Is backyard dog breeding profitable?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sunny Side Up, Nov 10, 2009.

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  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Since there's recently been a lively discussion on the possibility of profitability in selling chickens, I now wonder: Is backyard dog breeding a profitable venture?

    Please let's not open up worm-cans about puppy mills and the folks who factory-farm dogs. But I sometimes wonder if I'm dealing with the wrong species when I go to the community bulletin boards to post signs advertising my chickens for sale and see so many other signs advertising dogs for sale, often asking $500-$1000 a pup! And often they're for tiny little dogs, and I'm amazed to think they're getting over $100 a pound for these animals. And none of them will ever lay an egg!

    I know there's a lot of costs involved, dog food costing much more than chicken feed, plus all the shots & shampoos & stuff, and the fact that dogs are limited to the number of litters they can & should have in a year. And you can't hatch dogs by yourself in an incubator. But can people realize a profit in their small-scale home-grown dog breeding? Or must they resort to a factory-farm puppy-mill type of enterprise to make it profitable?

    [​IMG] Just curious here. [​IMG]
  2. Laney

    Laney Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Spring Hope, NC
    I know people who breed dogs in a kind and caring manner. And I can tell you that your whole "seasons" profits, plus your prize female can go up in smoke with one cesarean birth. If everything goes smoothly you can make money at it. But one difficult birth, even without the cesarean can seriously eat up your profits.

    You have to add in the rehoming of your dogs after they have had a certain number of litters or the cost of keeping females you will no longer be breeding. You have the cost of certifications (no eye disease, hip dysplasia, and anything specific to the dog for both the sire and dam).

    Your best bet is to make friends with a backyard dog breeder and see what their costs are.

    You'll have vet costs, feed, registration papers, certifications, advertising. I would check out breed options too. Eliminate breeds that often have difficult births, dogs that have congenital health issues (such as frequent hip dysplasia, sway back etc) You also have to add in the cost of getting good foundation stock. You don't want to skimp on that. You want to purchase them from a reputable breeder. If you purchase a puppy you will have to agree to show them, or let them be shown until finished (they become a champion). You will have to pay the fees for all shows entered.

    Breeders will only sell show quality dogs on a full registration, meaning they don't have to be fixed. If they are not show quality, and or are not shown to finish they will sell it to you on a limited registration and you will have to spay or neuter the dog. Be wary of breeders who do.

    If you decide to look into this further, find yourself a good mentor who can show you the ropes.

  3. BorderKelpie

    BorderKelpie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    outside Dallas
    I tried the dog show/breeding thing. I, too, thought it would be a fun money maker or a paying hobby. Boy, was I ever wrong. My first litter, between health testing the grump, travel fees, and stud fees - over $1000. She had 4 pups. By the time I had raised them to 9 weeks, they had had vaccines, wormings, tails and declaws done. Then there was time in crate and house training (just started, can't get them reliable for months yet), leash training, car trips, socializing, and so on and so on. I sold them for $500 a piece. One had to come back and be rehomed(divorce), one came back to visit for an extended time (divorce) that was 6 months, one is doing extremely well and the last comes to visit me regularly but it breaks my heart because I don't feel he lived up to his potential.
    No, there is no money to be made in properly breeding dogs. It's a fun hobby to do for the love of it, but do not expect a profit. You probably won't break even. Right now, I know a breeder asking $4-600 for her dogs, no one can afford them right now and these are sweet, beautiful poms. I almost wish I could have one. They just aren't selling right now. The people that will care for them properly are not the ones buying right now. They are responsible enough to know when they can't afford to raise one well. Most are being sold to impulse buyers that are planning on breeding them to make their money back.

    (disclaimer: I know not everyone getting a dog or any other pet right now is irresponsible, I just want to point out how hard it is to find homes for dogs - or any companion animal right now.) This is why I spayed my working bred, ABCA registered Border Collie when I really, really wanted to breed her. There just aren't enough good homes out there right now.
    Good luck in whatever you decide. Breeding dogs is fun, but is very hard work, extremly expensive and totally time consuming. (oh, puppy breath smells wonderful, a house filled with puppies does not!!) [​IMG]
    Best wishes!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  4. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    Sorry I just don't agree with any of it. I think breeding your dog once is okay if you have homes and everything for the pups ahead of time, but breeding to sell. I just don't agree with it. I see too many dogs in shelters and such. Plus I just watched "Hotel for Dogs" so I'm already thinking about it and everything.
    *Try Hedgehogs they go for $100 an animal and their fun and different or maybe potbelly pigs or something.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  5. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Dog breeding is only profitable if you're doing it irresponsibly. By skimping on good quality breeding animals, not showing, feeding supermarket dog food, not doing health testing, and skipping out on routine vet care, I'm sure you could see a profit.

    But if you're doing it right, probably not.
  6. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Ask them not to open a can of worms and those opposed to breeding dogs still do it.... Thats one thing i don't get about this forum, is that its okay to breed everything else(horse, chicken, cow, cat rabbit, goat, bird) but you better not ever breed your dog.

