mom dog cuddling puppies by a dog breeder

How to Become a Dog Breeder

For dog lovers everywhere there’s nothing better than being around dogs and puppies of all shapes and sizes.

Perhaps you’ve thought about becoming a dog breeder, spoiling mom dogs and cuddling puppies with that sweet-smelling puppy breath. Not so fast!

As much as you may love dogs, a dog breeding business isn’t something to jump into lightly.

Like any business, dog breeding has its good and bad points. We’ll cover some important considerations you should make before taking the dive.

Which Breed Is Your Favorite?

Australian Shepherd Dog Breeding Is One of Breeder's Favorite
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Dog breeding is a lifelong learning process. Before making any decisions about a specific dog breed, you should learn all you can before committing. Choose a breed that you really love and are willing to learn about endlessly. 

Your foundation dogs should be as close to the breed standards as possible. You may choose dogs with a competition or show record to ensure they come from a good line. 

We won’t go into each individual breed, that’s some additional homework you’ll have to work out. Successful breeders choose a breed that fits their interests and lifestyle. If you want to breed dogs for quiet, adult households, you may consider a toy breed like a Pomeranian or Chihuahua.

Some breeders choose a breed based on how profitable it is. Some of the most popular breeds include:

  1. Labrador or Golden Retriever
  2. Australian Shepherd
  3. Dachshund
  4. Beagle
  5. French Bulldog
  6. German Shepherd
  7. German Shorthaired Pointer
  8. Poodle
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Welsh Corgi
  11. Yorkie

Some breeders choose to breed a rare or more expensive breed. However, it may take longer to find homes for your puppies. You may choose dogs that don’t shed for clients with allergies.

Cultural and geographic locations should also be a consideration. People that want a purebred puppy like the Great Pyrenees are more likely to live in rural, farm areas.

Apartment dwellers in cities are likely looking for smaller breeds like Dachshunds or Chihuahuas that adapt well to apartment life.

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Also, think about the day-to-day expenses of the breed. Large dogs eat a lot more than toy breeds. Some breeds like poodles require frequent grooming.

Male and female dogs will have expected veterinary costs but there will be expenses that are unexpected. Some breeds like bulldogs usually have caesarian births and special care. Choose your veterinarian before you start your business. A qualified vet is indispensable not only for the care they provide but also for the veterinary advice they can provide.

The veterinary practice should be able to handle difficult births, C-sections, and issues with newborns.

Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst

A Compassionate Breeder Taking Care of a Puppy Dog
Photo by Kayla Farmer on Unsplash

To be a successful and compassionate breeder, you must prepare to care for each dog from birth to placement in its new home until the end of its life.

Some years will be profitable while others won’t. Each litter may not turn out as you anticipate. Your chosen dog breed may not always have healthy puppies. Some local dog clubs may have particular standards for purebred dogs.

There will be many challenges to cope with and if you’re only in it for the money then it’s definitely not the business for you.

Getting Your Ducks in a Row, Aka Starting a Doggy Business

Puppy Dog Breeds
Image by Bharathi Kannan on Unsplash

To start a dog breeding business you need a detailed business plan. You must decide how your business will be run before bringing any dogs home.

You’ll need a plan for how you’ll be acquiring dogs for breeding and how you’ll be selling the puppies. 

Adequate socialization with other pets, people, and other dogs are essential. Dogs should have a safe environment that’s clean and comfortable to be healthy and stress-free. You must also know when dogs can have puppies and other information about the female canine sexual and pregnancy periods.

You have to research the best places to sell puppies online. Set up a website and social media page to establish yourself as a legitimate breeding business. 

Some breeders keep their dogs in their homes for socialization while other dog breeders may have kennels with indoor/outdoor access on their property or own commercial kennels.

However you choose to set up, your kennel should have comfortable sleeping quarters for your dogs and be climate-controlled. 

Necessary Paperwork

You may want to check with a lawyer about the necessary permits. Each area is different. You may need a kennel permit and submit it for inspections.

You will need business insurance or make changes in your homeowner’s insurance, especially if you own a kennel. You’ll also need pet insurance. Coverage for breeding dogs may vary depending on where you live. 

Register your dogs with breed registries like the American Kennel Club (AKC). While some breeders transfer breed registration to new breeders, paperwork must be filed for all future litters. 

You must have financing for your business and take into account care, feeding, and veterinary costs. You’ll have to make quarterly payments to the IRS so all expenses must be accounted for. 

You’ll need a legal contract for each dog you sell, drawn up by an attorney. The contract may include a non-breeding clause, a spay/neuter agreement, health guarantees, and a promise to return the dog to you if the new owner can’t keep him. AKC breeders must provide documents to the new owners explaining the sale and conditions.

If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, that’s because it is. Like any startup business, it’ll have a variety of costs and legwork to take care of.

Still undaunted? Then you have a lot more work ahead of you young breeder-in-training! Raising dogs and handling the birthing process is a whole other ballgame that we don’t have the space to cover here. We’ll just cover a few other essentials.

Other Key Points of Starting a Dog Breeding Business

Sleeping Puppies Receiving a Compassionate and Ethical Care from a Dog Breeding Business
Photo by Sophia Kunkel on Unsplash

A responsible dog breeder, as opposed to unethical people who operate puppy mills, may have different ways of handling their business. But the best will follow these general guidelines:

  • Ethical dog breeding means improving breed standards and providing high-quality puppies for their clients. You should be dedicated and have the resources and time to devote to your dog breeding business.
  • The dogs you breed must have compassionate and ethical care, including constructing a kennel and providing quality food and veterinary care for them.
  • It’s your responsibility to make sure your puppies go to good homes and new dog owners have all the support they need. Many dog breeders include a home check before a puppy is sold.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it profitable to breed dogs?

The profitability of a dog breeding business will vary depending on the breed, the size of the litter, and the medical expenses you have. While you can make a decent income working with the dog breeds you love, it’s better if you care more about welcoming new puppies into the world and improving the breed than your profit margins.

2. How much money can you make from dog breeding?

A successful dog breeding business can make more than $50,000 each year. Some may lose money due to complications or breedings that aren’t successful. It’s important to think about the particular breed you want to work with and prepare for potential issues that raising them may entail.

3. What is the most profitable dog to breed?

This will vary from year-to-year and region to region. The most profitable dogs as of this writing are Black or Golden Labs. Check breeds in the AKC top listings for the most up-to-date info.

4. How hard is it to be a dog breeder?

When it comes to raising dogs a lot of work is definitely involved. It’s a business and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if you’re dedicated and willing to learn about the breed, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful litters that go to caring owners.

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