Breeding male dogs, or studs, only means you won’t have to go through all the care and attention a gestating Dam goes through. However, your revenue will come from various breeders looking for amazing studs and paying you for the delivery of your dog’s semen.
You rarely see the money generated from the litter itself. Prices go from a hundred to thousands depending on your male’s pedigree and ranking in championships and shows. Raising males only forces you to invest in the best available founding dogs and participate in a lot of competitions to build your reputation.
These pieces of advice will help you work yourself up to the top.
Read, learn & apply
Breeding, and mating specifically, is much more than just put both dogs in the same room and let it happen. You do have to learn about the copulation stages, the bitch’s heat cycle and if you are sending the semen to the female’s owner, you need to read how is it done, how much does it cost, how long does it take, etc. You have to read, process, understand and then apply all of this precious information. Being prepared is the best a pet owner can be for his pet’s well-being.
Have your stud dogs cleared of any medical condition
All dog breeds have their shares of hereditary and common medical conditions, one of the most famous is the hip dysplasia found in most breeds. What matters for your dog, breeding or not, is to be healthy and in fit shape. Breeding means (should mean) improving the breed so if your dog is a victim of a hereditary condition, it is recommended to neuter him. If your stud is healthy, demand proofs from the bitch’s owner than the Dam is also healthy and cleared of hereditary and common diseases. Remember that you Sir’s reputation is on the line.
Register your stud dogs with your local club(s)
American Kennel Clubs, Breed Clubs, Associations… Each breed comes with its own clubs and databases they can be registered too, and the more certified and identified your stud is, the more value it gives him. Most clubs require proofs of pedigree and healthiness before they even consider registering your dog, so make sure your vet provides proofs for each checkup and genetic test your dog goes through. Sort them and save them on your Google Drive or any Cloud file system you are using.
Post photos and videos of your studs on social media
People nowadays read less and spend more time staring at their screens… and you know what they are doing, right? They are watching videos and photos, a lot of them! Indeed, it is now very quick to load, very easy to share, like and bookmark, it is the way people want to consume content so give her a good ration of photos and videos of your dogs on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are enough to start with!) A picture or video on each day will make your fans, clients, prospects and visitors so happy, regardless of the actual photo or video! Some great ideas are a picture before and after grooming, a video of your dog swimming, a video of your dog running, a picture of your dog next to his trophies, etc.
Identify each of your dog's strong characteristics
Train your eye to see what your dog has that most others from the same breed don’t and then, wonder what your dog is lacking to be a better version of this breed? Speak to your vets, other breeders and judges, those specialists will let you know what you need to work on and what is wonderful. You then know the direction your breeding has to take to improve your bloodline and, to a certain extent, the breed.
By having a stud-only breeding business means you have to carefully select the female your Sir will mate with, this is from their litter than your reputation will build up or shrink down. A lot of other breeders will ask you for your Champion’s semen for a litter, even offer you a substantial monetary incentive, but you do not want to lose months or years of work for some extra bucks. Say “no” whenever you doubt that a bitch will make your bloodline improve, and seek to settle for the best bitches you can get even if it becomes a synonym to wait for months for the right bitch to be in season.
Scout proactively for complementary bitches
Now you have said “no” to the bitches your stud should not mate with, you have to proactively look for potential bitches that will complement your stud’s top characteristics and your long-term objectives. Seeking for matching partners can take a while, but you need to use all the network and channels possible to shortlist the most suitable bitches. Once you shortlisted a few specimens and breeders, you need to see when are their bitch supposed to be in season and how do they want it to be contracted as. The final decision is all yours.
Direct the negotiation
The final step of preparing a mating is to negotiate, write and sign the contract that will bond both parts, you, the Sir’s owner and your alter-ego, the Dam’s owner. You should never seem needy when negotiating for the service fee or the conditions of this contract, otherwise, the bitch’s owner will get it his/her way. Think of what reward is best for you and your breeding business’ future (a one-off fee, a cut on each pup, priority selection of a puppy from the litter, or else) and also think of every other aspects, including incidents (puppies’ names, what if the bitch doesn’t get pregnant or the puppies die…) to avoid situations that will take months to solve.
Publish positive feedbacks from previous puppies' owners
If your Sir already had one or several litters, get in touch with the puppies’ owners and ask them for written feedback and some beautiful pictures. Publish the best messages on your website and offer to give the owners’ details if anyone thinks the testimonials are faked. For the rather unflattering photos, you can still use them on social media (twitter for example) as they have a shorter lifespan and will be forgotten after a few days. Potential clients interested in adopting a future puppy of yours will see how good you have been with former clients and they won’t mind paying an extra for that quality of service.
Applying this advice in the long run will significantly improve your reputation and margins, make sure you take a look at the resource page to stay organized and always on top of your business.
Feature image credits: Jaxson / Rock City Kennels under CC2.0.