Dog Breeding

How to Start a Dog Breeding Business

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Here are a few basic things to consider when becoming a new dog breeder. Starting and running a successful dog breeding business requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. The business can be rewarding if you have the patience and drive necessary to develop your business gradually and over time. The most common feedback we get from breeders is that it's a lot more work then they expected and that you don't get any "time off." Because you are dealing with live animals you work all weekends, holidays and even when your sick. Think of a breeding program as taking care of children all day.

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Research the Breed of Interest
Research and study in-depth the particular breed of dog in which you have the most interest. Your puppy buyers will ask questions about the breed and you need to be able to answer them confidently. You can learn about your breed through breeding association websites, dog enthusiast sites, and books. Make sure to talk with as many breeders as possible for advice and guidance. Build friendships with other breeders and don't look at them as a threatening competitor. If you can locate a dog breeder who is enthusiastic about mentoring you, learn as much as you can from the interactions.  There are excellent workshops, courses, and seminars nationwide that focus on helping breeders get started.

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Licensing, Insurance and Permits
Research the local regulations and laws by talking with the county clerk's office or the department of licenses and inspections. Most state regulations do not require registration for less than four dogs.

  • Check your local state laws for what's involved in registering kennels, because some may require it.
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  • Typically a kennel permit is necessary if you plan to keep some of the puppies.
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  • Find out if you need a license or permit to legally breed dogs in your area.
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  • If you plan on having the breeding dogs live in your home then you need to find out if your home property is registered for business use. If it isn't, ask how you can get zoning approval to run a business out of your home legally.
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  • It's smart to get a business license in addition to the permit required for operating a breeding business. Most states require a business license and it will also make your puppy buyers feel more comfortable.
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  • Some breeders get breeder's insurance in case their dogs are injured, become ill, or attack another dog or person.

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Purchasing Dogs
Decide whether you will purchase male dogs, female dogs, or both. If you already own both, you won't have to negotiate contracts with other breeders or deal with the shipment of semen for artificial insemination. If you own only male dogs for stud purposes, you will not have the time commitment or monetary responsibility of caring for pregnant females and eventually, her puppies. However, you may enjoy owning females, guiding them through pregnancy and birth, and watching them care for their puppies.

Purchase your dogs by carefully choosing only those that meet breeding standards. This is a written classification of guidelines for a distinct breed of dogs. For instance, mature dogs that are free of health problems and have won championships make excellent picks. If you raise puppies, it's encouraged to compete in shows as they grow. Dogs that win championships are more in demand for breeding.

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Selecting a Mate
If you have to search for and locate a mate, helpful resources include breeding websites, newsletters, and magazines. Choose mates for your dogs carefully and thoughtfully. They should be even-tempered, healthy, and of complementary size. Try to win a championship with your breeder dog at shows such as those managed by the American Kennel Club. Wins can go a long way in finding a mate. Puppies from winners and champions sell for a higher price. Even if she doesn't win the championship, a few show wins will still increase your odds of obtaining a suitable mate for her. When you look for potential male dogs, be sure the breed is authentic and they have no defects or other noticeable problems. Deal only with an experienced dog breeder because she will know how to introduce the dogs for mating.

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Finalize the Stud Contract
Create a breeding or stud contract when you work with other breeders. It should specify the number of puppies each person will receive and how circumstances will be handled, including failure to conceive immediately. It is ideal to agree on the contract terms the stud dog's owner prior to breeding. The agreement regarding stud fees must clearly define all situations and obligations. The owner of the stud dog determines the fee, such as a cash fee or pick of the litter. Most contracts state that the stud dog’s owner does not have to sign an AKC litter registration application until the stud fee is paid.

Breeding a litter of puppies will show you the best bond possible between humans and dogs. It is exciting, rewarding, and at times, can be extremely challenging. It is important to remember that dog breeding can also be a costly and time-consuming experience. Make sure to educate yourself and those who work with you every step along the way about the responsibilities that come with dog breed and pet ownership.

 

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