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Duke's Guardian Home Program for Middle Tennessee Residents

Each guardian family will receive a $250-$500 stipend for every litter produced by their guardian dog when the litter has reached 6 weeks of age. 

Guardian Home Puppy Program: Welcome

Available Puppies For Guardian Homes


Sterling Mallory Barker 

Black and Silver Miniature Schnauzer 

Date of Birth: 02/23



Red Tipped Sable Miniature Schnauzer Female

Date of Birth: 11/17/2023

Guardian Home Puppy Program: Available Pets

Duke's Guardian Home Program Agreement

At Duke’s Schnauzers we believe that every dog deserves to experience the stability and love of a forever home. In order for us to give our dogs the best home, and as much love as possible it is important for us to limit how many dogs we keep in our home at a single time. All of our dogs are part of our family and live in our home rather than kennels. Because of this we have decided to offer a Guardian Home Program. A Guardian Home is a permanent home for one of our breeding males or females. 

At Duke’s we are committed to proving not only adorable, but healthy, high-quality animals. To accomplish this, 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.  Some of these “pick of the litter” puppies will eventually fit into our breeding program while others may 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 his/her breeding career is completed. 

How the program works? 

Selected puppies or dogs are given to a guardian family to raise and love and keep as a member of their family.  Rather than buying this puppy full price, you will paying a much lesser amount. This program allows families local to Tennessee an opportunity to own one of our high-quality schnauzers without the high cost of paying for it. Additionally. each guardian family will receive a $250-$500 stipend for every litter produced by their guardian dog when the litter has reached 6 weeks of age. 

   The family must be approved as guardian parents and agree to follow the terms of our Guardian Program contract. As a guardian puppy grows up, we monitor his or her temperament, drive, and health. If the puppy is exceptional, he/she will be used in our breeding program. Before any dog is bred, we will have his/her heart and eyes OFA tested and certified, and DNA testing will be performed at the breeder’s expense. If any results are not what we expect, we will require the guardian parents to have the dog spayed/neutered and ownership is then signed over completely to the guardian family. When a female has passed health tests, she will come back to our home when she comes into season, which happens two times a year. After breeding she will go back to her guardian home until 1 - 1 ½ weeks before whelping, she comes back to our home and has her babies here and stays until one week after she weans the pups (around 7 weeks). We may not breed each female every season, and timing of the breeding is at the discretion of the breeder. 

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 the highest 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, vitamins, grooming, training, 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. It is also required that the guardian home purchases Trupanion pet insurance for their puppy/dog.

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 two hours of our home, and everyone in the household should feel comfortable with the guardian arrangement. Guardian families must be willing to have us stop by on occasion to allow for in person check-ins, and photographs. Families that are interested in breeding dogs are not good guardian families.  We are placing dogs in their permanent family pet home, not in a breeding home.  We do not split litters with Guardian Parents. This is not a program for someone who wants to be a breeder, but a guardian program to provide good forever homes for our dogs for 8 weeks on. 

What are the Guardian Family's responsibilities?

While the guardian family does not pay full price 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 vitamins to keep the dog in the best health.  They are also expected to strictly follow feeding instructions during pregnancy as this is extremely important. 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). Should it be necessary for the dog to be spayed during whelp due to complications, the spay shall be paid for by the guardian and registration shall be transferred to the guardian.

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.  After 5 years of age, Duke’s Schnauzers will issue a written agreement to have dog fixed and the guardian family will get her spayed and ownership papers will be signed over to guardian family. Males are in guardianship until they turn 6-7 years of age. At 6-7 years of age, after a written agreement is signed by Duke’s Schnauzers, the guardian family will get him neutered and ownership papers will be signed over to guardian parents. 

Guardian homes should have the following: 

•Own their own home

•Have their own car to transport the dog.

•Prior experience dog ownership is a must.

•Be willing to crate and house train the puppy. Teach the puppy basic obedience, and continue with the Puppy Culture training program. 

•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 the puppy.

•Be available to drive dog to and from our home for breeding and whelping.

•Keep us updated on the dog’s progress via email.  When in heat, we must be notified via phone and email. Pictures via email every month for us to follow the puppy’s progress.  

•Be willing to socialize the puppy by taking it everywhere possible and showing him/her life in general.  

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 come into season 2 times a year. When a female starts to cycle or drip blood we expect to get an email. 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 take them into our home about the 7th day.

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 or female.  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 Duke's Schnauzers ownership period of the guardian dog.

Who owns the dog?

Duke’s Schnauzers 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 his/her entire life.  Once the breeding obligations are met and a written consent is given by Duke’s Schnauzers, the guardian family agrees to neuter/spay the dog at their expense.  Guardian must provide a letter from the vet confirming the spay/neuter was complete.  At this point we will transfer ownership of the dog to the guardian. If at any time the guardian family can no longer care for the dog, they agree to return her/him to Duke’s Schnauzers.  The dog may not be sold or given to any other party without prior written permission from Duke’s Schnauzers and registration transferred to guardian family’s name.

Do you ever have older dogs placed in the Guardian Program?

Some people know how much work it is to raise a puppy and would rather not go through the house breaking and chewing stages of a puppy. An older dog is a good solution for these people. At times we have young adults (and sometimes older females) that we would like to place in a home. 

What are the training requirements?

We REQUIRE that our guardian puppies be taught basic obedience and taken to at least one set of obedience classes and successfully pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). 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.

Are there circumstances when Duke’s Schnauzers would remove a dog from the guardian home? 

There are very few reasons that we would ever take a puppy/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 Duke’s Schnauzers the current worth of the dog as assessed by Duke’s Schnauzers. The breeder will not be held liable for any reason by the guardian. 

At Duke’s Schnauzers we strive to raise happy, well socialized puppies. From the third day of life on, we work with our puppies in accordance with The Puppy Culture Program. Additionally, all our puppies will be temperament tested and matched with the perfect Guardian Family home. Our puppies/dogs leave our home, loved, happy and ready for their forever home. It is a requirement of a Guardian Family home to continue training their puppy/dog after placement. This not only benefits the Guardian Family home, but the community they animal lives in. 

Guardian Home Puppy Program: Text
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