If you’ve been looking at reputable dog breeder’s websites, you’ve probably come across the term “guardian home” a time or two. Most people are unaware of the term, which is why I have chosen to write this article.
So what exactly is a guardian home? Why do breeders use guardian homes? What are the benefits to being a guardian home? First, let me explain the term. A guardian home is a place where a dog that belongs to a breeding program resides. When breeders get to a certain number of dogs in their household, they simply can’t offer enough time and attention to each and every dog. This number is different for each breeder, but for most it is around 3-7 dogs, depending on other variables in the home.
A guardian family is one that is looking to add a puppy to their family, but may not necessarily have the funds to buy a puppy or might just want to get a puppy at a discounted price. Each breeder is different, but price cuts and even free puppies are common when you are a guardian home. Some breeders will pay for food/vet bills/monthly flea meds/etc which can be enticing for families. In return, the breeder technically still owns the dog and retains full breeding rights. The dog lives with the guardian family full time, only staying with the breeder when it has puppies. Most breeders will breed the dog 3-4 times, then spay and the dog becomes the property of the guardian family. Reputable breeders retire their females after a MAX of 5 litters.
In order to stay ahead, breeders need to keep expanding their program and replace aging females. This means that they will need to be finding/keeping back puppies from their litters to add to their program, which means more dogs in the house. This is where the guardian home comes in handy. Breeders can place these puppies with guardian families where they will still get the love and attention they deserve, yet still be able to breed when they come of age. Reputable breeders DO NOT breed females until they are 2 years old.
We use guardian homes, as do many other reputable breeders around the world. We want our breeding dogs to live life to the fullest and be a part of a family. Luckily, we have been able to utilize mostly family members as guardian homes since this is a family operation. My great-uncle and aunt have 4 of our females and my aunt and uncle have 2 of our females. Our other dogs are all spread out between my mom and sisters.
I hope this article has broadened your knowledge and given you a little insight into the guardian world!
**Throughout this article, when I say "our", I am referring to my mother's business (Riverbend Goldendoodles) as well as mine. In my head, they are one in the same, LOL**
Below you'll see a picture of Scarlett in her guardian home with one of her kids!