Many of us have fantasized about how much fun it would be to raise dogs, and have all those squirmy little puppies around the house during the earliest weeks of their lives. Getting play with the pups when they are the cutest age, seems like an animal-lover’s bliss. However, the reality is, breeding is a lot of administrative work and it is an enormous responsibility.

Cautions About Breeding

  • First of all, it’s expensive. With the insurance, vet bills, vaccinations, food and dog care items, as well as constant supervision required, it is important to note that breeding can be very expensive. If you are thinking of becoming a breeder for the money, you should reconsider the decision.
  • There are many responsibilities, from caring for the dogs and their litters, and making sure they receive all the medical attention they need, and finding the right homes for the dogs.
  • It is a life commitment. You will be under contract to advise those who buy your dogs, and possibly take the puppies back if the owner can no longer care for them.
  • If you plan to breed show dogs, you will potentially participate in dog shows and have to adhere to their strict requirements.

How to Become a Breeder

  • Know your dog breed. Once you have chosen which kind(s) of breed you want to raise, educate yourself about the breed’s traits, behaviors, health concerns, history, training needs, etc. You will need to become an authority on your breed, since people will begin looking to you for advice about the pets they purchase.
  • Know the laws of the land. Be sure that you are legally able to breed dogs in your neighborhood, and that you are abiding under the laws of the city.   If you need a license or permit to do so, then be sure you have obtained one before beginning. (might include a general business license –necessary in many jurisdictions.)
  • Get breeder’s insurance to protect your dogs if there is ever an injury or accidents. You also may be able to receive benefits in the event that your breeding dogs die suddenly.
  • Connect with the national breeding club for your specific dog breeds, or find a breeding mentor should you need one. (Also be prepared to register the litters/lineage of each dog your pets produce.)
  • Select a stud and dam of the right characteristics, traits, and temperament. (Breeders can also opt to arrange a stud service for their dam, if they prefer not to own both the male and the female. If you do this, make sure to attempt breeding only while under contract, so that if the dog doesn’t conceive, you may reserve the right to try again.)
  • Write up a contract between you and any prospective client in the future that may purchase one of your dogs.

Once you have done all the above, you are ready to begin the breeding process! Though it may be a time consuming responsibility, investing in the lives and well-being of dogs is always worth the effort.