How can I start breeding dogs

Start your own business as a dog breeder

Anyone who came up with dogs as a hobby might want to turn this passion into a profession at some point. The prospect of loving dogs beckons you to take your professional happiness into your own hands every day. Man's best friend is held in high regard in Germany, so the business idea of ​​'self-employed as a dog breeder' appears promising.

But how can it be possible to turn the hobby of keeping or even breeding dogs into a viable livelihood within the framework of a business start-up? What requirements and framework conditions have to be observed as an independent dog breeder? What does a 'serious dog breeder' have to consider? And how can you distinguish purely formally between hobby and profession or trade with a view to dog breeding? These questions and the following topics are in the foreground in this practice-oriented guide.

Starting a business as a dog breeder: start your own business with the right nose

  • Becoming a dog breeder: Assess the initial situation
  • Planning (tasks) & strategic orientation
  • Merit as an independent dog breeder?
  • What makes a reputable dog breeder?
  • Formal requirements for independent dog breeders

Commercial dog breeding: prospects for independence

Germans keep a total of around 30 million pets, of which just under 10 million are dogs. Statistically speaking, there is a dog in more than every 10th household in this country. Current statistics from the Association for German Dogs (VDH) show that the number of newborn puppies has declined slightly at a high level in recent years. Anyone who wants to become self-employed as a dog breeder should also take a look at the most popular dog breeds. In addition to one's own passion for a particular breed, the possible target group (and above all their size) must be kept in mind from the start. It can make perfect sense as a dog breeder to specialize in a rather unknown or rare breed. In this case, however, it should little competition give. Among the most popular dog breeds (with a correspondingly high demand)

  • German shepherd dog
  • dachshund
  • Labrador
  • retriever
  • poodle
  • rottweiler
  • German boxer
  • German Mastiff

So it has to be considered with which breed of dog the commercial activity should be denied. Since independent dog breeders naturally have to have extensive specialist knowledge of a breed with them, the choice is 'limited' due to the previous experience. In this regard, it should be checked what demand can be expected for the selected breed in a defined area. It should be noted that dog lovers will not infrequently accept longer journeys.

Premises & location for commercial dog breeding

In order to set up a business as a dog breeder in a sustainable and success-oriented manner right from the start, the business alignment should be carried out holistically in the business plan. With this document, independent dog breeders not only develop a compass for the first few years of business, but ideally also a convincing business card. In this respect, a coherent business plan can be used to obtain loans and / or to attract external donors. Premises will be of vital importance to success as a commercial dog breeder. Appropriate housing conditions must be possible for both breeding and keeping the animals. In this respect, appropriate rooms with sufficient capacities are to be looked for, if the own home does not allow enough possibilities for the professional breeding of dogs. When choosing the premises, one should also consider the representative character: Prospective buyers will not only examine the puppies, but also that Environment at the breeder.

Success is in the details ...

Since the first impression counts here, nothing should be left to chance with regard to the well-being and health of the dogs alone. Apart from good accessibility of the location and the highest possible demand, it should be noted in the course of planning that it is especially in residential areas restrictions in relation to dog breeding there. In this context, the building law requirements must also be found out as early as possible. In this respect, in case of doubt, you should always talk to associations or the veterinary office (more on this later under formalities).

Dog breeders will be with the right strategic direction

In the business plan it must be clear which target group is to be addressed with which offer or which breed. The dog breeder himself has to make his skills clear: Beyond the required knowledge in relation to keeping and actual breeding (= expert knowledge), commercial knowledge must also become clear. If you want to do dog breeding commercially, you want to earn money with it. In this respect, all costs must be carefully calculated. In addition, dog breeders, as experts in a particular breed, must also have in-depth specialist knowledge with a view to possible, breed-specific diseases and / or treatment costs. It should be clear that legal problems can arise from this in individual cases. In this respect, a high-performance legal protection insurance can certainly be recommended.

Requirements for independent dog breeders

In any case, an independent dog breeder must be an experienced expert. This not only affects keeping, but also compliance with the rules for breeding a particular breed. The choice of stud dog also needs to be carefully considered. Through networking in the industry, independent dog breeders increase their scope for action. In any case, they should show their presence at relevant dog fairs in order to sharpen their profile for the necessary marketing.

Merit as an independent dog breeder?

The basis for the merit are prices achieved for the sale of puppies. Depending on the breed and papers, four-digit final prices are not uncommon. What may represent a small fortune for the dog lover, it is by no means for the independent dog breeder. After all, he has to more than cover all costs with the proceeds for a litter (and it is not said that all puppies from a litter are actually always sold). Further proceeds can be made through so-called Stud fees or the sale of older dogs can be achieved. At the cost that professional dog breeders include in the sales prices include should count above all:

  • Dog food (species-appropriate or quality-oriented)
  • Veterinarian costs (vaccinations)
  • Dog tax
  • Membership fees for relevant associations
  • Accommodation / cleaning costs
  • Equipment costs (vans, etc.)
  • Advertising costs
  • Costs for any fees / courses / additional training

Organization of puppy sales

Since selling the puppies will be the main source of income, it must be organized efficiently. How should the puppies be marketed? Which marketing tools prove to be useful? In addition to your own, optimized homepage, newspaper advertisements and those on digital platforms are possible due to their reach. Of course, when planning, it makes sense to take a look at the competition. What opportunities are used there to sell puppies?

Experts wanted: characteristics of reputable dog breeders?

