Using your dog at stud

While there are a number of reasons why you may be thinking of offering your dog at stud, the most important goal, above all else, should be to improve the breed. 

We do not currently keep a register of stud dogs. If you wish to use your dog at stud, please contact your local breed club for more information and advice.

If you have not mated your dog before, you may want to seek advice from experienced stud dog owners to find out what to expect before, during and after the mating has taken place. When first using your dog at stud, it can be advantageous to try and mate him with an experienced bitch.

From health tests, fees and contracts, to assessing your dog's qualities and selecting the right bitch, we've got the detail you need to understand using your dog at stud. 

What qualities should your dog have?
  • Fertility - you may want to have their fertility tested if they are not already proven
  • Appropriate temperament
  • Fully health tested
  • Good general health
  • Free of defects, i.e. overshot jaw, cryptorchidism
  • Has proven themselves in show ring, working trials, agility etc.
  • Registered with The Kennel Club
  • Does not carry any Kennel Club endorsements precluding the registration of any progeny
Health tests and screening schemes available

Before breeding from a dog or bitch, we advise that breeders investigate whether there are any possible inherited conditions that may affect the breed. A stud dog can father many puppies and so it is essential that they are healthy and fully health tested to reduce the risk of passing on any health issues on to future generations. Stud dog owners can check which health tests are applicable to their breed by referring to our Breeds A to Z, or by checking with their local breed club. It is advisable to speak to your dog’s breeder prior to mating to see if there are any health concerns in your dog’s pedigree.

There are several health schemes currently in operation to assist in the prevention or control of some diseases. These tests include DNA tests which give a definitive answer on the status of each dog. Where these schemes exist, we strongly recommend that both sire and dam are tested. In the case of a DNA test, we recommend that at least one parent should have tested clear for the particular condition. Read further breeding advice on mating DNA tested dogs.

If you are considering purchasing a stud dog, then our Health Test Results Finder allows you to search for any health results for a dog which is registered on The Kennel Club’s Breed Register, either by its registered name or registration number (or stud book number).


Inbreeding, put simply, is the mating of related individuals – those individuals with common ancestors. High levels of inbreeding can impact the health of individual dogs, as it increases the chances of a dog being at risk for both known and unknown inherited disorders. It could also have an impact on the breed as a whole, e.g. a reduction in litter size and fertility. 

Our online Inbreeding Coefficient calculators can also be used to help you easily avoid mating two related individuals together.

The impact of your dog becoming a popular sire

Popular sires, or male dogs, that are used to produce large numbers of puppies, are one of the biggest contributors to a reduction in genetic diversity, an increase in inbreeding and elevated levels of genetic diseases within a breed.

These dogs are often chosen because they have good characteristics, such as traits associated with good health. Breeders will use these dogs because they wish to improve the breed, but excessive use of any males can be detrimental to the overall population. Learn more about the impact of your dog becoming a popular sire.

Stud dog temperament

Dogs have different dispositions and personalities and when choosing two dogs to mate together, both should both have a good temperament. The temperament of the potential parents will be a good guide to predicting the temperament of any potential puppies. If a dog shows any suspect temperament, such as aggression, then it should not be bred from.


Before the mating occurs, it is important that a detailed written stud dog contract is agreed upon and signed to prevent any future confusion. Ensure that a copy of your signed contracts are filed away in a safe place.

The terms and conditions of a mating do not fall within the jurisdiction of The Kennel Club. It is therefore advisable that any breeding terms or stud fees should be arranged by mutual agreement in writing between the owner of the dog and the owner of the bitch before the mating takes place.

A general guide to creating a stud contract may be found in here


As a general point, if a dog has not previously been used at stud, the owner might charge a nominal fee covering expenses at the very least. Once the dog has been proven (i.e. has produced puppies), the stud fee may be reviewed for any future matings according to the value of the dog as a proven sire and the quality of his progeny.  

A guide to an appropriate stud fee may be obtained from studying online advertisements, as breeders may advertise their dogs for stud. Alternatively you can contact your nearest breed club, who may be able to give you advice on this and any other matters relating to your breed.


You will also need to ensure that your dog’s Kennel Club registration does not carry any breeding restrictions or endorsements. If there are any, before any mating occurs, you will need to discuss this further with the person from whom you obtained the dog, as any breeding restrictions or endorsements will need to be removed before the registration of a litter can take place. In most cases it will be the breeder who has placed the restriction, and they will therefore be the person empowered to remove it.

The Kennel Club Assured Breeders

Although the main responsibilities of the Assured Breeders scheme relate to the dam owner, there are responsibilities such as permanent identification required for the stud dog. Assured breeders are given a high profile through The Kennel Club and advertised on our website all year round. There are a variety of discounts and rewards available for members of the scheme.

Your role as the owner

As the owner there are some key roles you should play in making sure the mating goes smoothly, including: 

  • providing a stud dog contract
  • supervising the actual mating
  • knowing how to handle the bitch to ensure mating
  • ensuring the dogs are safe after they tie and that neither dog is hurt or injured
  • assisting or advising if the bitch shows little interest in mating
  • being available to give advice to the owner of the bitch on whelping or puppy care
  • being willing to help with any problems with the puppies, i.e. health issues, rehoming etc.

Selecting a bitch

Using your dog on a bitch that is not well matched may have an impact on the puppies produced and your dog’s reputation. It is your responsibility to ensure that a mating between the two dogs is justified and that a mating will be beneficial to the breed.

When assessing how well matched the bitch is to your dog, you should ask yourself the following questions.
  • Is the bitch old enough to breed?
  • Has she got the appropriate health test and screening scheme results?
  • Is the bitch Kennel Club registered with no endorsements?
  • Have you checked how related the dogs are using the inbreeding coefficient calculators?
  • Has the bitch been bred from before? If so, how many times and were there any complications?
  • Is she generally healthy?
  • Is there any history of health concerns in her pedigree?
  • How have previous matings gone?
  • Is the owner happy with your stud contract?