To be a good breeder and produce exceptional quality dogs, a breeder must have a number of top notch dogs for their consideration. Having a variety of dogs to choose from also allows us to keep our genetic pool diversified. The Foster program is one of the best ways to accomplish this - the ideas was first introduced to me by my Mentor - Wendy Talintyre and other notable breeders in SA and NSW. We do not want to keep a large number of dogs ourselves as poodles need to be a part of the family environment. They are not able to reach their full potential in a kennel situation or if they are part of too large of a pack. The Foster dog program is a win-win situation for us and the Foster family.
How the Foster Program Works:
We place our "pick of the litter" female or male at eight to nine weeks old in a foster home. The dog stays in this home their entire lives provided our fostering rules are being followed- which are quite reasonable. This program allows people an opportunity to have one of the best dogs in our breeding program.
A female will come into season about every 6-9 months but we do not breed her every season. This is a way for us to keep the BEST puppies from each litter, and then only breed the best of the best. The advantage for the female is that when she is no longer in our breeding program, she does not need to be placed in a new home at an age when it would be more difficult for her - she is already home!
We encourage regular visits from Foster families with their allocated dog so that she/he remains familiar with us and our environment - and offer reduced grooming fees to the Foster families.
In the case of a female being placed, the Foster families need to be alert to her coming into season and notify us as soon as they become aware. If she is to be bred from, she will need to come and stay with us for about a week - until she has been bred with. She will then return to her Foster family for the next 8 weeks and then return to us to have her litter - where she will remain until she has weened the pups approximately at 6 weeks of age.
When a female is at our home we encourage visits from the foster parents. They can stop by as often as they want and walk their dog and play with the pups when the pups are old enough.
When a male is placed in a foster home he will be required one to two nights only to facilitate the mating. He must be kept entire, and be readily available when we need to use him. Should you go on holidays and leave him in care you will need to provide details of where he is so we could pick him up if his services were required while you are away.
Foster families do not have breeding rights to the dogs at any time. Foster families need to ensure that the dogs are not bred with any dog other than that of our choosing.
The dogs are required to be made available to us to facilitate all necessary testing. Foster families are able to purchase the foster dog once we have finished breeding with him/her at a substantially reduced price.
Who Qualifies for a Foster Dog?
We are very selective about whom we choose to become a foster family. Our primary concern is that our dogs go into safe, healthy homes where they will be well taken care of and not get run over by a car or allowed to escape and get lost, or be bred accidentally by a neighbourhood dog.
We have very specific criteria we are looking for in our foster families. Families MUST be located within two hours of our home. They must have some previous dog experience, preferably being familiar with the coat care requirements of a Poodle.
We will do a home check and ask many questions about the care our puppy is going to receive. If you have another dog it is still possible to foster. If your dog is good with other dogs and has been sexually altered, this is possible.
What are the Foster Family's Responsibilities?
You are required to take TOP NOTCH care of your new pup. Socialize your dog, take him/her out and about on day trips, socialize him/her with other dogs and people of all sizes. The day to day care of this dog is yours such as obedience training, grooming, spoiling, feeding, worming, flea treatments, cuddles etc., being made to feel like a member of your family.
What we are responsible for ?
We will attend to his/her annual vaccinations, and testing required for breeding. We will also arrange and pay for the desexing upon completion of their breeding.
The Good Points
You get the best pup Shertonah Poodles has to offer as long as the dog is well taken care of. This will mean the most stable, most friendly, most even tempered dog in the litter and hopefully the one who is most beautiful.
The Bad Points:
If it is a female you will need to be aware of when she is in season and ensure she is not left to 'play' with entire males, this period lasts for around 4 weeks every 6-9 months. Due to laws introduced by Dogs Victoria around dogs' breeding ages, the standard poodle bitch cannot be bred with until she attains the age of two years.
The dog is not 'free'. You will be attending to all the day to day care of the dog. You will be required to pay a minimal fee to purchase the dog if you so wish to do so. At that time the dog will be transferred to you completely - microchip/registration papers etc., You can have a beautiful standard poodle without the usual initial purchase price as well as grooming as reduced price.