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>> Learn more about FCH program

Please see below frequently asked questions about Australian Labradoodles and FCH program.
Click on the questions below to see the answer.

Learn more about AL

Can I come and see some Australian Labradoodles in person?
You can meet Australian Labradoodles at our Sydney and Reserve Creek NSW locations. As our breeding dogs live with their care homes we can arrange appointments to see the dogs.
What should I feed my dog?
We recommend super premium dry foods such as Nutrience, black hawk, Eukanuba and science diet, as these foods contain all the Nutrience your dog requires.
What is the best way to care for my dog's coat?
You should aim to brush your dog's coat roughly once a week and wash your dog with shampoo once or twice a month.
You should also get your dog's coat trimmed from the age of nine months onwards, so that you can keep an eye on the condition of their coat.
What points do I need to consider with regard to my dog's living environment?
Your labradoodle needs to have adequate space to accommodate for its size. They can be inside dogs or outside dogs, or both, depending on your living space.
What is the average lifespan of an Australian Labradoodle?
Larger dogs generally live for 13 to 15 years, while smaller dogs tend to live for 15 to 20 years. The larger the dog, the shorter their lifespan. As there are no records of Australian Labradoodles being kept in Japan, there is no specific data available. It is fair to assume, however, that the average lifespan will be around 15 years.
We are thinking of having a female dog. Are there any major differences from male dogs?
There are no major differences in terms of temperament.
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Learn more about FCH program

