-- The Guardian Home Application is at the bottom of this page --
What is a Guardian Home? Our Guardian Home Program process is very similar to our normal adoption process except it allows for families to have a “pick of the litter puppy”, or top-notch breeding dog, with a refundable Dog Deposit. The Guardian Home Dog is part of the Guardian Home’s Family forever while the breeding rights are retained by Echt K9 for a set amount of time. Each situation is slightly different so we prefer to work out specific details with each family on an individual basis.
What are the benefits of being a Guardian Home? A Guardian Family gets the very best that Echt K9 has to offer in the Bernese Mountain Dog, Poodle or Bernedoodle! This means that we choose our breeding stock based on the best qualities of health, temperament and coat color. Our Guardian Families get to enjoy the excitement of being a part of our breeding program and knowing the offspring of their very own Guardian Dog will be placed with families across the country bringing others the same joy, happiness, purpose and family cohesion that they have received from their Guardian Dog!
Is there a cost involved in being a Guardian Home? Initially, the Guardian Family will submit a Dog Deposit that is the same as our Puppy Purchase Price for your breed, size, etc. We have excellent breeding lines and do not give any of our dogs away. However, when your dog is retired from breeding service with Echt K9, you will be given the Dog Deposit back. Travel expenses are taken care of by Guardian Family.
Our Guardian Families are responsible for the general routine veterinary care and wellness of the Guardian Dog placed with them. This means annual vaccines, feeding a quality dog food, feeding a daily supplement, grooming as needed, monthly heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention, time with training, regular exercise, socialization and, most importantly, all the love, care and attention possible. Our Guardian Families are responsible for routine maintenance and medical care just as they would if they had their own dog.
Any “breeding related” costs (usually medical and health in nature) for the Guardian Dog are the responsibility of Echt K9. Also, for each litter of four or more puppies, we give a $500 “Thank You” to the Guardian Family for females and $200 for males.
How does it work? Female Dog Guardian Families
Guardian Families of female Dogs need to know and understand the female dog heat cycle and be able to determine when it begins and are required to contact us immediately when it does. An intact female usually has a heat cycle that will last between 14 and 21 days. During this time, we will need access to her for breeding related appointments which usually means we will board the Guardian Dog in our home. Once she has been bred, she will remain with her Guardian Family until one and a half weeks before her due date. At that time, the Guardian Dog will stay with us throughout her pregnancy and will be returned once her pups are fully weaned.
Male Dog Guardian Families
Guardian Families of male Dogs need to be able to bring the male Guardian Dog to us when we need him for breeding which will be random times through out the year (whenever our females that we intend to breed him to go into heat). We will do out best to give you a ball park time frame at least six months out and will update the estimate two months out. As soon as the female goes into heat, we need him within three days. We will keep him anywhere from five days to two weeks and then he can go back home. We do it again when the next female goes into heat.
Your Guardian Puppy will come to you just after he or she turns eight weeks old and you will take care of travel costs. When the Guardian Dog is between 12 and 15 months old we will take the Guardian Dog into our home for one to three weeks to allow him or her to refamiliarize themselves with us so that our relationship isn’t too distant to him or her when it comes time to breed. This also helps to serve as good avenue for maintaining our relationship with the Guardian Family. Usually, we will take female Guardian Dogs to breed them once a year for four years starting when they are two years old. We take male dogs as needed. Once retired, he or she will be neutered or spayed and full ownership will be given to the Guardian Family and the Dog Deposit returned. If at any time we decide not to breed the Guardian Dog placed with you (this is a decision solely made by Echt K9) we will consider it retired. In this case, if the Dog has whelped nine or more surviving puppies or sired 13 or more surviving puppies, the Dog Deposit will be refunded in full. If not, we will refund half of the Dog Deposit.
If you are applying for a mature Guardian dog, he or she may have just a couple more breedings for us (depending on the age and the number of litters produced) prior to him or her being neutered or spayed and released solely to you as a forever pet. This is an even more rare case than the normal Guardian Program so there may be differing requirements from both parties that can be discussed as needed.
What additional qualifications and requirements are there?
To qualify as a Guardian Family, you must live within a two-hour drive from Echt K9 and be willing to bring the Dog to us for breeding and the one year visit. One exception to this is that we will, on a case by case basis, allow families from the Houston area to become a Guardian Family.
Guardian Families need to be willing to give monthly weight updates, withers measurements and quarterly photos during the first two years so that we can watch the Dog develop. We will use some of this information to update our website.
How many litters will a Guardian Female produce? Each dog is individually assessed before determining their required litters. Generally, we look for our female Guardian Dogs to have three to four litters. The health and well-being of our breeding dogs is a priority to us so before to any breeding, Echt K9 will evaluate the Dog for continued breeding potential. This decision is determined by Echt K9.
How do I start the process for being a Guardian Family?
If you are interested in applying to be a Guardian Family, please take the time to fill out our Guardian Home Application (below) first and we are happy to contact you to discuss Guardian Home opportunities available.
Dogs Available for the Guardian Program 1. Miniature Poodle Male in Spring/Summer 2020 2. Miniature Poodle Male in Spring/Summer 2020 3. Standard Bernedoodle Female in Spring 2020 from Pepper's Litter 4. Options for Purebred Bernese Mountain Dog in Summer/Fall 2020 5. Options for Purebred Standard Poodle in Summer/Fall 2020