Setting up A breeding kennel.

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by james dilley, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know that we need a U S D A permits to set up a breeding facility for dogs, Also A good Vet. Any other inputs ? I know what breeds I want to raise. Namely German shepards. And of course Beagles. I don't beleive in over breeding either. Last dogs I had the 4 females had 6 litters for a total life time of the 4 atabout 30 yrs in total . I don't think thats over breeding.and what about a overnite kennel for pet owners. thanks for the input in advance..
     
  2. Novel

    Novel Homesteader wanna be

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    It's best to start out with just one breed. GSD's are a very difficult breed to get into and you would have to know what "type" you would want to raise. Working or more of the show type, American lines or import?
    No matter which breed you decide upon, you are going to have to do way more than produce puppies. There are genetic tests and health screenings, and you have to do some sort of conformation and performace evaluations. In Beagles that would mean hunting, obedience, conformation shows, etc. In GSD it would be Schutzhund, Tracking, SAR, PPD, bite work, conformation shows, agility, obedience, etc.
    Raising dogs is not what it used to be. Dog buyers have become more educated, and the general public expects more. Buying from the farm down the road is really not acceptable when the shelters are full of the same quality dogs. To make any sort of business out of raising dogs, you have two options. Excel, producing the best quality dogs money can buy. Extensive research into lines, extensive health testing, impressive performance in the field, and top of the line structure and conformation. That is the line I hope you endeavor to follow.
    The other option is a mill. Buying a number of dogs and breeding, churning out puppies to unknowing buuyers. It is not responsible in my book, but many people still do it. You can make money that way, but at what cost to the dogs and to those new owners that wanted health and vitality...
    The current acceptable practice is for a female dog to have three litters in life, at ages 2, 4 and 6.
     

  3. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    I just wrote a REALLY long post and got timed out....

    Quick points:

    Novel, I agree with everything you wrote except for the age of female dog and litters thing- it is greatly dependent on breed. Some giant breeds are not mature by two, even though you can OFA them by then. Most toy breeds are mature by 20 months (with the exception of coat) and are bred around that age- and many toys will have more than three litters, but usually not mANY more- it depends, again, on teh breed and the female dog, but smaller litter size + longer lifespan is a big factor.

    OP:

    There is no reason to be USDA unless you want to sell to pet stores, brokers for pet stores, or laboratories for test animals.
    Breeding is expensive and you are unlikely to make money doing it right. You *can* make money doing it ethically, but the initial investment is huge, and frankly, you'd do much better throwing darts at the morning newspaper to pick stocks and put the money into those.
    Boarding or grooming seems to be the best way to make money in dogs, even with the large initial investment in doin it right. (Call your insurance for a quote for a boarding kennel and be prepared to call an ambulance, because it will make you sick.)

    GSDs that sell for a lot of money are those out of health tested, titled parents. Figure $1500-1800 for a high quality pup out of health-tested parents, $1000 in health testing, and $2-10,000 to title him or her in your venue of choice. (Schutzhund, Conformation, Agility, whatever. Raise that price if it's AKC conformation- shepherds are hard to finish!)

    Then, you hope your dog is not sterile, a bad mom, or unable to breed naturally for whatever reason. You hope that your dog will not mature with a crooked tooth, bad tailset, or somethin that makes him funny looking, even if he passes his performance stuff with flyin colors.

    Then you hope you can get enough from puppy buyers to break even. (You won't. Amortorizing that- I know I spelled that wrong, I hate that word- over the cost of several litters, you may- if nothing goes wrong, IF you don't have any pups you have to replace- even with OFA for many, many generations, you will still get the occasional pup with a hereditary health problem, for which you will need to refund the money and/or replace the pup...) You get to sort the creepy buyers who just want a cheap, intimidating looking dog to throw in their yard from the buyers who will actually take care of the dog for it's whole life. You get to worry about if you screened those pups' new families okay, and if they are alright.

    Unless you are part of the problem, not the solution- you *could* just take any purebred dog, breed it to anyother, sell it for cheap in the paper and to anyone who asks. But that's not responsible, and I'm sure you don't want to do that. You can probably make a profit that way- but it's a really rotten way to do it.
     
