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Risks of Guardianship
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:50
2601:14f:4501:dcb2:2091:357c:3d5b:8d

I'm sure a guardianship can work out well for a breeder and for the guardian. In our case, it did not. I wanted to share my experience in the hope of saving others from the same expense and heartbreak.

I signed a contract to be a guardian for a miniature goldendoodle that one breeder purchased from another for breeding purposes. In retrospect I did not understand what I was agreeing to.

My husband and I served as guardians for her for more than a year. We cared for her, trained her, and paid all of the expenses for items outlined in the contract (in our case over $6,000). She had a series of health issues starting the day we got her – enough that two licensed vets questioned the decision to breed her. As first time dog parents, we consistently checked in with the breeder and the vet on how to deal with her health issues and followed their advice.

When we shared the second professional opinion regarding breeding - and our own concerns – the breeder used a clause in the contract to take her away from us without even offering us a chance to say goodbye.

During the 431 days we had her, the breeder never visited her nor asked us to bring her for a visit. The breeder saw her 3 times – the day she was picked her up from another breeder at 8 weeks of age for delivery to us at the airport the next day; at a veterinary visit to check the eyes, elbows and hips of several dogs; and at a doodle romp with dozens of other dogs. The breeder did not ask their vet examine her for the issues that concerned us until the day they took her back. In contrast, we visited a veterinarian with her 20 times for preventive care and to treat symptoms of illnesses.

The breeder denied our request to buy out the contract, and took our dog back for “evaluation.” While the breeder verbally committed to give her back to us after the evaluation, and the next day sent an email to “sever ties,” ceased communication, and would not discuss any way for us to keep her.

If you are considering a guardianship arrangement, be sure to read the contract carefully. Understand what your obligations are, and check to see if you have any rights until the breeder relinquishes the dog (we had none). If the breeder owns the dog he/she can take the dog back without warning for any number of reasons outlined in the contract. In our case, there was no buy-out provision and no health guarantee.



  • Guardian Homes and PricesKendra~ Noble Vestal Labradoodles, Mon Jun 18 09:48
    The use of guardian homes allows breeders to breed in a humane way without the use of a kennel. Dogs are assigned a permanent family to live their lives with from puppyhood through the end of their... more
    • Risks of Guardianship — Baci Doodle, Mon Jun 25 10:50
    • Re: Guardian Homes and PricesWildwind96 , Mon Jun 18 11:09
      All that may be the case, but I will respectfully disagree on the practice, in theory and morally. Neither do I believe dogs should be bred and sold when done. There certainly are breeders who do... more
      • ResearchKendra~ Noble Vestal Labradoodles, Mon Jun 18 11:18
        There is NO Australian Shepherd in an Australian Labroodle! Guardian homes are also not new in the breeding world. In purebred dogs, dogs may be raised by one family, handled in a ring by another and ... more
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