Guardian Homes

Information about becoming a Guardian Home
Are you considering becoming a

Guardian Home?

We believe in giving our precious Great Danes the best life possible. As a family, that means that we limit how many dogs we personally keep at our home. Our Guardian Home Program allows us to expand our dog breeding program by keeping our breeding dogs out of a kennels environment and in a loving Guardian Home, where each dog is a cherished family member.

In order to be considered as a Guardian Home, you must live within 90 minutes of Clarion, PA (15829) and be flexible to drop off and pick up the dog for health testing, vet visits, breeding, and whelping puppies.

As a Guardian Home, you receive a high quality Great Dane puppy that is hand picked by us and is FREE OF CHARGE. You then become that puppy’s forever home!! Ferguson Family Danes retain breeding rights of the dog. Male dog contracts tend to be longer and they are bred on a “as needed” basis. For females, this starts at sexual maturity (2 years old for Great Danes) and ends once the female has whelped (given birth) to 4 liters or by the age 5 (whichever comes first). 

While the dog is in our breeding program, Ferguson Family Danes pays for all breeding- related expenses. Guardian Homes are responsible for all typical “pet” expenses and maintenance, including grooming, dog food, pet-related vet visits (annual vaccinations, parasite prevention- following Ferguson Family Danes guidelines), training, etc. 

Once a dog passes its health testing, Ferguson Family Danes decides when each dog will be bred and to whom. Females stay with their Guardian Family during pregnancy and then she is returned to us a few days before her due date (normally around day 50) to deliver (whelp) and raise her puppies. Once the puppies are weaned, which is typically when pups are around 6-8 week old, the female can be picked up by her Guardian Home. When the dog has completed his/her breeding obligations, we pay for the spay/neuter and release ownership of the dog to the Guardian Family so that he/she can return home to enjoy living out the rest of their days in the loving Guardian Family’s home.  

If you are thinking about becoming a Guardian Home for us, here are a few things to consider:


  • You can only mate with approved females, so you will be responsible for keeping the male away from intact female dogs
  • You will need to consider the importance of keeping him properly contained to prevent unwanted litters


  • You will need to deal with several heat cycles and keep the female protected from unwanted males. 
  • You will need to be comfortable with being away from your dog for an extended period of time (normally around 2-3 months per litter)
  • You will need to learn the signs of a heat cycle and be willing to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with us to ensure a successful breeding. 

We view our Guardian Home Program as a true “win-win” situation. They will receive a “pick of the litter” quality puppy free of charge in return for working with Ferguson Family Danes during the breeding years of a dog, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that our breeding dogs are living a life as cherished family members.  

Still interested in becoming a guardian home for one of our great puppies?

Here are the qualifications of our program:

  • Live within 90 minutes of Clarion, PA
  • Flexibility for dropping off and picking up the dog for health testing, vet tests, breeding, and whelping. You will be responsible for all transporting of the dog/puppy.
  • Be prepared for a home-visit and provide references prior to the dog/puppy being placed in your care. 
  • Keep the dog safe and contained at all times (fenced in backyard). 
  • Financially responsible for the dog/puppy: food, treats, toys, routine pet-related vet expenses, just like you would any typical pet dog. 
  • Take the dog to a vet (approved by Ferguson Family Danes) for all vet care. Ferguson Family Danes pays for health testing and breeding-related vet expenses while the dog is in our program. 
  • Must keep the dog up to date on all shots, flea & tick medicine, and heartworm medicine. 
  • Provide basic training that is standard for dog ownership (house, leash, and crate training, and basic obedience). 
  • Feed our recommended diet (Victor Pro Plus)
  • No plans of relocating within the next 5 years.
  • Understand that we are waiving the purchase price of the dog in exchange for a service- you must be willing to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with us during their time in our program, and be dedicated to provide a safe, loving home for the lifetime of the dog.
  • Keep the dog as an indoor family pet and never allowed to live outside. 
  • Be willing and able to socialize the dog with other dogs as well as people. 
  • Keep the dog off the ground where other dogs frequently are (dog parks, truck stops, pet stores, etc) and away from unknown dogs until the dog is fully vaccinated (around 16 weeks) 
  • Provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation. 
  • Notify Ferguson Family Danes in the event of any serious illness or accident. 
  • Return the dog to Ferguson Family Danes if for any reason you can no longer care for the dog. 
You Do not qualify if you have any other unspayed or unneutered dogs in your home.

If your dog is deemed unsuitable for breeding by either us or one of our veterinarians, then the dog will be retired from our program. You will not be required to pay any fees, but you will be required to pay for spay/neuter at your expense. After that full ownership will transfer to you. 

Becoming a guardian home for one of our dogs is a huge commitment and a decision that should not be made lightly. Please keep in mind that Ferguson Family Danes retains full legal ownership of the dog until they are retired from our program and guardians have a legal obligation to follow the contract. Our dogs are very high quality Great Danes and have been hand selected to benefit and improve our program further. 

Becoming a guardian home is not for everyone! Please consider this commitment carefully. 

If you are interested in becoming a guardian home for ferguson family danes and meet all of the above qualifications please send us an email at subject line "guardian home applicant".