Guardianship


Become a host family to one of our beloved Cornish Doodles.

Here at Cornish Doodles we believe that every dog deserves to be part of a loving, committed family from the moment they are born to the moment they pass.  All of our dogs and our puppies are a part of our family and live in our home rather than kennels.  This ensures that they are familiar with a home environment and that they get the attention and love that they deserve.   Sadly it just isn’t possible to maintain a genetically diverse program whilst keeping all of our dogs in our home where they should get the one-on-one attention that every dog deserves.  It is for this reason that we have decided to offer a Guardian Home Program.  

Becoming a Guardian Home gives you the opportunity to have one of our ‘pick of the litter’ puppies free of charge.  Most Guardian dogs are 4-5 month old puppies but they can also sometimes be young adult Doodles.   

We breed miniature sized Mountain Doodles and Bernedoodles (Bernese Mountain Dog crossed with a Poodle).  Our pups are all low-non shedding, have beautiful long teddy-bear coats and they make really fantastic family companions. The adult size you can expect will be around 15” to 22” at the shoulder which is approximately Cocker Spaniel to Labrador sized.  

The backbone of the Guardian program is that we form a good relationship with both the Guardian Family and the Guardian Doodle.  It is important that a bitch is familiar with us and feels comfortable being with us and our family so that the process is as easy and as stress-free as it possibly can be.  With this in mind we would ask for meetings/visits with you every two or three months and an update (in the form of a message/email) every two months and we, depending on space and availability, can offer a free boarding service if you decide to go away.  

Cornish Doodles will retain all breeding rights.  A guardian dog remains registered to Cornish Doodles whilst they are a member of our breeding programme.  

Female Guardian Dog Requirements:

You would need to notify us as soon as you notice that she is in season.  Information about what to expect during her season will be provided to you so that you know what you are looking for and what to expect.  

Once a bitch has had her second season, is in good health and is considered mature enough to be a mother then we would look at bringing her to a stud of our choice.  This is usually around 18-24 months of age.

When she is ready to have a litter and she is in season then she would come back to stay with us.  Once she has been mated successfully then she would come back to you.  

We would need her back for a day/a few hours to scan her at approximately 28-35 days after mating to confirm a pregnancy.  

A canine pregnancy usually lasts approximately 9 weeks (63 days).  She would remain with her Guardian family until approximately two weeks before her due date when she would return to our family home to have her puppies.  She would remain with us until the puppies are weaned.  

Once the puppies are at least 4-5 weeks old Guardian families are very welcome to come and spend time with their guardian dog and her puppies whilst she is with us in our home or you can take her for walks – or both!  

All going well we would expect to have a maximum of four litters with a breeding bitch (although with Guardian dogs this number is usually less and is never more than one litter per year).  Once retired she would be spayed (at our expense) and she would then live out the rest of her days happy and healthy with you as your family pet with no further obligations to us.

We offer a monetary gift to our Guardian families of £500 with each litter of four or more puppies (the average litter size is 8).  This will be payable to you once the puppies go to their new homes at around 8 weeks of age. 

Male Guardian Dog Requirements:

Cornish Doodle boys will usually have a longer breeding career than the girls.  He would need to come back to us when our girls are ready to be bred and occasionally for use with outside girls.  You would be given up to two weeks notice and he would need to come back to us for a day or two.  If you live close by then we would often only need him for a few hours.  

For each successful litter of four or more Cornish Doodle puppies you will be given a monetary gift of £500.  This will be payable to you once the puppies go to their new homes at around 8 weeks of age. 

As a Guardian family you would be responsible for the day to day expense of owning a dog including annual vet checks, vaccinations, mandatory insurance costs, paraphernalia (toys, leads, bedding etc). Cornish Doodles would be responsible for all breeding related costs including any required health testing.

Becoming a Guardian Home is not for everyone.  You must be willing and able to meet these requirements:

  • Be willing to continue to teach basic commands such as sit, stay, down, wait and leave it and to continue crate training.
  • Happy to continue to socialise puppies and get them out and about (restaurants, cafes, play parks, meeting lots of people and other dogs). 
  • The Guardian dog must be an important and loved member of your family.
  • Fed a high quality (preferably raw) diet.
  • Must be housed in your home.  
  • All other dogs in the home MUST be neutered if they are of the opposite sex.
  • Provide regular age-appropriate exercise.
  • Provide an update in the form of photos and messages letting us know how they are getting on.
  • Contact us in the event of serious illness or accident.
  • Send/email us a copy of the record/paperwork for any vet visits.
  • Must not allow the guardian dog to mate with any unapproved dogs.
  • Provide veterinary care as and when needed.
  • You must be willing and able to drop them off to us (or potentially meet us half-way) for matings and/or  whelping.
  • Be able to regularly communicate with us about scheduling testing, mating, whelping, and anything else breeding related.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

is there a location requirement for guardianship?

Yes, guardians are required to live within a 90 minute radius (by car) of Helston, Cornwall, UK.

What happens when a guardian dog retires?

Upon retirement, guardian dogs remain with their guardian family permanently.  We pay to have the guardian dog spayed or neutered and the dog is officially signed over to their guardian family. 

How do I apply to be a guardian home?

You need to complete an application form which can be found here

who has legal ownership of the guardian dog/puppy?

