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What is a Caretaker?


A Caretaker is an Individual or Family, who provides undivided love and attention to one of the canines in our program. They bring them into their home and allow them to become a part of their family while still being a part of our program. The Shepherd lives full time with their caretaker and is only with us when they are being bred or whelping a litter. After they retire all papers and ownership is signed fully over to the caretaker. This method helps us not disrupt the canines routine and home life. Once they retire they just continue living with their family.


Caretaker Program

We often keep puppies out of several of our litters during the year. This helps us continue our program and produce the temperament, confirmation, and drive we're looking for to continue our mission.

All of these puppies will be from imported litters or from imported parents to ensure the best quality puppies from around the world.

All puppies are raised in our home and participate in the Puppy Culture Program. Health Testing is done a minimum of 3 generations back and full health exams are routinely given.


We most often have adult canines available for Guardian Homes. These canines are Direct Imports, Health Tested, and have lived in our home for at least a few months before being placed so we can get a true temperament evaluation. This helps us determine which home would be the best fit for each individual canine and their new family. We help get them settled and help you set up a training routine to start and maintain the growing bond between you and your new pup (yes adults are pups too!)

Question & Answer

"How much does it COST to get a canine from the Caretaker Program?"



Becoming a Caretaker is FREE! We do not ask anyone to pay for one of our puppies or Adults in the Caretaker Program. In fact WE pay the Caretakers! These canines are still a part of our Program. Each time a litter is born our Caretakers are given $500. Most often the owners put that towards the cost of food, training, etc. but isn't required. 

We also cover Health Clearances required for breeding (Hips, elbows, genetic testing), yearly exams (no additional visits), yearly vaccinations, and all breeding expenses until the Canine is retired from our Program. Below is a list of everything we cover.

-Canine Annual Combo Vaccine DAPPV

-Rabies Vaccination

-Lepto Vaccine

-Bordetella Vaccine

-Heartworm Test (IDEXX)

-Stud Fees

-Progesterone Test

- Ultrasound (confirm pregnancy) 
- X-rays (for puppy count)

- C-section (if needed)

- Hip & Elbow certification (OFA, PennHip, FCI, etc.)

- Degrative Myelopathy DM (Genetic Testing)

- Multidrug Resistance Mutation MDR1 (Genetic Testing)

Our Caretakers go home with a starter pack for their new canines, which includes all their basic immediate needs (These are given at time of take home ONLY).

- Crate 
- Food (1 Bag they are currently be fed)

- Food & Water Bowls

- Collar (flat)

- Herm Sprenger Prong

- Leash

- Toys (selection will vary)
- Poop Bags

- Treats

- Chews

- 1 month of Heartworm & Flea Prevention
   (Simparica Trio)


"Caretaker Canines are in your Program." What does that mean


Since caretaker dogs are part of our Breeding program they have full registration. Because of this Zuflucht K9s is kept as the dog's owner on the paperwork until they retired from our Program. Once the canine is retired they are spayed/neautered and full ownership is signed over to the caretaker.


The canines in this program are essential a part of your family. They live with you, go on vacation with you, to events, etc. The whole point of this program is that we want these pups to be a part of the family and a well respected part of the community.

Because these canines have full registration this also means your canine is eligible to be shown in conformation, rally, obedience, etc. We strongly encourage Caretakers join a club in their area. Training grows and helps cements the bond as well as makes your pup into a better citizen!

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Question & Answer

"What do I have to DO with my Zuflucht Canine if I become a Caretaker?"



This is a very broad question. Out biggest desire is to see our pups in wonderful loving families who provide unconditional love and attention. You would be responsible for the well being of the canine you are adding to your family. Everyday responsibilities such as food, water, exercise, training, socialization, etc.

Many of the canines we import have been raised in kennels and aren't used to being in a home. Time will need to be dedicated to this transition. We ask that families set up an exercise plan such as walks, hiking, pool days, fetch, etc. Feeding a quality food and supplements is part of this. 


We do not advertise our pups. Word of mouth and social media is the only way people learn about our program. We do require that regular pictures and videos be taken so we can use them on our Social Media pages. Our ideal Caretakers take the canines out with them whenever possible.  Weekends downtowns, vacations, pet friendly restaurants, and stories, etc.

Caretakers must also be willing to bring their canine to and from our location for breeding and whelping. Females are welcome to stay here during their full heat cycle if desired or they can be brought during their progesterone peek to be bred and taken home directly afterwards. We want to be considerate of their and the Caretakers routine as much as possible.

"Where do I have to live in order to be a Caretaker?"



We ask that you live in North Carolina and be willing to transport the distance to our facility when as needed (Heat cycles, whelping, etc.)


"Will I receive compensation when my dog has a litter?"



YES! Being a part of our Caretaker Program has several benefits. Not only do you receive a FREE well bred, health tested canine to add to your family, we also pay you for each litter they produce!

For Caretakers with females, the family will receive $500 for each litter she produces while in our program. For Caretakers with males, each time the male is used as a Stud that results in a litter, the family is paid $100

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