Choosing a stud


New Member
I apologize to everyone for not being involved in the forums for quite some time now...

I have made a solid decision to breed my Golden. I am in the process of finding a stud, and I am curious to find out how everyone has gone about their process of choosing a stud for their dog. I have done some online research and found a few good sites that are basically stud classifieds, but I really want to make sure I find the right male. I have bred dogs before, but I've always been in the situation where I have co-owned a dog and had the male selected for me. Can anyone help me get going in the right direction to find the perfect stud for my girl?

Again, sorry for not being involved in so long, but I know this is the one place where I can get GREAT answers to any deep question I have.



Experienced Member
That you even ask this question causes me a little concern. I mean this kindly and out of my love for the breed as you obviously also have. An experienced breeder with a bitch to breed should already be involved in the dog community through showing, training, and competition to have some contacts for potential studs and know the major bloodlines already; not be asking about it.

Do you have all of your OFA/pennHIP, elbows, thyroid, CERF for eyes, and heart exam by a canine cardiologist for your bitch? Have you also had this dog temperament tested or at least CGC? Have you gotten together your pedigree back at least 6 generations (preferably more) and do you know why each dog died, incidences of cancer and other hereditary disease? Who had puppy heart murmurs (did they resolve and what type), cancer, swallowing disorders, thyroid disorders, skin problems, prcd-PRA, bleeding disorders; and all your grades and numbers for testing should be published with your dog's AKC registration. This would also be criteria for a stud dog. Do you know what OFA grade should or should not be bred with your dog for example?

If you co-owned dogs in the past what about connections with them. Active involvement with people that know what studs they already want would be the most valuable source you have. Honestly, and again meant kindly, breeding is not best done by backyard or hobby breeders esp for a breed with so many serious health risks.

If you haven't done that or thought about it then you shouldn't breed. Without all the hereditary big problems tested, graded, and addressed including the history of health of aunties and uncles of your dog's parents you shouldn't breed. No "good" stud owner will consider you without that anyway. If they do, they aren't a great stud that will contribute to the overall bettering of the gene pool and conform to breed standard. To accept anything less in your dog or the stud is to further all the genetic disease that over breeding Goldens has already created. The breed overall has so many problems and their lives are getting shorter because they are being poorly bred for the wrong reasons because of the demand for puppies, desire just to have puppies, and money for puppies. Some of these disorders are very painful and miserable life long issues for the puppies. Profit should not be a primary motive just as the desire to just have puppies should not be.

Why are you breeding? Unless your reason is to reduce hereditary disease, and conform to breed standard I respectfully say don't do it. Breeding is best done by those that understand and are breeding to eliminate genetic disease by very selective breeding and those that breed for temperament. The temperaments of both dogs must be perfect. Are you actively involved in showing or competition and your local/regional Golden clubs. I wouldn't buy a dog from anyone that was not both involved but breeding for the right reasons.

Responsible breeders are prepared to offer a guarantee that if there is a health or behavioral problem, they will always take the puppy back; and insist by contract that in fact if for any reason they owner releases custody of the dog that if must come back to them. Have you thought what kind of temperaments these puppies will have depending on the stud and your dog's temperament? Do you know what types of homes and owners they are right for? The biggest problem with Goldens is that people get them and then treat them like yard ornaments. This is why the Golden rescue I work with is overwhelmed by people surrendering their Goldens with behavior problems. They were NOT in the right homes, these are not perfect family pets and to assume so is a disservice to them.

Goldens are high drive working dogs, they also are not outside dogs because they need to be near their people. If you are not prepared to extensively question the families that would get puppies from you about where the dog will live and sleep, how much time will it spend alone, is there a fenced yard, will the dog be allowed to roam free (never), insist on puppy socialization and obedience classes, sign a spay neuter contract then you aren't guaranteeing a happy place for the puppies or protecting the breed’s health. Unsterilized puppies will most likely produce unwanted offspring and that should never happen.

A high energy field Golden would be very inappropriate for me. A lower energy golden more suited to confirmation training temperament is very appropriate. I can give that type of dog enough daily vigorous training and activity to be happy and thrive. Someone that doesn't plan to exercise or train the dog or be involved in an activity doesn't need a Golden. If I didn't exercise my Goldens enough or left them outside a majority of the time they would not be happy.

Do you have homes already lined up for a number of puppies? A quality breeder with a stud or bitch will not breed unless there is already a demand for the puppies from those parents.

You should also be prepared to have and pay for initial exams and in contract require exams at 2 years (which the owners would pay for) for OFA hips and elbows, thyroid, cardiac, CERF. This in addition to all the preliminaty shots. There is also more of the deadly swallowing disorder being bred which is very irresponsible. That risk should be very actively avoided by selective breeding. See and look at all the genetics you should consider before breeding and should demand in a stud dog. You can always find a stud, but producing healthy puppies should be your sole goal for breeding. If it is anything else then please reconsider.

I love Goldens and have two now and one passed. I certainly think they would have great puppies but I also know I don't have the connections or know-how to temperament test and find perfect homes for a number of puppies. One of my dogs is shy, there is no way she needs to be bred and pass on that propensity to her offspring. The one that passed had cancer so certainly he shouldn’t have been bred. There was nothing in his pedigree that indicated he was at risk but you never know. All of this needs to be considered. I signed spay/neuter contracts for all of my Goldens.

The puppy I have now was bred by an active showing competition breeder. She had all this and more and interviewed me over the phone extensively and called all the trainers I used for the last three years and asked them what temperament I needed in a dog. Her goal was to make sure she placed each puppy in a great home that suited their needs. Each pup was temperament tested and matched by personality to every potential owner/lifestyle/training etc. This should be a lifetime commitment to the health and happiness of these puppies more than anything else. On top of that you should ensure responsible behavior of new owners and ask for a spay neuter contract so you can be sure and not further contribute to the pet overpopulation and health problems caused by irresponsible breeding.

If I were looking for a stud I would want to see all this mirrored in their attitude in evaluating my bitch for breeding too. I say all of this without criticism but out of dedication to to the breed and to dogs. I've rehabbed some horribly traumatized dogs that were neglected and unsocialized. All it takes to make a Golden horribly traumatized is neglect and little socialization.

The world doesn't need any more Goldens when all the rescues are overwhelmed with pure breed Goldens that so badly need homes. There was a waiting list in Texas of over a year for voluntary owner surrenders. Unless there is a demand for these unborn puppies in homes you already know are appropriate you shouldn't breed your dog. I am assuming you don't know all this already or the question would not have been asked. I wish you a long happy life with your Golden beauty. Please keep in mind I have no intention to offend.


Experienced Member
I agree 100% with Snook's post, but if you are still really wanting to breed your golden for the right reasons then I suggest you attend some dog shows. A stud classifed section on the internet most likely does not list good dogs. You can use the internet to do search for some good breeders, but you are going to need to meet them and their dog in person, see how they raise and treat their dogs, and demand to see all the health tests done. Dog shows are a great way to start building those contacts and ask around to see what breeders they recommend and who they warn against. But also keep in mind that the good breeders are most likely not going to want to stud to your bitch unless she is a champion (or at least could be if she showed), has an amazing temperament, possibly has some obedience titles or at least the CGC, and has all of her health tests clear along with a great bloodline herself. Good luck in whatever you decide