The guardian dog or puppy remains the legal property of Cornish Doodles.  The dog/puppy will be microchipped and registered to Cornish Doodles on the DNA Database.  Upon retirement the dog will be legally registered to their guardian family.  

What costs Will the guardian be expected to pay?

The guardian will not need to pay anything for the dog or puppy but they will be expected to pay for the general upkeep of the dog/puppy.  This includes all food, mandatory insurance, non-breeding related veterinary care, paraphernalia (bedding, collars, leads, toys etc).  Cornish Doodles will be responsible for all breeding related costs including any required health testing.

how long does a female dogs season last and how will i know she is in season?

The average female season lasts for around 3 weeks and often the first sign you will see will be a spot of blood on the floor or around her back end. This costs as day one.

You may notice other signs prior to this such as more clingy or a slight loss of appetite.  It really depends on the individual dog.

You will be expected to contact us at the first sign of her season.  If we plan on having a litter with her during this season then we usually ask that she comes back to us around day 8 of her season in order to monitor her progesterone levels.  

How many litters will my female guardian dog have?

Our female guardians are contracted for a maximum of 4 litters.  We consider a litter to be 4 or more puppies born.  Some females may have less than 4 litters as we base all of our decisions on our vets recommendations and on the individual dog.  

What age will my female guardian dog have her first litter?

Female guardian dogs can be bred from the age of around 18 months.  This depends on the individual dog though.  Some dogs may not be mature enough at this age in which case we would wait until we feel she is ready.  

What health tests will my guardian dog have completed?

We test heart, eyes and screen our dogs genetically for all known genetic diseases common to the breed.  We are currently trying to find a hip and elbow testing scheme that looks at hip laxity in the UK.  The current BVA scheme that runs in the UK only looks at existing damage to the hip joint which does not offer enough information about whether the cause of any damage is environmental or whether it has a genetic basis.  Cornish Doodles pays for any required health testing.  

how long will my female guardian dog stay with the breeder?

Female guardian dogs generally stay with us for health testing (a few days maximum), breeding purposes (usually around a week), pregnancy scanning (a few hours) and for whelping and raising her puppies (usually 9 weeks – one week prior to having their litter and around 8 weeks to raise their litter).  

when/how often will my female guardian dog be bred?

Female guardian dogs will usually have one litter per year.  This usually means that they have one season between litters.  

when will my guardian dog retire from breeding?

Female guardian dogs will retire once they reach 6 years of age.  Usually they retire much earlier than this, the average age being 4 and a half.  Male guardian dogs do not have a set retirement date as it completely depends on the individual dog.  Having a male guardian dog is generally a longer term commitment compared to a female guardian dog.   

are there any special care requirements for female dogs during pregnancy?

During the first half of pregnancy, there aren’t many requirements. Your dog may be a bit more hungry than usual, and some dogs may have a bit of morning sickness. Normal activity may be continued for the first half of pregnancy. The second half of pregnancy is when you will start to notice the most changes. Reduced activity is important at this time (no rigorous exercise or roughhousing). Your dog may also start to have an even greater appetite! While your dog is pregnant she must not receive any flea, tick, or heartworm prevention, any vaccines, or any medications not approved by the breeder. This includes any vitamins or supplements. She must also not be put through any stressful experiences such as going to the groomer.  

how long will my male guardian dog stay with the breeder?

Male guardian dogs generally stay with us for health testing (usually a few days maximum) and breeding purposes (from a few hours to a week at a time). 

are there any guidelines to follow when i am raising/caring for a guardian dog?

Guardian families will be expected to feed their guardian dog a high quality diet.  We would prefer this to be a raw diet but we understand that this may not suit everybody.  

Guardian families will be expected to keep their dog well-groomed with regular visits to a professional groomer in order to maintain their coat in good condition, or you can learn how to do this yourself!

We ask that guardian families complete basic dog obedience training.  Experienced dog owners may want to do this themselves or it can be completed through puppy training classes. 

can i visit my guardian dog and/or my guardian dogs puppies while they are with the breeder?

We do allow guardian homes to visit their dog (for female guardian dog owners) as well as their dog’s puppies (for both male and female guardian dog owners). Visits are however only available after the puppies have had their first vaccine and only if we do not have another litter of young puppies in the home. This is to prevent the spread of diseases such as Parvo, Distemper, and Canine Herpes virus. Facetime is available at mutually agreed times so guardian families may check in on their dog.

what are the benefits of the guardian program?

Guardian dogs are entitled to emergency boarding with us (depending on availability), free spay/neuter on retirement, free health testing and lifetime support.  Guardian homes may also be able to get a puppy sooner through the guardianship program rather than through the traditional waiting list.  Guardian homes also receive an extremely high quality puppy free of charge!  

are there any specific care requirements expected of the guardian home?

Guardian dogs must be kept in good condition at all times. This means that you must take care to ensure your guardian dog does not become over or under weight, that they remain clean, mat free, with clipped nails, and in overall good health. 

what happens if i decide i no Longer want my guardian dog/puppy?

We hope that you will apply for a guardian puppy/dog with the understanding that dogs are a lifetime commitment. Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances out of your control may arise where you can no longer keep your guardian dog/puppy. If this is the case, your guardian puppy must be returned to us immediately.