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How to Stud Your Dog for the First Time: Do It the Right Way

By Aviram K.
June 15, 2022
7 min read
How to Stud Your Dog for the First Time: Do It the Right Way
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.
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As us dog owners know, our personal pup is the best of all!

As such, this love for our four-legged furry best friend might influence us to want to pass that sweet temperament on to the next generation. However, studding a male dog for breeding is not as simple as it may seem - there is a lot more involved than just thinking Fido can make some cute puppies.

To stud the right way, make sure your male has passed his health tests, temperament evaluated, been judged in conformation, participated in dog sports, and has a female available to compliment him. You should stud only after two years of age.

In this article, I will explore the various aspects of studding your male dog for the first time. From what you should consider to how to do it the right way, I hope this article sheds some light on whether your dog can make a good candidate for breeding future generations.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents
What You Need to Consider Before Studding Your Dog
How Much Should You Charge to Stud Your Dog Out?
When Should You Stud Your Dog for the First Time?
How to Stud Your Dog the Right Way

What You Need to Consider Before Studding Your Dog


As much as mother nature makes breeding a fairly simple task, responsible and ethical breeding is much more complex.

Before acting on the desire to produce cute puppies out of your male dog, you should consider some important factors. Remember to take your personal opinion out of this decision because whether your dog is a good candidate or not is certainly not personal!

First of all, I should get it out of the way and say that you should not be breeding a rescue, a mutt, or a poor example of a pure breed. Of course, there are cases in which select purebred crosses can work, such as sport mixes in the dog athlete world. Still, even then, the ethical production of those dogs is rare, and you certainly don’t want to contribute to poor breeding.

Second, you really should consider whether or not your male dog is bettering his breed or not. In responsible breeding, breedings take place to improve upon a breed of dog. That is why it is crucial to know the breed standard and see how well your male fits within this model.

Third, you definitely need to consider that breeding your dog may not be a profitable endeavor for you as the male’s owner, especially since you may have to dish out the finances to do all the proper health testing.

Equally so, you’re going to find yourself sinking finances into taking your dog to conformation events to be evaluated by expert judges, potentially participating in canine sports and activities for titles, and other such endeavors that can be found in ethical breeding. These events show off just how excellent your dog is and that they’re certainly worthy of breeding.

Fourth… you have to consider whether or not there is even a suitable mate currently available for your dog!

If you have the support of your dog’s breeder as a mentor or advisor, this can be a lot easier to tackle. However, if you don’t… it can be difficult to find a female dog that matches your male. A female that can fix any of his structural or behavioral faults, a female that is of sound quality that won’t detriment the breeding, and a female that is of age and available to use.

How Much Should You Charge to Stud Your Dog Out?

Before I answer this question, I want to get another statement out there: It’s not unethical to charge to stud a dog, despite what the general public might say. In fact, you _should _charge because if you stud the correct way, you will have spent quite a bit of your own money to ensure your male is sound for breeding.

Now, whether you can or cannot charge for studding your dog is the correct question.

Depending on the kind of contract you signed with your male dog’s breeder, you may not have a right to charge for his studding. If you are in a co-own situation (where two people legally own the same dog. This is common in purebred dogs, where the breeder retains some rights to their produced puppies) you may not be allowed to charge a stud fee because breeding becomes at the original breeder’s discretion.

However, if you are in a situation where you can charge for studding your dog out, the rate becomes dependent on several factors:

  • Firstly, stud fees must be validated by the dog’s health testing clearances, awards, and accomplishments.
  • Second, the dog’s foundation line (your dog’s ancestry) can also impact the stud fee. A dog from a long-standing reputable ancestry can charge a higher fee than a dog from a newer line.
  • Third, you may also charge the rate dependent upon the puppies’ value. Sometimes breeders offer the stud owner a choice: a puppy from the breeding or a stud fee in the value of a puppy. This can also be used as a basis if selecting your own stud fee.

On average, stud fees can range from $250 to $3,000, depending on the dog.

When Should You Stud Your Dog for the First Time?


In the least, you should wait until your male dog hits two years of age before considering studding him out.

In fact, you need to wait until Fido is two years old _and _proceeds to pass his health tests (more on this in the section below).

