How our breeding program works.
If you have visited many of our pages, you will have noticed most of our breeding dogs are living with other families in what we call our “Foster Program”. We allow others to raise them in order to keep all our Poodles as beloved pets and not kennel dogs. The households we select have very few dogs themselves, so they have the time and energy to devote to our pups. On the flip side, we try to keep our own dog population down to less than 4 dogs, rescues and re-homing older dogs not included. Right now I only have 3 Standard Poodles living with me. It allows me to focus on my own dogs, have time to go on vacations, and room to travel with everyone.
All our dogs are health tested before being bred with OFA hips, Thyroid, SA, vWD DNA, and CERF eyes done at a bare minimum. All studs tested NE and DM clear via DNA bloodwork. I’ve recently added Elbows to my OFA test because of the agility work I do.
No female is ever intentionally bred before 2 years of age, most are not bred before 3 years.
No female has more than 3 litters for us. Most have one-two litter in their lifetime.
Most dogs, including our Foster Dogs, have at least one title before being bred. This could be in conformation (how they look), service (therapy or SAR), or working sports (obedience or agility). All breeding poodles gain a title in something at some point, though with girls it might have to wait until they are spayed. Coming into season causes issues with working sports and service work.
Our boys are kept IN our home, not in a ‘stud room’ or ‘kennel’. Poodles are very easy to train and learn quickly what is allowed and what isn’t. Problems occur when a person as to many dogs, or doesn’t set firm house training rules from an early age. If you only have a few dogs, if you train your dogs, and if you have clearly defined rules there are rarely any marking issues with adult male Standard Poodles. At one time I had 3 intact males living with me and not one would mark in my home, even with girls coming into season.
FOSTER HOME REQUIREMENTS:
1. Located within a few hours drive of San Antonio, TX. (might consider Little Rock, AR near my family)
I’m absolutely firm on this. Please don’t ask me to consider your amazing home outside of these areas. I’m sure you are wonderful, but I’m not going to do it even if you were a world renowned trainer.
2. Willing to show dog in some sport OR allow me to show the dog.
My breeding dogs have titles. You probably came to me because you were impressed with my dogs doing things other than looking pretty. You must be on board with this requirement before fostering. If you can’t do it yourself, you must live extremely close to San Antonio for me to train the dog for you. I will not consider any other option at this point in my breeding program.
3. Willing to go to class with the dog and gain a Canine Good Citizen title yourself. Therapy work a bonus.
If you do not have a place that does this testing near you or if you do not have a place near you that teaches classes, please do not ask to foster a dog. Do your homework and find our what you have locally before you ask to foster my pup. I will ask you where you will be training. I’m sorry, but I am unwilling to foster a dog more than 1 hour away from the nearest training center. I’m sure you are a lovely home, but I have tried this before and the dog ends up not getting any socialization or training. Buy a pet and enjoy your baby.
4. Willing to leave the dog with me for breeding / whelping process.
You need to soul search now and make sure you are 100% comfortable letting your dog go away for a few months. Seriously, my house is low key and fun, but some folks have balked at this requirement when the time for breeding came. Think it over, be willing to make it happen.
5. No infants in the home.
I love babies!! I had twins! However, if you have infants in the home, pregnant, or seeking to build a family I’m probably not going to foster a dog with you. I have made exceptions to this rule, but often the family end up not having time to train the dog. Buy a pet and enjoy your new babies and puppy. Think about fostering after your family dynamic is stable.
6. Stable location.
If you are in a situation where you will likely be moving a lot (military or other mobile jobs), fostering is a bad option. I’ve done it before and the family ends up moving outside my driving distance area. If you are military, buy yourself a wonderful pet and enjoy!! It is already complicated with Keith being military. We can’t add in another factor and make it work.
If you think you might qualify, keep reading below to see how it works!
Foster Program- Question and Answers. This section explains the process.
Q. What is “fostering”?
A. Taking one of my best dogs into your home, but not neutering or spaying that dog. You must keep them intact for breeding to my dogs, but also keep them as beloved house pets. I also require the foster dog to be titled. This means you will need to let me show the dog or be willing to show the dog yourself in any sport that will gain them a title (conformation, obedience, rally, etc).
Q. Why would you foster your dogs?
A. Because the Standard Poodle gene pool is shrinking and the only way to keep us from constant inbreeding is to have more dogs as options for breeding. In order to do that, we must have large kennels or place dogs in homes who are willing to keep them intact for future use. I am choosing to place them as ‘fosters’ so that they can get the individual attention they deserve, yet still be able to pass on their genes to future generations.
Q. Is there a cost I must pay to foster?
A. There is a fee of $500 to foster. This is my cost to raise a puppy to 8-12 weeks of age. Shots, worming, tail and declaw removal, food, toys, basic obedience training (sit, down, come, stay will already be imprinted on the puppy), and an incredible amount of socialization. I put a lot of work into my pups, more than most breeders.
