Someone interested in dog breeding should know several things. While dog breeding may look like an inexpensive hobby and a potential way to earn some extra money, this is often not the case. Responsible dog breeders often find that they enjoy the experience of raising a litter of puppies, but regularly lose money on the endeavor.
The first thing to know before you begin dog breeding is what your goal is in breeding. If you are looking to replace or supplement your income, think again. If everything goes perfectly, you may make a profit on a particular litter, but too often — things go wrong. A difficult delivery, illness, or a female that has trouble maintaining a pregnancy are all things that can add up to an expensive medical bill. If you are interested in a particular breed of dog, and want to breed in order to improve the breed, you are on the right track.
Another consideration is whether the breed you are interested in has any genetic conditions that should concern you. Many German Shepherds develop hip dysplasia; many poodles carry the gene for Von Willebrand’s disease. There are medical tests to determine if a dog is likely to develop or pass on these diseases, and a responsible dog breeder will go through the expense of testing for them.
Other costs to consider before breeding your dogs are the general costs of raising puppies. The female will require more food while pregnant and nursing, and her puppies will require food after weaning. For a toy breed, this may not amount to a significant amount of money, but for a larger breed, the difference in the food bill can be staggering.
Before selling the litter of puppies, they will need at least one visit to the veterinarian. If they do not sell quickly, they may require a second visit. The veterinarian will vaccinate them and assess their general health, it is very important not to skimp on this care. Finally, there will be some expenses related with marketing the puppies.
One final thing to consider before becoming involved in dog breeding is what you will do if not all of the puppies sell. Will you keep them? Give them away? If you are not prepared to find a proper home for them, dog breeding is not a good idea. Animal shelters are overrun with dogs that started their life as cute puppies, but, for whatever reason, were never placed with a family of their own.