SANDS' GUARDIAN FAMILY PROGRAM
About our Guardian Program
WHAT IS A GUARDIAN FAMILY?
A Guardian Family (GF) is a family that is local to us (within an hour’s drive) and they become the forever family for one of our guardian puppy’s which is the puppy who has ticked all the boxes and selected especially from a litter to join our breeding program.
Labradoodles are social, loving and at their happiest when they are with their humans and this is the life we want for our breeding boys/girls. Having our breeding girls/boys kept in kennels is not a life we want for us or any labradoodle, I think it would just break their spirit. Having our breeding dogs live in Guardian homes allows them to thrive, allowing them to have a happy life in a busy family, where they get socialised, taught their doggie manners, played with, walked and lots of cuddles enabling them to be well rounded, confident, content and happy dogs. Happy, confident and social dogs make happy, social and confident puppies so it is a win win for us, the Guardian Family and most importantly of all, our breeding boys and girls.
While we would love to keep everyone of our boys and girls and as hard as it is to part with them, we just can’t give each boy/girl the love & attention they need and more importantly, that they deserve. This is what makes the Guardian program so valuable.
WHY WE USE GUARDIAN FAMILIES
We are working towards our goal to further develop our breeding lines and try to produce the best quality labradoodle we possibly can, it is not only our mission, it is our passion! Having our breeding dogs live in a GF, also enables us to work on building new blood lines while maintaining our focus which is to produce healthy, happy labradoodles, with sound, consistent and confident temperaments.
Wherever life may lead our labradoodles we want them to be able to have a smooth transition into their new homes, whether it be a busy family, becoming a travel companion in the camper van or taking on a special role such as becoming a therapy or assistance dog.
Variety is the spice of life and with a larger number of dogs in my breeding program it allows me to more selective (or adventurous) when forward planning future litters. GF's are integral to this process as having a larger number of dogs to select from provides me with access to a much larger gene pool and so I am beyond grateful. It allows to look for parents that compliment each other, look for the yin & yang so speak, eg. try to balance the best qualities & attributes of each parent so they produce the best outcome which of course is to produce a healthy, happy, confident (and don’t forget stunning) litter of puppies. Successful outcomes like these are vital for our future breeding program and ensure the success of the Australian Labradoodle.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT (WIN) FOR THE GUARDIAN FAMILY
The win for the GF is they get this amazing puppy that is the whole package, selected for its amazing qualities that our labradoodles have come to be known for. While their amazing good looks is just an added bonus, they are a fraction of the price and we even refund this back to you when we retire each dog from our breeding program.
All puppies must be enrolled in puppy preschool prior to leaving us so this can be arranged once we approve you for our guardian program. It is also mandatory that all of our guardian dogs attend a level one obedience course (usually runs for an hour once a week over a five or six week period) and the good news is, we provide a rebate for completing a level one obedience course and we also cover the cost for you to have your own one on one private training session with a professional dog trainer if you wish. We want the best for our boys and girls and if putting the time into training isn't for you, you aren't for us. On top of that, your puppy will be fully health tested all at our expense and all breeding related costs are covered by us so it doesn’t get much better than that.
The cost to you is your guardian payment and your time to do the puppy parents chores such as chauffeuring pup to classes and making sure they do their homework plus the normal day to day costs of raising a family dog & of course a bit of running around when needed for breeding tasks so other than that, it is nothing you wouldn’t do for any previous or other pet dog (I would hope 😊)
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF A GUARDIAN BOY/GIRL?
The guardian puppy is part of the GF home forever and the breeding rights of the boy/girl are retained by Sands Labradoodles while under contract. (All of our boys/girls go on breeding contracts). We understand that it can vary slightly dog to dog or family to family, so we try to work out the specifics with each family on an individual basis when necessary.
We DNA test all our puppies before they leave us so we can do some (hopeful) forward planning. Sometimes we may do preliminary hip testing around 16-20 weeks but usually we do final health tests closer to your boy/girls’ 1st birthday. So we really don’t need to see your boy/girl till it is time for photos around 7-8 months of age and then around their 1st birthday to complete their health testing.
