While raising a litter of rascal puppies is a pretty big challenge and commitment, providing your stud dog’s service seems like a piece of cake in comparison.
But whose dog should actually sire a litter and what health checks are necessary?
What’s the exact process and are there any rules if you want to successfully breed your male with the perfect female partner?
Last but not least, stud dog owners wanna talk money.
How much actually is the stud dog fee and how can dog owners increase it – I’ll explain it all!
Rules For Stud Dog
While these rules are not strict rules per se, these can act as guidelines when trying to stud your dog for the first time.
If you stick to these guidelines, you’ll increase the chances of successfully mating your dog.
I’ll go into detail below on how much you can actually charge for your stud dog and why.
- Only mate your stud dog with health testing
- Make sure your stud dog is of appropriate age
- Win shows or sports titles to increase desirability
- Set a stud dog fee
- Advertise online or reach out to breeders
- Choose a (preferably experienced) female
- Mate your dog in a calm and familiar environment
- Don’t mate your dog too often or force a tie
You should always make sure that your stud dog has all the necessary health tests (hip/elbow x-rays, heart testing, as well as breed-specific conditions).
Never stud a dog just because you think he’s “friendly”.
Not ruling out medical issues can cause future puppies a lot of suffering (not to mention the thousands of dollars their owners will leave at the vet).
While mating is technically possible by the age of 6 months for most male dogs (i.e. they’re fertile), it’s best to wait until maturity which males usually reach at 12-16 months of age.
Smaller breeds tend to be a tad faster than large breeds.
All that being said, it’s best to wait until bone growth is finished which happens at around 18 months for large breeds.
This way, you know exactly what you’ll have to expect in terms of appearance and perhaps temperament.
Stud dogs with wins in conformation or official sporting events can usually achieve higher prices.
If you fulfill all the above criteria and have your dog health-tested, all that’s left is setting a stud fee.
Below, I’ll discuss how you can appropriately set your stud dog’s fee and what to look out for.
Now that you’re sure about pricing, you may want to advertise online or reach out to breeders directly.
Preferably locals, but be ready to take a road trip if there are not a lot of options in your area.
Now that you’ve found a fitting female, let the dogs mate in a calm environment and don’t interrupt the process.
Inexperienced males may mount the female without locking properly.
This is not an issue and slip mating may still result in conception but you can repeat the mating two or three times every other day to increase pregnancy chances.
Can I Stud My Dog Without Papers?
Yes, you can stud your dog without papers, however, the female’s owner might not accept stud dogs without papers as it would diminish their efforts of raising traceable bloodlines.
Many people think that papers for dogs are some fancy pants thing but that’s really not the case.
Papers are there to trace the bloodline and have proof of the health checks the previous generations underwent.
Sure, the stuff with all the titles and conformation show wins and so on – that’s just extra.
But knowing who your dog’s parents and grandparents were is crucial in avoiding genetic defects.
Can a male dog without papers still be healthy and have a great temperament?
But why should you risk producing a litter with genetically determined issues or a less sure outcome of appearance and character?
If a dog has always nailed the Tracking section in a competition for multiple generations, the puppies are likely to exhibit similar traits.
All in all, you should think twice if it actually makes sense to stud your dog and accept that this may result in a lower stud dog fee without papers.
Stud Dog Fee
While you can usually charge $500-$1,000 to stud your dog, the fee can also be equal to the price of one puppy which might result in a stud dog fee of $1,500-$3,000 for high-quality males.
In your contract, you can also opt for compensation in form of a first (and perhaps even free) pick of the litter or a percentage of the final puppy prices.
Sometimes, you’ll hear about stud dog fees as low as $100-$250 or even just a pick of the litter without any monetary compensation.
If that’s the case, you should probably reconsider the quality of your male as a breeding partner.
Having a superb stud dog should be associated with costs in and of itself.
Possibly the fairest way of doing business is discussing a certain percentage of the puppies’ final prices.
While the up-front payment is the most common choice, it might end up being unfair for one of the sides.
Think about a litter of ten for a stud fee as low as $500 or a litter of only 2-3 puppies for a fee as high as $2,000.
So in short:
- Stud dog fees can be coupled with a (free) pick of the litter
- Percentages of the puppy prices are fairest
- Up-front payments are most common but might end up favoring one party
- With extremely low stud fees, you might want to re-evaluate breeding
Interested in the other side of the fence?
What Does a Typical Stud Fee For Dogs Depend On?
A typical stud fee for dogs depends on show or sports titles, recent offspring, special colors or type, and last but not least, the breed which may also determine the usual litter size.
Naturally, small breeds produce smaller litter sizes and are thus often earning less.
That being said, small dogs with titles or special coat types or colors can actually be incredibly expensive.
But even if the litter size is small and puppy prices relatively normal, you can still expect to be paid four figures for a quality stud dog service.
Your stud dog’s fee also depends on extra agreements like pick of the litter or a “free” puppy.
Sometimes breeders are exchanging stud dogs too.
Whatever you do, as a professional breeder the most important thing is to find a solution that makes both sides happy.
A planned pairing between two healthy and fitting dogs should never fall through due to the stud fee if it’s not extremely high.
While professional breeders can earn quite a good sum, you usually won’t earn incredible amounts without sacrificing quality.
Breeding isn’t meant to make people rich, there are better uses of your time for that.
The stud dog fee is in place to make sure owners of high-quality males are compensated in some way to encourage going through all the hassle.
But after all is said and done, the other side has to deliver the puppies, care for them for 8 weeks, go to the vet for check-ups, find them homes, and so on.
These are more demanding tasks than maintaining a stud dog and thus compensated more appropriately.
What Does a Stud Dog Fee Include?
A stud dog fee usually only includes having the male dog mate with a female, sometimes up to 2-3 times to optimize the chances for conception.
If the stud dog owners have a long way ahead of them, travel expenses may be discussed.
In some cases, frozen semen can be utilized for various reasons.
Frozen semen makes it possible despite old age of the stud dog or makes it easier to produce litters on a larger scale with the risk of minimizing gene pools.
Despite higher costs for the female dog owner, these stud dog services are similarly priced as the outcome is the same and it’s usually only done with extremely popular male studs.
What is the Most Expensive Stud Fee?
The most expensive stud fees are in the $5,000-$15,000 range with top bloodlines.
While the data for stud fees is not sufficient enough to make a reliable statement on what the most expensive stud fee ever was, we have some data as a starting point.
There’s quite a lot of information on expensive dog breeds and if we take the rule that the stud fee equals one puppy sales price, we arrive at numbers in the five-figure range.
With all this information, you should be able to evaluate your individual stud dog’s price and know what you have to offer the dog world to improve the breed you’ve chosen.
Keep in mind that health testing is crucial.
A fun breeding process, as well as a fair fee, is the best way of doing business with something as delicate as dog breeding.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.