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If you think breeding dogs and conformation events are exhilarating, having a stud dog service is another rollercoaster ride that is both rewarding and sometimes disappointing.
Owning a stud requires making difficult decisions.
Whether you’re planning to breed your female dog or you’re planning to start a stud service of your own, it’s best to learn what to expect from this experience.
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What does “dog stud service” mean?
Canine stud service is a process where a stud and a dam in heat are bred.
The owners of the male and female dog would need to have their expectations and terms stated clearly in a contract. While keeping in mind the welfare of both canines, they’d also have to think of the breed standards.
How does a dog stud service work?
Everything should be planned and discussed before using a dog stud service or if you want to start a business of your own.
There are also questions that would arise before deciding on anything. What to expect if this is your first time breeding a dog? If you own the dam, do you have the facilities and financial stability to support a pregnant dog and her puppies?
Choosing the right dog for a stud service
When breeding, mating dogs should be selected for their suitability for each other.
If you have a female dog, choose a stud that greatly represents his own breed.
For those with studs, select a dam that compliments him best. But, how are these things determined?
One of the best ways to get the attention of breeders is through dog shows or performance events such as obedience or agility competitions. Stud owners, this is the top way for you to market or advertise your dog.
Studs who had or are currently on the top spot on the podium have a lot of breeders on the look-out for them.
As breeding standards described by the American Kennel Club (AKC): “Dogs who have characteristics that enable the breed to perform the job or function for which it was bred.”
Experts who are hoping to make champion progenies would choose a stud that’s in top physical condition. So make sure your boy is well-groomed, healthy, and is a performer inside the ring. Identify the stud’s strong points and promote them. But never say anything to deceive dam owners about your dog’s traits because you’re putting the puppies’ lives on the line as well.
Breeders know how to point out kindly but firmly, which dog isn’t suitable to double-up and why.
Seeing an existing offspring will also help you get a rough idea of what to expect by mating your dog with a prospective partner.
Just look at how excited these two Golden Retrievers are for their mating!
Is your stud of breeding quality?
You can’t have your stud service rely on popularity itself. You should strike a balance between advertising and servicing. There may come a point where you’d find yourself overwhelmed with dam owners, don’t be shy to say no to some of them and raise your prices.
Breeders of female dogs who are serious with wanting to breed usually know what’s a reasonable amount and what’s not. Just be smart with altering the price or cost of your stud service.
Another factor that would affect the quality of the sperm of your stud is the frequency of breeding.
Popularity is great as mating would be regular, but ensure that the dogs you’re using as studs are tested every few months. If there are any changes or alterations detected with regards to his sperm, the next step is to determine what’s causing the change.
Having your stud breed more often can also affect not just the quality of his sperm and would lead to popular sire syndrome.
If his genes are common and everywhere, they’re no longer considered rare and beautiful.
The recommended frequency for collecting sperm is two to four days before breeding takes place. It will help clear the ejaculatory tract of any dead sperm and would improve the quality of future ejaculations.
A stud’s sperm can be collected daily for 3-5 days. Don’t forget to give your stud rest days so you can avoid his sperm from reaching exceptionally low levels which can affect pregnancy outcomes.
The dam’s location and breed may help you base your decision to breed your stud for a breeding balance.
The important thing is, you are sure that your stud is above-average as a breed example before offering him for stud service.
Health screenings needed for a dog stud service
A dam and a sire can be bred naturally or through artificial insemination. No matter which option is used, both dogs should be examined.
The owners should present veterinary certificates to prove their dogs are in tip-top shape.
Aside from up-to-date vaccinations, the stud should provide a three-generation pedigree chart. It will give dam owners to check the family history of the male.
One of the health problems that the dogs should be cleared from is Brucellosis. It’s a bacterial infection that’s transmitted through sexual contact. It can also cause sterility in the bitch and stud, and can even cause abortion of the puppies. Males who are used as studs should be tested for this every 6 months.
There are also genetic conditions that are specific to the breed so the tests will also vary.
If you’re not sure what testing has to be done before going through the stud service, contact your national breed club.
What you should find in the dog stud service contract
A written agreement for a stud service would lay out all the terms discussed by the owners. It’s provided by the stud owner and signed by both parties if they agree and can uphold their end of the bargain.
Be sure to read it through and keep a copy for your records. But what should a stud service contract include?
Compensation: Dog stud service fees
The amount discussed appears early in the contract. In exchange for the stud’s work and a guarantee of the female’s pregnancy, payment can be in many forms. A stud fee can be paid in cash, which roughly costs from $250 to $1,000. It would depend, of course, on how many times the stud became and produced champions. Others would charge an equal price for one puppy.
For stud owners who prefer getting paid by having the first pick on the dam’s litter, aim for the best. Breeders have a goal of making a healthier, stronger, and all-in-all, a better dog than the current canine they’re using for breeding.
Be sure to go for the pup who looks promising, and not the runt of the litter.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to go for a puppy in lieu of cash. It’s a great way to build an impressive pack of future dams and sires. It will also enhance and promote the role of your stud.