Anytime your boy/girl is at our house they are treated as a part of our family and have full access to our household, so toilet training and crate training is mandatory. Doggie manners are required also 😊
The Girls: Around their first birthday we will complete health testing. Only certain vets can do some of the testing we require so if you aren’t in close proximity of one of our vets, your girl will have to come for a sleep over so we can complete all health & temperament testing. Depending on which tests we do, the results can take a few weeks. No girl will have a litter prior to her first birthday and only once all health testing has been completed and her breeding status upgraded with the ALA.
We contract our girls for a maximum of three litters. We don’t always do a third litter, and this is decision made after we have health and temperament tested the progeny from the first two litters. Each girl is rested for a season after any back to back litters.
With health testing, if she does not get the test scores we hoped for she will be desexed and retired from our breeding program. Should she get great scores, she will be only desexed once she has completed her all breeding duties at our expense .
What is most important with our breeding girls that we are notified of each and every heat cycle and that you feel competent to check for any signs of a heat when it is expected. (We send you a heads-up email around the time her heat is due with signs to look for). If your girl is an integral part of your family it will be easy to notice.
When she is with us during any mating’s or whelping litters the time frames can vary girl to girl, cycle to cycle, litter to litter, due to a combination of factors such as mother nature and the girl but we will let you know more about this when we chat with you. We try to keep her to a normal routine as much as possible.
After your girl has honeymooned, we provide you with comprehensive pregnancy care notes & information, a detailed week by week guide to her pregnancy along with an important dates so you know when we need to ultrasound or when she is due to come to us to get her comfortable, relaxed & so she can start preparing and nesting and get settled. (Once your girl has honeymooned will we require them for an ultrasound to confirm her pregnancy).
We provide food for our pregnant mums and we always send them home with a goodie or treat bags and spoil them rotten while they are with us.
The Boys: Around their first birthday we will complete health testing. So it is the same as the girls here, only certain vets can do some of the testing we require so if you aren’t in close proximity of one of our vets, your boy will have to be dropped over to us for a sleep over so we can complete all health & temperament testing. Depending on which tests we do, the results can take a few weeks. Once all health & temperament testing has been completed and his breeding status upgraded with the ALA he is good to go and we only usually need him for the mating and once it seals the deal, we will bring him home. If there is other things going on he may have a sleep over.
On occasion they may be required to do an Artificial Insemination (AI) or semen collection and while we try to give you as much notice as possible regarding any mating’s please appreciate at times it may be very short notice and we will need access to him. How often he is used can vary, we don't like to saturate our lines with the one stud so it isn't excessive by any means but due to different factors which we will let you know more about.
Should the boy not get the test scores we hoped for he will be desexed and retired from our breeding program. Should he get great scores, he will be desexed all breeding duties have been completed & at our expense.
Again, we will go over everything with you in detail as there can be a lot of variations, so we do try to tailor the arrangement to suit everyone and be as flexible as possible.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF A GUARDIAN FAMILY?
You must live within 1 hours drive of Ipswich/Brisbane
Provide a safe environment and have a yard that is securely fenced
Be able to transport your boy/girl when required to us or our reproduction vet if I am unavailable
Ensure any other household dogs are desexed (unless it is a Sands’ breeding guardian dog)
Understand that all breeding rights are retained by Sands & all girls are to be kept safe during all heat cycles & all boys are to be kept away from any entire female/bitches
Provide crate and toilet training
You will ensure you puppy receives proper socialisation and training
Provide a premium food diet (Royal Canin)
Be willing accept & follow Sands’ recommendations for care including veterinarian care/advice such as vaccine schedules or the use of certain medications while under contract. (You are welcome to use your local vet for non-breeding vet care)
Ensure your labradoodle’s coat is kept in optimal condition and to breeders specified look.
Ensure monthly worming/flea/tick treatments are maintained and all dogs are always kept flea free
Enjoy your pup
WHAT ARE THE COSTS FOR THE GUARDIAN FAMILY?
Our Guardian Puppies are $1550.00 Inclusive for the girls and $2050.00 Inclusive for the boys, which is what we call a security deposit as we rebate fifty percent back to you once your dog has completed all their breeding duties*. Ultimately you are getting the pick of the litter for a fraction of the price.
