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Tips for Choosing a Stud Dog
Before breeding from any bitch, you should be absolutely sure that you can spare the time, space and commitment involved in looking after her and her puppies You should also remember that breeding can be a costly business. That said, don`t choose a stud dog simply because their services are cheap or free.
It is fair to say that you are choosing the owner of the stud dog as much as choosing the dog himself! A good owner will always have the animals` welfare at heart. They will usually belong to relevant clubs, be able to show certificates and be knowledgeable about the breed. Don`t be afraid to ask for references and always see the stud dog `in the flesh` and at home.
Look for positive traits in the stud dog, including a stable temperament. Dogs should be healthy, confident, happy and well socialised. A stud dog should be at least 2 years old. If you are looking to breed pedigree pups, then you should also be looking for positive traits specific to that breed.
Certain breeds suffer from particular health problems that don`t always reveal themselves until the animals are fully-grown. Exaggeration of certain traits can occur through intensive breeding. This in turn often causes suffering to the animals and proves very costly to their owners. Testing can be undertaken to prove that prospective parents are free from problems and paperwork should be carefully checked to ensure that this is the case.
Dogs and bitches can suffer from Hip dysplasia (malformation of joints), so should be `hip scored` to avoid mating dogs with poor scores. Knee and elbow problems can be an issue and some breeds including Spaniels and Retrievers can suffer from inherited eye conditions. Heart conditions and breathing difficulties are also common to breeds such as Bulldogs and Cavaliers. You should not mate animals that suffer from the same breed weaknesses.
A pedigree stud dog should be microchipped and you should be able to trace its lineage back several generations. This is particularly important to avoid in-breeding and close mating.
The stud owner should always be willing to enter into a written contract prior to breeding and to provide a receipt for the stud service. Agree beforehand what will happen if the mating fails to produce pups. It is reasonable to expect that a second mating can be attempted without any additional charge.
Whilst you may be tempted to look further afield to find a good stud dog, don`t forget the practicalities of travelling to meet up when your bitch or bitches come into season. An experienced stud dog is the best choice when mating an inexperienced bitch. Mating should always be supervised and a good owner will be able to provide expert advice and assistance.
You won`t need to primp and preen your bitches to attract the male`s attention: a good stud dog will know precisely what to do and you can let nature do the rest!