First off, ALL homes are pet homes. Show and guardian homes just have a few extra stipulations and rewards for working with us to keep our lines going. We offer these arrangements to those puppies deemed "higher quality" based only on their physical structure. This in NO way a downgrades any remaining puppy not chosen for this position! However, for breeding purposes, we have to look at who has the best overall balance of structure, temperament, health, and personality...not just every loving, happy dog we produce (which is, frankly, all of them!). This page will seek to better explain the additional requirements and benefits of each.
A guardian home is one that loves and cares for an MMSS dog as they would any other pet, including keeping up with vaccinations and providing training. Guardian dogs are those rated 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th for show quality by our handler/evaluator. General requirements for any guardian dog include ensuring the dog is friendly/properly socialized, in good health, and making the dog available to the breeder for breeding and/or whelping when the time comes. This is generally why it is best suited for homes that are reasonably close to us--within 3-4 hours. The extra requirements for a guardianship include: leaving the dog intact for future breeding until guardianship terms are met and titling the dog in a minimum of 3 separate, non-virtual AKC title categories by age 2 (excluding CGC), one of which has to be a performance title (BCAT or rally preferred).
For females, we contract out for 4 litters with a 5th litter negotiable only after a full reproductive assessment has been done on the dam by a reproductive veterinarian, after which the dog will be spayed. If our plans go as we hope, breeding should be done by age 5 or 6. ALL whelping and puppy rearing is done by US in our home, not by you in yours. You simply let us house and keep her during that time.
For males, we contract out to 8 litters of live cover, after which the dog will be neutered. We also retain the right to collect semen samples prior to neuter to use in the future. Depending on the popularity of the dog, terms can be fulfilled as early as age 4 or up to age 8. We will not use a male over age 8 for live cover. In most cases, males have it easy and people bring their females to you or your area.
Most people seem to worry most over the title requirements. While 3 titles may seem a lot to some who have little to no experience titling a dog, I guarantee they are much easier to achieve than most people think--two can be done by age 6 months with no classes, another in a weekend with no training. In fact, AKC has worked hard to expand categories for their lower-level titles in an effort to encourage more pet owners to participate. One set of beginner classes (once a week for 6 weeks) in agility, scent work, rally, obedience, dock diving, barn hunt, etc. can often times prepare a dog for multi-level titles in that one field. If dogs live close enough to me, I can also assist in earning these titles, if needed; though my input will be limited, since the object is to reward the effort of the owner, not myself.
The benefits of being a guardian home include: the option of a free future puppy, the cost of your dog back, OR "PLPP" fees (per litter, per puppy) when your dog is used for breeding. A future puppy or the cost of your dog back are self-explanatory--both come with time restrictions. Future puppies will be pet homes only, unless otherwise agreed on. PLPP fees are paid according to the number of non-sequential titles a dog earns. The more suffix titles your dog has, the more you are paid*. A dog that has the minimum required 3 non-virtual titles will get $30 PLPP--every additional non-replacing title earned is an additional $10 per puppy, $5 for virtual titles, up to $50 per puppy. Any guardian home that titles their dog to CHAMPION in any title category will receive an additional $50 PLPP. Combined PLPP fees are capped at $100 for guardian dogs. Please note, litter sizes are NOT predictable, so choosing the fee option needs to be weighed against the potential for a small litter as well as a large litter when considering the level of return.
All conditions are subject to the dog passing OFA health test results prior to breeding. Full ownership on registration does not transfer until the dog has been spayed/neutered. *Titling levels for scent-work are counted differently.
All dogs placed in show homes should be loved, cared for, and trained as any pet would be. Show dogs are those rated 1st or 2nd in show-quality by our handler/evaluator. All show dogs are shown by a professional handler, not by the breeder or owner. If the owner has a general interest in conformation, or a youth who would like to use the dog for junior-handling and scholarship opportunities, that can be addressed and worked out, but it is not expected. For those that live close enough to me, I can help prepare the puppy for the ring in the months prior to the shows. General requirements for any show dog include: ensuring the dog is friendly/properly socialized, in good health, and making the dog available to the breeder for breeding and/or whelping when the time comes. ALL whelping and puppy rearing is done by US in our home, not by you in yours. You simply let us house and keep her during that time.
