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Dog Breeding Stands: Definition, Ethics & Considerations (Vet Reviewed)

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

SEAAN Small Adjustable Breeding Stand

Dog Breeding Stands: Definition, Ethics & Considerations (Vet Reviewed)


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

When it comes to the world of dog breeding, there can be a lot of controversy. Are breeders actually ethical, or are they all just running puppy mills? How well are dogs being treated by breeders?

Though they have been used for years, one of the more recent controversies in the world of breeding is breeding stands. There are many contrasting opinions surrounding the use of breeding stands, partially because there’s not a lot of information about them out there. There’s also much arguing over the morality of using one.

We’ll take a deeper dive into dog breeding stands here, so you can see exactly what they are and how they’re used. If you’re considering adopting a new puppy from a breeder, it’s important to understand how dogs are being bred so you can know whether your ethical standards are being met.

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What Is a Dog Breeding Stand?

A dog breeding stand is an object used to restrain a female dog while they are being mated. It typically has a steel frame that can be adjusted to fit the dog’s height, as well as two leather or rubber loops to hold the dog in place around the neck and stomach.

These dog breeding stands have been used by breeders worldwide to make the process of mating easier. The stands are useful because it helps dogs get the process of mating started and if the female dog is a biter, it protects the male dog from being bitten.

The stand restraining the female is part of the controversy that surrounds these objects.

Are There Pros to Using Dog Breeding Stands?

There are a few ways dog breeding stands can be helpful:
  • Stands are weight-bearing. When it comes to the mating process, sometimes dogs aren’t the same size — one dog may be much heavier than the other. If this occurs and the male is heavier, the female dog will be taking on a lot of extra weight during mating. She may even end up trying to sit or lay down during the process, which makes it pretty hard for the male dog to continue what he’s doing. Because of its shape, dog breeding stands can help distribute extra weight. So, the stand bears the weight of the female, who can then hold the weight of the male, meaning she doesn’t try to sit or lay at any point.
  • Stands can make the mating process safer. As we said before, sometimes female dogs will be aggressive and bite. If this is the case, the stand can help protect the male from being bitten.
  • Stands stop the female from running mid-act. Occasionally, when dogs mate, the female attempts to run off, which can end up seriously injuring the male dog. This is because, after penetration, the genitals lock together. If the female runs while this is happening, it could result in a broken penis bone or degloving of the penis for the male, both of which are quite painful.

Is Using Dog Breeding Stands Ethical?

As we mentioned earlier, there is a lot of controversy surrounding dog breeding stands. Here we’ll take a closer look at what the main issues seem to be.

  • How ethical is the use of restrainment? This seems to be the most significant controversy when it comes to dog breeding stands. The stand is used to restrain the female and restraining animals to be mated can be highly upsetting for them. In fact, some critics refer to these stands as “rape stands”.
  • Does restrainment hurt the female? While restrainment doesn’t necessarily hurt the female dog, it is mighty uncomfortable as they can’t move their bodies at all while on the stand.
  • The use of dog breeding stands for females who aren’t ready to mate. Some dog breeders are driven entirely by profits instead of by the love of animals. These breeders will often use dog breeding stands to force a female dog to mate before she’s ready instead of waiting until they are old enough. A reputable breeder will wait until the female is around 2 years old before breeding.


While they may be safe to use in breeding, dog breeding stands do have drawbacks and raise questions of ethics. Whether they are ethical or not depends on the situation they are used in as well as your personal moral compass. For example, stands being used to force females to mate before they are ready purely so a breeder can make more money is quite unethical. But, on the other hand, breeding stands can be helpful when there are weight or height differences in dogs or if the female is fond of biting. Not all dog breeders will use these stands, but you may want to ask any breeders you’re considering adopting from whether they do if it’s an issue that concerns you.

Featured Image Credit: Amazon

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