed the premium food we feed our breeding dogs.
Provide basic obedience for your puppy, either in a group session or private trainer and ensure the puppy is well socialized.
It is preferred that the family has a schedule that does not require the puppy to be left alone for long periods of time.
Keep open communication with us and provide regular updates and photos as the puppy grows so we can update our web site.
Must be willing to follow our recommendations for the dog’s veterinary care, such as vaccines, medications, etc. and be willing to transport dog to us or to our Reproductive Vet’s for appointments.
Willing and able to transport dog to us for health testing, breeding, and whelping.
Keep the dog professionally groomed at least every 8 weeks.
GUARDIAN PROGRAM FAQ'S
Q. How often do females come into heat? A. About every 6-8 months. Q. How long does heat last? A. heat cycle typically lasts 18 days.
Q. When will her first heat be? A. Anywhere from 6 - 24 months. Every dog is different and can vary depending on size. Smaller doodles typically have their first heat sooner while standard doodles have their first heat later.
Q. How will I know she's in heat? A. At first, vaginal discharge is blood-tinged (In the winter, you may notice this in the snow outside where she pees, or you'll notice a drop of blood on your floor) and the vulva is swollen.
Q. Is it messy? A. Typically you may notice a drop of blood on the floor here or there. For tile or wood floors, this is easy to clean up. If you have carpeting, you may want to use a doggie diaper. Each female is different but most keep themselves quite clean. Their bed can get stained while they're in heat so you may want to put a towel over it.
Q. Does she have a bloody discharge the whole 18 days? A. No. She will likely have a bloody discharge for the first week but then when the female is receptive to males, her vaginal discharge decreases in amount and is straw-colored.
Q. Will I have to worry about her getting bred by other male dogs? A. A female in heat can attract male dogs by her scent for miles so, it's important to not let her outside alone unsupervised while she's in heat, even if you have a fenced yard.
Q. Will she be sad to come home and leave her puppies after she's done raising them? A. While mama dogs are very attached to their puppies when they're born, and rarely leave their whelping pen, they start to wean them naturally when the puppies are about 6 weeks old. Slowly they nurse them less and less and start to become more and more interested in getting out and about for periods of time away from their puppies. By the time the puppies are 8 weeks old, the mama dog is ready to see them go! She's happy to be back home with her family again.
Q. Will she be confused/miss us when we have to bring her to have her puppies? A. Our guardian dogs love people and are happy to be here with us and also having the opportunity to play with the other dogs here. We stay familiar to them by seeing them for vet appointments and home visits. We make sure she feels as at home here as possible and has a comfortable, relaxing setting to have her puppies. Once they're born, her puppies are all she will think about and will want to be with them constantly. So, no she won't be sitting around feeling sad about where she's at.
Q. Can we visit while our guardian dog is at Archer Hill Farm with puppies? A. Yes, absolutely! Being part of the guardian program is an exciting way to be part of our breeding program. You'll get to see your guardian dog's puppies go on to be placed with families who will get to experience the same love and companionship your guardian dog brought to your family!
Q. How many litters would a female have? A. All of our females are retired at 6 years of age, so could have about +-4 litters.