Guardian Home Dog Program

Enabling Ethical Dog Breeding Best Practice

It takes a village to practice ethical dog breeding. Along with our vets, we are forever grateful for our guardian homes, they are the backbone of our breeding program and without them, Raggy Dogs would not be possible.

What is a Guardian Home for a Dog?

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Family and Home

Ethical breeders only keep 2-5 dogs in their care. Guardians receive a dog to love as their own and that dog goes back to the breeder when required for breeding. Guardian stud dogs visit for short periods, often returning to the guardian within 24 hours. Female dogs visit for mating and return to have their puppies for 6-8 weeks. The goal of the Guardian Home program is to ensure that breeding dogs are part of a family and receive the care and attention they deserve while still being able to contribute to a breeding program.

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Support and Rewards

Guardian Homes receive support from the breeder in terms of training, grooming, feeding, behaviour etc. When a successful breeding takes place, the guardian receives a percentage of any profits made from the breeding to go towards feeding, grooming etc. This applies to both stud dogs and breeding females.

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Care

Guardian Homes are responsible for providing the dog with regular grooming, training, feeding, veterinary care such as vaccinations etc (excluding anything to do with health testing and reproduction-related procedures which the breeder pays for).

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Community

Guardian Homes get access to and benefit from our community of fellow guardians. Our Guardian community share their adventures and help each other on their journey. We organise puppy play dates and catch-ups for our guardian dogs and their families.

Join our Guardian Home Notification List

Be the first to know when we have a pick-of-the-litter puppy or dog available for a Guardian Home

Why do we use and advocate for Guardian Homes in Dog Breeding?

Motherhood and Stress

Mothers endure pregnancy, birth and postpartum; all of which have the potential to be stressful and sometimes traumatising. This trauma is exacerbated by the tumultuous nature of a life that is lived without the grounding forces of love, safety and support.

Guardian homes allow our dog mums and dads to live a good life. One where each dog has their own family and home for the entirety of their life. 

 

Trauma and Epigenetics

It’s been shown that trauma is passed down through generations. A new field of study called Epigenetics is shining a light on how trauma travels down generations. Trauma not only affects us on an emotional and physical level but it alters our DNA and that of our offspring.  Supporting responsible breeders who utilise guardian homes, helps to raise the bar in terms of what is considered ethical dog breeding practice in society. Similarly, ethically bred puppies have improved behaviour, health and longevity outcomes, compared to puppies bred in large breeding facilities and puppy farms.

 

Puppy Farms or Dog Breeding Facilities are legal in Australia

No mother should have to endure something as sacred and at times tumultuous as pregnancy and birth, alone. Breeding dogs that live in large breeding facilities are deprived of the experience that comes with cultivating an intimate bond with a family. Imagine how you would feel being at your most vulnerable, pregnant and being locked in a cage inside a noisy breeding facility.

 

Stress Hormones in Pregnancy lead to Reduced Lifespan and Behavioural Problems in Dogs 

From the moment puppies are conceived they are exposed to the stress hormones in their mum’s body. These stress hormones alter their bodies as adults, programming them to be reactive.

A reactive dog, barks, growls or shuts down to what we perceive as harmless goings on in the environment. Scientific research has shown that puppies born from stressed mothers in puppy farms are more likely to have a reduced lifespan, health and behavioural problems.

 

Do we need ethical Dog breeders or can we rely on Rescues?

There will always be people in the community who think that dog breeding is cruel. The same people only promote rescue dogs, “adopt don’t shop” they chant. Some families need a hypoallergenic dog that does not shed, they’re unlikely to find such a dog at their local shelter. Therefore, we as a society must support ethical dog breeders. By supporting and only buying from reputable, small-scale dog breeders, puppy farms would no longer be profitable.

 

Why do you breed dogs when there are so many rescues looking for homes?

Our family has been involved in dog breeding for more than 40 years. We are not one of the newer breeders, who entered the world of dog breeding when prices were inflated during Covid.

We are passionate dog lovers who have shown, trained and competed with our dogs. And we are one of the families, whose children suffer from allergies including asthma and eczema. We understand what it means to be a family of dog lovers but to also be living in a state of stress, trying to minimise triggers for allergies.

 

Dogs bred for a purpose

Our children have suffered from eczema and allergies, and the only dogs they can live with, are the hypoallergenic, non-shedding varieties we share our home with here at Raggy Dogs. You will not find Raggy Dogs in a dog rescue, as responsible dog breeders, we have a lifetime rehoming policy.

Furthermore, we are experienced dog trainers and have carefully chosen our breeding dogs, selecting genetics that are mentally and physically sound. We understand the significant role genetics plays in determining when or not a dog will develop behaviour problems such as separation anxiety, aggression and reactive barking.

Similarly, our puppy-raising program has been refined over our 40 years in dog breeding. Puppies leave our home, being well-socialised, confident, optimistic and resilient.

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RightPaw Registered Dog Breeders Australia

  • Raggy Dogs abides by Right Paws high ethical standards and Code of Ethics, developed in line with major associations and state legislation.
  • RightPaw has verified our dogs’ health tests.
  • RightPaw has completed a virtual tour of our home and property to meet our dogs and understand our breeding program.
  • You can verify and view our RightPaw breeder profile by clicking here.

Can dogs be Bred Ethically and Responsibly?

Guardian Homes allow Breeding Dogs to Experience Family Life

What is a Guardian Home?

So, imagine a world where there were no puppy farms. Where dogs can experience motherhood and fatherhood but not at the expense of living a full and happy life. 

