Characteristics to look for in a Stud
In looking for a stud to purchase, do not go over the pedigree in the same way you would if looking for a sire for one litter. In the latter case you would attempt to find a dog with blood lines closely related to the bitch. You would try to find one with dominant characteristics which balanced the weak points of your bitch, while his other characteristics were as similar to hers as possible. If you followed this procedure when purchasing a stud, you would have a hand-picked sire for that one bitch. But keep in mind that you will have other bitches.
Consider, rather, the stud's general characteristics. What qualities does he pass on to his offspring? If he is show type himself, so much the better, but what you are looking for now is not a show dog. What you want is one that can produce show dogs, one that passes on the maximum of good qualities and the minimum of faults. Look over his stud records and learn as much as you can about the different litters he has thrown. Was he consistent in siring good type puppies? Did he pass on his good qualities? Are his faults magnified or diminished in his offspring?
Careful breeding in the case of a stud dog is very important. You not only have to convince yourself that his breeding has been carefully thought out but you must also convince those who consider coming to you for stud service. An occasional good specimen in the pedigree will not be enough. The breeding must be consistent as far back as it can be traced. Since, according to the laws of heredity, a sire is likely to transmit qualities from some obscure ancestor, the pedigree of a good public stud will not stand having the name of a poor-type dog on it.
As is the case with bitches, it is better to buy a stud which is already proved. Then you will have his records which enable you to make a reasonable forecast of what to expect from him in the future. A male puppy will cost a lot less than a proved stud, particularly if the stud has his championship, but you are gambling on the puppy's siring abilities, and you still have to put him through for his championship if you expect other breeders to take sufficient notice of him.
However, a stud is unlike a bitch in one respect. He does not retire from the joys of reproduction at the age of seven. So do not expect to buy an older dog for less money, unless the owner has some very good reason for selling, and if he has, you would be well advised to know what it is. The age of a sire has no effect on the quality of the puppies. If the stud is very old he may not be so potent, but his age has no effect on quality or size of litters. The number of puppies in a litter depends principally on the bitch. Neither does the age of a sire have any effect on the difficulty with which the bitch whelps.