First published in the Autumn Newsletter 2003 and written by Jenny Bird, Hon Secretary
Asked by the Committee to write an article on the ‘ethics’ of stud work, Jenny Bird wrote the following.
We feel it is not desirable to draw up a form of contract to be signed by both dog and bitch owner, but do feel that there are certain guidelines that should be adhered to. I would, firstly ask one question "Why are you mating your bitch?" If the answer is any one of the following, please think again:
It would be good for her·
The children will enjoy it·
We want another Flatcoat·
We need a new stair carpet/cooker etc
Unless your bitch has done well in some sphere ie showing or working, you may find it difficult to sell the 8 or 9 puppies you are not keeping. There are more than enough puppies bred each year to supply the demand and if you are left with unsold 12 and 14-week old puppies, they become very expensive.
The use of a stud dog on a bitch is very much an agreement between the two owners but there are certain criteria that should be fulfilled.
No Flatcoat bitch should be mated before the age of 2, I would suggest that near 3 years is better.
Both dog and bitch should have been x-rayed and scored for hip dysplasia, both should have current eye certificates including gonioscopy. Failure in either department need not necessarily mean that the animals cannot be bred from. Take the dog as a whole, type, temperament, working/show success and seek advice.
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