Fri, 03/29/2024 - 9:51am

Question of the Week

When your dog is used at stud, do you charge a stud fee, or take a pick puppy of your choice?


Cheryl A. Cates

Exeter, California

A lifetime in Boxers, with my parents under the Notelrac prefix (1964-1979) and my own, Encore, since then. I've taken two stud puppies back in that time. So much to consider, mostly the pedigree, as the quality of the bitch and her health testing have been confirmed by virtue of the fact the breeding was approved. Will the blood lines meld with my program? 
On the flip side, I do not recommend people offer stud puppies, nor do I. Why give up the potential best puppy in your litter? I do see it done with some regularity. In my breed, a puppy is worth more than a stud fee; seems to be the motivation sometimes.


Laura Coomes 

Ocala, Florida

I pay the stud fee and they can buy first option back after my choice. The stud fees are cheaper than the sale of a puppy.


Anney Doucette

Lecanto, Florida

Over the years I have taken four stud-fee puppies. Each time, I knew I would take a puppy from the time we did the breeding. Each time, the male puppy most favored its dam! But the dams were are all wonderful dogs. I have my fourth-generation stud dog lying at my feet now, 13 weeks old. I owned his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. 

I would never take a stud fee puppy just to "grow out" or — even worse — with the plan to re-sell it. You owe it to the breeder to bring out the best in the stud-fee puppy you keep. 


Susan Shephard

Deltona, Florida

I take a fee but ask for first right of refusal for any puppy the breeder is not retaining.  


Iva Kimmelman 

Stow, Massachusetts 

When I do allow the use of one my dogs, I charge a stud fee at time of service. 

If I love the litter, I can always buy one.

And I have. 


Barb Ewing

Las Vegas, New Mexico

I've used both agreements, and there is a third. Stud owner gets the option of buying a puppy for the amount of the stud fee. That way stud owner is not obligated to take a puppy if they don't like one. Bitch owner is not obligated to give the stud owner first pick. 


Jay Phinizy

Acworth, New Hampshire

Well, we're not greedy. If Elin or I like the breeding, there is quality and know the breeder, I would prefer a stud puppy — even second pick.


Kate McMillan

Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada

Always a stud fee. Asking the bitch owner (who bears all the risks and burdens of raising the litter) to surrender their best puppy is contrary to breed preservation, and more than a little bit greedy.


Lilian Barber

Menifee, California

I’ve aged out of the breeding and showing field, but when I was doing it (about 50 years worth) it depended on what I knew about the owner of the bitch they wanted to breed to my male. In some cases, I (politely, if possible) turned down the request completely.


Pat Rock

Providence Forge, Virginia

In a breed with small litters (typically five or fewer), I never would take pick puppy. The bitch owner puts in the time to plan and raise the litter, and I would never take their choice away. I would only take second pick. Typically the price of a pet puppy is quite a bit higher than a stud fee anyway, so most bitch owners prefer to pay the fee. 

I charge a "breeding fee," which is basically a non-refundable down payment on the stud fee, the balance due when a living litter of at least two is a week old.


Katie Campbell

Seattle, Washington

Every breeder should have a well-thought-out plan, including having studied pedigrees and those individuals within those pedigrees. When my dog is asked to be used at stud by another breeder, I ask that breeder to share their plan with me to confirm that my stud can potentially pass on what they want. If I don’t agree that their goals can be reached by using my dog, then I send them elsewhere. After all that analysis, if the plan proofs out with the litter sired by my dog, I don’t feel that it is ethical for me to take the first selection, “pick” puppy from the litter. Imagining and finding a stud dog is a significant element of the art of breeding. I wouldn’t take that “brainchild” puppy from another breeder as compensation for having sired the whole litter — I just wouldn’t do that. We don’t develop or support fellow breeders that way. When asked to use my dogs at stud (if I can use the assets of the bitch without much fear of adopting her liabilities), I tell the breeder, ‘You take your pick of any one puppy from the entire litter, and I reserve the opportunity to take the next selection; I will choose to either take that puppy OR the agreed-upon stud fee — which will equal the sales price of that particular puppy.”


Becca Weber

Neenah, Wisconsin

I’ve always felt that if I’m going to produce a litter, whether by breeding a bitch or allowing a stud dog to be used, I would only do so if I was going to keep a puppy.  I have to be confident in the breeding to feel that owning one could be a valuable asset to our breeding program. Now that I’m getting older, I do not have the capacity to care for as many Briards as I used to be able to. Yet not breeding, or not allowing a stud dog to be used because I can’t/won’t keep a puppy, seems counter productive when it comes to protecting our breed.  As a preservation breeder, I’ve even gone so far as to “loan” a breeding on my bitch to another breeder, rather than pass on what is likely the last opportunity to breed a bitch who has produced well in the past. 

In our case, it’s never been about the money, but rather about the breeding, so I guess my answer to whether or not to charge a fee or keep a puppy would depend on the timing and on who was asking to use them.


Diana Smiley

Santa Rosa, California

If I am using my dog for stud, I ask for a stud fee or a second-pick puppy.

I leave it up to the female owner.


Joy Nachmias

Conestoga, Pennsylvania

Had I known then what I know now, always pay the fee and buy the puppy. The only personal exception to that rule is an opportunity that arises after years of mutual breeding and respect that was successful and with no negative outcomes. I have been an owner/breeder/handler for 35 years.


Linda M. Robison 

Pompano Beach, Florida

Since I don’t put my dogs out to stud often and have to love the bitch, always chose pick.


Georgia Hymmen

Ferndale, Washington

My first litter I did a puppy-back agreement in lieu of stud fee. I was young, money was tight, and I thought this might be the easiest way to go. The stud-dog owner was a very successful and well-known breeder. I was very excited about the litter.

Time came for her to pick her puppy. When she came in, I told her that I really would like to keep a particular puppy. She apparently heeded what I said, and chose a different one. I was elated.

Later that day, she called me and told me she changed her mind, that she was indeed doing to take the puppy I wanted to keep. I was devastated, but the deal was she got to pick a puppy, so I had no option but to let her take the one I wanted.

That was almost 50 years ago, and to this day I remember that. Never since then have I done a puppy-back agreement.



© Dog News. This article may not be reposted, reprinted, rewritten, excerpted or otherwise duplicated in any medium without the express written permission of the publisher.

Stay Connected

YES! Send me Dog News' free newsletter!