It’s true that being a dog breeder is a difficult way to make a living. If you wish to breed dogs, it is to a large degree a labour of love. It may be that you love your pet so much that you want ‘Mini-Me’ versions of it around the house, or that you like the idea of another family being enriched by having a pet with similar looks and personality as yours.
However, if your stud dog or bitch is a prize winning animal, you may be able to turn a profit from any litters that you produce. If you’re planning to launch your own business breeding dogs, here are a couple of useful tips:
Make a decision on keeping dams, sires or even both. By keeping both, you don’t need to draw contracts with another owner, and you’ll never have a race against the clock when it comes to heat cycles.
Learn your chosen breed well. It’s worth speaking to dog show judges for their insights into what makes the perfect example of a breed. You can command a greater fee for pups that adhere to the set standards more closely than those who don’t.
When buying your breeding stock, spend as much as you can afford for a stud dog or dam that embodies the characteristics of a breed that judges look for.
Show your dogs – many people will only buy a puppy from dog breeders who have shown their stock. Also, your pups will be worth far more if their parents are champions.
Selecting a mate is crucial. If your bitch is a little tall for the breed standard, select a stud dog that is closer to the average prescribed height.
Make sure to draw a contract for the terms of mating. It should include a ‘Plan B’ if the bitch does not conceive, and also detail what fee or puppies are due to the sire’s owner.
Last but not least, be sure not to fall foul of the law. As a dog breeder, you can be classed as self-employed. As such, you’ll need to take into consideration any additional costs associated with being self-employed, such as any tax payable with a self-assessment, any accountancy fees payable as a result of completing your accounts and any other expenses. All of the costs will affect your profits from being a dog breeder.