How to begin dog breeding

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are a dog lover, breeding dogs may seem like a logical step. You can do something you enjoy and hopefully make some money at the same time. Dog breeding can be a challenging business that requires proper start-up and adherence to the relevant laws and requirements. If you follow these guidelines, you can start breeding dogs and turn your love of canines into a real business.

Find out the specifics of your state, county and town laws that cover dog breeding. These laws can vary, depending on where you live, and govern such aspects of running a dog breeding business as how many animals you can keep on your property and how they must be cared for and housed. Some states also impose implied warranties on sellers who raise dogs as a business. If you sell a sick dog, you may be held liable for damages, such as his medical bills. Your municipality may also require you to get a business license.

Decide on the type of dog that you wish to breed. You may be interested in more than one breed, but it is best to start off with a single type of dog. You can always expand later if your business is a success. You should know the breed you will be working with because its size, energy level and other characteristics will influence how you prepare the area for your business. You should also choose a popular breed to increase your chances of selling the puppies.

Set up an area for your dog breeding business. If you will be housing the dogs outdoors, you will need to erect a building if you don't already have one and install cages. If you will be keeping the dogs indoors, you need to create proper spaces for the females to whelp and care for their puppies. If you are working with a large breed of dog or one that high strung or requires a great deal of exercise, you must be sure that you have allowed enough space.

Purchase your initial breeding stock. When you are new to dog breeding, it is best to start off with only one or two dogs. You can purchase females and pay another breeder for stud service for your initial litters. Later, if desired, you can purchase your own males or keep a high quality puppy to act as a stud. Work with a trustworthy breeding who can guide you to breeding quality animals. The breeder may also be willing to act as your mentor in setting up your business. Help from an experienced breeder can be invaluable.

Advertise your puppies for sale. Once you have bred your females and they give birth to their first litters, you can advertise the puppies immediately. This will give you more selling time, and the new owners will give you a deposit and pick up their puppies once they are old enough. The older a puppy gets, the more value it loses. If you wait until your pups are weaned and ready to go before you try to find buyers, they may grow quite a bit before you can find someone to purchase them. If they are more than a few months old, you will probably have to give a discount.


You may wish to join the American Kennel Club (AKC). You will most likely be registering your puppies through the AKC, and the club also offers support, information and referrals of potential customers.

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About the Author

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."