We do all we can to place our puppies in the most suitable homes. Every potential owner is asked to fill in a puppy questionnaire and we always ask that they have previously met a Swissy or two in person and preferably spoken to other owners. We meet each family and assess whether we think they will be good Swissy owners. We do not place our puppies in homes where the families all work full time which means no-one is at home during the day to look after and train the puppy.
Although owners have often done lots of research on the breed and are convinced this is the right breed for them sometimes, in reality, they are just not fully prepared for a large working breed dog with a mind of its own and strength to go with it. Some families are just too 'nice' and do not steer the new puppy along the correct path. The puppy gets away with everything and soon starts to dominate the family. This can manifest sometimes in food aggression (guarding food) which can lead to guarding of beds, toys, couches and even humans. If not stopped immediately this behaviour can soon get out of hand so the first option is to try to get the family to work through it, which is very often successful. Occasionally the young dog is offered back to the breeder as the family cannot cope with the consequences of an unruly dog. Once this dog is shown new ground rules the behaviour can often be stopped or controlled which means the dog is then suitable for re-homing.
Families circumstances can and do change and occasionally a dog is offered for re-homing because of a change or loss of job, a move or a divorce. We have even had a re-home because a new baby has come along and the family could not cope with the baby and the dog.
We often keep back a puppy intended for use in breeding. If this puppy does not turn out to be an improvement on the breed we then offer the puppy/young dog or bitch up for re-homing. We only want to breed from the best examples of the breed and as our dogs all live in the family home with us there are only so many that we can adequately care and provide for. We usually have two breeding bitches and one male stud dog. All our young dogs are well trained, well adjusted, well travelled and well socialised. Our dogs all live in the family home, not in crates or cages or penned up most of the day, but have free access to their own rooms and outside. This means we only have room for so many as we do not want them ending up being shut away all day. They are also all walked each day which takes time and effort. Once the breeding bitches are retired we feel it is kinder for them to be placed in a family home where they will have more one to one attention which is what Swissies thrive on. Any potential home will be thoroughly vetted and the bitch will only leave here if we are happy she will be cared for as well, or better, than she will be here. There are many advantages of having an older dog. The most obvious one is the fact the dog is already house trained. Basic obedience is already in place and it does allow people who work full time to be Swissy owners as an older dog is able to be left for longer periods than a puppy would be.