How to Start a Dog Breeding Business

Choose a breed you are passionate about for your breeding business.
Choose a breed you are passionate about for your breeding business. (Image: white puppy image by Andrejs Pidjass from <a href=''></a>)

Before you start a dog breeding business, you should already have a significant amount of knowledge about dogs and especially the breed in which you want to specialize. Breeding dogs takes hard work and commitment, so it may not be for everyone.

Research your breed standards. This is the official guide by which dogs are judged at dog shows, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Breeders should be expert in the breeds they produce and sell. Refresh your knowledge on the history of the breed and any commonly-found health or behavioral problems. One of your goals should be to improve the breed with every litter. It may help to become involved with dog clubs, attend shows and talk to other breeders to increase your knowledge.

Keep excellent records. Many owners will not buy a dog without registration papers (such as with the AKC or Canadian Kennel Club). Sell your puppies with papers. Your female and male adult dogs should have them too. In addition, create a purchase agreement. This will clearly state what is expected from the breeder (seller) and the buyer; you can also include any health guarantee.

Set up a kennel. You will need an appropriate nursery for the puppies. Also, the whelping box must be dry, very warm and draft-free, according to the AKC. The box should be big enough for the mother to be able to move about freely with sides that will safely contain the puppies.

Select the parents. Some breeders will purchase one or two foundation females and then choose another breeder's sire. Choose a sire that will improve on any of your female dog's flaws. Dogs that have proven show and performance records should help give you a good measure of their abilities and intelligence. Once you have made your selection, your veterinarian can help with the actual procedure. The dam will need routine care during her pregnancy; ask your vet for specifics.

Tips & Warnings

  • As a breeder, how you treat your dogs will reflect on you and affect your reputation. Feed the best dog food you can afford and keep your dogs up-to-date on vaccines and routine health care. Some breeders will give vitamin supplements and also screen for genetic problems. Good breeders don’t rush their puppies out the door. Puppies eight to nine weeks old are at a better age for placement than just-weaned puppies.
  • As cute as the new puppies will be, it is your job as a breeder to remain objective. Puppies will need an honest evaluation of their good and bad points. Place your puppies wisely. Make a house call to potential new owners, if necessary. You want to ensure your puppies have loving, permanent homes.

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