Sorenson Kennel’s Guardian Home Overview
Did you know that Sorenson Kennels keeps a female puppy (and sometimes a male) out of most of our litters. We retain future breeding rights, just 2 litters, per female pup. Here are more details about our program…
At Sorenson Kennels we believe that every puppy we pick for future breeding deserves to have a loving, forever home from the start rather than being kennel raised. By placing them in permanent guardian homes we are doing our best to ensure their happiness and best start in life.
We reserve a female pup out of the majority of our Labrador and Golden Retriever litters for future breeding. Occasionally, we will reserve a male also. When we pick a pup for future breeding we take into consideration their temperaments, looks, conformation, and other genetic factors to ensure we are keeping the best possible pups to carry on our breeding program.
Once we have a litter of pups we will make our selection on what pup we will reserve for future breeding around 6 weeks of age. Then our breeding agreement pup will go home with its guardian family around 8 weeks, just like the rest of the pups in the litter. The Guardian family can choose the pup’s name (agreed upon by us first, just so there is no doubling up on names). Pups that are selected for future breeding prospects are placed at no charge with the chosen guardian family
Guardian families responsibilities include: Feeding the pup a high quality diet, keeping vaccinations current, providing year round heartworm, flea & tick preventative, proper grooming, and teaching the pup basic obedience, and socialization, which we have professionals here at the kennel to assist. Physical fitness of our breeding dogs is also very important to us. They need proper exercise and feeding to stay at an ideal weight. Not only is this good for their overall health and longevity, but unfit or overweight dogs often have higher risks of complications whelping pups.
For Female Breeding Agreement Dogs:
We place a female pup with a breeding contract for 2 litters. On average, a female retriever will have her first heat cycle around 1 year of age and again every 6 to 8 months thereafter. We require the guardian family to notify us at the first sign of heat and to bring the female to board at the kennel, at no charge for the duration of their heat cycle, which can last up to 3 weeks at a time. We require this to make sure they are safe from any unplanned matings and to get them used to the kennel staff and boarding here at the kennel to make it an easier transition when they have to stay here to whelp their pups.
At 2 years of age, we will schedule her to get all of her genetic clearances (hips, elbows, eyes, heart, and other genetic traits they might need to be tested against) This will require the breeding agreement family to bring the female into the kennel for about 2-3 days. We will transport her to the vet and or specialists to get all the appropriate clearances and will cover all the costs associated with the clearances. If a female wouldn’t pass a clearance test, and wouldn’t be an ideal candidate for breeding it would be the guardian family’s responsibility to get her spayed and cover associated cost with the surgery, then the breeding agreement contract would be terminated.
Once the clearances are complete and the female passed all required tests, we will most likely breed her the next heat cycle after testing. Once the breeding is complete (usually takes place day 10-15 of heat cycle) and the female is done with her heat cycle she will return home during her pregnancy. Typical gestation is approximately 62 days. We require the females to be brought back to the kennel 1 week before her due date, to get settled into our whelping area. We will keep the guardian family informed during the whelping process, send pictures, etc, but we do not allow visitation for at least 3 to 4 weeks after her whelping. This is to keep mom focused on her pups. Once the pups are 6 weeks old, they are completely weaned from Mom, and she is free to go back home. We often will breed a female for their second litter during their next heat cycle, which is typically 6 – 8 months after whelping their first litter. We obviously take into account the health of the breeding female. If we feel any certain female would not be a good candidate for back-to-back breedings, we will skip a heat cycle in between breedings. We define a “litter” of 3 or more pups. If a female would have less than 3 pups, we reserve the right to another breeding. Sorenson Kennels will cover all the expenses incurred in the breeding and whelping process. Once the breedings are complete we will cover the cost to get the female spayed (You are welcome to take her to the vet of your choice to get spayed, but we only cover the cost of the surgery up to the amount our vet charges, McCauley/New Melle Animal Hospital) Then the breeding contract is completed.
For Male Breeding Agreement Dogs:
Sorenson Kennel’s doesn’t reserve breeding rights to nearly as many male pups as females. For the male pups we select, the breeding contracts are very different from the breeding female pups. We still require the basics such as being fed a high quality diet, proper vet care, grooming, exercise, training, etc. At 2 years of age, same as the females, we will schedule him to get all of his genetic clearances (hips, elbows, eyes, heart, and other genetic traits they might need to be tested against) This will require the breeding agreement family to bring the male into the kennel for about 2-3 days. We will transport him to the vet and or specialists to get all the appropriate clearances and will cover all the costs associated with the clearances. If a male wouldn’t pass a clearance test, and wouldn’t be an ideal candidate for breeding it would be the guardian family’s responsibility to get him neutered and cover associated cost with the surgery, then the breeding agreement contract would be terminated.
We reserve all breeding rights for the particular male. The guardian family will not be able to stud the dog out themselves. When we would like to use the male for breeding, we will contact the guardian family. The male will need to stay at the kennel until the breeding is complete, on average that could be a week-long process. The duration of the breeding rights contract could vary from male to male but typically spans several years depending upon breeding soundness as he ages.
We take picking the right guardian homes very seriously. We want to make sure it is the best fit possible for our pups during their breeding years and thereafter. Even though it might seem complicated and a lot terms to adhere to, we try to make the process as simple as we can because we are grateful to the families raising and loving our pups.
Contact us if you are interested in being a guardian family and/or have additional questions