Brood stock holders FAQS

Where do Breeding Stock come from?

The majority of the breeding stock will come from dogs that have been bred by Guide Dogs and will have been on the puppy walking programme.



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How old will the Brood Bitch be when she comes to live with us?

About 12 months old.



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Can I take my Brood Bitch to work?

This is sometimes possible, depending on the environment you work in, however the bitch would need to stay at home whilst she had puppies to look after.



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How much will it cost to look after a Brood Bitch?

You will need to buy a bed for the dog to sleep in and a few other small items like grooming equipment. All vet costs and feeding costs are met by Guide Dogs.



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How much will it cost when she has a litter?

All expenses for the litter are covered by Guide Dogs.



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Can we have a Brood Bitch if we have young children?

You will need to go through the application process which includes a home visit to check suitability; many people have young families that take on a Brood Bitch.



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What if I have other dogs at home?

Brood Bitches can live happily with other dogs; however we wouldn’t place a Brood Bitch with an entire male dog.



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Can I have a Brood Bitch if I’ve never kept a dog before?

Yes, full support and supervision is given by Guide Dogs, so even very inexperienced people can look after a Brood Bitch.



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What if I take on a Brood Bitch and my circumstances change?

Guide Dogs can discuss your circumstances with you and help find a solution or can take the dog back if you can no longer keep the dog.



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Where are the puppies born?

Ideally in your home, so that the puppies can be well socialised. Support and training is offered around the time of pregnancy and whelping.



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How many puppies do you produce in a year?

We produce over 1000 puppies each year.



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Are all the puppies born at the breeding centre?

No. The majority of puppies are born at Brood Bitch Holders’ homes. Additionally a small number of litters are born at the National Breeding Centre.



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How long do the puppies stay in the nest?

Puppies usually stay with their mother until they are at least 6 weeks old. Then they are brought in to the National Breeding Centre for their health checks, vaccinations and micro chipping, before going off to live with their new puppy walking families.



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Where do the stud dogs live?

These dogs are also looked after in homes by Stud Dog Holders.



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Which types of dog do you use on the breeding program?

We mainly use Labradors, Golden Retrievers (and a cross between these two), and a small number of German Shepherds. We also have a few less familiar breeds including an Italian Spinone, Irish Water Spaniel, Boarder Collie, Flat Coated Retriever, Curly Coated Retriever, and a Standard Poodle.



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How often will a Brood Bitch have a litter of puppies?

A Brood Bitch will usually have 1 litter per year.



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How many times is a bitch mated to stud when she is in season?

Usually 2-3 times, to ensure the best chance of conception.



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How long is a ‘season’?

Seasons usually lasts for approximately twenty-one days



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How many litters will a bitch have in her breeding career?

A healthy bitch can have up to but no more than 5 litters.



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When does a Brood Bitch or Stud Dog retire?

Broods will normally retire at 7 years of age. Studs will normally retire at approximately 8 years of age.



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