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Ongoing Responsibilities

Kennel information

Both the Breeding Kennel and the Whelping Kennel are staffed 365 days per year, opening at 7:00 am and closing at 7:00 pm. The staff is reduced after 4:00 pm, but is able to admit/discharge dogs up until 6:30pm. Sometimes it is not possible for the staff to answer the phone. Please leave a message and someone will answer your call within one hour. Calls are not monitored when the kennel is closed, but if you have a medical emergency, please refer to our Emergency Vet Contact information.  Please notify the appropriate kennel if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late for an appointment. There is preparation time needed on both admits and discharges, and keeping scheduled appointments will allow us to minimize wait times. Please do not arrive with your dog without an appointment or speaking with someone first. This will allow the kennel to be prepared for your dog’s arrival.

You should bring your dog’s head collar, and Frontline and Heartgard if staying through the first of the month. Do not bring beds and toys because the kennels have their own supply. Remember to take your leash with you once the dog is admitted.

Provide transportation to and from Guiding Eyes

On average, a stud will make about 30 trips per year, and a brood about 15, to Guiding Eyes facilities in either Patterson or Yorktown Heights, NY. Guiding Eyes will attempt to give the stud foster 2 to 3 days notice but, in some cases, a trip the same day as notification will be required.

All Dogs

All breeding dogs must visit the annual Eye Clinic (continuing even after retirement), attend Quarterly Assessments, and go to either Patterson or Yorktown Heights Guiding Eyes facilities as needed during the workweek (daytime hours) for medical care and any training or support.

Broods

In addition to the travel commitments above, fosters of broods must perform daily wiping of the external genitalia around the expected time of heat, to determine whether heat has started. The day heat starts, the foster must call the Breeding Kennel at 845-230-6418, and deliver the brood within 36 hours. After heat or whelp is concluded, the foster must pick up the brood promptly when called by kennel staff. During pregnancy, the foster will take need to take the brood to the Breeding Kennel at least once for an ultrasound appointment, normally scheduled during the workweek (daytime hours).

Studs

In addition to the travel commitments above, fosters of studs must transport the dog to the Breeding Kennel for breeding appointments, usually with three days advance notice, but occasionally with only 24 hour notice. The dogs are usually mated twice, two days apart. The foster may arrange to leave the stud for a few days, or schedule while-you-wait appointments. If the stud is left at the Breeding Kennel, the foster must pick up the stud promptly as arranged or when called by CDC staff. The foster will also need to bring the stud to the Breeding Kennel during the workweek for collection and storage of semen for freezing. This may occur multiple times as needed.

Keep the dog safe

When outside, Guiding Eyes breeding dogs must always be on leash or in a secure fenced area, and always monitored by a responsible adult. To avoid temperature- related injury, the foster should walk the dog in the early morning or evening during hot days, and mid-day when it is very cold.

Maintain the dog in proper condition

It is critical for fosters to maintain their breeding dog in peak condition, for both the health of the dog and the success of breeding. Just as in people, proper conditioning is a daily process and not something that can be ignored and then caught-up with on an urgent basis. The ability of the brood to deliver puppies quickly and with fewer complications is directly related to her physical condition and stamina. Similarly, studs must be well-conditioned to have the stamina for successful breeding. Dogs that have been kept in peak condition will have:

  • increased stamina and stronger abdominal muscles, thus reducing or preventing stillborn puppies or the need for a C-section delivery during whelping
  • greater longevity and quality of health by reducing or preventing debilitating joint disease
  • easier weight maintenance due to more muscle mass
  • a happier and more energetic outlook

Proper condition can be attained and maintained through exercise and weight management.

Exercise

Dogs are required to have a minimum of 21 miles per week (three miles/day) of walking or running on leash. Optimum exercise is 35 miles per week (5 miles/day).Please make sure that you don’t put your dog at risk of heat exhaustion (heat stroke) − a potentially fatal condition − by exercising in very hot weather.

Weight management

Fosters must maintain the dogs at the Guiding Eyes-determined target weight. Dogs that are more than five pounds overweight may have to be returned for re-homing until the dog’s weight is corrected. If the foster cannot properly maintain the dog’s weight, permanent re-homing will be required.

Tips for maintaining target weight

  • Feed the correct amount of food. When you get your dog, you will be instructed on the frequency of feeding and quantity of food necessary to keep the dog at its target weight. Measure the food accurately and do not “round- up” portions.
  • Substitute affection for treats. Treats are fattening.
  • Exercise your dog by walking or running on leash 3 to 5 miles a day, in addition to any playing in the yard or house.
  • Weigh your dog every two weeks. You may use our scale at Guiding Eyes anytime.
  • Notify the Brood/Stud Coordinator if you think the dog’s weight is either increasing or decreasing.

Obtain veterinary care

Please see Veterinary Care section under Support we provide.

Communicate with the puppy raiser

Every breeding dog has at least one puppy raiser who loved and nurtured a small puppy into the dog you now have. Guiding Eyes is committed to allowing raiser families to continue to be a part of their breed dog’s life through communication with you, the foster. Foster volunteers are expected to communicate with their breed dog’s puppy raiser(s) every other month during the first 12 months of placement, and quarterly thereafter. Fosters are encouraged to send photographs and updates on important events in your dog’s life.

Re-homing

If the foster relocates outside the required maximum distance from the Canine Development Center, or is unable to meet the requirements of the Foster Program as outlined in the foster agreement, Guiding Eyes will take back the breeder and place it with another foster.

FOSTER RESPONSIBILITIES