DELIVERY OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AREAS
We do not believe that puppies or dogs are best served by being kennel raised. By placing them in a home environment that will be their forever home from the time they are puppies, or by placing as a young adult, we are doing our best to ensure their happiness and best start in life. We never have to kennel raise a dog when utilizing guardian homes.
· The majority of guardian homes are families who cannot afford to purchase a Cavalier. There are others who simply like the idea of how our program works and want to be a part of it with us. For those who could not afford to purchase a Cavalier outright, the guardian home option is a fantastic way to have a beautiful Cavalier.
· We benefit as a breeder because we do not have to care for more dogs than we are comfortable with or can manage easily in our own home. We know each dog has a forever home from the time they are young.
There are always a lot of questions that people have about the guardian program. The collection of questions and answers below are our best attempt to address all questions right up front so someone does not feel like they weren't really aware of how this program works. Hopefully the information doesn't overwhelm you. It really is a very simple program even though it may seem like it has a lot of details. The main thing to remember is, if we as a people truly reject the idea of puppy mills, to my knowledge there is no better way than this guardian program to breed dogs in a humane, loving environment. People will find a way to get a dog for their family, and most people unknowingly choose puppy mills because it is the cheapest way to get dogs to the public. We value our dogs as family members and we hope that you can see how this program benefits families and our four-legged friends!
· Guardian families must feed a dog food approved by us. We are advocates of health nutrition for dogs, and for feeding foods that will not cause health issues, things like cancers, tumors, allergies, etc. The foods we ask you to feed are easily found.
· We require the family to avoid all chemicals unless necessary, and to not give supplements or medicines unless approved by us. This includes flea, heartworm, or any other meds. We use Advantage and Frontline for the flea medications and your Vet will prescribe the heartworm medication.
·We require all Guardian homes to get AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.
· We require Guardian families to give Nuvet to their dog daily for the health of your Cavalier.
· If the dog becomes sick or injured, we need the family to notify us right away so we are involved in all decisions regarding the treatment of the dog.
· We ask the family to practice safe handling of the dog. To not leave the dog outside if they are not at home. Don't let the dog sit in the back of an open pickup. Use a leash in public. Provide basic obedience training so the dog has manners. All things that should be done to protect your dog anyway.
· The guardian home is responsible for the transportation of the dog to us when needed for breeding, litters, or health testing. This is the most inconvenient part of the guardian responsibilities. Please think through this carefully. We will not meet families or pick up dogs ourselves. This is the guardian home responsibility and part of how they earn the dog through the program. We do expect that the dog only come to us within 1-2 days of when needed, and be picked up 1-2 days after they are ready to go. Should you be unable to drop off or pick up your dog, we can usually arrange for someone else to do so at the cost of $100 per trip.
SocializationTo Handling protocol (required) :
Handle your puppy daily. Once a day take a moment to touch and separate each toe on each foot as if you were clipping nails. Open your puppy's mouth and run your fingers along the gum lines. Lift each ear flap and rub their ears. Roll them on their back and rub the belly. Grasp their tail gently. Run your hands all over their body, from the top to bottom. Get your puppy used to hands and handling. Hand feed treats.
To people(Once 4th combo shots are completed):
Introduce your puppy to all kinds of people, all different ages, from all walks of life. Encourage interaction. Get your puppy out and take your puppy with you wherever you go. Invest in an orange pet therapy vest, that will get your puppy into places you otherwise could not take them. Even if your plan is to not professionally groom, I suggest at least a couple of trips to a recommend groomer while they are young. That will get them out to experience the care of other people and the inside of a typical kennel.
To pets(Once 4th combo shots are completed):
Introduce your puppy to any and all other kinds of pets that you encounter. When you encounter other pets, always confirm with the owner that their pet is dog friendly before allowing any contact. One vicious encounter can scar your puppy both physically and mentally. Find out if there is a dog park in your area and take your puppy to play with other friendly dogs. An outing to PetSmart or Petco on adoption day is always fun too.
Health and Care
Clean the ears regularly with an ear cleaning solution and check them often for redness or debris accumulation which is a sign of trouble. I recommend having the fur around the ear canal and the inside flap of the ear shaved while they are being groomed. This will allow air to flow into the ear and greatly reduce the chances of getting an ear infection.
Your dog’s eyes are just as sensitive as yours, so cleaning should only be done around the eyes. If there is a build-up of muck, wipe it clean with a soft, damp cloth or clean tissue. Wipe around the eye very gently and that should be enough. Muck inside the dog’s eyes can be flushed out by using a canine friendly solution that you can get from the vet or the pet store.
Teeth care is very important for your puppy and is one of the most important parts of taking care of your Cavalier is taking care of your dog's teeth. Not longer than about a decade ago, owners and veterinarians believed that a "dog took care of their own teeth". This is not true. This breed is particularly prone to developing dental issue. When periodontal disease (infection of the teeth) begins to develop, this can very easily move from the Cavaliers’ mouth to the liver, heart and other vital organs via the dog's bloodstream Your Cavalier will be ready for dental care beginning at 2 months old. Don't worry! You will not be brushing their teeth at this age, however all owners should begin at this young age to start the process of training your Cavalier to become accustomed to having their teeth touched. Brushing your dog's teeth should become a daily part of your normal schedule, just as feeding, going for walks, etc. This should not be something that is easily forgotten! If you begin the very first day that you bring your puppy home, choose 1 time of the day to devote to dental care and do so each and every day....
