Five Steps to Launch a Dog Breeding Business
Are you ready to breed dogs? Follow this guide to learn how to breed dogs.
- Learn the costs
- Focus on one particular breed
- Locate your business
- Name a legal entity
- Get ready to open your business
Be a Responsible Dog Breeder
Visit the American Kennel Club’s website for recommendations on being a responsible dog breeding business
How to Start a Dog Breeding Business
Although there are many challenges to starting a dog breeding company, it can also be very rewarding. These are some of the easiest aspects of starting a business in this field.
Start a part-time business
Part-time work can be done in a dog breeding business. Owners can start breeding dogs while working another job to test the waters and see if they enjoy it. Then, they can make dog breeding a full-time business.
However, once the puppies have been born, their owner or another family member must be there for several hours daily. It will be difficult to work full-time and take care of the litter during this time.
Some owners might want to start related businesses to supplement the income from their dog breeding business. These businesses could include:
- Dog grooming
- Extended stay or daycare for dogs
- Training and obedience classes for dogs
Although the dog breeding process can be intense once puppies are born, it is possible to find time to manage these related businesses in between litters.
Dog breeders can make steady profits once their business is established. Sometimes, successful breeders sell all the puppies before the litter is born. This helps to reduce expenses and improve cash flow.
Breeders of dogs often make enough money to cover expenses and can easily afford to care for their litters. This gives breeders peace of mind if they truly care about the dogs’ well-being.
The Science of Breeding: Tapping into the Science
Dog breeders often appreciate the science behind breeding dogs. Breeders must pay close attention to what traits they desire for their dogs. The breeder can then focus on finding the right mate to enhance those traits in their puppies.
The dog breeder must also be aware of any genetic defects in their litter and take steps to prevent them from happening again. Breeders who are responsible will not compromise breeding healthy puppies with desirable traits and cut corners on finding the right mates.
How to Start a Dog Breeding Business
Breeding dogs is a difficult business. To do the job right, it takes patience and a lot of time. You also need to communicate well to find customers and keep them satisfied.
The unpredictable nature of working with animals
Dog breeders may find it helpful to see this business similar to an agricultural enterprise. Farmers try to manage as many aspects of their livestock and crops as possible. Nature may have other ideas.
A litter of puppies could have a genetic defect that prevents them from being sold. Even if they are healthy, some puppies may die from serious illnesses. Some puppies may not survive to adulthood. These situations can be extremely difficult to manage.
Even if the owner takes all precautions and looks after the dogs well, it is possible that things don’t go as planned. Dog breeding is not a good choice for people who cannot deal with such setbacks, particularly when it involves dogs and animals.
How to deal with emotions
People who love dogs might think starting a dog breeding company will be great fun. This is true for some breeders.
Some breeders feel it is difficult to sell their puppies after every litter. Breeders become emotionally attached to their puppies. Sometimes, it may be difficult for the breeder to allow a beloved dog to remain pregnant during the entire year.
As we said earlier, accidents involving puppies or their mothers can be very sad.
Dog owners often treat their dogs as family. These people may find it difficult to run a dog breeding company.
It is necessary to keep your home clean.
Dogs can generate significant messes. Although puppies won’t be capable of walking, they can defecate and urinate often. The mother and puppies need to be vaccinated regularly to keep them healthy.
Breeders must remove all traces of odors and soils from areas where potential customers and visitors will visit the puppies. A successful dog breeding business requires cleanliness.
A dog breeding business isn’t for someone who hates cleaning. Even if you can do some cleaning yourself, it may be better to have someone help you or hire you.
Stigmas associated with dog breeding
Dog breeding can be stigmatized because of how some dog breeders treat them. People immediately associate “dog breeding” with cruel puppy mills when they hear the word.
Some people will think that dog breeders are cruel no matter what the circumstances. Be prepared to be criticized.
Some people also believe that dog breeding is unnecessary as many shelter dogs and foster or rescue dogs need to be adopted. These people may wonder why breeders are bringing in more dogs to a world already overpopulated with dogs. These people may be harsher about new breeder of dog breeders.
Breeders believe they can make the industry more popular by being as safe and humane as possible. Some of these criticisms can be offset by maintaining a clean facility, taking care of the dogs’ health, and properly treating them.
Step 1: Learn about the costs
Be prepared to incur ongoing and initial costs when you start a dog breeding company.
The initial costs
A dog breeding business can have high startup costs. The owner must be able to pay the money upfront. This type of business is not suited for leasing a building. Owners can’t rent the female dogs.
The location will be paid for by the breeder.
- Buy a male or female dog for breeding
- You can either pay a stud fee to a male owner or buy a purebred male dog.
- Regular veterinarian visits are necessary to maintain the health of your dog.
- Establish a sterile area for the mother and the puppies to live in after the birth
- You can set up a safe area for your dogs to enjoy the outdoors.
- Install security measures, such as cameras and locks for buildings or gates, to protect the facility.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) will allow breeders to register their businesses. Potential customers will see this as legalization of the operation.
It may be necessary to obtain licenses or permits from the state, county, and local governing bodies depending on where the business is located.
Dogs require food and regular vet care. These costs won’t be significantly higher than a dog that a family has as a pet.
