I was initially hesitant to write this article because I do not support mindless, irresponsible breeding of pets. However, I am seeing so many dog owners searching for studs and being led to dogs that are not at all breed worthy, so I was compelled to write this article.
Before you even think about breeding your female dog, ask yourself: is my dog worth breeding? If you do not know the answer to this question, read this article I wrote Breeding Mini Schnauzers in the Philippines: Know your Responsibilities.
Let’s assume that you’ve done your homework and that you’ve determined that your female dog is breed-worthy. That means she is in good health and is in good shape; has the right temperament; has a structure that conforms to the breed standard; and has a pedigree that you understand, especially the health risks that run in your dog’s line. Your next step, therefore, is to find a suitable mate.
Before finding a stud, remember that the stud can only complement the traits of your female dog. Remember that the mother contributes 50% of the genes of the puppy, which is why you have to start out with the right dam.
What are the things you should take into consideration when looking for a stud?
Note: If the first thing that enters your head is the price of stud services, then PLEASE DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT BREEDING YOUR DOG. Sorry for being harsh about this, and I do not mean to talk down to readers. Breeding requires an investment in time and resources, and you can’t expect good results by doing things on the cheap.
Pedigree – The last thing you’d like to happen is to find a stud, only to find out that it is the full sibling or father of your own dog. The best person to help you with pedigree analysis will be the breeder of your dam, and the breeder/owner of the stud. Note that knowledgeable breeders know the characteristics of the different dogs appearing in their pedigrees. They can tell you how each one looks like, and they will also be familiar with the health risks that run in these lines. Remember that every dog is a carrier of something (yes, including your dog), which may be known or unknown. The point is if you are familiar with the risks in your own line, then you’d like to find a stud that does not carry the same risks. Another important note: if your schnauzer is not white, try to avoid mating with a stud with a white ancestor in its pedigree.
The stud’s temperament – Considering that temperament is partially a function of genetics, you wouldn’t want a stud who is aggressive. Schnauzers are feisty, but they are never ferocious. This one is easy to spot.
The dog’s structure – Be familiar with what the breed standard calls for. Look at the height, the color, the overall structure. Make sure the stud has two testicles. If the stud is a champion, then that’s an easy way to know that he meets the breed standard. Of course, there are also non-champions who meet the breed standard.
The dog’s upkeep – The stud can be a multi-awarded champion, can have the most prestigious lines in his pedigree, and be of sound structure and temperament, but if he is full of fleas, has skin diseases, is stinky, and is obviously not well cared for, then you should not pick this dog as a stud. Sad to say, there are still many irresponsible dog stud owners out there who just don’t deserve to have dogs.
How the stud complements your female – Ideally, you would want to find a dog whose merits complement that of your dam’s. Let’s say your female has a good head, then you want a mate who also has a good head. Conversely, if your female has a less-than desired ear set, then you can look for a stud with a good ear set, and hopefully, this is passed on to the puppies. Again, this boils down to knowing the breed standard, so be familiar with it.
Finding the right stud is not as easy as picking a name off a list. It means doing your homework way before your dam comes into season. Be patient in your search. Don’t let convenience and cost dictate your decision. There are many known breeders with very good stud dogs, but you have to find the one that best complements your own dog. Take this as an opportunity to understand the breed standard and stay true to your breeding goals.