How to Become a Dog Breeder

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

Being a dog breeder is a commitment. You must care about what happens to each dog you breed and be sure a potential owner is willing and able to give the dog the best care and a loving home. In addition, irresponsible breeding practices lead to animal overpopulation as well as to dogs that aren't healthy. Responsible dog breeders are always working toward making breeds stronger and educating communities about issues related to pet ownership, such as immunization and spaying and neutering.

Here's how to become a dog breeder:

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  1. Choose a breed and learn as much as you can about it. Read books and periodicals and do online research.
  2. Talk with other dog breeders to get guidance and advice.
  3. Check your state's laws regarding kennel registration. While most states don't require registration for less than four dogs, naming and registering your kennel with the American Kennel Club (AKC) is a good way to publicize your business.
  4. Consider getting a kennel permit, especially if you plan to keep some of the puppies.
  5. Obtain a female dog of the breed that hasn't been neutered, and make absolutely sure she has no physical problems or defects. These may very well show up in the puppies.
  6. Take your breeder dog to dog shows, like those run by the American Kennel Club, and try to win a championship. This can go a long way in finding a mate for her. But even if she doesn't make the championship, winning a few shows will still boost your chances of finding her a suitable mate. Also, puppies from champions and winners sell for a higher price.
  7. Check out any potential male dog to be sure his breed is authentic and he has no problems or defects. Deal only with an experienced dog breeder, who will know how to introduce the dogs for mating.
  8. Have your dog monitored by a veterinarian during pregnancy. Ask the vet for guidance regarding the pregnancy, birthing method, and care of the puppies.
  9. Make sure you have a place prepared for delivery, with some clean rags, a heating pad, a whelping box and the vet's emergency phone number.
  10. Enjoy the puppies, but not too much -- you're going to be giving them new homes soon enough.

Every step of the way, educate yourself and the people you work with about the responsibilities that come with dog breeding and with pet ownership.

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Originally Published: Apr 28, 2011

Dog Breeder FAQs

Do dog breeders earn a lot?
While breeding dogs can prove to be a profitable venture, it can lead to incurring a few losses here and there. Breaking even might also be challenging in some cases.
What duties does a dog breeder perform?
First off, they ensure that dogs are well-rested and well-fed. They also make sure their dogs remain active. A typical dog breeder will work from home, allowing for close supervision.
Can anyone become a dog breeder?
While this is true, it's entirely different when someone wishes to make a career out of it. Dog breeders shoulder a ton of responsibility in that they need to constantly look after their dogs, and this kind of commitment only comes with hard work fueled by passion.
What is a professional dog breeder?
A professional dog breeder is someone who selects dogs for breeding after carefully factoring in things such as health. There is no mass-production involved. At the heart of the business is the dedication to provide dogs with the utmost care.
Are dog breeders expected to have certifications?
Breeders have certificates from organizations like Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, which subjects dogs to medical examinations in order to identify physical and/or genetic abnormalities.

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