Hello Honest Dog Breeders! Today we are so lucky to have Michele Taylor of Taylormade Miniature Golden Retrievers. Michele and her husband have 8 beautiful children and an amazing dog breeding program.
Through a unique housing restriction Michele had to get creative with her program, she has successfully used guardian homes to not only increase the size of her program and maintain the genetic diversity she is looking for, but to also give her breeding dogs a high quality of life that’s less taxing on her family.
Michele talks us through how she runs her guardian program, what she pays people, how she gets paid, and how she manages these guardian dogs.
I know you’ll love what she has to say and even if you primarily have all your breeding dogs at your home like I do, you might find that exploring guardian homes may increase your options.
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What you will find in this episode:
In this interview with Michele we talk about designing a guardian home program with tons of tips and suggestions Michele’s learned from years of running a guardian program.
Here are the highlights from our conversation:
How Michele started with Breeding & Mini-Golden Retrievers | 3:22
What to look for with temperament & testing for service dogs| 6:40
Service dogs vs. therapy dogs vs. emotional support animals | 7:53
Why natural ability needs to be supported by training| 9:45
Getting your partner on board with a breeding program | 10:28
Using guidelines when breeding designer dogs | 13:32
Guardian program as a solution to restrictive city ordinances | 15:01
How long do you want your waitlist to be? | 16:02
Lessons learned from placing guardian dogs | 18:34
Ending a guardianship agreement | 22:32
Benefits to each party of the guardian home agreement | 24:19
Guardian home application process & criteria | 25:46
Creating a referral program for existing guardian families to recruit new guardian homes | 29:25
The process of breeding dogs living in guardian homes | 31:22
The whelping/puppy rearing process for dogs living in guardian homes | 35:03
The bonding window & sending puppies home to their families | 39:14
When moms go back to the guardian home | 41:11
Visitation for guardian families when the dogs are at the whelping home | 43:33
Compensation & arrangements with puppy rearing families | 44:48
Challenges with a guardian program | 50:32
Deciding on the size of your guardian program | 55:11
A guardian dog should only have one job | 1:00:14
Your ideal guardian home is a subset of your ideal puppy buyer | 1:03:44
Removing the stigma of dog breeding as a business | 1:05:17
Connect with Michele:
On Instagram @taylormade_mini_goldens