  4. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Will you be breeding champion blood lines? Will you or do you show, train for police/FIB or do you just want to raise dogs? Why did you choose German Shepards? Are you breeding just to make money? Will you be able to have any/all pupppies returned to you that your clients decided they can't keep or don't want or because they have grown into terrible, untrained dogs? Will you require that all your dogs be spayed or neutered-that are pet quailty? Will you sell the the first person who walks up with the money????

    I am not bashing you...but These are question that you need to be ready to answer, if you are to be a responsible breeder.. good luck and I hope you do your home work.....Debbie
     
  5. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Corgitails and Queen Bee just gave it to you very strait. That is just how it is. I breed American Bulldogs and I can tell you there is no money in it. We have lost over $30,000 just trying to get started. The bills continue to roll in. We have dogs to get hip/elbow X-rays done by the OFA/Penn-Hip, we have to put working titles, temperament tests, show ring wins on all these dogs before there is even a chance for us to breed the dog. We are looking at another $15,000 - $20,000 just to "get started". We will never recover all that expense. There is no guarantee that after all the work and expense that the dog will be able to breed (or should be bred) at all.
    Beyond all the expense (our food bill is AT LEAST $400 a month -- sometimes it has gotten as high as $700 a month) the work load is huge. Some days it is all I can do to go out and start my day. I am not talking about the training work load -- it is huge as well, but for me that part is fun. I am talking about the grinding work. Picking up waste, and the non-stop cleaning. :stars:
    I know that you are reading this and there is a very good chance that you are saying to yourself "Come on now. These people are just trying to scare me off!". No, that is not what I am doing. If you want to breed to make the breed better -- do it. In order to do it right I don't see any money in it. I used to think "At least $1,000 a puppy it should cover my costs.". What a fool I was back then! After the food, testing, training, trialing, showing, vet bills, treatment costs, etc, etc. It is killing us over here. Our life is work, children, and dogs --- nothing else. The children and the dogs are both a ton of work so our lives are more like work, work and work. Expect AT LEAST 3 to 5 hours a day on average. Some days more -- some days less, but THERE ARE NO DAYS OFF for kennels. That means January 1st get up and work no matter how late you were up the night before. :bash:
    You get attached to dogs, they are your family, and then you need to consider placing that dog in a home as a pet because it is not up to your standards for breeding quality. It is a horror show! Forget the $1,000 you spent to get the dog from another good breeder to get started. Forget the hundreds of dollars in vet bills you spent just to get the dog it's shots. Forget all the other expenses. You have poured yourself into that dog! It is like giving away a child.
    Then you have to find the buyers. Not just any buyers -- good buyers. You really need to make an effort to know these people before they walk out with a puppy. I am still kicking myself in the butt because I sold a puppy to someone that now seems like a jerk to me. You don't stop thinking about that stuff. This hard stuff to deal with. Please don't get into it if you think it will be easy -- it is not.
    I didn't believe it when people would tell me this stuff when I first wanted to get started. Believe it -- I have no reason to lie.
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The thing is I have a ready market for the pups and am planning on selling the beagles as started. And there are several folks who know how finicky I am about them dogs I will let go.Even when I had My late fathers mutt I didnot have enough pups to give out as there is a way I have in working the pups. I could get $250 for a weaned beagle right now. And over $700. for a German Shepard at this time because of The reputation I have for quality.
     
  7. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    James I don't know if you understood where I was coming from with my post. It doesn't matter to me if you breed or you don't breed. The fact that you can get $700 a puppy is nice but it doesn't tell the whole story. I can get $1,000 a puppy and I could sell as many as I could breed. The problem is getting the bitches and studs to the point where they prove that they should be bred. That is the hard part -- not selling puppies. For me the selling is easy. I suppose I could crank out a bunch of pups from unproven parents and make money, but I wouldn't be doing the breed any favors.
    Proving the parents is a lot of work, and sometimes all you effort is for nothing because you end up finding a problem after months/years of training, or for some reason they can't have puppies. It is enough to make someone tear their hair out.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I guess you can tell by now that if you're breeding responcibly these's an expectaion you're going to lose money because of the costs incured. I have to say there's a great deal of truth in that premise! On the other hand (with Goldenmom's warning in mind) if you add a boarding facility to the plan as you suggested then, in most areas, you can make some money caring for other peoples pets. Profit from breeding can come from boarding pups/dogs throughout their lives so in a sence you're breeding to create your own clientel! At that point breeding good dogs is in your best interest as you're going to be seeing the dogs and the owners throughout their lives. It's also very helpful to your breeding program to do so!! You will have to take precautions to keep your junior dogs seperate from the general boarding facility but its very do-able.
     
