You may love your dog so much that you wish there could be more of them in the world. That is one reason to think about becoming a dog breeder. However, it’s not quite as simple as letting your dogs have puppies. In this post, we go through things you need to work on so you understand how to start a dog breeding business.
Understand the finances
The first question you should ask yourself when you first think of starting a dog breeding business is ‘What will it cost?’
Businesses cost money. They cost money to start. They cost money to run. This is why understanding the costs involved is the first step in starting up a business. You will need to do some solid research to understand exactly what a dog breeding business may cost you.
I suggest you could begin by speaking to established breeders. They’ll give you a good idea of what running a dog breeding business entails and how much things may cost. Even if you don’t get specific advice about starting the business, you’ll get a very solid picture of where you are heading.
Start there and work backwards. You’ll be able to work out what you need right at the beginning in order to get where they are now.
The most obvious start-up cost of a dog breeding business is the dogs. It may seem a bit strange, but they are only one factor in many. You also need to think about housing them, feeding them, vet’s bills and the like.
When you know what you need, you can get an idea of the costs. Then, you are in a position to work out a budget, and to look for funding if you can.
Seek additional funding
The most obvious place to look for funding is a bank. In fact, there are banks that offer special loans and preferential rates for start-up businesses. This can be a very attractive option. On the other hand, you may opt for a personal loan, especially if you are starting the business as a sole proprietor from your backyard.
There are other financial institutions that also offer loans. You may also find an organization specifically set up to offer support for small businesses.
It is essential that you have a strong business plan when you go and look for funding.
Create a business plan
You can’t start a successful business without a business plan. If you try to, there will come a time when you are likely to fall down, because you haven’t thought through and mapped out everything you need and how you are planning to get there.
Don’t leave things to chance. Solid research and a detailed business plan are your best bet when you’re working on how to start a dog breeding business.
Breeding, of course, takes time, so you’ll need a projection of costs, profits and the like. This must all feature in the business plan. The more details you can put into it, the better the picture will be and the stronger the path to success.
Understand dog breeding
Just because you own dogs, or may have brought a litter of puppies into this world and watched them grow, it doesn’t mean you understand dog breeding. This is also something you will need to research.
Read everything you can about dog breeding. Speak to as many breeders as you can, and to their clients.
As a dog breeder, you will need either to find two well-bred, good dogs of your breed of preference. They will have to be housed and allowed to mate at the appropriate time. If you don’t want the expense of two dogs, you’ll keep a female. That means you’ll need to buy sperm for artificial insemination, or pay for the services of a male dog of the same species.
Of course, you’ll need to consult the veterinarian during the whole process of mating and while the female is pregnant.
These are just some of the details of the process of breeding dogs you’ll need to understand. The more research you do, the better you’ll understand the role of the breeder. This will all give you a strong background against which to start your dog breeding business.
Choose a particular breed of dog
If you are serious about dog breeding and want to start a business that will be successful, concentrate on one breed of dog. It may be a case of your favorite dog breed, or one that you’ve come to own recently. It may also be a breed you have developed an interest in.
You need to make sure you are thoroughly familiar with the breed, the habits of the dogs and their needs. If you don’t begin with a preference, I suggest researching a few breeds to find out which may fit best with your interests, temperament and situation.
I do strongly suggest, though, choosing to breed a type of dog that you know, from having kept them. Each breed of dog has its own quirks. The better you know the breed, the better you’ll know these and how to work with them.
Obtain the correct permits
Most cities and towns require you to have a license or permit for multiple dogs. You may need to have a special permit if you are breeding dogs, even if you are officially running a business.
The last thing you want to have happen is that you are fined or punished for keeping multiple dogs, for running an illegal business or for any other infringement. To avoid this, make sure you obtain the necessary permits or licenses for running a dog breeding business.
Understand your customer
People usually buy dogs from dog breeders because they are looking for dogs with strong bloodlines that will be healthy and strong. Some customers may want to breed themselves, so the dog’s pedigree is very important. Others may be looking for a dog whose history they will know, to be reassured of the dog’s health and strength. Then there are people who just want a quality dog that will be well-behaved.
You should decide on the kind of customer you are catering to. Understanding them and their needs will help you to focus your dog breeding business. It will also help you to shape the nature of your business.
Find the correct premises
You can’t just begin a dog breeding business without considering the space. You will need to be able to house the dogs properly, to look after them and give them space to run. You’ll also need to keep the male and female separate, and possibly have a special place, under shelter, for the pregnant female.
Then, you’ll need a place for the puppies.
Of course, the food must be kept somewhere, as must the dogs’ bedding, leads and any other necessary equipment.
When you consider all of these things you will need for the dog breeding business, it’s clear you’ll have to find a premises that is suitable. I suggest contacting an agent and giving them the specifics of what you need. They will then be able to suggest some places to look at.
Equip the space
When you have found the perfect premises, you’ll be ready to fill it with everything you need. This means going out and buying the fencing to make dog runs (if necessary), dog food, dog beds and everything else.
You will, of course, also have to get the dog/s. I do suggest, though, that you only bring the dogs in when the whole space is ready for them. Think about the dogs as being the stars of the show. They can only come on when the stage is set.
Market your business
Dog breeding caters to a very specific market. You’ll need to make sure your target customers know about you. I don’t suggest going out and handing out flyers everywhere about your business. Rather, target your customers very carefully. Advertise in pet magazines, put up posters at the pet shop or veterinarian’s offices, or hand out flyers at a dog show.
Marketing is really the last step in understanding how to start a dog breeding business.