Customers who want to buy a puppy attach great importance to a supposedly reputable dog breeder. But what does that mean? Ultimately, it is primarily about quality requirements and the health welfare of the animals, especially in the long term. Hereditary diseases in particular often only show up at a later stage in life.

In view of this, an independent dog breeder should do everything possible to be perceived as serious or professional. This includes above all the mentioned first impression in relation to the premises. The dog breeder can provide an authentic look into his work on his homepage and thus advertise the necessary trust. Professionalism and quality always pay off in the end, as dogs can be sold at higher prices. In this context, the so-called 'papers' come into focus: These show the breed from which the puppy emerged. Seriousness also means that an independent dog breeder is organized in an association. This makes specific regulations under which conditions the breeding (possibly for a certain breed) has to take place. Associations are also responsible for checking the conditions they have declared. Ultimately, an organized dog breeder will be able to issue papers and a family tree, so that overall more transparency can be created when buying a dog. However, the papers say nothing about the (long-term) health of the animals and the requirements vary from breed club to breed club. From the buyer's point of view, however, these papers, which experts consider to be of little informative value, have a perceived added value that actually arouses the willingness to pay higher prices.

What do my customers want / expect?

Of course, seriousness also includes one comprehensive advice potential buyers, for example with a view to animal welfare and the scheduled vaccinations in the first months of life. A professional dog breeder will also find out about the buyers EU pet passport information, which plays an important role, especially when traveling. Of course, the dog breeder must also be able to carry out and prove all required vaccinations himself. Some dog breeds are so popular that dog breeders can choose who to sell the puppies to (provided they have a good name for themselves). Independent dog breeders have to work out this 'luxury position' first ...

Formal requirements for starting a business as a dog breeder

Anyone who wants to become self-employed as a dog breeder must also deal with the formal requirements. As early as possible to avoid annoying and possibly costly delays.

Commercial dog breeding vs. commercial dog breeding

In this context, the terms commercial and commercial dog breeding appear immediately. These are different perspectives on the topic. Commercial dog breeding refers to the Animal Welfare Act, on the basis of which a clear separation can be made between hobby and profession. A business for dog breeding must always be registered if there are more than three breeding dogs available. Alternatively, Paragraph 11, Paragraph 1, No. 3a of the Animal Welfare Act speaks of at least three litters per year. Anyone who moves among them and does not show any intention to make a profit may be able to justify a hobby and not a commercial activity. In any case, however, the registration of a business for dog breeders requires a permit. The necessary approval is issued by the responsible veterinary office, provided that prospective dog breeders can prove the necessary specialist knowledge (especially with regard to the respective breed). The details for the permit requirement can be found in the paragraph of the Animal Welfare Act already quoted.

Commercial dog breeding

Furthermore, the following activities as an independent dog breeder indicate that it is a commercial activity:

  • Advertise the sale of puppies
  • regular organization of the breeding farm
  • permanent activity

Rather, the term commercial dog breeding is aimed at tax law. If you want to become self-employed as a dog breeder, you must have the activity recorded by the tax office for tax purposes and check whether the small business regulation can be used or the sales tax applies immediately. From the point of view of tax law, it is irrelevant how many dogs are kept.

Contractually regulate the sale

As far as the formalities are concerned, independent dog breeders should deal with the purchase contracts in addition to the papers. It should be checked whether a standard contract is sufficient or whether certain clauses need to be added. Since selling puppies is the main source of income, it should be legally placed on a secure footing. Inexperienced dog breeders are therefore well advised to consult an experienced specialist lawyer.

Options: Check other business areas

Anyone who has come to the dog for business can check further business ideas or fields of activity here on, which can be integrated into the breeding if necessary. Next to one Dog grooming can be an attached dog school be very useful, possibly also in cooperation with a business partner. In order to reduce the overall financial risk and not only have to rely on selling puppies, independent dog breeders can also sell accessories so that puppies can enjoy a species-appropriate start in life in their new home.

Becoming self-employed as a sideline dog breeder?

The sideline does not seem to be a viable alternative for dog breeding. Apart from the fact that dog breeding is very labor-intensive and time-consuming, experience has shown that the income generated from selling puppies as a sideline does not even cover the costs. In this case it is more a question of hobby breeders for whom the love of animals is more important than economic considerations.

Conclusion on four paws

Independent dog breeders, however, will have to manage the balancing act between the necessary love of animals and the equally necessary economic efficiency if they want to make a living from dog breeding. The topics of this article show in which directions independent dog breeders are planning or should generally become active.

Summary for starting a business as a dog breeder: everything you need to know in brief

  1. With more than 9 million animals, the dog is one of the most popular pets in Germany. The most popular dog breeds reveal which puppies are in greatest demand
  2. A niche strategy for a rare breed of dog can also make sense, as long as the breeding is not associated with excessive costs for an individual dog breeder
  3. When selecting suitable rooms, representative aspects must be taken into account as well as possible restrictions for dog breeding in residential areas
  4. If you want to increase the income base and thus minimize financial risks, you will find further business ideas as suggestions on this portal
  5. If you are looking for long-term success as an independent dog breeder, you should work consistently on the perceived seriousness in addition to the strategic orientation
  6. A business registration that requires a permit is required for self-employment as a dog breeder. Details on obtaining a permit from the veterinary office can be found in Section 11, Paragraph 1, No. 3a of the Animal Welfare Act.