If you’re considering starting a dog breeding venture, you may be wondering how to begin. Breeding dogs requires a deep understanding of various fields such as canine genetics, health conditions, and basic hereditary laws.
Additionally, you’ll need to determine the specific type of dog you want to create and plan out how to achieve that. As a responsible dog breeder, it’s important to draw inspiration from established bloodlines and ensure your dogs find suitable homes.
Entering the world of dog breeding demands a significant investment of time, and it’s likely that you’ll initially incur financial losses as you work towards establishing a reputable kennel. However, never compromise on your dog’s well-being or take shortcuts. Remember, dogs are living beings, not mere commodities
1. Design a Breeding Program
A breeding program serves as a helpful tool to guide you in achieving your goals during the breeding process. It allows you to stay organized and on track as a breeder. To begin, clearly define the specific traits you desire and those you wish to avoid in your dogs. It’s important to have a clear vision of the type of dog you want to produce.
Instead of setting generic and abstract goals, focus on measurable and observable characteristics. For instance, aim for a weight-pulling dog with strong shoulders, rather than simply aiming for a “strong dog”. This way, you can evaluate your dogs across generations based on actual metrics.
Avoid setting goals in isolation. Instead, concentrate on the steps needed to attain those goals. Rather than breeding for a faster racing dog, focus on the specific factors that contribute to speed. For example, emphasize longer legs, smaller bodies, and muscular legs.
In this way, you can communicate scientific facts about breeding in a clear and accessible manner to those who may not be familiar with technical terminology.
2. Pick the Founding Breeding Stock
Choosing the founding breeding dogs is crucial as it will inherently set the stage for future generations. It is essentially the base of your program as all other factors will be determined based on what you choose in this stage.
The founding breeding stock are the first dogs you start with and it will represent the start of your bloodline. This means you should find a high-quality male and female. Purchasing a bitch that is around one year old is ideal. Ensure these starting dogs are free of disease and have a relatively positive background in terms of pedigree and a healthy line.
Once you know what you want in your dogs, go ahead and choose those dogs that have proven themselves worthy for your program. These will be the dogs that have shown the qualities that you are looking for and want. Ideally, pick dogs that have a pedigree matching your requirements. The more generations your desired traits have been present, the most likely this is anchored genetically. Likewise, you will know by now the traits you want to avoid, thereby eliminating any dogs that carry those specific qualities.
3. Organize Genetic-Based Breedings
Now is the time to start the breeding process. Most likely, you have either bought a male or a female dog. Now, you need to choose a suitable mate to begin breeding.
This can be done through a stud service or a dam service, depending on the gender of the dog you started with. This new dog will be a perfect match for the one you already have. It’s quite straightforward, really. You have certain goals in mind, and you already own a dog.
The next logical step is to find a partner that possesses the desired traits that your current dog lacks, so that you can breed puppies that align with your breeding plan.
4. Pay Attention to the Feedback Loop
The feedback from people who have been around the puppies born from your breedings is incredibly valuable. This information will help you understand what is working well and get you closer to your goals. Make sure to keep track of all the feedback you receive and use it to make adjustments. One way to do this is by visiting the owners after each litter and seeing how the dogs have grown.
Most dog owners are happy to have breeders visit and observe. If they don’t allow it, that could be a sign of a problem. Pay attention to the traits and characteristics that appear as the dogs mature, especially during their teenage years. This is an important time for their development. Gather as many details as you can to figure out what went wrong and make improvements.
5. Best Places To Learn Dog Breeding
Learn about breeding dogs on all channels available to you. Get out of your comfort zone and attend dog shows even if you feel awkward and introverted. Your kennel will only grow through networking – with prospective buyers, judges, mentors, brands, online influencers, and the likes!
In this day and age of technological advancements, the internet is teeming with helpful sources providing a wealth of information on any subject. Official dog breeding businesses all have their own websites offering assorted goods such as articles, videos, blogs, and even courses in breeding.
Dog breeding websites offer constant updates so they tend to be the best source to learn about dog breeding. Obviously, Breeding Business is the leading source of dog breeding knowledge to guide breeders on their journey. However, AKC and The Kennel Club are highly authoritative platforms as well.
There’s no doubt that someone who has been through the ropes in the world of dog breeding can provide immense support to a new dog breeder. A good mentor will give you advice as well as guide you through each step of your journey. Mentors are those who have not only the experience but the expertise because they have probably been through some challenges themselves and have learned from them.
Finding an actually experienced breeder is the best way to learn and ask questions when you feel stuck or lost and having doubts. Fellow breeders can mentor you about important subjects such as genetics, the nursing, the marketing, and the showing of your dogs.
Getting into dog breeding requires to be at the right places at the right time. This will ensure that breeders meet the people who are going to help them further along in their plans to reach their goals. Dog shows are an arena for dog breeding professionals. Going to a dog show and speaking to the breeders of winning dogs is a great way to learn about the dog breeding business. This gives you the opportunity to talk one on one and exchange contact information. You can also gain information on what judges look for during the competitions to get you prepared. See what these breeders have done right in the past and do a lot of it.
To be successful in the dog breeding world, you must connect with others who are in your field. You need a support system that will be with you through the entire process. Communities are everywhere. You can either have in-person communities where you meet up with people in groups or go to their houses.
Or you can use online communities. Facebook groups and online message boards are easy places to go on and ask questions you may have. There are often debates you can participate in to learn new ways of breeding dogs or new ways of running a kennel.