We believe that all dogs, whether they are pets, show dogs, or breeding dogs, deserve to be a permanent part of a family where they are loved and given the proper attention. To ensure that our breeding dogs receive the care they deserve, we have implemented a Guardian Home Program. This program places the majority of our breeding dogs in loving homes as puppies, where they are raised as part of a family their whole lives. This means we never “retire and rehome” a dog when they are no longer able to breed or worse have any dogs living in kennels.
Occasionally, we will have a puppy available for a Guardian Home. This puppy will be the “pick of the litter” chosen by us. To become a guardian for Carolina Springs, you must reside within 30 minutes of our location and go through an interview process. Upon approval, we will provide you with a puppy free of charge for you to raise as a member of your family. We will periodically check in to ensure everything is going well, and occasionally take the puppy for health testing.
Once the dog is old enough and passes all necessary health clearances, we will take the dog for breeding during the appropriate times and return it to you. The dog may have to stay with us a few days or be picked up and dropped off several times over a week’s time. Females will stay in their homes for the majority of their pregnancy, which is about 63 days. The Guardians will be responsible for taking care of her during most of her pregnancy and bringing her to us about a week before she is due to give birth. During this time, she will live with us where we will closely supervise and assist with the birth of her litter.
After the puppies have been weaned and no longer require her (usually between 6-8 weeks), we will return her home to you. Depending on her performance as a mother, we will either continue to breed her or release her from our program. When released the dog is yours to keep forever.
If you believe you may be a good fit for our Guardian Home Program please read through our FAQ section and fill out an application.
Most frequent questions and answers
A Guardian Home Program is a program where a breeder places their breeding dogs with approved families to be raised and cared for as part of the family. The dogs are then returned to the breeder for breeding purposes and may be taken back and forth for health testing and other appointments.
A breeder selects a puppy from a litter to be placed in a Guardian Home. The puppy is given to an approved family free of charge, and the family raises the dog as part of their family. The dog is then returned to the breeder for breeding purposes when the dog is old enough and has passed necessary health tests.
Guardian Homes are responsible for raising the dog as a beloved family member and providing adequate care, attention, and basic training. In terms of breeding, the guardian home is expected to make the dog available for necessary health screenings and testing appointments. Open and clear communication is also expected, especially regarding when the dog’s heat cycles begin.
Guardian Homes are responsible for the everyday routine expenses of owning a dog such as annual exams, vaccines, heartworm prevention, food, and grooming as well as emergency medical care.
Carolina Springs Breeding will take care of all expenses associated with breeding, such as health testing, progesterone testing, and x-rays. Furthermore, any emergency medical treatment that the dog needs while in the care of Carolina Springs Breeding will also be provided at no cost.
A dog’s heat, also known as the estrus cycle or “being in heat,” is a period of time when a female dog is receptive to mating and can become pregnant. The heat cycle is unique to female dogs and is characterized by a series of physical and behavioral changes.
The heat cycle typically occurs twice a year, although it varies based on the individual dog. The cycle lasts about three weeks and is divided into three phases:
- Proestrus: This phase typically lasts around 9 days and is characterized by swelling of the vulva and the release of a bloody discharge. During this time, the female dog is not yet receptive to mating and may show signs of aggression towards male dogs.
- Estrus: This phase typically lasts around 9 days and is characterized by a change in the discharge from bloody to straw-colored. This is when the female dog is receptive to mating and will typically show more interest in male dogs, possibly even actively seeking them out.
- Diestrus: This phase typically lasts around 2-3 months and is characterized by a decrease in hormonal activity and the end of the heat cycle. If the female dog has not mated during estrus, she will not become pregnant and will eventually return to her normal state.
During the heat cycle, the female dog may exhibit certain behaviors such as restlessness, increased urination, and increased affection towards their owner. It’s important to keep a female dog confined or on a leash during the heat cycle to prevent unwanted breeding, as well as to keep them away from other male dogs who may become aggressive or overly persistent in trying to mate.
During pregnancy, the guardian home must feed the dog a specific food recommended by the breeder, administer daily vitamins, and take excellent care of the dog by keeping her away from stressful situations as much as possible.
The number of litters a dog can have before retirement ranges from 1 to 4, and is determined by several factors, including the dog’s health, the size of the litters, her mothering ability, and her recovery time. The breeder will make this decision after careful consideration, taking into account the advice and input of the reproductive veterinarian.
We maintain very high health standards for our breeding dogs and occasionally we may find a genetic or anatomical reason that makes a dog unsuitable for our breeding program. If that happens the dog is released from our program and will remain with their guardian family forever.