Q. What am I responsible for if I foster a dog?
A. You are responsible for the daily care, yearly vet bills, or expenses that might occur if the dog hurts itself while living with you. In short, what you would if you adopted a dog from a shelter or bought a pet from a breeder. You will also be required to put one AKC or UKC title on the puppy in some sport plus an AKC Canine Good Citizen title (CGC). Do not let this requirement scare you. The CGC title is very easy and often can be done by one year of age. The other title can be conformation, obedience, rally, lure coursing, barn hunt, anything with a title. Whatever you feel is your dogs strong point, you can focus on. Why do I require a title? My entire breeding program is based on the stability of my poodles. Likely you came here and were drawn to my dogs because they do more than just look pretty. Putting a title on the dog shows they can work in a stressful and exciting environment. It also shows they have a brain, important when you breed Poodles who are known to be smart. A dog who is hyper and unable to focus will be harder to title. A dog that is reactive or upset by social events will be harder to title. It proves the stability of my dogs, which is important when I am often living far from the foster dog themselves.
Q. Do you pay for anything?
A. YES! When the dog turns 2 years of age, I will pay to have all the health test needed to certify that dog as ‘breeding quality’. If all the health testing is completed and comes back normal, then they might be bred at some point and become an active part of our breeding program. Even with clear health testing, it doesn’t mean I will breed every foster dog. By fostering I can pick the best of the best!
Q. What if it doesn’t pass the health testing?
A. I will ask you to please have the dog spayed or neutered and it will become fully your family’s dog. This is a way for me to have access to them for breeding, but if they are not breeding quality I do not have to find them a home. Your home is their home for their entire life.
There may be other reasons I choose not to use the dog you foster in my breeding program. Because you will live near me, we can constantly evaluate the development of the dogs temperament, structure, and health and decide if that dogs genes are truly needed in our poodles.
Q. Can you explain how this will really all work?
A. The dog will be placed in a foster home where it will remain for it’s entire life, as long as you are actively completing the requirements to own the dog (gaining a CGC title to show mental stability, gaining a performance title to show intelligence). At age two, If I DO decide that this is a dog with everything I am looking for, then I will have all of the required health testing done at my expense and only AFTER that comes up clear and in good order will I begin to review everything I know and observe of this dog to find the best mate possible. All costs related to breeding will be mine. The foster dog will return to me for breeding. If it is a bitch then it will also return to my home to whelp the puppies where they will all stay until the puppies are weaned at six weeks, at which time the foster dog will return to your home. If it is a stud, he will come to my house to breeding to my females or have semen collected and shipped to the girl in question. Once this is done, he will be returned to you.
I will never breed more than three litters from a single bitch, nor will she be bred past the age of six. There will be many times that after only a single litter the dog will be spayed and retired from my breeding program.
Studs will likely have their semen collected and frozen but might also be kept intact for up to 10 years. Standard Poodles are gentlemen. They are not like many breeds and with very little training understand that they do NOT mark in a home, especially their home. Oh sometimes they will lose their minds and pee in a home with a girl who’s in season and ready to breed, but we will not be fostering males in homes with intact females so this will never be an issue. They are good with other dogs and neutering rarely changes a Standard Poodle who is well trained and well socialized. The only reason to neuter a Standard Poodle is for health concerns.
At the time that the foster dog ends it’s breeding career and is spayed or neutered, all registration paperwork will be prepared to show that the dog is completely and wholly owned by you.
Q. What is the difference between fostering and co-owning then?
A. Co-owning a puppy is a different matter completely. The pup in question will hopefully have a long and successful show career before it. A co-owner will likely whelp and raise the litters and become a great asset to the poodle breeding world. Gloria of Tintlet Poodles and I co-own many dogs. Gloria loves whelping the litters and raising them to 6 weeks. I love taking those babies, socializing and training, then finding them homes. We are partners and share all the risk and rewards of these litters. Right from the beginning, both parties will be registered as co-owners of the dog and for the rest of it’s life will share in all of the decision making, costs of breeding, and be involved with the trials and triumphs of owning the dog. In short the foster program is for those who are NOT interested in breeding, but are willing to help me out in my breeding goals. A Co-ownership is for those who ARE interested in breeding.
Q. Where are you looking to foster dogs?
A. Right now, as of 2017, I am looking within a few hours drive of San Antonio, Texas. Anything between Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, even as far as Waco are good options. Farther is stretching my ability to help show, train, and evaluate the dogs. I will also consider fostering near Little Rock, Arkansas. I have family in Arkansas and visit often. I would be able to evaluate and work with someone near that area if the home already had show experience and didn’t need a lot of mentoring. I am not considering any other location. I have tried fostering outside my own personal driving distance, and it doesn’t work out. I no longer have the ability to drive 10 hours at the drop of a hat when a girl comes into season. I cannot help with training and often the foster home ends up not wanting to let their ‘baby’ leave or travel so far. You think “Hey this sounds great!” but then things change in 3 years. Experience has shown this program only works if I am close by to help.