Black Butte Retrievers

Would you like to own one of our beautiful puppies / adult females and get all

of your money back for her after just a few years? Read more about our Guardian

Family program below.

 In an effort to continue to expand our breeding program, and to ensure all of our breeding dogs live a pampered life with their very own forever family, we have implemented our Guardian Home Program!

 We currently have a few puppies and young adults that we are looking for Guardian Homes for! If you are interested in learning more about the guardian home program, please email us to inquire!


Our Guardian Home Program allows for local families to have a “pick of the litter puppy”, or top notch adolescent/adult breeding dog for just a fraction of the price. The Guardian Home puppy or dog is part of the Guardian Home’s Family forever, while the breeding rights are retained by Black Butte Retrievers for a set amount of time (each situation is slightly different so we prefer to work out specific details with each family on an individual basis.) Once the Guardian Dog has completed his/her breeding career, he/she will be spayed or neutered at our expense, your Guardian adoption deposit is returned in full, and the dog will remain a forever pet of their Guardian Family!

Yes, initially. We do not give our Guardian dogs or pups away. The price you would pay for a pet English Cream Golden Retriever puppy from Black Butte Retrievers varies from $1500-$2500. The price to purchase a “breeding quality” English Golden with breeding rights would be significantly higher (approximately 3-4 times higher). The Guardian program allows a family to purchase a “breeding quality” dog for the price of a pet. Therefore, there is still a cost for adopting a puppy/young adult as a Guardian. The reason for this is that many things determine whether or not a puppy is ever used for breeding purposes. If the puppy doesn’t meet the high testing standards we have set for our breeders, then the Guardian contract would revert to a pet contract. If we decide for any reason not to use the dog as a breeder, the dog would be neutered or spayed and ownership would be transferred to you under a pet contract. Our health warranty is the same for any dog raised at Black Butte Retrievers, whether it is in a Guardian home or a pet home.

Our Guardian Home Families are responsible for the following:
General routine veterinary care and wellness
Annual vaccines
Feeding a high quality dog food
Flea/tick prevention
Behavior training
Regular exercise and socialization
Most importantly, all the love and care and attention possible :-)

Any “breeding related” medical costs for the Guardian Dog Expenses including (but not limited to):

  • Hip and elbow films
  • Annual or semi-annual eye checks
  • Cardiac screening
  • Blood tests for multiple genetic illnesses
  • Brucellosis screening
  • Progesterone levels
  • Other various other tests associated with the breeding process such as semen analysis, etc.

Once the dog has passed its initial health testing (usually prior to his or her second birthday), he or she comes back to Black Butte Retrievers needed for relatively short periods of time for breeding and/or whelping (for more info, see “How it works” below).

A Guardian Family gets the very best that Black Butte Retrievers has to offer in the English Cream Golden Retriever! This means that we choose our breeding stock based on the best qualities that are outlined in our breed standard with temperament of course coming first. Another wonderful benefit to our Guardian Families is that their Guardian dog or puppy will be completely health tested by 18 months of age at the expense of Black Butte Retrievers, prior to entering our breeding program at no cost to the Guardian Family.  Our Guardian Families get to enjoy the excitement of being a part of our breeding program, and seeing the offspring of their very own Guardian dog be placed with families across the country bringing others the same joy and happiness that they have received from their Guardian Dog!


Most all of our dogs/pups available for our Guardian Program will be females. Occasionally we will have a male available as well!

If you are applying for a young adult, or mature Guardian dog, she will already come to you completely health tested and may have just a couple more breedings for us (depending on her age and the number of litters she has had) prior to her being spayed and released solely to you as a forever pet. When the Guardian dog is in season, the Guardian Family is required to contact us immediately. An intact female usually has a heat cycle that will last between 14 and 21 days. During this time, we will need access to her for breeding related appointments. Once she has been bred, she will remain with her Guardian Family until one week before her due date. At that time, the Guardian dog will come back to stay with us throughout her pregnancy, and will be returned once her pups are fully weaned approximately 7 weeks later. Guardian Families are welcomed and encouraged to visit with scheduled appts while their Guardian Dog is at Black Butte Retrievers.

If you are applying for a Guardian Home puppy, she will come to you at 8 weeks of age. During the first two years, Black Butte Retrievers will have her health testing completed. Once we receive all of the results from her health testing, we are then able to assess whether or not she will enter our breeding program. If for any reason we decide not to breed the Guardian Puppy placed with you (this is a decision solely made by Black Butte Retrievers) we will then pay to spay the Guardian puppy at no cost to you, and she will remain a forever family pet with her Guardian Family.

If you are receiving a Guardian Home Puppy, we ask for monthly photos and updates during the first year so that we can watch her develop, and update our website. We also will require a visit to our Guardian Family’s home every few months during the first year to assess the Guardian Puppy, as well as build a relationship with her for the future. Occasionally, we will ask our Guardian Families to bring the puppy to us for a visit so that she can get comfortable with our home for when she will be here with us in the future having babies :-).

Each dog is individually assessed before determining their required litters. Most of our Guardian dogs will have between 2-4 litters for us (this depends whether you have an adult that has already had litters or a puppy entering our breeding program). Female Guardian Puppies placed in a Guardian home will have up to (and no more than) a total of 4 litters. The health and well-being of our breeding dogs is a priority to us, and prior to any breeding, Black Butte Retrievers may requirea health clearance by both our Reproductive as well as our regular Veterinarian. Occasionally we may decide to have fewer litters if we have accomplished our goals in development of our Guardian dog in a shorter period of time. Again, this is determined by Black Butte Retrievers.


To be considered as a Guardian Home for one of our breeding dogs, we require that you live within 60 minutes of our home, (we live in Bend, Oregon) and meet the below requirements. ALL GUARDIANS MUST:

  • Have some previous dog experience
  • Live in a house with a fully fenced yard (some exceptions apply)
  • Keep the dog as an indoor pet only, not to be left unattended outside.
  • Keep the dog on a leash when outside unless the dog is in the fenced area
  • Ensure the puppy is socialized to adults, children and other dogs
  • Provide appropriate veterinary or emergency care when needed including annual shots
  • Feed the dog a diet approved by the breeder and vet
  • Have reliable transportation, and a willingness to bring the Guardian dog/pup to us when needed throughout the year
  • Not allow the dog to participate in extended strenuous running on concrete or other hard surface before 15 months of age
  • Notify breeder immediately when a female begins her heat cycle
  • Not allow a female around intact males during her cycle
  • Not allow a male to breed ANY females other than those chosen by the breeder at a time determined by the breeder
  • Communicate, cooperate and coordinate with the breeder regarding testing, matings, whelpings, and other breeding related activities
  • Be willing to allow the female dog to stay with Black Butte Retrievers during the last week of pregnancy and the 6-7 weeks following birth (until the puppies are weaned).

P.S. This is a great time to plan some family vacations without the cost of a pet sitterJ


Guardian Program