Foster A Puppy / House A Breeding Dog

Hands on help with the dogs!

Volunteer to raise a puppy (6 – 9 months) or house one of our breeding dogs throughout their entire life!

Puppy Raisers

After the puppies are born and weaned from their moms 4 Paws utilizes homes in the community, families who volunteer to take care of one of our puppies and socialize with them in public. We call them 4 Paws Puppy Raisers.

Would one of our adorable puppies fit perfectly in your home? Contact us if you live within 3 hours of 4 Paws and would love to do this.

Here’s how it works: While the dog is in the foster home the family will begin the housebreaking process, the acquisition of in home manners, and provide 4 Paws with an assessment of the dogs personality, willingness to learn, and any potential problems/concerns they might see in the dog.

While the puppy is with their puppy raiser, he/she goes through a rigorous evaluation process, socialization, personality assessment, housebreaking, and the development of manners, as well as basic obedience. The family members who are actually working with the puppy are required to meet with our Training Supervisor 1-2 times a month. In addition, the home will attend lessons (puppy kindergarten and basic obedience), at a dog club, or 4H program in their area. If there are fees associated with these lessons 4 Paws will cover the expense.

Our puppy raisers are volunteers; however, there is no expense to the family. We provide all veterinary care, dog food, and other expenses such as monthly heartworm preventative and flea control. If the dog placed is one that needs grooming (only grooming not easily provided by the home such as clipping) we will also provide reimbursement of the cost once approved.

Housing a breeding dog

Want to help 4 paws by taking care of one of our dogs but feel it would just be too hard to give them back? We now have a way you can help! 4 paws needs responsible, loving homes for the dogs in our breeding program. From the beginning the dog is a member of your family. With female dogs, we typically breed our females 3-4 times and then they are spayed and transferred into your name to live with you for the remainder of their lives. With males, the dogs are a member of your family for life but stay in the ownership of 4 paws until they are retired. The age of retirement varies as most males are able to produce offspring late into their lives.

Do you have room in your heart and home for a beautiful 4 Paws Breeding Dog? Typically we have Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Collies, and Poodles and occasionally Papillons.

What to expect: 4 Paws provides the crate, and initial supplies for your dog, food and veterinary supplies such as Heartguard and Frontline, all veterinary care including costs directly related to the breeding such as veterinary bills before, during, and after pregnancy, whelping the puppies and all costs associated with the puppies during their first 8 weeks. Families are expected to take care of grooming, treats, toys, and other incidentals they wish to purchase for their new family member.

Those who become the families of female dogs have options in regard to the breeding. They may ask 4 Paws to house the dogs temporarily during the heat cycle so they do not have to deal with it or we can provide doggie diapers. The females are bred at 4 Paws and the whelping of the puppies is also done at 4 Paws. Families are welcome to bring their new Mom and her puppies to their home after the first week if they would like or the female stays here with her puppies until they are 6-7 weeks of age. Housing a 4 Paws breeding dog should not be a decision made lightly. You will have the dog for its entire life which can be as much as 12 or more years.

Dealing with the female in heat has challenges, the dog does bleed during this time which presents sanitary issues, and the family must make sure that no intact males have access to our dogs so that no unplanned pregnancies occur.

Remember 4 Paws will be responsible for the breeding, will choose the male, and will take care of the actual breeding process during which time the female dog will be in our care (probably for about one week).

Males who are not altered must be properly contained to keep them from taking off after a female they may smell from as much as a mile away who is in season. We suggest that you research breeding dogs, whelping, and puppy care if you plan to ask to be the family for one of our females and we suggest you read about breeding and the challenges of living with an intact male if you wish to be the family for one of the very few male dogs we keep for breeding purposes. After doing this, if you think you would like to become a part of the 4 Paws Family by providing the loving care to one of the dogs in our breeding program contact 4 Paws for details and to set up a time to visit and begin the interview process.



Ready to foster a puppy or house a breeding dog?  Please begin by filling out an application and mailing it to  Our Social Media Specialist/Web Guru will put you in contact with staff that can schedule a time to meet with you!

To complete the application, download the PDF and save it to your desktop before entering information.  If you enter information in an internet browser it will not save.  You must open and save the document in Adobe Reader.  *SEE BELOW FOR SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADOBE READER DOWNLOAD/MAC USERS*

Traditional Foster Home Application

PDF AdobeDownload Now

Breeder Home Application

Coming Soon!


Instructions for Mac Users and link to download Adobe Reader:

  1. Please check that you have installed Adobe Acrobat Reader, and that you open the file using Adobe Reader rather than the Preview function built into your Mac OS. The link to install Adobe Reader is:
  2. To open the form, you must use Finder to navigate to Adobe Reader. Open the Adobe Reader application, then use the “File” and “Open” functions to open the file from the location in which you saved it. The form will not work if you simply double-click it to open it unless Reader is already your default PDF viewer.
  3. Once you fill in the form, save it on your computer before emailing.
  4. See the image below for reference: