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Dog Breeding

Projected Income Around $500-$3,000 per litter
Costs to Start $2,000-$10,000
Time to Start 6 months to 1 year
Category Caring for Pets

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

We recommend dog breeding as a side hustle for those passionate about canine care and genetics. Ensuring ethical practices can lead to both personal satisfaction and monetary gains. Key concern: Ethical breeding requires a significant time commitment and dedication to the welfare of the dogs.

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cons-icon Cons

  • Ethical Concerns: Overbreeding or poor care harms animals and tarnishes reputation.
  • High Initial Costs: Setting up and ensuring proper facilities and care can be expensive.
  • Time Intensive: Dogs and puppies require constant care, attention, and training.

pros-icon Pros

  • High Demand: Purebred dogs, especially with certifications, are in demand.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Experience the joy of nurturing and raising puppies.
  • Recurring Revenue: Established breeders can have regular litters and steady income.
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Dog breeding offers attractive money-making opportunities for many people, especially those who are naturally interested in animal care. But is it even a feasible side hustle? If so, should you consider becoming a dog breeder? And how is the current market for dogs bred selectively?

An Overview of Breeding Dogs: A Primer

Dog breeding is the practice of selecting a male stud dog and female dog of specific breeds to get a puppy with specific traits and appearance.

It’s a form of artificial selection, which is when the breeding process happens in a controlled manner with human intervention rather than letting nature bind the mating pair together to produce the offspring.

It can be profitable because many prospective puppy owners want dogs with these specific traits and are willing to pay for them, which is exactly why many people are starting a dog breeding business

For instance, purebred dogs are highly sought-after for their good qualities, such as predictable nourishment and behavior.

How Much Can Breeding Dogs Earn You?

Canine reproduction can be profitable when done “right” from a business perspective, especially if you upscale your work, gain more reputation as a successful dog breeder, and become familiar with the market.

But the reality is very different for most people who are interested in responsible dog breeding. In fact, most will find themselves either operating at a loss or struggling to break even. And in the best case, they might make a marginal profit selling a few puppies here and there.

For these reasons, you’ll find that many (if not most) responsible breeders are hobbyists with second jobs who do this out of passion and not for the money.

Newborn puppy prices vary greatly by breed; they can range from just under $1,000 to multiple thousands. But considering how much breeding, medical care, and other factors cost, most amateur breeders would be lucky to make a few hundred dollars a month.

You can make more by learning other relevant skills, like training dogs. Grooming is lucrative as well if you’re interested in it.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Dog Breeding Side Hustle?

The reason most dog breeders work at a loss is that maintaining a breeding program comes with numerous costs that quickly add up.

First, you’ll need a female dog with breeding rights, which can cost up $1,000 on average. After that, you’ll still need to register her at the American Kennel Club for between $39.99 and $86.99, depending on your chosen option.

Next, you’ll need a male dog (stud). Stud fees can be around $500-$1,000, more or less, just to allow him to mate.

Other expenses for the mother and puppies include health clearances, ultrasound, and care before, during, and after birth. You’ll also need to conduct numerous health tests, each of which can cost hundreds of dollars. On average, expect to pay nearly $2,000 here. And if you’re unlucky, you’ll need to pay another $500-1,000 for a C-section birth.

You’ll also need to buy supplies for the puppies, such as a whelping box, deworming medicine, vaccine shots, medical supplies, and food for feeding puppies. Combined, those can cost about $300-500.

Then, there are registration and license fees with the American Kennel Club. For every litter of puppies, that’s about $300.

And that’s excluding the many more miscellaneous and sudden costs that most breeders don’t expect.

Where Can You Find Breeding Dogs Clients?

Suppose you successfully bred the dogs and now have some puppies to sell. Where should you look?

Where to Independently Find Dog Breeding Clients

Unless you’re in a well-connected network, it’s difficult to find clients without a middleman, such as a website or agent that specializes in pairing clients with dog breeders.

Your best option is to attend dog shows or breed clubs for your specific breed in your area to try and win connections and find potential clients.

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Dog Breeding Clients

The AKC Marketplace is the most reputable and trustworthy website to connect dog breeders with their clients, as it lists all AKC-registered puppies and also offers training services.

There are many other similar online platforms, but their reputations are shady because you can’t tell if they allow unethical breeders to sell there.

Why You Should Consider Breeding Dogs as a Side Hustle

Here are some of the main benefits of breeding dogs on the side:

  • Working with animals: Since dog breeding is hardly profitable for most people, they often do it out of their passion for working with these animals.
  • Eliminating bad traits: Controlled breeding allows you to produce new puppies without the genetic defects and other health problems of their ancestors.
  • Producing new breeds: Many people in this field end up finding a new breed that may allow more people to accompany dogs.

Problems With Breeding Dogs

There are also some problems with the dog breeding industry, especially from those who only do it for the money. Some of the most noticeable are:

  • Unethical practices: Breeding is expensive, and unfortunately, many people are willing to cut corners and mistreat their dogs to maximize profits when selling a dog and end up contributing to the pet overpopulation problem.
  • Cost: To produce a successful litter, you’ll likely pay at least a few thousand dollars on numerous supplies, fees, health tests, and more.
  • Commitment: Breeding dogs isn’t a casual duty on the side. It’s a massive time and money commitment that also entails taking care of the animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Age Can Male Dogs Breed?

Male dogs (known as studs or sires) become fertile when they’re about six months old, but they reach full sexual maturity when they’re 12-15 months old. After that mark, healthy studs can maintain their fertility until they’re old.

What Is an Example of a Breeder?

A dog breeder is someone who selectively breeds two dogs to produce offspring of a specific breed (purebreds are usually preferred over mixed breed dogs) and with certain traits. Breeders are usually amateurs, as they choose to do this on the side next to their main job.

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18 Sep 2023
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Breeding dogs has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Watching the puppies grow and ensuring they go to loving homes feels great. Plus, the income isn't bad either, especially if you're dedicated!

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