Choosing Mating Partners for Dogs

Stud dogs are always selected from the best. This may mean nothing more than being currently the most fashionable, but to be among the fashionable always means that the dog has sufficient merit, either as a working dog or as a show dog, to have attracted widespread attention.

It would be unusual for someone's pet dog to become a stud dog, but if a number of fellow enthusiasts ask if they can use your dog, take advice from someone you trust in the breed. Handling mating is a skilled job. If you want to learn, become an apprentice to an expert.

The better, or more fashionable, the stud dog, the higher will be the fee payable for his services. As a guide, the stud fee is likely to be somewhat lower than the price you might expect to get for a puppy. Special arrangements such as "pick of litter" are by no means uncommon. This means the stud dog owner has the right to pick whichever he or she regards as the best puppy from the litter, either in lieu of the fee, or as a consideration for a reduced fee.

However, it is not necessary or even desirable to go to the most fashionable stud dog for your bitch's mating. An experienced breeder will advise on which dog to choose, using the physical appearance and pedigree of your bitch and the available dogs as a guide. Some breeders take more notice of pedigree, others of conformation. Learn about the breed, and decide how close to your ideal each breeder's stock is.


The Kennel Club has the sole responsibility for registration of pedigree dogs in Great Britain. National clubs have the same responsibility in their own countries throughout the world. The American Kennel Club, although not the only registration authority in the United States, reciprocates its registrations with the Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), to which the Australian Kennel Control is federated.

Most Kennel Clubs have reciprocal arrangements, and dogs registered in one country can be re-registered in another if the dog is imported. Official pedigrees are derived from the registration particulars of all purebred dogs that are themselves registered with the Kennel Club. Unless a dog is itself registered, its offspring cannot in turn be registered, except in certain special circumstances. Pedigree records are held for at least four generations, although some breeders will be able to show you much longer ones than that.

Different countries have different criteria for awarding the title of Champion. In the United Kingdom the title is awarded to show dogs and working dogs. Some aspire to, and some achieve, both titles.

To become a Champion in the United Kingdom a show dog must have been awarded three Challenge Certificates under different judges, with at least one of the certificates being awarded after the dog has reached the age of twelve months. Challenge Certificates are awarded to the best dog and bitch in each breed at specified Championship Shows. The term Challenge Certificate derives from the fact that the judge may invite any or all unbeaten dogs from earlier classes to challenge the winner of the open class for the certificate.

The Australian system is identical to that of the United Kingdom, but in the US Championships are gained under a points system with points awarded in different fields: breed, obedience, field and herding.

The qualifications for Champions in working dogs take account of the dog's success in the working trials.

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