The reason we wait until 24 months minimum is because you can’t truly know whether your dog’s bone structure and build are healthy or not until the growth plates close. These plates only fully fuse at full physical maturity, which happens to be two years of age for a canine. Once the plates have closed, you can proceed to have the dog’s bone structure, and health tested to ensure everything is spiffy and sound.

Equally so, you can’t really know your dog’s complete personality and temperament until they’ve also reached emotional maturity. Some dogs reach this around the same time as their bodies, while others sometimes take a bit longer. Because some facets of personality are genetic, it’s important to ensure your dog’s temperament is sound before potentially passing on poor traits to the next generation.

Ideally, your dog will have also been evaluated by a professional judge in a conformation ring and received some placements and titles and/or competed in dog sports that showcase your dog’s soundness in body and mind.

All of this takes quite a bit of time, so achieving success in either the dog show world or the dog sport world is quite unlikely before two years old (if anything, it may take longer! A dog may need to be three or four before these titles come into play).

These evaluations prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dog will contribute positively to their breed rather than pass along detrimental traits.

How to Stud Your Dog the Right Way

If you’ve read this far and are still interested in studding your dog, here are the steps to take to stud your dog the right way!

Seek Expert Advice on Your Breed

First and foremost, as we spoke about bettering the breed… you really should speak to experts in the breed!

Join the official breed club and seek advice from established members, long-standing breeders, and other experts. Absorb as much knowledge as possible, and ask all the questions!

If anything, finding a mentor there can benefit you as you step into the studding journey.

Pass Health Tests

If you decide to go forth with the studding, you must have your pup pass a few important health tests. Make sure you are well versed in health issues within your breed, as you’ll have to test for those in addition to a few standard requirements. The required testing that ethical breeders participate in include:

  • Physical examination from a licensed reproductive veterinarian.
  • OFA. Short for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, OFA creates a health database called The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), which lists animal test results for the public to see. OFA was originally established to track hip dysplasia in animals but is now used to test for hip quality, heart diseases, patella quality, and hypothyroidism.
  • OFA Eyes, which goes into the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF).
  • EIC DNA Test. This tests your dog’s body under exercise and stress.
  • PFK. Short for Phosphofructokinase deficiency.
  • PRA. Short for Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

Some have started to also have their dogs tested through Embark DNA tests for additional health clearances. It is best to consult the breed club for any further testing that may be required!

Your goal is to ensure your dog passes as Fair, Good, or Excellent in all of the above. Anything below that is a no-go.

Participate in Conformation Events


Once the above has resulted in positive results, you should get your dog out to a conformation event if you haven’t been doing so already since your dog was a puppy. A conformation show is what the general public refers to as a ‘dog show’, pretty dogs parading around a ring.

The public may not see that the expert judges evaluate the dog’s structure based on how the dog is moving.

The movement must match the breed standard. The dogs are then hand evaluated by the judge as the judge determines the correct structure by feeling for the bones and muscles. Winning dogs are considered the best representations of their breed!

Another factor here is that to participate in these events, your dog must be registered with the official kennel club. This is where breeding papers come from!

Through these shows, you may discover that your dog has faults because no dogs are truly perfect. If you continue to beat out the other dogs, your dog’s faults are not so severe that they could be barred from passing on their genetic material. However, this means that you’ll need to pair up with a female who can help alleviate the faults that occur!

Participate in Sporting Events

Sporting events, such as agility, herding, dock diving, flyball, barn hunt, frisbee, nose work, and a slew more sports, show off your male’s working ability.

Titles and wins in these events can make your stud much more desirable, as it can prove intelligence, sound structure, drive, and ability to learn and perform!

Find a Female that Compliments Your Dog

Once the above have been met or completed, it is time to find a female dog. If you are a part of the breed club (which you ideally should be), it can be easier to find a female dog.

Otherwise, ensure that whatever female you come across that sounds good matches your dog in health testing, conformation, sporting trials, and more. You have to make sure that her temperament is complimentary to your male!

Equally, you have to make sure that your dog’s faults can be potentially remedied with the female, and that she matches in structure as well.

Draft a Contract and Do the Breeding

Finally, have a lawyer draft an official contract between yourself and the female’s owner.

This contract should clearly lay out the terms, conditions, and fees associated with the breeding.

Once both parties have signed and are satisfied with the agreement, you can breed the dogs together!

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