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How to Start a Dog Breeding Business at Home

Do you want to start a dog breeding company? If YES, here is a 23-step guide on how to start a profitable dog breeding business with no money or experience.

Running a dog breeding business isn’t easy just like any other business venture. Starting this type of business requires a significant investment of time and effort as well as money for dogs, licensing and veterinarian care. The business can be rewarding if you love a particular breed and have the patience to develop your business gradually.

Now regardless of the type of dogs you want to breed for sale, there is surely a market for it. If you are interested in breeding pet dogs such as the Hoodle Poodle, Chihuahua, etc.; there is a market for it especially for women.

And if you choose to breed guard dogs, such as German shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, etc.; there is equally a market for it. With the rapidly increasing rate of crime worldwide, the demand for dogs is only bound to skyrocket.

Steps on How to Start a Dog Breeding Business from Home

1. Understand the Industry

The ancient partnership between dogs and man has changed over the centuries, but the bond remains as strong as ever. Today’s dogs seldom ply their ancient trades, but they have amassed an impressive new repertoire of skills.

The most common career for dogs these days is “pet,” but these remarkable animals also demonstrate an array of skills ranging from finding lost children to ferreting out contraband, tracking criminals, helping physically and mentally impaired people, joining owners in a variety of sports and games, and guarding livestock from endangered predators. The value of well-bred dogs as pets and partners is indisputable.

Interesting Statistics About the Industry

With sales reaching $73 billion in 2014, the U.S. pet products and services market is continuing its upward trajectory on the strength of several important industry trends. The percentage of households owning any pet has increased slightly over the past few years, with Packaged Facts data indicating an encouraging recent uptick in dog and cat ownership.

Today, 45 million U.S. households own dogs, and 30 million households own cats. Ironically, while the U.S. dog population is growing, it’s also getting smaller.

Packaged Facts’ Pet Owner Survey indicates that a higher percentage of U.S. households have small dogs (under 25 lbs.) than medium dogs (25-40 lbs.) or large dogs (40+ lbs.), with the figures at 52%, 32%, and 42%, respectively. The percentage of pet owners with small and large dogs increased slightly, while those with medium dogs held steady.

According to Packaged Facts, they expect the shift to smaller dogs to continue in the years ahead, with the aging human population as a key driver. Further, the shift to smaller dogs could have numerous ramifications for the U.S. pet market. Since smaller dogs eat less, pet food marketers may find it even harder to buck up volume sales.

At the same time, size- and breed-specific foods should help to pick up any dollar slack, an angle brands like Mars’ Cesar and Royal Canine have been working successfully for many years. Considering nonfood pet supplies, the smaller dog shift denotes opportunities in myriad indoor products, including crates and kennels, training pads, pet beds, and pet odor prevention/removal and clean-up products.

The purchase of pet products online grew 38% in 2014 and roughly a third of pet owners buy pet products via the Internet. Pet medications sales in particular have been among the most affected by the consumer shift in purchasing pet products online.

Because of their small size and low shipping costs, pet medications are particularly well suited for sale via the Internet, which is an excellent medium for delivering the information consumers need to make product choices. Internet-based retailers offer everything from flea/tick products to prescription NSAIDs, forcing individual veterinarians to compete for sales with organizations with substantial buying clout.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic component of those who need the services of a janitorial spreads across the public sector, the organized private sector, and individuals from different strata of the society. The following will need dogs;

  • Pet lovers
  • Private security firms
  • Government security agencies
  • Pet training firms
  • Research firms

3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On

  • Dog grooming
  • Dog training and instruction
  • Dog walking
  • Dog Sitting
  • Vaccination
  • Mating
The Level of Competition in the Industry

There’s always going to be competition. Some of it will be good for you, and some of it will be bad for you. Accept it as part of life.

Just keep in mind that you’re in business because you feel you can do a better job; you can do it more efficiently; and you can do it with greater satisfaction to your customers than anyone else. Be aware of the competition, but don’t worry about it. Just stick to your own business plan and you’ll be okay.

4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry

  • The kennel club

The dog breeding business is not that terribly expensive to get into. Once you have the necessary equipment, insurance, and supplies, you’re ready to roll. The hard part is going to be drumming up business.

