Is becoming a dog breeder right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a dog breeder is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a dog breeder or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a Dog Breeder
Becoming a dog breeder involves several steps and considerations. Here is a detailed outline of the process:
- Research and Knowledge: Start by researching different dog breeds, their characteristics, and breed standards. Gain a deep understanding of the breed you wish to focus on, including its health issues, temperament, grooming needs, and any specific considerations for breeding. Attend dog shows, events, and seminars to learn from experienced breeders and experts in the field.
- Mentorship and Networking: Seek mentorship from established and reputable breeders who can guide you through the breeding process. Building a network within the dog breeding community allows you to learn from others' experiences and gain valuable insights. Consider joining breed clubs or associations that are specific to the breed you are interested in.
- Obtain Breeding Dogs: Acquire breeding dogs from reputable sources such as established breeders or rescue organizations. Choose dogs with sound health, temperament, and conforming to the breed standards. Conduct health screenings and genetic tests on the potential breeding dogs to ensure they are free from hereditary diseases or conditions that can be passed on to their offspring.
- Breeding Program and Practices: Develop a breeding program that outlines your goals, strategies, and breeding guidelines. Consider factors such as genetic diversity, temperament, conformation, and overall breed improvement. Ensure that your breeding practices align with ethical standards and prioritize the health and well-being of the dogs.
- Breeding Licenses and Permits: Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations regarding dog breeding in your specific state and local jurisdiction. Some areas may require breeders to obtain licenses or permits. Understand the legal obligations and ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, including licensing, record-keeping, and inspections.
- Care and Management: Provide appropriate care, nutrition, and housing for your breeding dogs. Ensure that they have regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care. Implement a proper exercise regimen and socialization plan to promote the physical and mental well-being of your dogs.
- Responsible Placement: When the time comes to place puppies in new homes, thoroughly screen potential buyers to ensure they can provide a suitable environment for the puppies. Offer guidance and support to new owners, including information on breed-specific care, training, and responsible pet ownership. Consider using contracts that outline responsibilities and may include health guarantees or return policies.
- Continuing Education: Stay updated on the latest advancements in veterinary care, breeding practices, and breed-specific knowledge. Attend seminars, workshops, and conferences related to dog breeding to enhance your understanding and skills. Engage in ongoing learning and networking within the dog breeding community.
Here are some helpful resources for dog breeders:
- American Kennel Club (AKC): The AKC is a well-known organization that provides a wealth of resources for dog breeders. They offer breed standards, health testing guidelines, educational materials, and access to events and competitions. Their website has breed-specific information, health resources, and a breeder education section.
- United Kennel Club (UKC): The UKC is another major registry and resource for dog breeders. They offer breed standards, events, and educational materials. Their website provides breed-specific information, health resources, and a breeder toolkit.
- Breed-Specific Clubs: Many dog breeds have dedicated clubs or associations that provide resources and support for breeders. These clubs often offer breed-specific health information, breeding guidelines, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities. Examples include the Golden Retriever Club of America, the Bulldog Club of America, and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
- Veterinary Resources: Consult with a trusted veterinarian experienced in canine breeding. They can provide guidance on pre-breeding health screenings, reproductive health, vaccinations, and general care for breeding dogs and puppies. They may also be able to recommend reproductive specialists or offer assistance during the breeding process.
- Canine Health Databases: Resources such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) maintain comprehensive health databases for various dog breeds. These databases include information on health clearances, genetic testing, and breed-specific health conditions. Breeders can use these databases to make informed breeding decisions and ensure the health of their breeding stock.
- Local and National Breeder Associations: Joining local or national breeder associations can provide valuable networking opportunities and access to educational events, seminars, and workshops. These associations often organize breed-specific shows and competitions, where breeders can showcase their dogs and connect with other enthusiasts.