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Guardian Home Program

Guardian Homes: Text

What is a guardian home?

We want all of the dogs in our breeding program to have a loving forever home. All of our dogs are part of our family and live in our home rather than kennels so they get the attention they deserve. Sometimes breeding requires having more dogs than one family can lovingly keep in their home, so our answer is to allow some of our breeding dogs to leave us and become a part of another local family’s life and home. Then when the time comes for breeding they will return to us, and for females, again when it’s time to give birth to the puppies. 

Becoming a guardian home gives you the opportunity to have a top notch “pick of the litter puppy/dog” that will be kept as part of your family for the life of the dog and will also stay a part of Von Willow German Shepherds breeding program. Rather than buying this dog you will put down a deposit that will be returned to you at the end of his/her breeding career. Each guardianship agreement is different but typically includes females having up to 4 litters in their breeding career and males being used for an unlimited amount of litters, up until the age of 8. The Guardian homes of a female are paid $200 for each litter whelped and $100 each time males produce a litter. Von Willow German Shepherds will retain ALL breeding rights. We reserve the right to cancel our guardian program at any time we deem it necessary. Once the breeding dog is retired he/she will be spayed/neutered at our expense and returned back to you with full ownership.

Guardian families are responsible for the well being and maintenance of the dog. This includes but is not limited to annual exams, vaccines, food, toys, training, socializing ect. Von Willow German Shepherds will pay for all breeding related expenses as well as provide health testing, which we require before any of our dogs are bred. Once the dog reaches 24 months old, all testing is completed and passed, they can be bred. If the dog does not pass our health testing requirements we will have the dog spayed/neutered and he/she will then be removed from our breeding program and go back home to continue living with their guardian family with full ownership (in this case deposit is not returned).

For our female guardians, it is the guardian homes responsibility to notify us when the female dog goes into heat. Female dogs will spend a few days at our home during breeding week, after breeding is completed she will be returned back to your home. The female will remain with you at your home until approximately one week before she is due to whelp (dogs are pregnant for 58-63 days). She will then stay with Von Willow German Shepherds to whelp and raise her puppies until they turn 8 weeks of age, at which point she will return home to you.

For our male guardians, we will inform the guardian home when we will need him for breeding giving as much notice as possible. Please know that sometimes this can be short notice (day of or day before). The male may be absent for a few days at a time and stay with us for breeding use, but we try to avoid this if possible. The guardian home does not own any type of breeding rights to male dogs and is not allowed to offer or allow the dog to breed to any other dogs. Our breeding males could possibly be used 2-3 times a month in extreme cases, however there is likely to be many months where we will not require his use at all. 

Please note that we are very selective and only highly qualified families will be approved to become a guardian home for one of our breeding dogs. We will conduct a telephone interview as well as a home visit if you are interested in our program. Our breeding program depends on the quality of care provided for our dogs and we expect nothing but the best from our guardian homes. 

How do I apply to become a guardian home?

Please reach out to us if becoming a guardian home interests you and we will send you an application. Once the application is complete we will then discuss things over the phone and get to know each other better, from there we will set up a time to conduct a home visit.

Guardian homes MUST be willing and able to follow these requirements:

  • Must live within 1.5 hours of us (Grand Rapids Michigan) and willing to meet us or drop dog off if needed 

  • Must have previous dog experience

  • Must not have unaltered dogs in your home other than guardian dog

  • Must have a home with a fully fenced in yard (preferred)

  • Must not move more than 1.5 hours from us at any point during the guardian contract

  • Must ensure dog is trained and socialized to adults, children, other animals, different environments etc. – SUPER IMPORTANT

  • Must have great communication with us about scheduling, testing, mating, whelping, training and anything else breeding related 

  • Must attend puppy obedience classes

  • Must obtain a minimum of a CGC title with dog by 12 months of age

  • Must provide daily exercise and stimulation

  • Must keep dog on the same high quality kibble we feed 

  • Must take good photos and videos of guardian dog and share them with us often

  • Must crate train properly

  • Must be willing to let us, the breeder visit your home, planned or unannounced

  • Must keep dog as an indoor pet as a part of the family

  • Must keep up regular grooming (brushing, washing, nail trimming, etc.)

  • Must contact us immediately with any health concerns or in the event of an illness or accident

  • Must keep dog on a monthly oral flea/tick and heartworm preventative

  • Must send a copy of all vet visits to breeder 

  • Must provide veterinary care when needed

  • Must demonstrate the financial means to care for a large breed dog

Guardian Homes: Text
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