Now days, just about any small business is going to be very competitive, due to the fact that so many people have lost their jobs over the last few years and many of them are going into business themselves. If you work hard and have healthy and lovely dogs, then business will come your way as buyers will locate you without any form of advertising.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Personally, I don’t see the need for you to even consider buying a franchised operation. There’s just too much real help available for the “independent” to go to the considerable expense and obligation of a franchise.

Starting from scratch, and as an independent, this is most assuredly a low-investment, low-overhead type business the kind we recommend for anyone and everyone who’s determined to make it on his own. You can start independently by buying your founding dogs and start the business.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

  • Veterinary care and genetic testing can be very expensive. (Genetic testing? Yes, this may be required by some discerning customers, to rule out congenital and hereditary disorders. The number and kind of genetic tests done on your breed of dog depends on their genetic predisposition for types of disorders.
  • No guarantees in this business! If you want to breed dogs, you have to be comfortable with a certain degree of risk. If the litter is small (common with small breeds of dogs), you’ve invested a great deal of time, effort and money for little return. If the litter is large, costs are correspondingly higher.
  • This is not a business with a steady monthly income, since you don’t breed dogs every month. Females should only be bred once a year (so you have the mother’s maintenance to consider, too.)
  • How will you advertise your pups for sale? While there are inexpensive options such as posting signs in vet’s offices, you may need to purchase classified advertising, build a website or travel to fully promote your dog breed.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

Choosing a legal entity for a business is a huge determinant of the size the business will grow into, so choosing the right entity is very straightforward especially if you decided to grow the business big in the long term. While many business owners remain as a sole proprietor, there are others who form a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

There are a number of tax and legal protections that you are afforded when you do so. Therefore, check with a tax or legal professional on the benefits of the different types of business entities and whether you should consider having your business become such an entity.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below

Every business needs a suitable name to run their business; you can consider any of these names for your dog breeding business;

  1. Classy canines
  2. Canine Devine
  3. Dog scents
  4. Dog sense
  5. Canine capers
  6. Dog tales

9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

Purchase business insurance such as general liability, workers’ compensation if hiring employees, product insurance or home-based business insurance to protect business assets in the event of a lawsuit or settlement. Worker’s compensation insurance covers employee accident or injury while on the job.

You may also need to purchase a surety bond. A surety bond helps promote an honest relationship between business owner and customer. In the event of a lawsuit or settlement, the state may use the bond to pay for legal expenses.

It is time to get liability insurance. They will want to see your insurance certificate and some businesses may even want you to carry a certain limit on your insurance policy.

The most any business should need would be a $1Million policy, but usually $500k would suffice. This can be costly depending on where you live, but the average is around $500/year. If you are going to hire employees or you have a partner, it would be a good idea to get a bond. A bond will protect your business against employee theft.

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own dog breeding business, then you should consider filing for intellectual property protection. Filing for intellectual property protection for your firm is not only limited to your company’s logo and other documents, and but also protecting of course the name of your company.

If you want to file for intellectual property protection and also register your trademark in the united states, then you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

This business is just like rearing your normal pets at home, and there’s no form of certification to venture into the business. The only form of additional certification can be in form of dog grooming and dog training, but for breeding, all you need is to love your dogs and take good care of them.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

Any premises that has six or more female dogs over six months of age and capable of breeding must apply to the local authority for registration as a dog breeding establishment. Any premises other than a registered hunt club, charitable organization or commercial boarding kennel must also pay an application fee. The local authority can visit the premises before granting registration.

If a dog breeding establishment is successfully registered, the manger will be issued with a certificate that he or she should display in a prominent location on site at the establishment. The certificate of registration will include details of the applicant, the address of the dog breeding establishment, the maximum number of bitches over six months that may be kept and any conditions attached to the registration.

Register your business with the government. Laws vary by state. Talk to your local Department of Commerce and Department of Licensing to receive the forms that you need to establish your business and to learn if you need a license to do bookkeeping. You can notify the federal government of your business by applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can also create a business name for yourself and file a “Doing Business As” or “DBA” notice.

These are some of the basic legal document that you are expected to have in place to do business in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Apostille
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement
  • Company By laws
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy

13. Write a Business Plan

Now, setting up a business plan to help start a dog breeding business isn’t rocket science and does not necessarily involve a business consultant’s input. The key to any business plan is to make a list of those things you will be spending money on and how much you will be getting in.

You might wonder why you need to have a dog breed business plan. You already know what kind of services you could offer. All you need is to find a client to start your dog breeding business. If you need to do some marketing, you might say “I will think about it along the way”.

