Stud Dog Management

Slade Veterinary Hospital offers comprehensive stud dog management services, including breeding soundness exams, semen collection and evaluation, shipping, and more.

Stud Dog Management

Male Breeding Soundness Exam

We offer comprehensive breeding soundness examinations for your stud dogs. This includes a complete physical examination with special attention to the testicles, penis, and prostate, as well as a complete semen evaluation. We review your male’s prior breeding history, including litters produced and bitches that were missed. Additional testing may include baseline labwork, prostatic and testicular ultrasounds, cultures, and genetic testing.

For questions related to breeding soundness exams, please speak to one of our technicians.

Semen Collection and Evaluation

The manual collection of semen is a vital component of evaluating your stud dog. The libido of your dog and the quality of the semen sample is improved by the presence of a teaser bitch. You may bring your own teaser or we can provide one for him. We separately collect the different fractions of the ejaculate and utilize a computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) machine for thorough evaluation. Our phase contrast microscope and CASA software are state-of-the-art and incredibly precise, providing you with the most detailed information. You will receive a detailed report of your stud dog’s semen analysis.

Your male’s semen quality should be evaluated in the month prior to an expected breeding. If he is used frequently, he should be manually collected and evaluated every six months, or any time a breeding does not take.

Options for Semen

Fresh semen We collect your male, add semen extenders to enhance the motility and lifespan of the ejaculate, and use the sample for breeding immediately with a bitch.
Fresh-chilled semen This method of collecting semen—adding extender and slowly cooling and packaging the specimen for shipment—has made long-distance breeding possible. The stud dog is manually collected at our office when the owner of the bitch notifies you that their female has reached her fertile period. With fresh-chilled semen, it is the semen, not the bitch, that does the traveling. We can arrange overnight shipment within the continental United States Monday through Saturday. We recommend that stud dog owners have their dog’s semen checked for its ability to withstand the chilling process. Please see semen shipping (below) for more information.
Frozen The purpose of freezing your dog’s semen is to ensure his breeding availability. Frozen semen is used when a dog is no longer fertile, deceased, or unavailable due to a scheduling conflict. Please see semen cryopreservation (freezing) below for more information.

Semen Cryopreservation (Freezing)

We have been freezing semen since the early 1990s. We offer semen freezing monthly although we can make special arrangements if needed to mitigate scheduling conflicts.

Consider freezing your dog’s semen to:
  • Preserve his genetics for your own future breeding program
  • Provide stud service when your dog is not available (show/trial schedules, injury, illness)
  • Use as a backup for breeding involving winter shipping or difficult travel
  • Use for international breeding (Please contact us in advance for individual export regulations.)

The ideal time to collect your dog’s semen for freezing is when he is between two and five years of age. The semen of older dogs may be successfully frozen, but often, it is more sensitive to the extreme temperature changes in the process. We have successfully produced hundreds of puppies from frozen semen, many from semen frozen 20 or more years ago!!

How do I schedule an appointment?

Our freeze dates are available one to two months ahead to allow planning.

  1. You may contact us at 508-875-7086 to speak with our freezing technician, Kirsten, or one of our receptionists. You may also schedule an appointment via text or by emailing
  2. Once your appointment is scheduled, the reproductive technician will forward you the necessary paperwork that you will need to complete prior to your appointment. In addition, please bring or forward the following:
    • AKC registration
    • A copy of current rabies vaccine certificate
    • A negative brucellosis test (if not done here).
  3. Please arrive 15-20 minutes in advance to complete paperwork and run a brucellosis test, if necessary.

How do you know if the semen is good enough to freeze?

Immediately after collection, the semen is fully evaluated. We tell you if the concentration and motility are sufficient to continue the freezing process. Good quality semen at the time of collection is essential to ensure good semen at the time of thaw and insemination. The sample is then extended with buffers that protect the sperm cells during the controlled temperature drop over four hours to -196 C. The semen is packaged into straws. The number of straws to be stored is determined by the initial sperm count. One frozen straw from your dog’s collection is thawed and examined for post-thaw motility and quality.

If your dog has not been collected in the last 6 to 12 months, we do recommend a collection and evaluation appointment prior to the freeze date to assess the quality.

When do I know the results?

At the end of the day, we will call to inform you of the number of straws stored, the post-thaw motility, and the number of breedings available from the collection. We will also email you a detailed copy of the final report.

Where is the semen stored?

After your dog’s semen is collected and frozen, it is safely stored here until it is shipped to Kansas City, MO, where Zoetis Inc. maintains the largest canine semen storage bank in the world. We will help establish an account for your stud dog through Zoetis’s online portal system. Once this account is established, Zoetis will contact you regarding pricing and long-term storage information. When your semen is needed, you call them to arrange for your stored semen to be shipped to the inseminating veterinarian.

Semen Shipping

We can help you with overnight semen shipment within the continental United States Monday through Saturday. We ask that you let us know when there is a breeding planned so that we can make certain that we reserve time for your stud dog. He will need a current (within 6 months) negative Brucellosis test which we can help you with if needed.

If your stud’s semen has not been chilled before, we do recommend a pre-shipment evaluation and chill check test, although this is not required. The “chill check” is done by collecting the dog’s semen and putting it through the same chilling process as if it were being shipped. We evaluate its quality every 12 hours for 48 hours. This process enables us to determine if overnight shipping is adequate or if same-day service is required.

Please fill out our chilled semen shipment form so we have all the information in advance. You may also contact our office to speak with our staff.

International semen shipments require significant planning due to strict regulations. It is the client’s responsibility to research specific destination country regulations. Please contact a staff member to discuss further. You and our reproductive liaisons will need to work together to make certain that all of the regulatory requirements are met for international shipments.

Brucella Testing

Canine brucellosis is a highly contagious infection caused by the bacteria Brucella canis. Infected dogs develop problems including infertility, spontaneous abortions, stillborn puppies, and systemic illness. Treatment is incredibly difficult and often results in euthanasia. This disease is also zoonotic, which means it can also be spread to people. Due to these concerns, we require negative brucellosis testing on all dogs and bitches every 6 months. This test can be run by most veterinary laboratories, although we do offer in-house testing if necessary.