    I don't breed dogs, but I can tell you animal breeding of pretty much any kind isn't that profitable. Most people do it for a hobby. Albeit the person that shows, or breeds for family pets. Carefully planned breedings is not being irresponsible. Its just that you aren't going to make much mney at it.
  7. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    We were asked if it can be profitable. The answer is when you do it right it will COST you money. Do it on the cheap and many of YOUR puppies will wind up in shelters or dead on the road because of health or temperament issues. The glut of unwanted animals is appalling. If you think I am exaggerating, just visit your local shelter and visit the overflowing kennels. Then ask yourself if you really want to add to the problem.

    Nowadays there is such an overpopulation of horses that many of them are in shelters too. Cows, chickens, and goats are a different story because we EAT the excess and we love the eggs.


    edited to add the link to a thread that might show some light on this:
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    For many years my parents raised show champion collies and NO, it is NOT profitable at all. With the vet care, show enteries, puppy registration fees, kennel fees, shots, wormings, taking them to U of I for their eye and hip and any other genetic diseases to be verified and tested and documented, it was hobby for my parents. They were NOT looking for making money but the love and dedication of the Collie breed itself. My mother had to learn the hard way when she got two blind puppies from a farmer that called his puppies and parents "normal eyed" but no documentation except from his vet saying that the puppies eyes were fine. Well it didnt and she had to put them down. So she went to a breeder and she showed my parents the ropes and it was very helpful to my parents. This breeder, now passed away, she was a collie breeder for almost 30-40 years before she got too old and can not care for her outside dogs. Her wealth, her experience and her goals and dedication in showing my parents had left us a very lasting impression and wealth of knowledge for us to pass on. Sure we made mistakes in showing and training and breeding collies but we were better prepared the next time around.

    So if you are seriously wanting to do that, start with a reputable breeder, preferrably the one that has alot of years of experience in raising and breeding dogs.
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I breed dogs profitably. I have small dogs, most under ten pounds, none under five. I keep my own males, I do my own shots, worming, grooming, tails, dewclaws, photography, website, advertising. I feed Costco puppy chow and they have healthy skin, eyes, problem free whelping. I have a canine reproductive vet nearby that will do a c-section for under $300 but have not needed one yet.

    Breeding dogs you are tied down 24/7 and if you are tied down, it is more worth you time to have a few more dogs. I have about a dozen, give or take. More than that and it is "too many" for me. Fewer than eight or ten and it is not worth the hassle. Everyone has their magic number that works best for them. It depends on the size and temperament of the dogs, as well as the time and space you have, and your setup, help, and experience. I used to groom for other groomers for years so i was able to choose my dogs from the best of the best of dogs that I already knew what they were, what they produced, temperaments generations back, coat type, patellas, dentition.

    You don't need to show a dog to make money breeding it. You only need to show dogs if you want to sell show dogs. Only a tiny percentage of dogs in this country are show dogs. I breed mostly parti poodles which are a disqualifying fault right there, but I still try to breed to the very best of my ability to the standard. I don't keep my dogs in cages. They are house dogs. I do put them up when I am gone, for their safety, but other than that, they are regular house dogs.

    The answer is yes, you can make a profit. I figure each of my dogs is worth between five to ten thousand dollars over a few years of breeding. You need to be within easy driving distance of a large and lucrative market. There is no better market than southern california. If you live in a small town, two hours from anywhere I wouldn't even THINK of it.

    You need to have quality, genetically and physically healthy dogs, know what you are doing, do your best, keep your dogs healthy, keep the number you can tend to easily, re-home any that you do not have in your breeding program. Letting "extras" pile up around the house will wear you down and just eat you alive and drive you nuts. If you keep your dogs physically and mentally healthy and well groomed and well socialized, they are VERY easy to re-home when the time comes. Your setup will determine your workload to a large degree. Take the time in the beginning to make it easy for the dogs to do right and be happy and safe and you will do right and be happy and safe too.

    By far the most expensive part is getting good dogs for breeding. In the beginning you will find not all the dogs you get are good for breeding, for any reason and you have to just take a complete loss on those and re-home the dog. You can go through this process for a few years before you find what works for you, and get some dogs that are good mothers, no whelping problems, pretty babies, no temperament problems, etc... The male is your most important dog. Spend the most time and effort and keep your standards extremely high on what you use for a male. If he is flawed, ALL your puppies will be flawed just the same. I'm sure this post will make the anti breeders eyes bleed. So be it. You can make a profit. Is it a TON of work and wear you to a frazzle, yes. Will you have a life, no. Will you look your best at all times, no. Will you have some very sad days, yes. Will you have some very happy days, yes. Will you make money? I hope you do. Check with your zoning first to see what the laws are. If you think the chicken laws are nuts, you should see some of the dog laws on the books in some cities.
  10. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    I have a friend that breeds Chinese Crested and Yorki's........... She has done it for awhile. But, she has buyer's that buy them all at once. She puts them on a plane and ships the pups to the buyer. She sells them for less, but doesn't worry about not be able to sell them. My step sons grandfather has also raised dogs for many years and he does the same thing.
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