To Stud or Not To Stud

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It is not uncommon for the owner of an AKC registered male dog to consider using him at stud. It seems to be an easy way to recoup some of the expenses incurred in his ownership and love for the dog make it seem right that his qualities as a pet be perpetuated in his offspring. Before you begin, you should be informed of all aspects of stud ownership. You love your dog, but is he of sufficient quality by the standard of the breed as set forth by the American Kennel Club (AKC) to be a desirable stud? Could he become a Champion if he were shown? Is he free of genetic defects? Has he the lineage to be a reliable producer? All of these things can be assessed by a reputable breeder/exhibitor of his breed.

If your dog qulaifies as a stud based on his quality and breeding, you should know all of the responsibilites inherent in stud ownership. You should be knowledgable about the breed since there will be bitch owners wishing to use your stud whose dogs are of poor quality or defective. Your male must be maintained in top physical condition with special food and regular veterinary care. All bitches must be checked for veneral disease prior to breeding, and he must be checked regularly for infections. You must be prepared to house the bitch safely from her 7th day of season until she is bred and completely out of season. You must have sufficient knowledge of all phases of the heat cycle as not all bitches are regular or predictable. Each tie must be supervised for the safety of both dog and bitch. A sperm count should be taken with each breeding. You should offer a return service free if the bitch should "miss". You may well have to keep your male outside after he is used as he might begin territorial marking in the house; wetting on furniture is his natural way of telling the girls he is there and available. He will find the female of his species of primary concern and may attempt to escape, seeking a mate on his own.

Few studs actually earn enough to cover the additional time, expense and sometimes, frustrations of their ownership.