Tuesday, August 25, 2009


There’s nothing more exciting for a breeder than when he anticipates a beautiful new litter to be born. If he is a student of the breed, many long hours and investigation in to the puppies pedigree was considered before the breeding even took place.

There are many things a breeder will take into consideration before he chooses a stud dog for his bitch. Obviously he likes what he sees in the stud dog that he picks. He’s an attractive representative of the breed. He perhaps has the attributes that the bitch lacks. His pedigree boosts a long line of ROM (register of merit) producing dogs behind him. For many breeders this is important knowing that the stud dog comes from a long line of producers. Being a champion and being a producer is entirely two different things. So some breeders will only breed to a stud dog who is a proven producer of excellent progeny. Some breeders will breed to a relatively unknown stud dog because of the pedigree that makes up his DNA.

Besides the breeder liking what he sees in the stud dog and what he sees that he produces, there are also other things to consider. Besides looking for the obvious…..good temperament, hips and elbows x-rayed and that the dog is an excellent representative of the breed, he will also look at the health behind the dog he is considering to be the sire of his litter.

With the economy being fractured the way it is, some breeders have had to take into consideration other things as well. That is what it will cost to breed to this dog. Will he have to ship his bitch somewhere to breed to him? Then there is the stud fee to use this dog.

Stud fees can normally run anywhere from $500 on up to close to $1,000! Now I’m told that some of the other breed of dogs is even higher than this. If the breeding of dogs has become a sport for the rich only, then I wonder if the showing of dogs will follow the same way as well as has been evident in the smaller entries seen at dog shows in recent years.

Breeding to a top producing stud dog can become a luxury that many breeders can no longer afford. Should a stud dog owner reduce the breeding fee to use his dog because the economy challenges him to do so? Will he turn away potentially good bitches for his dog because the bitch owner can’t swing the expensive stud fee? How important is it that his dog is used and that the animal’s offspring will be in the genetic pool for years to come?

No one questions the amount of hard work it takes to own and breed a stud dog. But this would be true whether the dog’s stud fee were $50 or $1,000! The question is should there be a ceiling price on a stud dog’s fee? The old saying, “It’s what the market will bear,” would surely not be in the stud dog owners favor with the now depressed economy!

In my opinion, lowering a stud dog’s fee is in no way lowering the value of his dog. I feel if we as breeders want to perpetuate the future of our dog’s genetic make-up we need to make these stud dogs more readily available to the bitch owners. If the real estate market, the car industry, and the price of lobster…..all high priced items have come down in price to reflect the sinking economy, I believe that stud dog prices should as well, or at least make them more reasonable. I don’t see breeders in this economy getting any higher puppy prices in the pet market because they told the potential owner that the puppy was out of a champion.

I believe keeping a stud dog’s fee reasonable makes good marketing sense. It makes his dog more accessible to the bitch owner. More of his puppies are seen at the dog shows, there by more breeders get to see what this dog produces. More breeders who see and like what he produces, brings in more stud service for the dog. It’s in, my opinion, a win – win situation. The stud dog is more recognized and used and the bitch owner has more demand for her puppies.

There are MANY wonderful stud dogs for the breeder to consider besides breeding to the top stud dog in the country. Many dogs are overlooked because the owner didn’t have the funds to advertise him like the top dog. These dogs can offer someone an impressive pedigree and many attributes to compliment his bitch. Don’t pass up the opportunity to breed to a dog because someone else isn’t using him. Look around. Check out who his parents AND grandparents are. See what his brothers or sisters look like. Study the pedigree and then make an educated decision.

Stud dog prices: $500 on up

My rating: Stud fees: (2), value (2), choices of stud dogs available: (4)

1 comment:

  1. I believe that our stud fees are ridiculously low. English Setters stud fees are well over 1,500$! It should at LEAST be equal to the price of a quality puppy...1,000$ in most markets. Obviously this also depends on the quality of the stud dog and whether or not he has pups on the ground that attest to his prepotency as a stud.