Our breeding program would not be successful without families who participate in our Foster Family Program. The following information is designed to inform those who may be interested in being a part of this program.

Anyone who owns or has been owned by a Schnauzer knows that Schnauzers are people dogs. Schnauzers crave human companionship. They do not do well in kennels as their need for people is so strong that a kennel atmosphere can make them destructive, yappy and withdrawn. Those characteristics do not translate into a good pet or parent.

We are NOT a kennel. We are two close friends, who love dogs and choose to carefully and selectively breed a few females each year. Since we have no desire to have dozens of dogs running rampant in our household but we want to breed more than one litter a year, we've chosen  the Foster Family Program, as suggested by our breeder friend Catherine Betts of Catherine's Toy & Miniature Schnauzers in B.C.  The Foster family program is being implemented by many breeders of today, who choose not to have a kennel.

In order to meet the needs of the Schnauzer temperament and still be able to breed more than one litter a year, the female/male "pick of select litters" is placed in a loving, caring, carefully screened home. The pup lives with this family for it's entire life except during the times when he/she comes to us to be bred and then later to whelp/raise puppies.

Ownership of the dog is signed over to the foster family subject to the foster family signing a restrictive breeding contract with us. As the foster puppy grows, its health, temperament and conformation is monitored to determine if it is suitable for breeding. Once the female is a year and a half old , she comes back to us for breeding when in season. After being bred, she goes back to her foster family until 3-5 days before the expected whelp date, at which time she returns to us and stays with us until the puppies are born, weaned and start to leave for their own families at a
  8 weeks. Once puppies start leaving for their new homes, the female returns to her own family.

Placing dogs in foster homes results in a far better life for a dog than living in a kennel. The foster family program is a good deal for the dog, a good deal for the foster family and a good deal for our breeding program. In our opinion, it's a "win-win" situation for everyone involved.

If for some reason we don't like a female/male when they old enough to be bred, we will ask that he/she be sterilized (copy of certificate required!), at which time  our breeding contract is null and void.

 

Who qualifies for a foster dog?

We are very selective in who we choose to become foster families. We want to make sure that our dogs go to safe homes where they wil be well cared for and not allowed to escape and get lost or get run over by a car. We expect the dogs to be house dogs. We look for people who have had dogs before. The ideal person is one who has had a dog die of old age. This is a person who knew how to take care of a dog and is willing to make a committment for life to one of our dogs.

We do not place dogs with families that want a watch dog, farm dog or to someone who wants to have them as a kennel dog.

Foster families will want to visit and chat with us in great detail. References will be contacted during the approval process.

 

What are the Foster Families Responsibilities?

* A foster family will sign over exclusive breeding rights to the dog to us.
* The puppy will come with a name  (sometimes the family will be able to select their own name for their puppy) 
* A foster family must agree to spend time training the puppy in basic obedience (sit, down, stay, come) and walk loose leash. 
* They must also agree to use a crate for the dog whenever it is not supervised and feed one of the foods we suggest. 
* Families must have a single dwelling home. A securely fenced yard is a bonus.
* The foster family must notify us when the female comes into heat and ensure she is safe/secure during her heat or if she is due to be bred, bring her to us when requested to do so.
* The foster family must be prepared to either bring their female by if a family is visiting that would like to meet the dog or allow the family to make plans to visit their home.

 

How often does a female come into heat?

Most often females come into season twice a year. We do not breed before the second season  at around a year and a half of age and may not be until the third season. We will evaluate the emotional/ physical development of the female before making this decision.  A female will generally be retired around  her fifth birthday.  If a female is in good health, having a litter keeps her hormones flowing and she stays in excellent condition as a result. How many litters she will have in her lifetime is determined by her health, the quality of her pups, her attitude and temperament as a mother, the ease of labor and delivery for her and how quickly she recovers optimum health after a litter.

 

Can I be there when puppies are being born?

When a female comes to us to have her puppies, we do not allow visits and involvement from the foster family.  We prefer to deliver the pups alone, as it can be very demanding and time consuming.  When puppies are about five weeks old, foster families can make plans to visit to take Mom for a walk or play with puppies.

 

 

What about grooming my Schnauzer?

We'd be happy to recommend a good groomer to our foster family.

 

What if I already have a dog in my home?

Depending on the personality and age of the dog already in a home, a dog may or may not be placed where there already is another dog. We will never place a female in a home where there is an un-sterilized male. We will also not place a female in a home where there is another large female. Females tend to fight with other females when hormones are raging.

 

How far away do you place your dogs?

We prefer not to place our foster dogs in homes that are more than a 30  - 60 minute drive. In some cases, where we have an "ideal" family, we will make an exception.

 

Do we ever place older dogs in foster homes?

Some people know how much work it is to raise a puppy and would prefer not to go through the house breaking and chewing stages of a puppy. An older dog is a perfect solution.

Occassionaly we have a young adult (and sometimes an older female) that we want to place with a great family.  Sometimes dogs find themselves back in our home due to a divorce, relocation or sudden and severe family illness.

 

What about Medical Issues and the dog?

The foster family is required to keep the female/male dog current on CORE vaccinations. Flea/tick and heartworm are at the discretion of the family however, if a female comes to us for breeding or whelping with fleas, the family will be charged for the cost of treating her and the dogs within our home. Any medical expenses as a result of a breeding or litter, is taken care of  by us.

 

How do I know when a dog should be bred?

 

We track a female's heat cycles so we can anticipate when she will come in season next. We plan our breedings based on the information that the foster family provides to us. This is why it is important that the information be accurate and relayed to us in a timely fashion.

We will be happy to go into detail with foster families regarding the signs of an impending heat and what to look for.

 

What if we decide that we don't want to be a part of the program anymore?

If at any time something changes in a foster home and they are no longer able to keep a foster dog, there is NO problem with them returning the dog to us. When this happens, we will either place the dog in a new foster home or he/she may remain in our home.

 

 

Are foster families ever allowed to whelp a litter?

NO! There is too much that can go wrong during a delivery to risk the life of a mother and her puppies in the hands of an inexperienced person.

 

Do we ever foster male dogs?

Sometimes we do foster male dogs. We are just as particular about our male dogs being placed with
foster families.

 

Under what circumstances do we take a dog out of a foster home?

There are only a few reasons that we would take a female out of a foster home:

1. If we find out they are allowing the dog to run loose without supervision
2. If the female is accidentally bred
3. If the foster parents do not tell us when a female comes into season (even if we don't plan on breeding it). We will warn the foster family once and take it away if it happens again.
4. If someone is arrested for a criminal offense.
5. If someone moves without informing us that they have moved.
6. If someone allows a dog to become over weight and does not take steps to correct this.

 

Visiting:

We do not board dogs or train dogs for people. Once a family talks with us and it is determined that they qualify for one of our dogs, they are encouraged to stay in touch with us regularly and we can plan a periodic visit.