Many dog owners think about how nice it might be to breed from their bitch and enjoy all of the excitement and joy that can come from having puppies in the house, assuming of course that you have plans for good, responsible lifelong homes for them-and for many people, this never goes further than the idle dreaming stage.
However, for those that do decide to breed from a pedigree dog, the chances are that the services of a stud dog will be required-an unneutered male dog of the same breed with a good pedigree that can take the role of father of the litter!
Few small-scale or one-off breeders and would-be breeders have their own viable male dog to father the litter, particularly if they intend to breed for quality and improvement-and this means that many breeders will require the services of a stud dog to father the litter.
Stud dogs are often dogs that have performed well in the show ring and may or may not be owned by a person who breeds from their own dogs-but nonetheless, makes their male dog available, for a fee, to cover other people’s bitches and produce pups.
If you have never really thought about becoming a breeder yourself, you may never have given much thought to whether or not your dog would make for a good stud dog. But if this is something that you are considering or are wondering what it takes, in this article we will look at what it takes to make a pedigree stud dog, and how to tell if your dog might make the grade! Read on to learn more.
The term “stud dog” can be applied to any unneutered male dog that is used to impregnate one or more bitches, but for those in the know and those who are keen to go about breeding in the right way, there is more to it than this!
In the next sections, we will look at the various traits and essential elements that a good stud dog should possess, and how to assess whether or not your dog has what it takes.
First of all, when it comes to breeding pedigree dogs, a pedigree stud is essential, and the quality of the dog is just as important (if not more so) than that of the bitch. Your potential stud dog must of course be a registered pedigree in order for their pups to be classed as pedigrees too, which means the appropriate registration with The Kennel Club and potentially, breed-specific organisations and clubs too.
Simply because a dog is a pedigree and has the papers to prove it is no indicator of the quality of the dog-all it means is that the dog’s ancestry is traceable and verified as coming from the breed in question.
However, in order to be able to sell a stud dog’s services, they have to be a good quality dog that is a good example of the breed and all of the breeds good and desirable traits-both physically and in terms of temperament.
If you are thinking of going into breeding, this is something that you should consider when you first pick and buy the pup that you hope will become your stud dog, and learning about the breed and how to judge the dogs within it is a process that takes time and experience-and is essential for stud dog owners!
The stud dog’s breeding is important to many would-be breeders and subsequent puppy buyers, and by “breeding” we mean the quality of the dog’s ancestry and relatives. A dog who has a star-studded family tree with lots of famous, highly regarded or show-winning dogs will all support the position of the stud dog, and may mean that they are more in demand or can command higher prices.
In-demand stud dogs, particularly at the higher levels, often have a proven track record of success in the show ring themselves, and the more accolades and wins the dog has to their name, the more in demand they are likely to be and once more, the more people will be willing to pay for their services.
A potential stud dog should of course be completely healthy, and it is also important that your stud dog undergoes any breed-specific health screening and testing that are mandated by The Kennel Club and that are recommended for the breed.
Many tests can only be performed on dogs over a certain age-such as is the case with hip scoring-and some tests should be performed more than once, such as STD testing for stud dogs in regular use.
This naturally raises the viable minimum age of a properly tested stud dog to over two years of age, and dogs that are very young or getting on in years should not be put to stud.
Dogs in the prime of their life make for the most robust and healthy fathers, that will have the best chance of producing a good litter!
Temperament is one of the most important considerations when it comes to selecting a dog for any purpose, and the temperament of the stud dog must be beyond reproach, with no indications of aggression or snappiness, even under duress.
Having a very beautiful, physically perfect stud dog might be what turns heads-but if your stud dog is aggressive or not good with other dogs and people, they will not be appropriate for the role.
A stud dog that has a proven track record of successfully impregnating bitches and fathering good litters will raise the dog head and shoulders above an untried dog, which means that the career of a stud dog is a progression that advances over time as their reputation grows and they are known for producing good quality puppies.
While all of the factors above relate to the dog specifically, people who use stud dogs will also expect the dog’s owner and handler to be experienced, knowledgeable and well-informed.
If you turn up with your dog and have never been involved in a mating before and don’t know how your dog will get on or how to deal with the process, nobody will be impressed! Everyone has to start somewhere of course, but you should be honest with the people who may be considering hiring your stud dog if this is the case, and price accordingly.
However, before mating your stud dog, you should have spent some time working with other breeders to observe and assist with matings, in order to learn about how things should go, what can go wrong, and what to do about it.