What is the FCH Program?
FCH is short for “family care home”.
The FCH Program enables families (foster homes) that meet certain requirements to adopt an Australian Labradoodle and help out with breeding activities for the duration of their contract period.
Please see the section entitled “About the FCH Program” for more details.
What are the requirements of becoming a Family Carer?
The program is only available to families and individuals who live within a 2 hour drive of Cloud Catcher Sydney (Catherine Field NSW). You must have a safe and secure environment for a Carer Home dog to ensure their safety and health.
We ask that you assess your life style, reliable transportation and permanency in the area to ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of caring for a pet and meeting the requirements of the Carer Home agreement.
While we prefer families with previous dog ownership experience, we are happy to work closely with families and individuals who are new to dog ownership. Our Carer Home dogs are to be kept as House pets, It is acceptable to have outside time while for example when carer is at work, but when Carer is home the dog needs to be with Carer as they have been bred for human companionship.
If you have another dog of the same sex, which is NOT desexed, it is still an option to be a Cloud Catcher Care Home.
What initial costs am I looking to incur when applying for a Carer Dog?
A $250 Deposit is required upon signing the breeding contract. This is refundable at the end of the contract.
What is available under the Carer Program?
Cloud Catcher places both female and male puppies and dogs in the Carer Program. Occasionally we have mature adult females and males but more often they are 8+wks to adolescent aged puppies that are available for the Carer Program. We have all three sizes, Miniature, Medium and Standard that are placed in our Carer Program. You will find that we have a rainbow of colours in our Family Care dogs. Obviously for us, colour is of less importance than the temperament, type, health and coat of our breeding dogs, so for this reason Cloud Catcher has a policy of listing what puppies/dogs we have selected for our Carer Program and then match our families with the selected dog/puppy that fits them.
What are the advantages to the dog in the Carer Home Program?
Our Carer Home dogs are able to live in a family pet home environment rather than a kennel situation. Once they are retired from breeding and desexed they don’t need to be placed in a new home at an age when it could be more difficult for adjustment as they are already in their permanent home!
What happens in the first 12 months of the Carer Program?
If you take a puppy or young adolescent in for the Carer Program the first 12 months are fairly basic. You will pick puppy up from us and puppy will live with you. If they are a girl it is until their first season (heat cycle). In the Australian Labradoodle we expect the first season to arrive between 9-12 months of age, on some rare occasions we will have one that starts between 6-9 months of age but this is not common. Upon the start of their first season you will contact us directly; if you do not have a suitably safe location for them during their season you will need to bring puppy to Cloud Catcher to stay protected with us during their season, this is to ensure that no unwanted boys come to call. The first season is usually between 14-21 days (2-3 weeks) depending on the maturity and ovulation cycle of your puppy. We do not breed any girls less than 1 year of age so once their season is done we then contact you to collect your puppy. You can then expect that your puppy will come into season about 6 months from the start of their last season. Seasons in the Australian Labradoodle are traditionally every 6 months but can range between 5-9 months between cycles.
During their first year at 5-6 months of age we will request the dog to come and have a photo session done, and DNA swab for DNA profile testing.
By 12 months of age we require you to bring your puppy to Cloud Catcher for assessment for the breeding program, and hip/Elbow X-rays to be done at our local vet (at our cost). If we decide not to breed with them we will then approve to have them desexed.
Once we receive the results from all testing done, we then make a second assessment for the consideration of adding the dog into the breeding program. If we do not add the dog into the program, we will then approve to have them desexed. This is our way of being able to keep the best females and / or males from each litter and then have the ability to only select the best of the best to continue on with the breed’s development.
What happens after the Carer Dog is 12 months old and has had their testing and final assessments completed for addition to the breeding program?
If we do add the dog to our Breeding Program we will require you to bring the Carer dog to us at the start of every season that we plan to breed. Or in the case of boys, we will contact you prior to needing them brought back for mating (usually about 1-2 weeks is needed for this). We’ve found that our boys get more use in the first year of the breeding program and substantially less after that. Concerning our girls, during the off seasons (if we decide not to breed during a season/heat cycle) you may keep and house her with you if you have a suitably safe location for her to ensure protection against unwanted matings, if it is deemed that the location is not secure then she will need to come back to Cloud Catcher where we can protect her from unwanted attention. Please note we do not necessarily mate our Carer Home dogs on every season. After each season they spend with us the dog returns home with you. If we have mated them while here, they will go back home with you during their gestation and we will then give you details as to when they need to return to have their litter.
We require that all pregnant Carer Home Dogs return to us 10 days prior to their due date. This ensures them time to settle in and start nesting in preparation for the birth. 4 weeks after the puppies are born and Mum is settled in, her Carer Home is welcome to come and visit her and the new babies as often as they wish while she is with us. Once the puppies are weaned sometime between 6-7 weeks of age the Carer Home dog is then ready to go back home with her family. By this time the Mum is usually more than ready to have the puppies weaned and go back to her family as the puppies usually have their teeth in by 6 weeks of age!
Is there any difference in the frequency with which male and female dogs take part in the breeding program?
As male dogs have to take part in mating to coincide with female dogs coming into heat, it is difficult to pinpoint the timing or frequency of breeding activities. You may be required to bring your dog in at short notice.
As the timing for female dogs is determined based on when they come into heat, we can give you an idea when you will have to bring your dog in.
Who covers the cost of breeding and any medical costs related to breeding?
Any medical costs resulting in or related to breeding and any stud fee costs required to produce the litter are Cloud Catcher's sole responsibility. Our Carer Homes are only responsible for routine maintenance and medical care, such as, but not limited to, feeding, annual vaccinations and Worming/Flea/Tick treatments just as they would if they had a desexed pet.
How Many litters will my Carer Home dog be required to produce?
We require between 2-4 litters from our Carer Home dogs once they are in the Carer Program. Each dog is individually assessed prior to entering the Carer Home to determine the required litters. Cloud Catcher takes the health and wellbeing of all our breeding dogs as a priority, and based on our and our vets assessments we will only breed our Carer dogs if they are in optimum condition for each litter. If we have accomplished our goals in development from one of our Carer Home dogs we may select to early retire them. We have on a number of occasions early retired our Carer girls prior to completing the required litter numbers. BUT it is only Cloud Catcher's right to make that decision and desex and early retire the Carer Home dog. Once your Carer Home dog is retired from the Breeding Program and desexed, ownership is transferred to you and they remain your family pet.
Will being apart from their family for two months, to give birth to and nurture puppies, have any detrimental effect on our dog?
Although your dog may feel homesick for the first couple of days away from their family, they will have other dogs and our dedicated carers to interact with here at Cloud Catcher and are generally too busy giving birth and looking after their puppies to feel too homesick. Also, dogs do not forget their owners in the space of just two months, so there is no need to worry.
Can I still have an Australian Labradoodle as part of the FCH Program if I have other dogs?
You can as long as you do not have any dogs of the opposite sex.
Even if you do have a dog of the opposite sex, you may still have an Australian Labradoodle if the dog has been sterilized or castrated.
Do I have to give my Carer Home dog back?
As a carer of a Cloud Catcher family care home dog we want to assure our families that their dogs are theirs to keep forever (as long as Carer adheres to the requirements of the program). We do require the dogs to come back to us for short visits so that they can participate in the breeding program but always the family care home dogs return back to their Carer after these short breaks. After your dog has fulfilled the requirements under the family care home program we then pay to desex them for you and they continue living with you as their forever home.
What is the Carer Home responsibilities?
Even though you are only paying a deposit on your Carer Dog we require that you take top notch care of them. This means, including but not limited to: a high quality diet as outlined by us, routine veterinary care, annual vaccinations, worming and flea treatments as outlined by us, puppy and obedience training, love, exercise, care and attention, etc.. These are our babies that we place with you and we want to be assured that they will become your baby.
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