A question a lot of breed fanciers ask is whether or not breeding dogs is profitable. The question may be a nuisance to many but we do want to answer it fairly.
First and foremost, dog breeding can be profitable; but dog breeding can also be loss-making or simply break you even. Obviously, just like with every activity from bee-keeping to aeronautics, the execution matters more than the idea.
Dog breeding is a fulfilling adventure but in itself, dog breeding is a project. How you will do it will define the outcome. It’s on you! How much breeding knowledge have you got? Have you got mentors in your breed to help you out when you’re stuck? Do you have enough passion, patience, and funds to breed healthy dogs?
The right question should be “how can dog breeders make enough money to sustain their activity?” rather than “how much do dog breeders make?”
Different Ways To Profit From Dog Breeding
Here again, just like with any vocation, there are ethical and respectable ways of breedings dogs but also disgusting executions.
These different approaches are split into three categories:
- Spend Less — decrease expenses to ensure a profit
- Breed More — increase the number of transactions
- Breed Better — increase the quality of the bloodline
Each strategy can be executed in nuanced fashion but they are the three main ideas you are facing when you breed dogs with the ambition to make a profit. Most breeders do not necessarily want to make money and are happy with a loss. We aren’t discussing these breeders here.
Breed Better — the good
Surely, this is the mindset every dog breeder should have when wanting to breed dogs. And that is for a profit, or not.
Breeding better dogs means putting your bloodline and each individual dog first:
- care for all your dogs even those you can’t breed
- health check every single dog passing in your kennel
- show your dogs to confirm your hard work
- register your dogs and obey the breed standard
- use the right breeding strategies to reach your breeding goals
- document your journey on a blog and social media accounts
- promote your breed and get involved in online and offline communities
- study canine genetics and heredity to leave little room to luck
No breeder is perfect. As a passionate breeder, you may follow some of these guidelines while being more liberal with others.
The overall message is clear; put in the time, money and effort it takes to produce the best dogs possible. Promote your kennel through dog shows. Build a solid reputation online while transparently documenting your daily kennel work. And eventually, sell your dogs for a higher value than other specimens within the breed.
However, don’t get me wrong because this is the hardest mindset to have. Indeed, it takes a lot of hard work, a good amount of money, and a solid patience to then after very long months or years yield the fruits.
Breed More — the bad
Dog breeders who follow this mindset are usually the ones who don’t have enough knowledge and patience to improve their breed. They have a short-sighted vision of dog breeding.
Weirdly, those who breed more usually start with superb intentions. They learn enough to get started with their kennel, they enjoy promoting their kennel name and seem very involved with their breed.
Then, it’s time to health-check, register and care daily for their dogs. All of this comes with a non-negligible price tag and it is rather shocking news to them: dog breeding means spending money.
After some time, these seemingly passionate owners will have their first or second litter. Each puppy is sold, and the money received is covering the expenses and they even have some left.
Now comes a dilemma: breed better or breed often? Breeding better is hard-work. For most people with a job, it is too much to bear. The easier path is to simply have more dogs or use the breeding bitches more often. The more litters, the more money.
Obviously, a bitch needs to rest her body after each litter and she should not be bred back to back. Ever. Having whelps at home is always a wonderful time but puppies are not some sort of commodity. With so many litters, very little care is given to both parties, the mother and the puppies.
Simply challenge yourself to breed less and charge more.
Spend Less — the ugly
The worst breeders of all; often referred to as puppy farmers, puppy mills and unethical breeders. With them, the mindset is clear and consists of cutting corners in quality in order to spend less money and maximize the margins.
How does this translate in practice? Well, greedy breeders tend to…
- keep vet visits close to zero and enjoy “homemade remedies”
- do very few or no health checks at all
- poor hygiene to save money on kennel keeping
- bitches bred back to back to maximize revenue
- no registration to avoid fees
Some of these disgusting breeders are sometimes tempted to use deceiving papers and promises in order to justify a big price tag. A lot of these breeders are using pet shops, online classifieds and social medias to sell their dogs.
Because of the power of social media, some of them even use these to make their kennel look prettier than it is. That way, people are willing to pay big money for dogs they think are of high quality.
Spending less on your breeding stock means hurting the dogs and the breed. It’s morally wrong and often borderline with your country or your state’s dog breeding laws.
What Should I Do To Profit From Breeding Dogs?
Remember, you are dealing with live beings who feel pain and need love. As a dog breeder, you have legal and moral responsibilities of caring for your breeding stock like you would for your own children.
Let’s not be delusional and ask each breeder to be a perfect parent. Mistakes make us learn and we should strive for continuous improvement through education.
However, you should never put money and profits before your dogs’ well-being and health. First, make sure each and every dog you own is properly looked after. Then, study your breed and design a realistic dog breeding program. Finally, promote your dogs and your kennel to then build a solid reputation.
Once you are focusing on quality, your dogs will sell for way more than most other puppies.
Breed less and care more. And pay your taxes.