Modifying Unruly Breeding Behavior in Stallions

Sue M. McDonnell, PhD, Regina M. Turner, VMD Nancy Kate Diehl, MS, VMD

  • Most stallions can be trained and handled to behave in an orderly, safe manner for in-hand breeding.
  • Unruly stallions are those that are overly aggressive in the breeding shed or that exhibit specific behaviors that make in-hand breeding inefficient or unsafe.
  • Simple behavior modification can be effective in retraining unruly stallions; pharmacologic aids are rarely required.
  • Truly savage stallions should be distinguished from simply unruly stallions: attempting to retrain savage stallions is not recommended.
  • Successful behavior modification involves eliminating undesirable habits without suppressing normal sexual behavior.