Golden Retriever Breeder & Enthusiast
We are currently NOT accepting any applications for puppies. Please excuse our website while we update it. Thank you for your understanding, happy summer!
Welcome to our Guardian Program page!
We are excited to be offering guardian opportunities in our program (females only at this time). At Golden Gang of Maine, our dogs are the heart and soul of our program and our lives. We want for all dogs to experience the stability and love that a forever home provides. In order for us to give our dogs the best possible home and as much love as possible, it is important for us to limit how many dogs we keep in our home at one time. To be a good breeder of quality dogs, however, we need to keep, evaluate, and add quality bloodlines to our breeding program. We do need to keep a few of our “pick of the litter” puppies to see their potential to develop and grow into an adult dog with all the perfect qualities we are hoping to create We also need to continually add new bloodlines with the high qualities we are trying to create. Some of these Pick puppies/dogs will eventually fit into our breeding program while others will not. The best way for us to continue to grow a quality program with consideration to our beloved dogs and the life they deserve, we have implemented a Guardian program. As a guardian, our dog resides with you as your forever pet; however, we retain decision-making rights of the dog until her breeding career is completed.
We are giving the dog to the guardian family to raise and love and keep as a member of their family. This program allows local families an opportunity to own one of our high quality dogs without the cost of paying for it. The family must be approved as guardian parents and agree to abide by our contract of care.
As a guardian puppy grows up, we monitor her temperament, drive, and health. If the dog is exceptional, she will be used in our breeding program. Before any dog is bred we will complete all necessary health testing recommended by the GRCA, including OFA hips/elbow radiographs, cardiologist heart exam, ophthalmologist eye exam as well as an Embark genetic test (at our expense). If the dog does not pass all of these things, we require the dog to be spayed (at our expense) and ownership is then signed over to the guardian family.
When the dog is two years old and has passed all health clearances and completed all guardian requirements (see below), she will come to us to be bred during a heat cycle. This will usually be 4-7 days. She will then be returned to you. The guardian will meet at a veterinarian (breeder’s choice) for an ultrasound 4 weeks following the breeding. The dog will return to the veterinarian (breeder’s choice) for an x-ray on day 53 (one week before due date), and will go with breeder after this visit, where she will be for the remainder of her pregnancy, whelping and puppy raising (about 9-10 weeks total). You as the guardian family will be compensated for each litter. She will produce 3-4 litters and not be bred past 6 years of age. When retirement comes, she will be spayed (at our expense) and ownership is signed over to the guardian family.
The guardian home program is an excellent deal for the dog, it's a good deal for the guardian parents, and it's a good deal for producing an exceptional Breeding program. It's one of those "win - win" situations for everyone involved. The family receives a quality, top pick dog. I am able to improve the breed by using only the best for bettering the breed. As a guardian, you would be responsible for the day to day care of the puppy/dog, including feeding a high quality dog food, Nuvet Vitamins, grooming, training and socialization, exercise, preventative care, such as heart worm and flea and tick prevention; and routine medical and veterinary care, as you would with any family pet.
Who Qualifies for a Guardian Dog?
We are very selective of who we choose to become a guardian family. Our primary concern is that our dogs go into safe homes where they will be well taken care and loved as a family member. They must be in a home where they are not able to escape or get bred while in season. We expect the guardian parents to allow the dog to be a part of the family (a house dog). We look for people who are experienced dog owners. Guardian families should live within 2 hours of our home. Everyone in the household should like the guardian arrangement. Guardian families must be willing to have us stop by on occasion, as well as bring the dog to our home on occasion so she is comfortable being here, ideally when you go out of town, etc.
What are the Guardian Family's Responsibilities?
While the guardian family does not pay for the puppy (or young adult), they must agree to purchase a dog crate, collar, leash, and all necessary items for pet care. They must also agree to feed a high quality food and Nuvet vitamins to keep the dog in the best health. They are also expected to strictly follow feeding instructions during pregnancy. The guardian family must have a secure back yard for regular exercise. The Guardian Home takes care of all the pet type fees as if it were your dog. (food, vet bills and care unless it has to do with vet bills associated with breeding such as all the health certifications which we cover).
How long do we share the dog?