Puppies are like the canine CV of the mother and father dog. A better lineage means a better CV, and it gets more offers!
What does the stud fee entail for the dam owners?
In return for the cost of the dog stud service, the female will be bred for 2 to 3 times during her estrus or heat cycle. So information such as the breeding dates, location, and process used (natural breeding or artificial insemination) are expected to be on the contract.
Another information that should be stated in the agreement is when the picking occurs. Most of the time, stud owners choose a pup by the time they’re 7 weeks old. Usually, before leaving their mother’s home.
Breeding attempts and failures in a dog stud service
Stud and dam owners should discuss and agree on how long the two dogs will stay with each other. The service goes beyond mating, stud owners are involved with the whole process. They should also guarantee conception and a certain number of puppies, care for the female and assist in the mating process if needed.
Depending on the location, the dam is taken to the stud dog’s place and will remain during the breeding period. Discuss with the stud owner if an additional boarding fee has to be paid and it should be stated on the contract.
If this is your female dog’s first time to mate, you may be encouraged to stay and watch how it’s done.
As the bitch is taken out of her environment, your presence can put her at ease in such intimidating scenarios. But you’d have to take into consideration that the stud may fail to perform if there are strangers around.
There’s a possibility that things won’t go as planned, which means dam owners should be reassured in the contract that the dam will be taken cared of. Owners should also discuss what’s the course of action if the bitch doesn’t get pregnant.
Generally, there’s a notice period of 65 to 70 days. If the dam owner gets to notify the owner of the stud of a non-pregnancy but the stud is not available anymore, a return service from another compatible stud is provided. If they notified outside of that period, the stud owner can refuse service.
If breeding is a failure after the stud service, the owner of the female won’t be charged additional costs for a return service the next time the dam is in season.
For successful gestation and birth, stud service contracts should mention that it’s the stud owner’s obligation to take care of the paperwork and return registrations to the owner of the female. It should confirm the time and place where the mating happened and has the stud dog’s name registered as the father of the offspring.
Logistics and organization of a dog stud service
Aside from the service exchange, a contract should include vital details such as:
- Contact details
- Dates – time and duration of matings
- Numbers of veterinarians and breeding experts
Another information you’ll find in the contract is restrictions for future breedings of the offspring. It means the puppies shouldn’t be sold to anyone who would use them for repeated breeding, such as commercial retailers.
The dam owner should be aware that studs can father other puppies with other females, too.
To avoid creating a litter that can’t be registered to a kennel club, dams used for breeding shouldn’t be 8 years and older. Stud owners can request of the female’s breeding history to ensure this.
Next is the “litter”. The contract should specify what that term constitutes the agreement. Normally, it’s at least one puppy (whether it’s alive or dead). And if only a single offspring is produced, the stud owner will offer a return service.
Things you need if you want to start a stud service
Now that we’ve covered other important factors for a stud service such as an intact male dog, a contract, and health testing results, secure a crate for visiting dams as well as a leash and muzzle.
Your time and attention are also critical. You should be available if dam owners or the new owner of the puppies of your stud have questions. It’s best if you have a business card and the owner of the dams who used your service to provide them to the buyers of the puppies.
Aside from conformation events, you can market your dog for stud services in breed-specific magazines, catalogs, and classifieds.
Online advertising is a great option, too. Check out the stud dog derictories where other stud owners promote their dogs such as K9Stud, Breed Your Dog, Free Dog Listings, and Terrific Pets. You can advertise your dog for stud service there too.
Whether it’s the stud or bitch’s first time to experience mating, they might need your help to do the task. Breeding is not as easy as it looks. The dogs can’t just be left in the backyard or in an enclosure. There are times when females aren’t too accepting that they need to be controlled with a leash or muzzle.
4 weeks after the actual servicing, follow up with the owner of the dam. Her female dog should be pregnant and about 9 weeks, puppies would be born.
In return for the paperwork, the dam owner should also give you a copy of the names and addresses of those who bought the pups. All information related to selling or rehoming the puppies is usually found in a Puppy Contract.
You can watch this video for additional tips about the breeding process during the dog stud service:
Clarity and meeting expectations
There are a lot of variables that would play in a dog stud service. What’s essential is a mutual understanding between the parties involved, as what’s indicated in the terms of the contract.
After all, a usual business arrangement can lead to a breeding partnership if the owner of the dam and sire are on the same page.
Keep in mind that if you’re not keen on handling the mating itself, you can start out by asking help from an experienced breeder. No matter how much money you’d earn with servicing, don’t risk the welfare of the dogs, or even their future generations.
Also, don’t be too conservative or picky. It’s difficult to find a mate for one dog that will compliment him or her. You just have to prioritize what’s important for the betterment of the breed.
A sample of a dog stud service contract
This template format is just an example. Some kennel clubs and owners tweak it specifically for the breed of their dog.
You should also note that a contract can only be legally binding if it is witnessed.
If you have tips and advice for first-time breeders and those who want to get into the dog stud service business, type them all in the comment box below!