Many people love dogs and think that breeding them would be a fun and profitable hobby. Unfortunately, responsible dog breeding is often an expensive and time-consuming endeavor with no guarantee of financial gain. In this blog post, we'll explore the costs and risks associated with starting a dog breeding business.
How to Get Started in Dog Breeding
There are a few things that you need to do in order to get started in dog breeding. First, you'll need to choose the right breed of dog. You'll want to select a breed that is popular and in demand. Some popular breeds include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. Once you've selected a breed, you'll need to find a stud (male) dog and a dam (female) dog. You should always purchase breeding quality dogs from a responsible breeder.
Breeding dogs should NEVER be purchased from sources with unknown history, such as off Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Ideally, you'll find a breeder who is willing to mentor you.
If anyone tells you it's ok to get a dog from craigslist or a rescue for breeding purposes, run fast in the other direction.
The next step is to find a vet who can help you with the whelping process (giving birth). It's important to find a board certified reproductive vet. Finally, you'll need to find homes for the puppies.
You'll also need to check with your state, county, and municipality to see if there are any licensing or other requirements.
Education is critical. Find a mentor if you can. And be sure to invest in education. If you want to be a responsible breeder, you have a lot to learn. Check out the Midwoofery courses as a good starting place.
The Costs of Breeding Dogs
There are a number of costs associated with breeding dogs, including:
The cost of purchasing or renting a facility to house the dogs
The cost of food, bedding, toys, and other supplies for the dogs
The cost of veterinary care, including vaccinations, routine check-ups, and emergency care
The cost of hiring staff to care for the dogs
The cost of marketing your business
Business expenses, such as an attorney and accountant
In addition to these direct costs, there is also the opportunity cost of your time. Breeding dogs is a full-time job and requires around-the-clock care. If you are not able to commit the necessary time to caring for your dogs, it is not advisable to start a breeding business.
The Risks of Breeding Dogs
There are also a number of risks associated with breeding dogs, including:
The risk that your dogs will not be healthy and will require expensive medical care
The risk of purchasing or raising a breeding dog prospect and finding out they are not breeding quality and not fit to breed
The risk that your dogs will not be popular with potential buyers
The risk that you will not be able to find homes for all of the puppies you produce
The risk that you will not make enough money to cover your costs
Before starting a dog breeding business, it is important to be aware of these risks and to have a plan in place for how you will deal with them. For example, you may want to purchase insurance for your dogs in case they need medical care. You may also want to consider partnering with another breeder who has complementary skills or who can help you market your puppies.
Midwoofery offers a course in pricing and value for breeding programs and I recommend this highly for anyone considering breeding or for experience breeders who want to ensure they are pricing their puppies appropriately. There are dangers in both over pricing and underpricing puppies.
Cash flow and dog breeding
Cash flow is a huge problem for dog breeders. We spend a lot of money investing in our dogs and programs before breeding, we have no idea whether any given breeding will actually result in a pregnancy, and we can have spaced of time with no income and a lot of expenses between litters. I offer a free strategy session if you are interested in learning how to add companion businesses to your breeding program. You can book yours here.
Starting a dog breeding business can be costly and risky. However, if you are willing to invest the necessary time and money, it can also be a rewarding experience. If you are thinking about starting a dog breeding business, we recommend doing your research beforehand so that you know what to expect. Good luck!