Becoming a dog breeder requires a willingness to always be learning something new. Many mistakes are made by new dog breeders. It is our hope that dog breeding for beginners will help you avoid a few of these blunders.
1. Not researching your breed
I really can’t stress this point enough.
Do your due diligence, and research, research, research!
When I say research, I don’t just mean on the internet, although that is part of it.
Take the time to meet as many dogs of your chosen breed as possible.
If you don’t know anyone that owns the dogs you’re interested in, go to some dog shows.
Talk to the breeders about their dogs, meet the dogs, and get a feel for their temperament, and daily needs.
Learn what is considered correct conformation and temperament for the dogs in your breed. And don’t forget to study the breed standard.
This can normally be found on the breed’s parent club website or the AKC’s website. The parent club for each breed creates this standard. I recommend printing this out, because you will be referring to it often.
Find out about grooming requirements, and any health issues within the breed.
In short, become and expert on your breed of choice.
2. Choosing a breed that’s a poor fit
Be completely honest with yourself about your personality and lifestyle.
Are you a couch potato?
Then you probably won’t want to breed Viszlas, a high energy breed.
Do you run 10 miles per day?
Then an English Bulldog may be a little too low key for you.
Do you enjoy spending a great deal of time grooming dogs? If not, then a poodle may not be the best fit for you.
Take these things into consideration when choosing a dog breed for your program.
If you select a breed that fits your lifestyle, you’ll be a lot happier in the long run.
3. Underestimating the cost of breeding
The truth is, breeding dogs is expensive!
Not only will you need to purchase the dogs for your breeding program, but you will incur many other expenses as well. For Example:
- Vaccinations and routine vet care for all your dogs.
- Quality dog and puppy food.
- Cost of health testing your breeding dogs.
- Dog beds, collars, leashes, crates, dishes, toys, and treats.
- Kennel set-up (if needed)
If you plan to show your dogs, or compete in other dog sports, that is another cost to take into consideration.
It’s also wise to have money set aside for emergencies, such as accidents, unforeseen illness, or unexpected cesareans.
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4. Buying a dog on limited registration
If you purchase a dog on a AKC limited registration, you will not have any breeding rights for that dog.
This means that you will not be able to register any puppies from this dog with the AKC.
This is problematic for someone that wants to start a breeding program.
One of the most important aspects of becoming a breeder is building a rock- solid reputation.
This promotes trust from your buyers.
Selling puppies that are not AKC registrable sends the wrong message.
Not only does it make you look unprofessional, but usually results in lower prices for your puppies as well.
Note: Some dogs such as Doodles, may be registered with a kennel club other than the AKC.
5. No marketing strategy
This is one of the most important aspects of dog breeding for beginners.
As a new breeder, you. may be surprised to find out that people aren’t lining up to buy your puppies
since you won’t have any repeat buyers or referrals yet.
How do you plan to sell the puppies you produce?
There are still many things you can do to market yourself and your puppies, but make sure you have a plan well in advance of doing any actual breeding.
6. Not having a mentor
Finding a mentor can help immensely if you have a question or need sound advice.
The breeder that you purchased your dog from may be a good mentor, provided that they are a reputable breeder.
A mentor can be a great source of information when you’re just starting out.
As a new breeder, there is a huge learning curve, but finding a great mentor can make things a little easier.
7. Purchasing a dog that is not of breeding quality
Many new breeders can be tempted to purchase a “cheaper” dog, that is not of breeding quality, and hope to improve it.
This ensures your breeding program starts off at a disadvantage, with undesirable traits, that need to be improved upon, or bred out.
It’s best to purchase the absolute highest quality dog that you can afford, with the traits that you are looking for in your future litters.
This is important since a breeders first priority is to improve the breed.
Is it profitable to breed dogs?
The answer to this question is, that it depends.
Some factors that will affect your profitability are the breed you choose, the number of litters you have per year, and the quality of your dogs.
Many different factors can affect your revenue.
The average salary for dog breeders in the U.S is $40,375 per year according to www.comparably.com.
Is dog breeding hard work?
You bet! Breeding is indeed hard work.
You will be responsible for meeting the needs of all the dogs in your care.
This includes daily feeding, cleaning, and exercising.
Once puppies arrive the workload multiplies.
Puppies require a great deal of time and care.
Puppies are notoriously messy, so a majority of your time will be spent cleaning up after them.
Once the Dam (mother dog) weans the pups, you will be responsible for their meals as well.
Not to mention transporting puppies to the vet for routine check-ups and vaccinations, bathing puppies, and socializing puppies.
As a breeder there will be many times that you will lose a nights sleep helping your bitch (female dog) deliver a litter of puppies.
You may even need to rush to the vet in the middle of the night for emergency services.
Breeding dogs is very rewarding, and having a strong passion for your breeding program will pull you through the hard work and and challenges you encounter.
We hope you have found dog breeding for beginners helpful.
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