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Puppies Or Adult Dogs to Start a Breeding Business?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • When starting a breeding business, consider whether to adopt puppies or adult dogs.
  • Adults are ready to mate immediately, while puppies can be trained to your desired outcome.
  • Ideally, buy young puppies from reputable breeders or proven adult dogs.
  • Starting with adults allows you to assess their quality and find suitable matches for breeding.
  • Starting with puppies allows for a hands-on experience and potential for growth, but requires more time and uncertainty.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Wednesday 21 January 2015
Last updated on
Wednesday 5 July 2023
Adult & Puppy German Shepherd
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Once you decided that you want to go ahead with starting your breeding business, you quickly start to wonder whether you should adopt puppies or adult dogs to start your breeding adventure. While adults are ready to mate almost immediately, puppies can be trained to what they actually want to achieve and may sometimes cost less than an adult who is a champion or well-ranked.

Read below some great advice on why we tend to prefer buying adult dogs as your founding stock but, in some circumstances, puppies may be a better investment.

What Is The Ideal Age To Get Them At?

There is no ideal age as it depends on your breeding program and situation but you should buy your first dogs either as young puppies if they are bred by a very reputable breeder who has consistently delivered great litters, or adults who have proven themselves already.

If you are breeding racing Greyhounds, you could invest in a top fast runner who retired or is getting too old to race: it will be cheaper and will still have the same genes to pass on to its progenies.
Unless you are ready to invest a huge amount of money, you won’t be able to afford a dog at its peak so you should either get one after its peak or before. You need to have the eye, the experience, and the knowledge to spot a dog’s quality before it has proven its worth.

Husky Family
Image from IceTrax under CC2.0

You ideally want to start with quality adults and once you developed your eye for the breed, invest in ideal puppies from reputable bloodlines. This way, you can see what your current dogs are lacking and find the perfect matches who will bring those genes to your line.

Puppies or Adults?

Unless you are a part-time breeder with a trained eye and extremely experienced, you do not want to start by buying 8-week old puppies as your founding breeding stock.

However, be mindful that selling adult dogs is a lot harder unless they are trained working dogs.

Waste of time

Whether you are buying them at 8 weeks or 12, puppies will not be ready for mating right about now so you are losing some valuable time.


Dogs become defined and definite once they are fully grown-up adults. Before then, it is much harder to know how they will develop and whether they have the potential in the characteristics and traits you are after.

Nothing Proven

A puppy has proven nothing, yet. The only clues you get are how successful his ancestors are and how progenies from the same parents are doing if there are any.

Is There Any Advantage In Starting With Puppies?

Of course, if you are breeding for pleasure, you may want to go through the whole process of looking after and caring for your puppies. You can also see how they grow up and evolve throughout the months and years. Especially if you want to compete in shows and rings, you probably want a dog who knows you by heart and vice-versa, so getting puppies is then highly recommended.

Understand that when starting with puppies, you are starting with an almost blank page, the dog has a potential that you hopefully judged before deciding to adopt it, but the potential while uncertain, has to be polished and turned into great achievements. With an adult, you get a mature dog with established traits and characteristics., you know what the adult is able to do and what the adult is good or bad at, and you can immediately start finding complementary partners to start breeding and improving your line.

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