In order to give our breeding dogs the very best life possible, it is important to limit how many dogs we personally keep at our home. We also understand that in order to breed the highest quality dogs possible, we need to continuously evaluate and add quality blood-lines to our breeding program. So, how is this possible? For us, and many breeders like us, the answer is a Guardian Home Program. Our Guardian Home Program allows us to expand our dog breeding program the right way... by keeping our breeding dogs out of kennels and in Guardian Homes where they are cherished family members.
In order to be considered as a Guardian Home, you must live within 20 minutes of Botetourt Veterinary and be flexible to drop off and pick up the dog for health testing, vet visits, breeding, and whelping puppies.
As a Guardian Home, you get a pup free of charge and you become that puppy’s forever home. Red Spring Farm retains breeding rights of the dog. For females, this starts at sexual maturity and ends once the female has whelped (given birth) to 4 litters. Male dogs are bred on an “as needed” basis.
While the dog is in Red Spring Farm's breeding program, Red Spring Farm pays for annual vet exams and vaccinations at our veterinarian's office, and provides year round parasite prevention. Red Spring Farm will also perform genetic health testing required for breeding, and all breeding-related expenses. Guardian Homes are responsible for some of the dog’s regular pet maintenance, including grooming by a professional, food, pet insurance, pet-related vet visits, training, etc. (bullet list below).
Once a dog passes its health testing, Red Spring Farm decides when each dog will be bred and to whom. Females stay with their Guardian Family during pregnancy (normally gestation is about 63 days) and then she is returned to us a few days before their due date to deliver (whelp) and raise her puppies. Once the puppies are weaned, which is typically when they are between 5-6 weeks of age, the female can be picked up by her Guardian Family. When the dog has completed his/her breeding obligations, we pay for the spay/neuter and release ownership of the dog to you so that he/she can return home to enjoy the wonderful life that you have provided for him/her since puppyhood.
There are many things that Guardian Families need to consider. Guardians of females have to deal with several heat cycles and keeping their girl protected from unwanted males. The Guardian Family will need to learn the signs of a heat cycle and be willing to communicate, cooperate and coordinate with us to ensure a successful breeding. Because of canine venereal diseases, male dogs can only mate with approved females, so the Guardian Home is responsible for keeping the male away from intact female dogs. Guardians of intact males will need to consider the importance of keeping him properly contained to prevent unwanted litters.
We view our Guardian Home Program as a true “win-win” situation. Our Guardian Families receive a “pick of the litter” quality puppy free of charge in return for working with Red Spring Farm during the breeding years of the dog, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that our breeding dogs are living life as cherished family members.
To qualify for our Guardian Home Program, you must:
Live within 20 minutes of Botetourt Vet (Fincastle, Daleville, Troutville, Hollins vicinity) and be flexible for dropping off and picking up the dog for health testing, vet visits, breeding, and whelping.
Be prepared for a home-visit and provide references prior to the dog/puppy being placed in your care.
Keep the dog safe and contained at all times, either by having a fenced-in yard (underground/e-fence is acceptable if pup is supervised) or leash walking.
Take the dog to our vet, Botetourt Vet, for vet care. Red Spring Farm pays for annual exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention medication and breeding-related vet expenses while the dog is in our program. The guardian is in charge of all non-routine pet-related vet expenses.
Provide basic training that is standard for dog ownership (house, leash, and crate training, and basic obedience).
Keep the dog free of mats and tangles, and have the dog groomed on 6-8 week schedule with a professional groomer.
Feed our recommended diet (see our Dog Food page).
Keep the dog on your choice of pet insurance (ex. Healthy Paws, Embrace, Trupanion)
Understand that we are waiving the purchase price of the dog in exchange for a service- you must be willing to communicate, cooperate and coordinate with us during their time in our program, and be dedicated to providing a safe, loving home for the lifetime of the dog.
These dogs are the foundation of our program and our babies! Please only apply if you can provide an excellent home for one of our babies! For more information, fill out one of our standard puppy application HERE. THANK YOU!