However, one of the most important management functions is planning. Without planning, you don’t know which way your business is going and you cannot measure your progress. A lot of small businesses fail because of poor planning.

Here is a list of items in your business plan to consider:

  • Summary of Business Plan
  • Management and Operating Plan
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Market Analysis and Marketing Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Summary of Business Plan

14. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis

There are several expenses that you would have to make before successfully launching your own dog breeding business. It is important to state that the location you choose to launch your business will definitely impact on the overall cost of starting the business which is why it is very important to have concluded and analyzed your feasibility studies and market survey before drawing up a budget and sourcing for funding for your business.

Here are some of the basic costs you must look towards fulfilling when starting a dog breeding business in the United States of America;

  • The Total Fee for incorporating the Business in United States of America – $750.
  • The budget for Insurance, permits and license – $5,000
  • The Amount needed to rent a suitable litter facility with enough space in the United States of America (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $10,000.
  • The cost for acquiring the founding dogs– $20,000
  • The Cost of Launching an official Website – $700
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards and Signage) – $2,500
  • Other miscellaneous – $10,000

Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need about $30,000 to set up a small scale dog breeding firm in the United States of America. On the average, you would need over 50,000 US dollars to start a medium scale company in the United States of America.

If you choose to start on a large scale, then you should look towards budgeting about 500,000 US dollars and above. This money includes paying experts that will be on your employee / payroll. The cost of setting up a dog breeding business depends on the scale at which you intend to operate.

15. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Beyond traditional financing, you have a range of options when it comes to raising money. Some suggestions:

a. Your own resources

Do a thorough inventory of your assets. People generally have more assets than they immediately realize. This could include savings accounts, equity in real estate, retirement accounts, vehicles, recreation equipment, collections and other investments. You may opt to sell assets for cash or use them as collateral for a loan. Take a look, too, at your personal line of credit. Many a successful business has been started with credit cards.

b. Friends and family

The next logical step after gathering your own resources is to approach friends and relatives who believe in you and want to help you succeed. Be cautious with these arrangements; no matter how close you are, present yourself professionally, put everything in writing, and be sure the individuals you approach can afford to take the risk of investing in your business. Never ask a friend or family member to invest or loan you money they can’t afford to lose.

c. Partners

Using the “strength in numbers” principle, look around for someone who may want to team up with you in your venture. You may choose someone who has financial resources and wants to work side-by-side with you in the business. Or you may find someone who has money to invest but no interest in doing the actual work. Be sure to create a written partnership agreement that clearly defines your respective responsibilities and obligations.

d. Government programs

Take advantage of the abundance of local, state and federal programs designed to support small businesses. Make your first stop the U.S. Small Business Administration; then investigate various other programs. Women, minorities and Veterans should check out niche financing possibilities designed to help these groups get into business. The business section of your local library is a good place to begin your research.

16. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Many municipalities have ordinances that limit the nature and volume of commercial activities that can occur in residential areas. Some outright prohibit the establishment of home-based businesses. Others may allow such enterprises but place restrictions regarding issues such as signage, traffic, employees, commercially marked vehicles and noise.

Before you apply for your business license, find out what ordinances govern home-based businesses; you may need to adjust your plan to be in compliance.

17. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

Your manpower as a dog breeding business depends on the scale at which you operate, if you operate on a small scale, you will only be the one running the business but if you choose to expand and go medium then you will need at least 4 more workers, anything above 4 employees means you are operating on a large scale.

Whichever scale you wish to operate will determine your manpower need and it is important for you to know that the industry is not labor intensive which only need people to man the equipment. The scale at which you operate depends on the number of dogs you have and the number of puppies you breeds every three month.

Equipment Needed to Start a Dog Breeding Business
  • Kennel
  • Food supplements
  • Drugs
  • Food supplies

18. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies

Dogs, as good as they are, do not build your reputation by themselves. You must show your great work to the world, and there are various ways of doing it.

Online, on Facebook obviously, you should be promoting your dog breeding business on Facebook, but also on message boards, also called forums. You must get your breeder website up and running if it is not already the case, as everybody will check your name and your dogs out online before contacting you. Even your neighbor would. No need to design a piece of art, but people must be able to find you if they search for you, it is as simple as that.

