Dog breedings are often successful, with the female carrying a full litter of puppies to term. However, things can certainly go wrong. The female may not be in the right stage of the heat cycle, or the male could be inexperienced and may be unable to get the female pregnant even after given several opportunities to do so.
When you find a stud that you want to breed your female dog with, you want to make sure you get everything in writing. Stud service for dogs is not cheap. Stud fees can range from a couple hundred dollars to upwards of one thousand dollars, so you should have a document that shows what you, as the female’s owner, are entitled to.
What it includes
The contract should include the basics, such as the dogs’ and owners’ names and dates that the breeding occurred. It should also include the owners’ contact information and agreed-upon stud fee.
The stud contract should include all obligations by both parties. It cannot be assumed that the breeding will result in a litter, so the contract must state what will happen in hypothetical situations. For example, what if the female does not become pregnant? Does the owner still pay the entire stud fee? Will the female get a free breeding the next time she is in heat? If so, what if the stud dies or becomes unavailable? What happens if the female attacks the stud? These are all situations that the contract should address.
The contract should discuss the breeding schedule. The dog should be bred multiple times during her stay in order to increase the chances of becoming pregnant. Some stud owners may breed the dogs on the same day the female’s owner brings her and then try again every other day after that.
The devil in the details
Payment is an important matter. Some stud owners will set a price, while others may want pick of the litter. The details and payment schedule should be outlined in the contract. For example, some stud owners ask for a small deposit at the time of the breeding and then request the balance after the puppies are born. If no puppies are born, the female’s owner does not have to pay. Along the same line, the contract should clearly state what constitutes a litter. Typically, it consists of at least two or three puppies.
If the female’s owner refuses to pay, the stud’s owner has the right not to sign the AKC paperwork. Without the stud owner’s signature, the paperwork is invalid, meaning that the puppies cannot be registered. This can affect the breeder’s reputation and lower the price of the puppies.
The female often stays at the stud owner’s house during the breeding process. How long does she stay there? The typical amount of time is 5-7 days. Does the owner get charged additional fees if he or she does not pick up the female in time? Is the stud’s owner in charge of the dog food or does the female’s owner bring it? What if the female gets sick or dies while under the stud owner’s care? Who is liable? These details should be outlined in the stud contract.
The stud owner will also ask for proof of health tests. The contract should clearly state which tests are required and how the information must be presented. For example, some stud owners will only accept test results on a letterhead.
What if the breeding is done through frozen semen? The contract should explain the process and what aspects the stud owner is liable for. If the female requires medications or other special treatment, that should be discussed in the contract.
If all the conditions are satisfactory to both parties, they should both sign and date the contract. Each party should have a copy to refer to in case issues occur.
A sample stud agreement can be found here.