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Guardian Program

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Guardian Homes

At Heartland Hills, we have implemented a guardian program that is part of our commitment to ethical breeding. As a breeder, it is important to maintain genetic diversity within in your breeding animals.  In order to ensure this diversity, it is necessary for a breeder to keep quality breeding dogs within their program. This allows breeders to utilize quality dogs in their breeding program, as well as collaborate with other breeders to maintain genetic diversity, and further develop this breed. 

In addition to genetics, it is just as important for our Cobberdogs to receive the attention that they deserve.  Cobberdogs are designed to seek human interaction and they are sensitive and intuitive to humans. These are the traits that we desire in this breed! There are very few other breeds, if any, that are specifically being developed with therapy and service traits in mind. The reality is, the more dogs one has in the home, the more difficult it is to ensure that each dog receives individual attention.

For these reasons, when there is a pup that is a standout in a litter, and one that would benefit the breed, it can be advantageous for our dogs, and the breed, to find a guardian home. This allows for top quality dogs to have their own loving forever families, and still be able to contribute to this amazing breed.  

The dogs that remain in our home are loved and cared for while in our breeding program, and then lovingly retired to their new, forever home. Cobberdogs are very social and loving animals, and adjust to their new environments and homes very well. However, the guardian program is unique in that it allows for some of our breeding dogs to go straight into their forever home from the puppy stage. The pups are cared for and loved in their forever home, and only return to us when whelping and caring for puppies, or date trips for the males. For females, after their adventure in raising puppies, they then return to their families after their puppies are weaned. Families are welcome to visit their dog, at certain times, during the raising of the puppies. It can be a rewarding and wonderful thing to meet their dogs babies! There has been great feedback from other guardian program volunteers on this fun and endearing aspect of guardianship. Another benefit of being a guardian to a female, is that if you choose to adopt one of your dogs babies, it places you on the the list for a puppy. This only applies to guardians of females, as a male guardian could have puppies with females that are not in our program.

A guardian home will receive a special dog that has been DNA tested and is of superb character. The guardian home treats the dog like their own, taking care of all routine care and vaccinations. All the breeding expenses, however, will be covered by Heartland Hills. This special puppy will be under contract, to remain intact, and used for breeding purposes for Heartland Hills benefit. A female is under contract for up to 3 litters (most often it would be 2 litters, unless pups were extra spectacular). The female is brought to Heartland Hills for breeding, and then returned to their owner to await her  pups arrival. The momma will be brought back to stay with us a week prior to babies being born. The mommas will stay at Heartland Hills until weaning (usually 7-8 weeks).   Once the female’s contract for breeding purposes is up, she is de-sexed (paid by breeder) and her registration papers and ownership will be put in the guardian’s name.

For a male guardian home, the male is kept intact for up to 4 years, and will be available to be used in the breeding program. This could mean short vacations at Heartland Hills for dates.  Or if sharing his genetics with another breeder, a quick trip to the vet for collection. 

Some requirements to being a guardian include:

*Must be willing to abide by all aspects of the contract.

*Must have a well fenced yard to keep the dogs safe and contained.

*Must live within 45 minutes of Heartland Hills.

*Prior experience with owning a dog is strongly preferred.

*Must be committed to adequate socialization and training of the dog.

Entering a guardianship is a big commitment, but it can be so rewarding for the right family! Guardians get to be involved in the process of bringing joy to others through the love of a dog. And the rich experience of assisting in the development of this breed for future generations.

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