The Guardianship Program matches puppies with their forever homes at 8 weeks old. The guardian families take a top pick puppy home, and provide normal nutritional, veterinary care, and training for their puppy. The breeders offer boarding for guardian dogs in order to bond with and protect them from picking up sicknesses or unwanted breedings at commercial boarding facilities. When the dogs turn 24 months old, the breeders will arrange and pay for health testing to be completed and for breeding of the dogs that turn out to be good candidates. The females live with the breeders while giving birth and caring for pups, and they return to their guardian family when their puppies go to new homes. For families who don’t want to be apart from their girl for that long, they may be able to participate in parts of raising their girl’s litter (at the discretion of the breeder). The families who want to help raise a litter would need to be trained, and it would only be possible if there were no pups with special needs. The guardian families pay a “Participation Fee” of $1,000 before a pup is placed with them, but that is returned to the family when the dog retires. Guardian families also receive a monetary bonus for each successful litter their dog produces, which means guardians will eventually become owners of a free and fully health tested Golden Retriever while making a little bit of money in the process.
The benefits of this program are wonderful for everyone involved. The dogs get to have one family all to themselves for their entire lives, and they don’t have to share attention with several other dogs or switch families after having babies for a few years. The breeders do not have to house several dogs that are retired from breeding or find new homes for the animals that have become part of their family. The guardian families get to own a top pick fully health tested Golden Retriever, and their dogs are a slight financial boost instead of a slight financial drain.