Brood stock holders FAQs

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.

About 12 months old.

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

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.

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.

All expenses for the litter are covered by Guide Dogs.

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

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

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 it.

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

We produce over 1,000 puppies each year.

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.

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 microchipping, before going off to live with their new puppy walking families.

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

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.

A Brood Bitch will usually have 1 litter per year.

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

A season usually lasts for approximately 21 days.

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

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