The extra requirements for a show home include: making sure the dog is properly crate trained and leash trained; keeping the dog in a groomed "show coat" only until its reached its championship (which means grooming with a set of brushes and NOT shaving it down); making sure a dog is taught to stand on command or remain standing if the owner is standing (show dogs do NOT sit unless told to!); and making the dog available for travel to and from the handler or breeder when it comes time to have the dog shown. It MAY require owner to take a conformation course, but depending on the dog, that is not always necessary. Most people do fine with online videos to learn from. On average, a dog is shown about one week a month or every other month once it reaches 9 months of age until it reaches its championship--in some cases beginning at 12 months of age, depending on the availability of the handler. The time it takes a dog to finish depends on the dog's behavior in the ring and how often the owner allows it to be available for shows; but our experience so far has been on average 6-9 months. Our last boy started at age 7 months and finished one day after his first birthday.
The benefits of being a show home vary with the level of input made by the owner. If you do not want to contribute to show or handler costs at all--meaning the breeder pays for everything--you will receive back either the cost of your puppy, a free puppy in the future, OR $100 PLPP fees when your dog is used for breeding (additional fees can be earned based on suffix titles as mentioned above, capped at $150 per puppy per litter). Puppy back and cost of puppy back are same as stated above. Full ownership on registration does not transfer until the dog has been spayed/neutered.
If you want to split show and handler fees 50/50 with the breeder, there are a couple arrangements that can be made, including splitting rights to litters or stud fees. For females, I would get rights to the first two litters, owner the rights to the second two, with a 5th negotiable to split. Or breeder has rights to all litters, and owner gets half of total litter profits (minus litter costs). For males, I would get free use of the male as a stud with the option to stud out the dog for a fee of my choosing for up to 4 litters, and the owner gets the right to stud the dog out for 4 litters for a fee other their choosing. Collection of semen samples could be negotiated after live cover options are exhausted. Splitting costs for showing averages between $2500-3000 per dog shown, payable over time as the dog is shown. An initial $500 deposit paid to the handler is due by 6 months of age, then remaining invoices and entry fees split 50/50 and paid within two weeks of receipt after each show event. Ownership on registration lists breeder as primary owner and owner as co-owner until the dog has been spayed/neutered.
If you want to pay all show and handling fees, the breeder gets full rights to the first litter if female, owner rights to the remaining 3 under their own kennel name with NO negotiation for a 5th litter; or breeder gets 2 free stud uses if male, owner gets rights to remaining stud uses up to 8. Ownership on registration lists breeder as primary owner and owner as co-owner until the breeder's terms are met, then owner as primary and breeder as co-owner until the dog has been spayed/neutered.
***Please note that my show and guardian arrangements are individually tailored to the interest of the dog owner, so there is no set "one size fits all" contract. This means you are not bound to your choice of return if you should want to change your mind. Neither are you bound to your commitment of input if you should feel you want to do more or be involved less. All terms can be renegotiated with fair and balanced terms to reflect the changes needed after the initial contract is written and signed. If for some reason a show or guardian dog cannot fulfill its requirements in the time frame set forth in the contract, contract reverts to standard pet contract and spay/neuter must be conducted within 6 months of S/G contract termination.
If you have any questions or want more information regarding either arrangement, please feel free to email or call! We do our best to make the process as easy as possible and as fair as possible to both the buyer and the breeder. Please also note, proximity to breeder is also a factor in choosing a show or guardian home. The closer you are to me, the better the arrangement will work. It is possible to have and S&G home further away, but that would mean more responsibility on the owner to fulfil the contract terms without the breeder's assistance.