Dogs intended for breeding may be reluctant to travel with their owners to doggie daycares or other similar places. This could lead to the dog getting sick. Some dog care facilities won’t accept spayed or neutered dogs.
The owner might need to hire someone to care for the dogs when he is not there. The animals after a litter of puppies will require constant observation and attention. This can be difficult for just one person to manage.
Dog breeders will also need liability insurance. The insurance policy covers the business if any of the dogs bit someone or if anyone who visits the puppy farm is injured. Workers’ compensation insurance may also be required for large breeders with many employees.
Costs after puppies are born
After puppies are born, vet bills can rise significantly. The person who purchases the puppies should know that a portion of the cost for the dog includes vaccinations and early appointments with a veterinarian.
A dog breeder must register the dogs with American Kennel Club (AKC). It is impossible to charge a premium for puppies without proof of breeder papers. AKC papers will be required for both the male and female parents.
The litter must be registered by the breeder and individual puppies with AKC. Although registration should cost less than $50, expedited registrations can be quite costly.
Step 2: Concentrate on a particular breed
Dog breeders will be more interested in a specific breed of dog. Customers will be more likely to trust a business that is an expert in a particular breed if they are able to identify the breeder.
Breeders may have several breeds in order to be able to appeal to a variety of markets. This can prove to be difficult. Breeders need to be able to understand each breed’s nuances. It is difficult to be an expert on all breeds.
As their business grows, some breeders might add another or third breed. A business that has more than one breed may be financially viable. The owner may be able to hire an employee with the necessary knowledge to gain the required level of knowledge about a particular breed.
Choose a breed you love
Breeders of dogs need to be passionate about the dogs they breed. These dogs will spend a lot of time with their owners, taking care of the puppies and mother before they are adopted.
Avoid small dogs and large dogs if you don’t like their shrill bark or fear of them. The best breeds for owners are those they already know and enjoy being around.
Learn the Benefits of Different Breeds
Customers will pay different prices for different dog breeds. Most breeds will fetch several hundred dollars for a puppy. However, some breeds may be able to fetch a few thousand dollars per pup if they are properly cared for.
Some breeds may have three litters per year while others only have two. Some breeds produce more puppies per litter than others. Some female breeds have longer periods of time in which they can have litters.
Choosing the breed that will bring in the most profits can be difficult, but this often leads to financial disaster. While some breeds are more expensive per puppy than others, they can be harder to sell. The business will most likely fail if the owner doesn’t know much about the breed or doesn’t enjoy this particular type of dog.
Step 3: Find a location for your business
Many breeders of dogs will establish their home outside of the city, in rural areas. The dogs have more space for exercise. In rural areas, the noise of barking dogs at breeding businesses won’t be as disruptive to neighbors as it would in urban locations.
To be as healthy and happy as possible, the dogs need to have access to both indoors as well as outdoors. Protection from the elements and parasites like ticks, fleas and mosquitos is essential.
A place that has temperature control is essential for the puppies. They will need a place with shade and airflow if they are born in summer. They will need a heated area if they are born in the winter.
Dog breeders may choose to buy a rural property with just a few acres and build dog breeding facilities. These buildings must be in good condition. Rural areas can be difficult to avoid pest infestations by rats and mice.
A metal building with a concrete floor is easier to maintain than an old wooden barn with multiple structural problems. A space should be set up that has a whelping area that the owner can lock. As the puppies grow older, the owner must be able expand the space safely and easily.
Step 4: Create a legal entity and a name
Dog breeders often treat their business as a hobby and don’t set up a business structure or name it. This is fine for people who have no plans to expand or grow beyond a few litters each year, or who mainly sell to their friends.
The dog breeder can be more secure if they have a business structure.
Dog breeders will find it beneficial to use a limited liability company (LLC), business structure. This creates a separation between assets and finances of the company and the owner’s personal assets and finances. The owner’s personal assets are not exposed if the business is sued or defaults on a loan.
Each state has its own rules regarding the formation of an LLC. In most states, the entire process will cost less than $100. The LLC owner will also choose a unique name when they create it.
Make sure to choose a name with a related domain name and social media name. It is beneficial to have consistent branding across multiple digital properties. Potential customers will enjoy seeing the puppies on social media and developing excitement about this litter.
Step 5: Get ready to open your business
The final steps for dog breeding business owners are to get the business started will be to close it.
Preparing for Visitors
Visitors to the facility are likely to be interested in the puppies. They want to feel safe that the facility is clean, and that the dogs are being cared for properly.
It is vital that visitors can visit the business and view the puppies. Keep the facility clean and tidy as you can, because people might appear unannounced.
Selling the Puppy
Dog breeding business owners must find a way to advertise their upcoming litters. It’s not uncommon for a breeder to sell all or most of her puppies once he has established himself.
It can be difficult to find a place where you can advertise, but social media can help. There are many social media groups dedicated to certain breeds. These can help you find customers.
After selling puppies, the best way to get new customers is word of mouth. People who bought the puppies might also be interested in purchasing a puppy from the company. They may even reserve a puppy for the next litter. This shows how important it is to provide excellent customer service and breed beautiful, healthy puppies that new families will love.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org