Updated: Apr 16
2023 is a mixed year of emotions for me.
Firstly, I have a number of cherished girls retiring, this is a sad time as it means I do not have the enjoyment of caring and nursing my girls through motherhood and raising their litters with pride again. However it is also a time of happiness when the girls retire as they are then pets for the next 10 years of their life, living with the guardian homes who have raised them from early on.
Secondly, 2023 is also an exciting year because I will have planned for a few years to retain a male or female puppy from the retiring dogs for the next chapter of Northbound puppies.
I, like other breeders, offer a guardian home programme which if entered for the right reasons is hugely enjoyable and great fun, as well as full of pride.
Please note, if you enter the guardian home option to just take on a 'free dog' and then struggle to cope with contracted terms thinking that you can do what you what, when you want. Then let me be clear, the guardian home puppy is not the right route for you.
So what is great about being a guardian home?
You get the very best puppy in the litter, sometimes this can be a dog I have imported from abroad.
You have me, my advice, my help and my shoulder continually. The puppy is free of charge, plus financial support especially with females and pregnancy care, however this should not be the incentive,
We work together to make sure the guardian dog is as well raised and healthy as a Grand National horse.
We discuss medication, training, grooming, feeding....I advise and support on all aspects of care.
As much as I can I try to help out with free holiday care, (although this isn't always possible).
We have a lot of fun over raising, mating, pregnancy care and the pups. Guardian homes often become close friends; with some we have coffee catch ups, holiday aboard, weekends away, walks... It really is enjoyable for those who are open with the right mentality.
I will not lie, some guardians feel a little overwhelmed early on with the responsibility, but I am here to support, and if I did not feel I could trust you, then I would not have entrusted you with one of my special pups.
So responsibility, at a basic level this is it:
- Don't lose the dog (I issue you with a Pawfit GPS tracker, so we have this covered!)
- Do not allow the girl/male to mate with a dog outside of my planned litters, this is an easy one, just common sense and if required I can look after the girl when in season.
- Feed a quality food as per my advice, and not allow the dog to become too skinny or too fat, again nice common sense and easy to achieve.
- Insure the dog.
- Do not emigrate to New Zealand.
- Make sure your garden is secure.
That's about it !
In terms of guardian homes, I have girls retiring and need homes for the following:
17" mini Apricot Tuxedo girl, very easy temperament, not suited to runners!
Red male or female 18-19" small medium from Margot and Silas in August.
Red parti female 18-19" small medium from Bonnie and Silas in Autumn.
5 month old, non-shedding, fleece coat 17" black tri markings, mini Bernedoodle, Rocky.
Here are some quotes from current and previous guardians.
'Being a guardian needs thinking through, there is a bigger sense of responsibility keeping an expensive breeding dog safe and being on the lookout for dogs on heat. And you must be prepared to fit in with the health and feeding requirements (which we didn't find onerous but some might, raw feeding is not for everyone!). The network of guardians is also great for support too. Johanne's a straight talker, you know where you are, and I like that! Johanne's commitment to her dogs, her pups, guardians and their owners is second to none.'
'We have been a guardian home for Nancy for almost 2 years now and it has been the most amazing experience. We brought Nancy home in July 2018 and the support, guidance and knowledge Johanne has provided us with is second to none. Without her knowledge and expertise we would have struggled with all aspects of being a puppy owner. She is always available to speak with for a friendly natter or to ask questions about diet, training and any struggles we have faced and this has been an amazing help. Johanne is not just a breeder, she goes above and beyond for her dogs. Always keeping us up to date with new training programmes, new food recommendations and everything she does is always to benefit her dogs and their owners.'
'It is a real honour to be apart of the Northbound programme, Johanne goes above and beyond for guardian homes, she is extremely passionate about raising healthy and happy dogs. Johanne has been there every step of the way, no question too silly and she will support you throughout. We have learnt a great deal about what goes into ethical breeding and the welfare of these dogs from health tests, feeding, grooming, mating… you name it! Johanne has a wealth of knowledge, any difficulties you may face she will be there at a drop of a hat to offer assistance to ensure that you feel comfortable with being a guardian home.'
'We thought long and hard before making the decision to be a guardian family. After careful consideration we felt the responsibility was worth it. Jo has been there every step of the way. The thing that had drawn me to Northbound Labradoodles in the first place was her no-nonsense approach combined with her absolute love of her dogs and extensive knowledge. She pushes you to be the best for your dog which makes the best dog for your family. She’s is always there, giving you a straight answer, which is brilliant for me and my occasional flapping. If you want an amazing puppy with great potential, that you are willing to put time and effort into to turn into a fabulous dog, then I can’t recommend Jo highly enough.
I would maybe avoid if you think great dogs aren’t your responsibility, or you want a breeder who will leave you to it once you’ve collected your pup or want someone who will let you get away with not doing the best for your dog.'
If you want to know more, please do contact me and we can discuss the right mating and guardian puppy for your home.
Homes should live within 1.5hrs of the M41 postcode.