If that is unrealistic to brush daily, I encourage you to buy a mouth spray. I have found the best results with using the spray 3-7 days a week. I also recommend dental chews for you dog. Dental chews are a natural option for scraping off food to help prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Home brushing and professional vet cleanings are necessary, but giving your dog dental chews can help extend the time between appointments. While daily cleanings are very important, professional cleanings are still needed. Brushings at home will help to prevent the buildup of tartar and to keep the gums healthy. Professional cleanings remove the buildup of plague. Professional cleanings also allow the veterinarian to take x-rays in order to determine any issues. As a guardian home you will be required to have professional cleaning once a year.
We will usually breed on the second heat cycle. If a dog goes into heat at any time beyond 12 months, you must notify us immediately so we can assess whether or not we will breed. This will depend on how many other girls are cycling and having litters, as well as the individual dogs age and situation. We would also like to be notified when your puppy has its first cycle, somewhere around 9-12 months of age, so we can have a calculated guess on when her next cycle will be.
As soon as the family is aware the dog is in heat we will have them arrange to bring the dog to us by day 5 - 7 of the heat cycle. She will remain with us for about one week, and then they can pick her up and take her back home. Again, please be aware that we will not house the dog for long periods before or after the times they are needed. If you are unable to drop off or pick up the dog within 1-2 days of when needed, you will be required to find someone else who can do so for you, or we can ask one of our dog transporters if they are available for $100 per trip.
· Dogs are pregnant for 63 days.
She will come to us between 10 - 14 days before she is due with her litter. This gives her time to settle into our house, get used to seeing the whelping box. It is important that she becomes very comfortable with being in our house and being with us all the time. We do not want the mom to feel threatened by us when she is getting ready to whelp. She will go home after puppies go home. This will be 8 weeks of age.
· Yes you can visit, however a strict sanitation protocol must be followed and we recommend that you please wait 2 weeks before visiting to allow mamma some time to recover from birth and bond with her puppies. Please be aware though that no handling of puppies will be allowed until puppies are 2 weeks of age. You may visit the guardian dog and spend some time with her if she is doing well with leaving her puppies for short periods of time. We do try to limit this visit to one hour as our schedule is very busy and puppies are not best served by being away from mom for longer than that.
No. There is an initial "Where is my family going?" when they bring her to us, but in every situation the dog is settled and comfortable and doing very well within an hour or two. We try very hard to give them so much attention and love the first couple days that it is a pleasant and enjoyable experience for them. This is also important as everything the mother feels causes things to happen inside her body that can affect the babies. The less stress and the more relaxed she is, the better it is for babies. So, it is very important that the guardian home not make the transition difficult for the dog. If they act upset or nervous or sad about leaving her, she will feel that even more greatly and we need to make sure that doesn't happen. Bringing her and hanging out in our house with her for an hour or so and just pretending like it's any other visit you'd make is very important. If we can have the family sneak out so the dog isn't even aware they've left, that is usually best too. She rarely acknowledges for more than a couple of minutes that anything has happened.
Pregnancy is actually very easy. I have a list of what happens each week during the development of puppies, and I give that to our guardian homes at the time we begin breeding. The dog may act a little more tired, or not eat normally for a few weeks. The last couple weeks of pregnancy she is usually becoming more hungry and sleeps more as time progresses. Otherwise, normal activity is typical and it is important to continue with walking the dog right up to the end. This helps during delivery. Being in shape is always best. Normal play and romping and running during the first half of pregnancy is great. After that, we limit activity to walks on a leash and no ball chasing type of activities.
· No chemicals may be given during pregnancy. We have to be notified immediately of any illness or injury so we can be involved in determining how she is treated.
While the dog is in guardian's care and home, any illness or injury that happens is their financial responsibility. We must be involved in treatment plans and know what is going on and determining medications, but the family is responsible for those expenses. Health insurance is recommended during her breeding years. This insurance is for your protection because these dogs are extremely valuable as breeders.
The guardian home pays for any normal care items. Food, dishes, leashes, beds, normal vaccinations or wormings, flea meds, heartworm meds, toys, grooming needs etc. If the dog needs meds due to worms, illness, infection or anything unrelated to pregnancy, it is the guardian’s responsibility to pay for those expenses.
· We pay for all expenses related to health testing for breeding purposes, all breeding expenses and litter expenses.
We contract for six litters. We may only breed three or four, or one, but we have the option of six. We are concerned for the well-being of our program dogs. If we find that the girl has problems with deliveries or it would be unhealthy for them to breed again, we will stop the breeding program with her and she will be yours.
· We pay for the spay surgery after the girl has had time to recover from the last litter and have her hormone levels return to normal. This is usually about 2 months after puppies are weaned. She will go to a vet of our choosing for her spay otherwise the spay expenses will be yours.
· At this stage in our business, we are typically placing puppies in their guardian home before the testing is done. We are very careful to know the lines we work with, and it's not typical to have a health test come back so poorly that we have been unable to use the dog as a breeding dog. Remember, that breeding quality and pet quality are two different things. Just because a dog may not be the best breeding candidate doesn't mean they aren't the perfect pet. Most of the testing we do is very specific, and we have already thoroughly screened the line and health testing of parent dogs, so it's not likely we'll encounter a problem that would cause us to say we can't breed with that dog.
· However, the biggest problem with placing puppies early is that if the girl were to have borderline tests and we decided not to use her in our breeding program, it makes financial sense for us to sell her as a pet. We recognize the hardship on the family and the dog if we were to have to sell the puppy. If the guardian does not want to give up their pet and a dog is not utilized as a breeding dog for ANY reason by the time they are 2 years of age, the guardian home would be responsible to pay $2,000. In some cases we might waive some fees based on our working knowledge of our guardian family.