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Breed Dogs for Fun and Profit (Maybe)

Many purebred dog owners love their particular breed so much that the idea of breeding dogs crosses their mind at some point. And even if you're not especially enamored of a particular breed of dog (or other animal, for that matter), the amount of money people get for purebred puppies is eye-opening. (Ever looked at the Pet Classifieds in a major newspaper? Paying $500 or even $1000 for a purebred or even crossbreed puppy with a good pedigree is not uncommon.)

So should YOU become a dog breeder and breed dogs not just for the love of the breed, but for profit, too?

What the Business Involves:
You'll be breeding dogs in other words, selecting a suitable set of purebred parents and raising the resulting puppies. But it's a lot more involved than just getting Missy and Rover together and letting nature take its course; pups that result from THOSE kinds of unions too often wind up at animal shelters.

To breed dogs successfully, you'll be expected to carefully research pedigrees, genetics and have a solid understanding of breed characteristics and potential problems. Not only that, you'll need to provide quality food, medical care and the type of accommodations that lead to the growth of healthy, happy puppies.

Knowledge or Skills Required:
Besides loving the particular dog breed you choose, you need expertise about the breed, attention to detail, room that can be devoted to birthing/raising pups and plenty of time. And remember, you can't breed dogs if you're squeamish about bodily functions of animals, soiled carpets or sleepless nights.

Advantages:

  • If you love the dog breed, it can be very enjoyable to have lots of them around
     

  • High profits are possible (but still not likely) IF you develop a good reputation as a breeder and you offer dog breeds for which there is a demand.
     

  • This IS something you can try on a one-time basis, by breeding your beloved FiFi and seeing how it goes.
     

  • The additional equipment you'll need to breed dogs (such as a whelping box and birthing supplies) isn't too expensive; but of course, you need the basic dog or animal equipment too (quality food, leashes, bowls, et cetera.)

    Disadvantages:

  • Increasingly regulated, both as to state requirements regarding the sale of animals and zoning requirements too (for example, even though I live on 14 acres, my zoning does not allow me to have more than 3 pets.)
     

  • Veterinary care and genetic testing can be very expensive. (Genetic testing? Yes, this is required by some states, to rule out congenital and hereditary disorders; discerning customers will expect such testing too. About $100 per test. The number and kind of genetic tests done on your breed of dog depends on their genetic predisposition for types of disorders.)
     

  • No guarantees in this business! If you want to breed dogs, you have to be comfortable with a certain degree of risk. If the litter is small (common with small breeds of dogs), you've invested a great deal of time, effort and money for little return. If the litter is large, costs are correspondingly higher.
     

  • This is not a business with a steady monthly income, since you don't breed dogs every month. Females should only be bred once a year (so you have the mother's maintenance to consider, too.)
     

  • How will you advertise your pups for sale? While there are inexpensive options such as posting signs in vet's offices, you may need to purchase classified advertising, build a website or travel to fully promote your dog breed.

    Resources for More Information on Breeding Dogs:

  • The American Kennel Club (website www.akc.org) is a treasure trove of information about specific breeds and a good place to locate breed clubs or groups.
     

  • Many pet food and pet product manufacturers offer information (and yes, discounts and samples) for dog breeders. Check out Purina for starters.
     

  • A good basic book is "Breeding Dogs for Dummies", available at Amazon.com

  • Also check out the report, available online, Greatest Dog Breeding Secrets Revealed.

    Comments/Ideas:
    Several variations of this idea are also possible. You might breed cats instead of dogs, for example. Or you could look into the increasing popularity of crossbreeding dogs.

    Related businesses include Breeder Referral Services.