Offline, too. And you have to take the train, the bus, the car or whatever you need to take, to bring yourself and your best dogs to attend the relevant dog events. Depending on your breed and your preferences, it could be conformation shows, agility, flyball, racing, swimming, herding, or any other dog sport.

A dog attending these events, even without winning, will bring you a lot of attention from other breeders and potential buyers. Small-scale events, happening in your town or not too far, are great for those who do not want to take a long flight just for an event they know they will not win.

19. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

Even before the acquisition of equipment, you need customers. Your prospects are all the businesses and homes with carpets in your area. Your problem is going to be in reaching these prospects, impressing upon then the benefits of your service, and getting them set up with an appointment for you to do the work.

a. Contracting with an advertising agency will probably take longer and will cost a significant amount of money. However, you might be able to contact a staff member who does freelance work on the side. But you should set a specific date for completion of the project, and agree to pay no more than half the total estimated cost until the job is finished, and meets with your approval.

b. The next step is to take this original of your flyer to a printer, and have printed whatever number of copies you want to start. Most quick print shops will be able to print up to 20,000 copies, and deliver in a reasonable time, with nominal costs. If you decide to start with more than 20,000 copies, you will do better by going to a regular commercial printer. Larger quantities that would take a quick print shop all day can be handled by a commercial print shop in a few hours.

While your flyers are being printed, you should be lining up your delivery people -local Brownie or Cub Scout Troops. No big problem here. Either look up their local headquarters office in your phone book or call a friend or two with children about the right age for the name and phone number of troop leaders. Arrange to pay these scout troops $10 for each thousand circulars they hand out door-to-door.

c. One other thing before you start handing out your flyers—be sure that you have someone available to answer the phone and set up appointments for you. It’s usually best to have a woman do this; it makes the caller think of your service as an established business.

You can pay an answering service to handle these calls for you, but if your wife or a friend is available that would be even better. It is, however, imperative that a “live voice” answer your phone. People have some strange ideas about answering machines, and most businesses find they do much better not using them.

20. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

It requires a great level of expertise and experience to breed young animals like dogs. That is why I will advise you to start with a little number of puppies even if you can afford a million number of them. This will help you to breed them easily and at minimum financing requirements. Starting with a puppy or as much as four of them is a good strategy for a beginner. The recommended species for starters includes the Alsatians which is also known as the German Shepherd (Alsatian), the Rottweiler puppies and the Boerboel breeds.

Once you have the skills and your equipment ready, it is time to start sourcing for clients. It is important for you to decide the category of dog breeding you want to opt for. To create awareness for your business, you can print out flyers describing your services and distribute them. You should also consider opening a website and starting a blog for your business. A business website would make it easier for customers to reach you.

You should also ensure you put your business on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. As someone who is looking for carpet cleaners may not have heard of your business before, but by searching on the internet, they would be able to reach you and engage your services.

21. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

Tell your friends and many other people living around you that you sell different species of puppies. You can even convey them around in cages and marketing vehicles. Design graphic posters, banners and handbills and use them to promote your business within and outside your neighborhood.

Connect yourself other puppy breeders who can hook you up with mega business deals for species that they do not have or have just few of them which you also raise. Also, offer your dog mating and crossbreeding services to people and make more money.

When you grow your capital, you can build a bigger dog breeding centre and even establish it as a tourist outfit too. Also, you can think of creating a veterinary section in your breeding site. Employ a good veterinary doctor there and make more money rendering animal healthcare services to farms, individuals and other customers.

22. Create a Supplier/Distributor Network

Make a very careful survey around your area of operation to find out what breeds of dogs that easily adapts with the environment and sells fast too. Also, ensure that the feeds for your chosen breed can be easily sourced around your location. Most importantly, make sure that you are familiar with the behaviors and characteristics of your chosen breeds to avoid endangering your life to bites and possible disease transmissions.

23. Tips for Running a Dog Breeding Business Successfully

Dog breeding takes a lot of patience, hard work, knowledge, and commitment, so it’s not something to start on a whim. However, if you’re up to the challenge, a dog breeding business can be quite rewarding – financially and personally.

Make sure the dogs you purchase for the purpose of breeding undergo a thorough evaluation. You need to know everything about the dog before you start training and mating. This will help prevent problems down the breeding line.

Have all the dog’s documents, including medical history, proof of registration, and other items, up-to-date at all times. This is required for customers who expect proof of pedigree, and to sell the puppies with all documentation ready to go.