In order for us to give our dogs the best possible home, it is important for us to limit how many dogs we keep at our home. To be a good breeder of quality dogs, however, we need to keep, evaluate, and add quality bloodlines to our breeding program. We like to keep a few of our pick puppies to monitor their growth and development. Some will eventually fit into our breeding program. We prefer to place these pick puppies in guardian homes. A German Shorthaired Pointer is just as much a member of the family as it is a working/hunting dog. That is why we have a guardian dog program.
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 our wonderful GSP's without paying full price for it. The family must be approved as guardian parents and agree to abide by our contract of care.
When a female has reached our requirements for breeding, she will come back to our home when she comes into season. After getting bred she will go back to her guardian home. Then 1 - 1 ½ weeks before whelping (determined by breeder), she comes back to our home and has her babies here and stays until one week after she weans the pups (around 7-8 weeks). Females come into season twice a year. We may not breed each female every season. Timing of the breeding is at the discretion of the breeder.
The guardian home program is an excellent deal for the dog, it's a good deal for the guardian parents, and it's a good deal for producing an exceptional German Shorthair Pointer breeding program. It's one of those "win - win" situations for everyone involved. The family receives a quality, top pick dog. I am able to improve the breed by using only the best for bettering the breed. And the reason we instigated our guardian program, the dog lives in a home as a spoiled pet and gets lots of attention.
Who Qualifies for a Guardian Dog?
We are very selective of who we choose to become a guardian family. Our primary concern is that our dogs go into safe homes where they will be well taken care and loved as a family member. They must be in a home where they are not able to escape or get bred while in season. We expect the guardian parents to allow the dog to be a part of the family (a house dog). We look for people who are experienced dog owners. Everyone in the household should like the guardian arrangement. Guardian families must be willing to have us stop by on occasion. Families that are interested in breeding dogs are not good guardian families. We are placing dogs in their permanent family home, not in a breeding home. We do not split litters with Guardian Parents. This is not a program for someone who wants to be a breeder, but a guardian program in order to provide good forever homes for our dogs.
What are the Guardian Family's Responsibilities?
While the guardian family does not pay full price for the puppy (or young adult), they must agree to purchase a dog crate, collar, leash, and all necessary items for pet care. They must also agree to feed a quality food. They are also expected to strictly follow feeding instructions during pregnancy. The guardian family must have a secure yard for regular exercise. Guardian family takes care of all the pet type fees as if it were your dog. (food, vet bills and care).
How long do we share the dog?
Females are in guardianship until they finish breeding, determined by the breeder. After the female is done breeding, Aspen Grove Kennels will issue a written agreement to have the dog fixed and the guardian family will get her spayed and ownership papers will be signed over to guardian family. Males are in guardianship until Aspen Grove Kennels decide to retire him. At this time, after a written agreement is signed by Aspen Grove Kennels, the guardian family will get him neutered and ownership papers will be signed over to guardian parents.
Guardian homes should have the following:
• Have their own car to transport the dog.
• Prior experience dog ownership is a must
• Be willing to crate and house train the puppy. Teach the puppy basic obedience.
• Afford to provide required high-quality food as well as regular vet checks and vaccines.
• Be prepared to have their own vet listed as a reference
• Fenced backyard to contain the puppy (negotiable)
• Be available to drive dog to and from our home for breeding and whelping.
• Keep us updated on the dog’s progress via email. When in heat, we must be notified via phone and email. Updates via email every 1- 2 months for us to follow the puppy’s progress.
• Be willing to socialize the puppy by taking it everywhere possible and showing him/her life in general
•It is the responsibility of the guardian parents to make sure the dog remains in good health. The guardian parents are required to keep the dog current on routine veterinary care, shots, rabies, and good grooming. We cover medical expenses incurred during breeding and whelping while at our home.
•The guardian parents must keep us informed of the female’s cycles. Females come into season 2 times a year. When a female starts to cycle or drip blood we expect to get an email. Repeated attempts to contact us should continue, until confirmation is received from us that we have heard from you. If we plan to breed the female we will inform the guardian parents at this time. Females are usually bred between the 9th and 13th day of their season.
What If I Have Another Dog Already In My Home?
We will not place a female puppy in a home where there is an intact male or female. We would need to meet all other pets as part of the application process. Guardian family agrees to not have unaltered animals in the home during the Aspen Grove Kennels ownership period of the female guardian dog.
Who Owns The Dog:
Aspen Grove Kennels owns the dog until breeding obligations are met. We sign a contract with the guardian family clearly identifying that we have full breeding rights and can breed the dog when we choose. The dog remains registered in our name until breeding obligations are complete. The guardian family will assume all liability for the dog at time of guardian agreement and are responsible for the dog for his/her entire life. Once the breeding obligations are met and a written consent is given by Aspen Grove Kennels, the guardian family agrees to neuter/spay the dog at their expense. Guardian must provide a letter from the vet confirming the spay/neuter was complete. At this point we will transfer ownership of the dog to the guardian. If at anytime the guardian family can no longer care for the dog, they agree to return the dog to Aspen Grove Kennels. The dog may not be sold or given to any other party without prior written permission from Aspen Grove Kennels and registration transferred to guardian family’s name.
Training Requirement for Guardian Families:
We require that our guardian puppies be taught basic obedience. This is not difficult to accomplish and will give your guardian the good behavior skills needed to be an asset to your family and the community for a lifetime. We encourage and support any activity that provides you bonding time with your dog, especially in regard to hunting. I particularly like to place my puppies in a home with children. NOTHING RAISES A DOG BETTER THAN CHILDREN and all the hustle and bustle that brings.
Under What Circumstances Do We Remove a Dog from a Guardian Home?
There are very few reasons that we would ever take a puppy out of a guardian home unless one of the follow occur: The dog is to be allowed to run loose when there is no supervision, the dog gets bred by accident, the guardian parents do not tell us when a female comes in season, the dog is neglected or abused (according to our discretion), the guardian family moves before informing us personally, the dog must be rescued from an animal control facility. These reasons will be discussed in detail before any puppy is placed in a Guardian Home. The Guardian Parents must agree to all terms with the kennel and sign a contract with the breeder. If the puppy dies from careless accident or neglect on the part of the Guardian Family, they agree to pay Aspen Grove Kennels the current worth of the dog as assessed by Aspen Grove Kennels (approx. $2000). The breeder will not be held liable for any reason by the guardian. Should it be necessary for the dog to be spayed during whelp due to complications, the spay shall be paid for by Aspen Grove Kennels and registration shall be transferred to the guardian.