Females are in guardianship until they turn 5 years of age or after 4 complete litters (less than 5 puppies would not be counted as a complete litter), whichever comes first. Before she turns 6 years of age, Golden Gang of Maine will issue a written agreement to have dog spayed (at our expense) and AKC ownership papers will be signed over to guardian family.
Guardian homes requirements:
Own their own home
Live within 2 hours of Golden Gang of Maine
Have their own car to transport the dog
Prior experience dog ownership is ideal
Be willing to crate and house train the puppy. Teach the puppy basic obedience, therapy training. This can be accomplished by 2-3 training classes with an accomplished trainer or at home. Completion of CGC (Canine Good Citizen) is required by 24 months of age.
Afford to provide required high quality food as well as regular vet checks and vaccines
Be prepared to have their own vet listed as a reference
Fenced backyard to contain puppy is ideal, however not required. However a safe plan must be approved by Golden Gang of Maine
Be available to drive dog to and from our home for breeding and whelping. We will do our best to meet half way and share commute, but we cannot always accommodate
Keep up updated on dog's progress via email including photos ever 2-3 months. When in heat, we must be notified via phone.
Be willing to socialize the puppy by taking it everywhere possible and showing her life in general, by watching/following Puppy Culture protocol.
Cannot own a intact male during guardian home agreement
It is the responsibility of the guardian parents to make sure the dog remains in good health. The guardian parents are required to keep the dog current on routine veterinary care, shots, rabies, and good grooming. We cover health certification expenses. We cover medical expenses incurred during breeding and whelping while at our home. The guardian parents must keep us informed of the female’s cycles. Females on average come into season 2 times a year. When a female starts to cycle or drip blood we expect to get a phone call. Repeated attempts to contact us should continue, until confirmation is received from us that we have heard from you. If we plan to breed the female we will inform the guardian parents at this time. Females are usually bred between the 9th and 13th day of their season. We may choose to bring the female for a progesterone test on day 5, the reoccurrence of these visits will depend on length of her cycle, which can last 3-4 weeks. We may choose to take her into our home for breeding and keep for 4-7 days.
What If I Have Another Dog Already In My Home?
We will not place a female puppy in a home where there is an intact male. We would need to meet all other pets as part of the application process. Guardian family agrees to not have unaltered animals in the home during the Golden Gang of Maine’s ownership period of the guardian dog.
Who Owns The Dog:
Golden Gang of Maine owns the dog until breeding obligations are met. We sign a contract with the guardian family clearly identifying that we have full breeding rights and can breed the dog when we choose. The dog remains registered in our name until breeding obligations are complete. The guardian family will assume all liability for the dog at time of guardian agreement and are responsible for the dog for her entire life. Once the breeding obligations are met and a written consent is given by Golden Gang of Maine, following the dog being spayed (at our expense). Guardian must provide a letter from the vet confirming the spay was complete. At this point we will transfer ownership of the dog to the guardian. If at anytime the guardian family can no longer care for the dog, they agree to return her to Golden Gang of Maine. The dog may not be sold or given to any other party without prior written permission from Golden Gang of Maine and registration transferred to guardian family’s name.
Training Requirement for Guardian Families:
We REQUIRE that our guardian puppies be taught basic obedience and taken to at least one set of obedience classes and successfully pass the CGC prior to 24 months of age. This is NOT difficult to accomplish and will give your guardian the good behavior skills needed to be an asset to your family and the community for a lifetime. We do not require guardian families to title their dog but encourage and support any activity that provides you bonding time with your dog
Under What Circumstances Would We Remove a Dog from a Guardian Home?
There are very few reasons that we would ever take a dog out of a guardian home unless one of the follow occur: The dog to allowed to run loose when there is no supervision, the dog gets bred by accident, the guardian parents do not tell us when a female comes in season, the dog is neglected or abused (according to our discretion), the guardian family moves before informing us personally, the dog must be rescued from an Animal Control facility. These reasons will be discussed in detail before any puppy is placed in a Guardian Home. The Guardian Parents must agree to all terms with the kennel and sign a contract with the breeder. If the puppy dies from careless accident or neglect on the part of the Guardian Family, they agree to pay Golden Gang of Maine the current worth of the dog as assessed by Golden Gang of Maine. The breeder will not be held liable for any reason by the guardian. Should it be necessary for the dog to be spayed during whelp due to complications, the spay shall be paid for by Golden Gang of Maine and registration shall be transferred to the guardian.