Guardian Homes

We may have a couple of puppies available for Guardian homes this year. Contact us today to join our Berner family!

We believe that a dog is a pet and not a puppy producing machine. With that in mind we have developed a Guardian Home program for our dogs.

This program enables us to place breeding dogs in potential forever homes during their breeding years. Our Guardian Home program is designed to maximize the socialization of our dogs, which in turn imprints on their puppies. We want them all to be raised in a loving home environment participating in all the activities and fun of a family.

Our dogs’ health, happiness, and well-being are always number one to us!

All are welcome to fill out an application. However, this is a very selective program.  We only allow highly qualified people and families to foster our dogs. Once we have received your application, we will set up a phone interview with you. Then, we will conduct a home visit. We are very careful in this process. This placement allows our dogs to have the best of both worlds. They get to live, play, and be socialized with a loving person/family and they get to experience all the joys of having puppies too!

There are an overabundance of pros to being a foster person/family, but there are also a few cons as well.

Pros

  • The person/family raises the dog as their own without paying a purchase price 

  • All testing and breeding related expenses are covered by Mtn. Home Berners

  • When the dog reaches retirement age, he/she will be spayed/neutered. Then, the person/family gets the dog at no buy out cost.

  • The person/family receives the priceless love and companionship of an amazing Bernese Mountain Dog.

  • As with all of our dogs, if at any time the Guardian Home program is not working for you, we will gladly take the dog back.

  • The Guardian Home family for our females are given a “thank you” bonus of $100 per sold puppy (paid after adoption) whenever their female has to be left with us to whelp puppies.  We do invite our Guardian Families to come and visit Mom and pups while Mom is here raising and weaning her babies.  Guardian Home families of our males are paid $100 each time our stud is needed here for a breeding upon a confirmed pregnancy.

  • We value our Guardian Home families and making it work for both parties is very important for us.

  • Again, we pay for all breeding related expenses.

  • The Guardian Family gets to share the joy and excitement of helping to provide loving, well socialized pups to our wonderful waiting families!

Cons

  • The dog is ultimately ours until retired from the breeding program!

  • The females will come back to us every time they are in heat after clearances are met and they are of breeding age. We will then breed over the next couple of weeks. After successful breeding she will go back home to you.

  • The dog will come back to us one week prior to whelping and during lactation. This lasts approximately 5-7 weeks. She will then go back home with you until her next heat cycle. Each female will be bred no more than 2-3 times.

  • When the dog goes back home post lactating she will look different. She will have lost all of her baby weight and then some. In addition, she will blow her coat. So, she will have a lot less hair and look different than before.  She will recover soon but will definitely look different when she first returns. 

     

A Little more info:

A Guardian Home is NOT a foster program.  Guardian relationships are entered with the ultimate goal of being a forever situation.

 

Why Guardian Homes?   Because as responsible breeders we want all of our puppies and the Parents to live in loving homes as part of a family! Some of our breeding dogs will be found in the loving care of our guardian homes.  A guardian is someone approved by us to be a family lucky enough to have the pick of the litter as their very own.  These special puppies spend their lives with their guardian families and come to visit us only when needed.

How does it work?

We genetic test all our breeding dogs and do PennHip or OFA tests when they are between the ages of 14-25 months old. Females are not bred until at least their 3rd heat cycle, have passed all their tests, and are 2 years old. We will then breed them 2-3 times before they are 5 years old. The females come to us an average of 7 days before birthing and stay here until their puppies are weaned, an average of 5-7 weeks.  We retain ownership of the dogs until their breeding period is complete, at which time the dog is spayed and full ownership is transferred to the guardians.   The female lives with her family as their loved and cherished pet for her entire life.   We like to think of our Guardians as a partnership, we cannot continue to grow our impact without them and enjoy the friendships that come from working together.

Guardian Homes for our breeding males need to be vigilant about keeping them contained especially during the spring and fall when many females come into heat. As with all our families good nutrition, proper exercise and being up to date on all vaccinations is required. Guardian families must be willing to bring their male to us to stay for about a week when breeding is needed. There is usually about one week prior notice based on heat cycles.

 

IF you meet our requirements and are interested in learning more about our program and any puppies available, please fill out a Guardian Home Application . After reviewing your application, chatting, and meeting, if it seems that this may be a good fit for both of us, we will move forward with a home visit and placing a pup in your home. 

The dog is then raised in your home with you covering all the basics of care and training but we cover any expense related to breeding.

Here are some prerequisites and requirements for becoming a guardian family:

  • The primary caregiver cannot work full time outside the home.  Work schedule must be flexible to allow transportation when needed.  Unfortunately, teaching schedules do not allow for the flexibility needed for this program.

  • No intact dogs of the opposite sex are permitted to live in the home to reduce the chances of any unwanted mating.

  • Guardians must have prior experience raising and training dogs.

  • Must live in or around the Central Oregon area due to transportation needs.

  • Guardians must be willing to follow our guidelines and recommendations set forth pertaining to care and feedings including all vaccinations.

  • To protect our Girls from harmful contaminants or personal harm, our breeding dogs may not go to Doggy Day Care or be boarded while their Guardians are away except for our "farm". So please be sure you have someone available to doggy sit either at your home or theirs or here with us. (standard boarding fees do apply)

  • Guardians are required to maintain pet insurance on the dog for the guardian period, we recommend this to all of our families anyway to help with the cost of unexpected issues that may arise such as injuries.  Pet insurance does not cover nor protect the breeder, it protects you against unforeseen (non-breeding related) health issues or emergencies.  We of course cover all expenses related to breeding.

  • We require all Guardians of our puppies to attend puppy classes. It is important for all of us to have a well-behaved dog.

 

If this sounds like something you are interested in please fill out the application here.