Our pet puppies are close to $4000 so we believe this cost allows you offset the costs of providing pups/dogs with a premium food diet, provide monthly worming/flea/tick treatments, council registrations, annual vaccinations, grooming and training and any necessary (non-breeding related) vet care.
What we think sets us apart from other Guardian Programs:
We want to set ourselves apart from other programs as our breeding boys and girls mean the world to us and we want to ensure they have the best life possible.
We reimburse your security payment after all breeding duties completed
We will only do a third litter if we are happy with the first two litters
We reimburse your puppy preschool classes
We provide you with a gift card for their your boy/girls first professional grooming
We provide a rebate towards level one obedience training course
We will pay for you to attend a personalised private training session
We provide food for all of our pregnant mums during their pregnancy (I don’t know of too many breeders who do that!)
Provide comprehensive pregnancy care notes, dates & information for each pregnancy.
Let you name the all of the puppies (we want the kids to feel included)
We cover all breeding related expenses
Treat all boys/girls as a member of our family while in our care
QUESTIONS WE ARE OFTEN ASKED
Does being a breeding dog change their personality?
No. We don't see any changes in either the boys or the girls. When they go home they are their usual happy fluffy selves. With the boys, on occasion a boy may get a case of puppy love after a honeymoon and not want to eat for a day or so but they get over it once they get hungry (such boys lol!) With the girls, the relationship between mum & pups is not like a human mother and baby, we have a bond and a flood of emotions, it is different in the doggie world. Usually once the pups teeth start cutting & are through, mum gets a bit reluctant to want to be around the pups and give us the signs that they want to wean the pups, so it is mum who decides to leave the pups and we follow her lead (obviously once the pups are of the appropriate age!). When they are not with the pups, they are with us inside or outside playing, either way, they are a part of our family when they are with us and slide right back into their guardian family routine when they get back home.
Do entire dogs get on with other dogs and can they play with them?
Yes. They are labradoodles and love everyone and everything, whether they have two legs or four. We haven't encountered any issues with entire dogs. Our dogs (boys & girls) play and have fun with their friends at the dog park like any other dog. The boys don't go around mounting every dog in sight. Boys & girls (entire and desexed) all hump each when they play and this is usually play or dominance (not sexual). The only thing is the girls can't go to the dog park for a play (or off lead) when they are in season. We have had entire males at our house living with entire girls in peace with no mounting or concerning behaviour, we don't even see them marking. We only have to separate them when we have a girl in season.
Are the entire girls housebound or have to stay inside?
No. We want our dogs to live normal lives. Girls cycle (heat) every six months and it is just during this time that they can't visit the dog park or be walked off lead. We do need them to be kept safe and not be around entire boys or left in the front yard, but I send you an email to remind when her heat is expected so you know when to keep an eye out. Other than those times, they can play, swim, walk, visit grandma or go on holidays like any other pet dog. Mind you if it is Summer time they usually want to be inside but that is that they are like all labradoodles and love their air-conditioning (lol)
Can we have an entire dog if we have another dog?
Yes you can, provided that dog is desexed. (A desexing certificate will be required). We have both boys and girls living in a two dog household in many combinations. We have entire girls/boys with desexed boys, entire girls living with desexed girls/boys. More often than not, most of our guardian families get a second guardian dog from us.
We started out as guardians with our first labradoodle, Riley. We could hardly wait for guardian visit day, the excitement of meeting her puppies and seeing her beam with pride was so heart-warming and amazing (they get their figures back immediately … so not fair lol). We have always said that life is never the same once you’ve experienced the love (& Goofiness) of a labradoodle and to know our girls’ pups will bring another family that same fun, love and laughter was such an amazing feeling. Having her live with us in a loving family environment allowed her to have the best of both worlds and allowed us to feel proud knowing that as a Guardian Family, we played a small but integral part in helping advance this amazing breed.
(We had five of our super stars retire late 2019 so to say thank you we had a big party to celebrate our amazing breeding boys & girls and their wonderful guardian families.