A Guardian Home provides a loving and stable family environment for a breeding dog. The breeding dog is generally a pick-of-the-litter puppy that a breeder retains or buys from another reputable breeder. The breeding dog starts their life out at the breeder’s home, so they are familiar with the surroundings when they come back for breeding. 

Guardian Dogs undergo rigorous health testing including DNA analysis, vet checks, temperament testing and hip scoring.

 

Improved Quality of Life and Reduced Stress for Breeding Dogs

Breeding females come back to the breeder for health testing, and mating and return to their guardian home. They return to the breeder when they are 8 weeks pregnant and remain in the breeder’s care for approximately 8-9 weeks. The guardian family is invited to be part of the puppy-raising process and can visit when it is considered safe for the puppies to do so.

Guardian Stud Dogs visit more frequently for brief periods. Hence they are required to live within a 30-minute drive of Emu Plains, NSW. Often they will be returned to the guardian on the same day or stay for a night or two.

Join our Guardian Home Notification List

Be the first to know when we have a pick-of-the-litter puppy or dog available for a Guardian Home

Guardian Home Dogs - FAQ

A Guardian home for a dog is essentially a carer for a breeding dog. The breeder retains legal ownership of the breeding dog until the dog is retired from their breeding program with the details of the agreement outlined in the guardian contract. When the dog is retired from breeding, the breeder desexes the dog and full ownership transfers to the Guardian. The Guardian Home provides care for the dog including; feeding, grooming, training, socialising, vaccinations, worming etc. The breeder is responsible for any breeding-related expenses such as health testing, progesterone testing etc. 

Being a Guardian for a breeding dog requires a commitment to caring for, feeding, grooming and training the dog. The dog will need to go back to the breeder’s home for periods ranging from days to 9 weeks for breeding females. The longer durations for breeding females reflect the time from whelping to puppies going to their new homes at 8 weeks of age. The shorter durations for stud dogs are due to them only being required for two to three days for matings or semen collections. 

Everyone in the household needs to understand that the dog will need to go back to the breeder for a time during breeding. This is not an arrangement that suits everyone. Some families enjoy being able to witness the cycle of life and often end up with two guardian dogs.

The most ethical and responsible dog breeders utilise Guardian homes. Guardian homes help to ensure that breeding dogs receive one-on-one attention and excellent care. A significant advantage of guardian homes is that they allow reputable breeders to focus on achieving the goals of their breeding program. Similarly, guardian home programs allow breeding dogs to live a full life with one family. Many breeders will often re-home breeding dogs when they retire, this is not the case with guardian home dogs. They are desexed and live out their days with their guardian family.

A guardian home contract is a formal agreement between the breeder/owner of the dog and the guardian home outlining the terms and conditions of the arrangement. Important points included in the contract:

  1. Guardian Home Agreement

  2. Description of the Dog

  3. Ownership and Registration

  4. Breeding Obligations

  5. Health and Veterinary Care

  6. Nutrition and Exercise

  7. Spay/Neuter Agreement

  8. Guardian Home Responsibilities

  9. Visits and Inspections

  10. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure

  11. Signature and Date

  1. Home Environment: Dogs in guardian homes do not live in kennels or breeding facilities. This leads to better socialisation, reduced stress, and overall improved health. Dogs and puppies that spend time in puppy farms have decreased lifespans and more behaviour problems

  2. Personalised Care: Dogs that live with families receive customised care and attention, including regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, and opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation.

  3. Retired to the family that they have always known: After their breeding careers, stud dogs are desexed and continue to live with their families as beloved pets, enjoying a fulfilling life beyond their breeding responsibilities.

  4. Breeders can focus on breeding quality dogs: Guardian homes allow breeders to care for less dogs, leading to lower stress for the breeder and consequently their dogs. This allows the best breeders to focus their attention on achieving the goals of their breeding program.

  5. Ethical breeding outcomes: Guardian home programs demonstrate a commitment to responsible breeding practices and the welfare of breeding dogs by providing them with loving homes and individualised care.

  6. Improved Socialisation and Training: Dogs in guardian homes are exposed to a variety of social situations, including positive interactions with people of different ages, other pets, and various environments, leading to better socialisation and behaviour.

  7. Community: Guardian home dog programs create strong bonds between breeders and guardian families, fostering a sense of partnership and trust in the care and well-being of the breeding dog.

A guardian home contract is a legally binding document. We retain legal ownership of our guardian dogs for the duration of the agreement. Guardians need to maintain communication and allow the breeder to have access to the guardian dog when requested for breeding and health testing purposes.

Guardian home contracts cannot be cancelled due to a change of mind. We understand that the Guardian Home Program is not for everyone. All members of the Guardian’s family need to understand and be okay with the dog visiting the breeder as required for breeding purposes.

Requirements for our Guardian Homes

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For our Guardian Home Stud Dogs, we require that they reside within a 30-minute drive of Emu Plains, NSW. We are more flexible with Guardian Homes for female dogs, who need to be located within a 1-hour drive from Emu Plains, NSW. 

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Guardian Homes must ensure that the dog receives adequate socialisation, mental stimulation, exercise and training. Guardian Dogs are expected to be crate-trained and leash-trained by the time they are 3-6 months of age. 

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Guardian Homes must own their own home. We have found that Guardian Dogs are not suitable in rental properties due to the housing instability brought about by landlords who change their rules around whether pets are allowed at a property or not.

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Guardian Homes should have experience with owning and caring for dogs. They should also be passionate about the Raggy Dogs breeding program and its focus on producing quality, small to medium size, non-shedding family dogs.

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