If you have a love – and deep knowledge – of dogs, you might be tempted to start a small breeding business. But before you get started there are a few things you need to know. It’s an enormous responsibility, and you have a lot of regulations to follow if you want to comply with the law, and build up a reputable name for yourself. Here’s everything you need to know about breeding puppies.
A big decision
Of course, it is vital to have a long, hard think about whether you have the capability to breed dogs successfully – and compassionately. Sure, there is a good deal of money to be made, but good breeders don’t do it just to make a buck. The law gives you a bare minimum of standards you need to meet, but you will often find that successful breeders go way above those criteria – do you have the time and genuine love for dogs that you need to do the same?
Check your state
Many states require you to become financial members of particular organisations, often for a minimum period. It is important to check with your local state authorities to ensure you are acting in compliance with regulations.
Join the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders (AAPDB)
As long as you comply with your current state’s regulations, you can start breeding dogs. However, people are starting to pay more attention to standards, and you should also consider joining a society such as the AAPDB to prove your commitment to breeding. You will need to meet very specific standards to get your membership and prove you are a breeder that takes a health-oriented, ethical, and responsible approach to raising puppies.
Contact a vet
You will need to develop a good relationship with a local vet – you will be spending plenty of time with them as a dog breeder! Also, your vet will audit you as to your ability to become a member of AAPDB. You will also need to learn about microchips and microchips scanners, and the intricacies of canine pregnancies and the early stages of a puppy’s life.
Ensure you have space
Many unethical breeders bring up puppies in appalling conditions, sometimes having several bitches giving birth and nursing little pups at the same time. It is vital that you don’t go down the puppy farm route – it is unfair, and the chances are that you won’t be giving the pups the best start in life. Plus, as we mentioned above, the general public is becoming more aware of the ethics of using such farms. Ensure you have plenty of space and a safe environment for the puppies – and mother – to thrive.
Vetting your customers
Finally, ensure you are doing enough to vet your clients – just as you would like your customers to vet you. Responsible dog breeding means more than just raising pups – it also involves finding them a suitable home. You will need to speak to potential buyers and find out about their situation before making a decision – and don’t be afraid to recommend a different breed if you feel uncomfortable about selling a dog to a particular household.