Before you start your adventure
Dog breeding can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It can be more of a lifestyle than a job or hobby at times and requires more money, time and effort than most would expect going in. Before diving into this experience, there are a few questions you should ask yourself –
- What is the goal of becoming a dog breeder? Is it the money, the opportunity to be your own boss, the chance to meet other breeders or are you simply passionate about dogs?
- Is your favorite dog marketable as a breed? If not are you willing to invest time and energy into other dogs to make your business profitable? Are you willing to compete with others that share your interest in breeding dogs that are currently popular?
- Are you willing to learn about the genetics of your chosen breed? Are you interested in improving it and do you know what disadvantages it has?
- Are you willing to stick with it when the going gets rough? Please remember dogs are beings and not things.
Planning for the dedicated and resolute
So your love for your furbabies is unwavering and you’re determined to be a breeder? Let’s make sure that you do this the right way. Proper planning and research in the initial stages will save you heaps of frustration and heartbreak once you get going.
Get to know your breed
While you needn’t go so far as a full understanding of canine genetics and heredity, knowing the advantages and disadvantages of your chosen breed can go a long way. It will let you know what to look for and avoid when choosing a partner. The goal here should always be to improve the breed when possible. Also, get to know the breed standards of your country’s kennel club or association.
Find a vet you trust
You will be in the business of animal care and even if you weren’t, you love your dogs, so a good vet is a must. This is the person you will trust your dog and their puppies for the life of your pets and business. It’s never a bad idea to request their mobile number in case of an emergency.
Before you begin breeding, make sure your vet gives your chosen dog a thorough examination to include a fecal check. Request a test to determine when your dog is in season and make sure all your vaccinations are up to date as well.
Finding a “stud”
An easy place to start is your vet. Dog shows and local breed clubs are definitely a good idea. Ethical dog breeding is work, but well worth it. The ability to network is a maybe help here. Here are a few good questions to ask –
- What are the dog’s living conditions?
- Is there documentation of the dog’s health?
- How is the dog treated and has he been socialized?
- Are his colors in accordance with kennel standards?
These questions are simple, but can drastically affect the experiences of you and your dog during and after breeding, so ask away! Also, before breeding, make sure to complete a stud contract.
This part is the easiest. Your setup needs to accommodate your dog and her growing puppies while remaining dry and warm. Adjustable walls are also preferable and keep in mind the flooring underneath as that affects temperature. As the puppies grow, accessories like plastic pet feeders become a must. Once you’ve taken all the puppies to the vet and have the needed documentation, you can begin to sell.
The business part
This was mentioned last because the most important part of breeding is caring for the dogs. Part of your networking (time at the dog shows and kennel clubs) and prep should’ve been the setup, at a minimum, of a website and preferably social media way ahead of the time your puppies are born. This is where all your documentation becomes relevant as many breeders aren’t completely honest about their puppies. But, you’ve had all your ducks in a row from the beginning, so, happy selling and enjoy the journey of being a breeder. Congratulations.