  9. Novel

    Novel Homesteader wanna be

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    James,
    You've received lots of good advice here. Anyone can sell puppies. That is SO NOT the point. You want to keep your reputation and sell GOOD QUALITY puppies. You want to be responsible, ethical and moral, and that includes doing each and every one of the things that AmericanBulldog, Corgitails and Queen Bee said.
    You can not do it half way, you can not skimp. This is a living thing you are talking about, many living things, and breeding to improve the breed is the only acceptable reason in my book.
    You can churn out puppies and sell them, but then you are either a Back Yard Breeder or a Puppy Mill. I dedicate my life to shutting places like that down. To me it is the equivalent of being a "stripper". Easy money, for little work, with no ethics or morals behind it. Sure, you can do it, it's legal, but why would you want to, and how would you sleep at night.
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't think Mr Dilley's ideas for breeding even remotely resemble a planned puppy mill style operation. Referencing an ability to sell quality pups is essential to even break even/limit your losses. We raised a few litters of German Short Haired Pointers and found them simply too hard to place in our area, and so we had to stop. If you can't sell the breed you want to raise you can't breed to improve. To say every litter is not profitable is wrong too but as stated when you take your time and long term costs into account you will not make money. We always had a take back policy as well and to see a pup returned either physically ruined or so poorly socialized they had little hope of finding a new home was too much for me. Bravo to those who will carry on!
     
  11. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    We may not have a choice about coming under USDA rules if The Pet
    Animal Welfare Statute of 2005 is passed. PAWS, SB1139 and HB2669,
    will require many pet and hobby breeders to be federally licensed and
    inspected depending upon the *numbers*. PAWS will change the
    status of many pet breeders who sell directly to the public. :mad:

    Linda Welch
     
  12. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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  13. beaglady

    beaglady Well-Known Member

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    As far as breeding beagles, whether there is money to be made will depend largely on your intentions. Do you plan to be the kind of breeder that feels a lifelong responsibility to the dog, and are willing to stay in contact with the buyers, or does your relationship end when they pay you and drive away?

    If you plan to breed hunting beagles, are you prepared to spend every weekend traveling to field trails so you can have a field champion? Those are the kind of beagle puppies that sell for the big $. Do you plan to provide some kind of 'guarantee' that the dogs will hunt? If they don't, will you have enough pet homes, or will you shoot the returnees? (I know of more than one person who does this, so its not just drama than makes me mention this.)

    If you are planning on breeding 'pet' beagles, you need to spend lots of time focusing on early socialization. Unsocialized beagles raised in a kennel environment tend to make bad pets. Beagle puppies are exceptionally cute, but, since they were originally developed as a breed to work independantly from humans, socialization is exceptionally important or the resulting puppies stand a better than average chance to end up in shelters when they become noisy bratty adolescents.

    If you are planning on breeding conformation beagles, plan to jump through a lot of hoops and wait for years to get quality breeding stock. Its pretty unlikely that you will get a show quality beagle without a co-ownership contingent on you finishing the dogs championship before breeding. As far as breeding beagles for obedience, there are around 100 folks in the country who do competitive obedience with their beagles, so don't plan on a big target market. Without the early socialization, its pretty doubtful that any beagle would have what it takes to compete at even beginner levels.

    Unsocialized beagles who probably don't hunt can be gotten at every local shelter. Not trying to rip on you, but I've been involved with just about anything that can be done with beagles. If it was possible to ethically breeed lots of perfect beagles, i'd be doing it.
     
  14. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    beaglady,
    A lot of very good points and things that really need to be considered for people breeding working/hunting breeds. :goodjob:
     
  15. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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