With the economy in a major slump all over the planet, people are looking for ways to make some extra money from home. And while purebred dogs are still being shown in shows around the world, there has been more of a dividing factor as to who is able to purchase puppies to raise and breed for additional income: the most affluent are continuing to buy purebred puppies to breed or not, and the lower-income earners are simply unable to afford expensive puppies.
According to Amber Mendoza of Buckeye Bullies in Goodyear, Arizona, "People who buy purebred dogs and can afford them simply like the looks of them more than anything else. They don't necessarily want to breed them but enjoy them. In a way, a purebred dog can be a status symbol such as when comparing a Mercedes to a Volkswagen. On top of that, they know if they do decide to breed or stud their dog, there is a money-making opportunity. "
If people think they're going to make money right away, they're not. It takes not only the money but time. When the pups are born, they're just like human infants. In Amber's case, with this being Enna's first litter, they had to separate the pups and then give them to her every two hours to nurse … and that's around the clock, just like with any newborns – and that goes on for two weeks. Just like with a human baby, except there are more of them.
If you start with a puppy, you have to wait for 3 heat cycles or approximately 2 years before breeding her. If it's too soon, it's like getting a 14-year old pregnant; their bodies just don't have the development for motherhood yet. On the other hand, if a dog is too old, it would be like impregnating a 60-year old woman and that wouldn't work well, either. So you're limited to the best breeding times in their best cycles — which means no more than 3-4 litters.
Therefore, while puppies can sell from $ 1200 and up each, there are limits to the amount of money you can make with one female.
Amber and her husband, Patrick, actually did not set out to start a breeding business. They simply wanted a purebred dog, love Bull Terriers, and purchased an AKC female puppy, Princess Enna (named by their daughter) and thought why not breed her?
While many of us have owned dogs that have had puppies, purebred dog-breeding is a whole other ballgame.
Amber did her research before jumping into this because it's not a cheap business venture. She and Patrick have spent upwards around $ 4,000 with breeding Enna and everything that goes along with caring for her pups.
This money came out in bits and pieces, unlike many other types of businesses that require equipment and other costs from the start.
What Expenses Can You Expect?
Thus far, Patrick and Amber's expenses have included:
Smear Test: Similar to a pap smear, the female is tested to see if her hormone levels are right for pregnancy to 'take'.
Stud Fee: First you have to find a purebred male, which can take some doing. Stud fees normally range from $ 500-up. Some stud owners say that if it doesn't take the first time, they won't give you your money back. In Patrick and Amber's case, the stud owner said that if it didn't work the first time, they could bring Enna back another time to try for free.
Vet Visits: These visits include shots, the expense of x-rays to determine how many puppies there are, and if there are any problems, or if a c-section might be necessary. In addition, a new expectant mother may need medication throughout her entire pregnancy to ward off high blood pressure or any other medical condition that could threaten her or her pups.
Whelping Box: Patrick and Amber made their own whelping box for around $ 200.
Med Basket: When the puppies are being born, these things are a must to have in your medical kit:
- Rubber gloves
- Dental Floss
- Sharp small scissors
- Suction bulb (like you use with infants)
- Betadine antiseptic
- Liquid Bandage or Quick-Stop powder
Add to this: if mom gets sick or is unable to nurse, guess what? You get to bottle feed how ever many pups with puppy formula.
Advertising the Sale of the Pups
Once the puppies are nearly ready for adoption, tack on advertising time and costs to get the word out that you have them and (keep your fingers crossed) you get buyers.
Currently, Patrick and Amber have one puppy they have put up for a raffle drawing: they have 80 tickets at $ 20 apiece and hope to get close to the puppy's actual sale price.
This idea is appealing to those who may not be able to afford a purebred puppy and have a chance of winning one for $ 20.
New owners will expect AKC papers to go with a puppy and there is some paperwork to do online through their website.
Patrick and Amber had to register each puppy under Enna's AKC number, list the father's AKC number, and other details. In turn, the owner of the stud reviews the information and approves it. The AKC then sends a 'puppy packet' according to the number of puppies, each document containing the puppy's AKC registration number.
Packets start at $ 40 for the basic 'puppy papers'. You can also request additional pamphlets you can give to new owners as well as the genealogy / bloodline of the parents for additional costs.
Some people have a definite opinion in regard to breeding AKC puppies is, generally, that unless the dog is a 'champion,' it's pointless to breed the dog for money.
On the other hand, others contend that if you have purchased a less-than-show AKC-registered dog and have paid a stud fee, that it's perfectly fine to breed the puppies as a business.
The idea is to go into this with your eyes wide open, have done your research prior to starting an AKC dog-breeding business, and understand that there are going to be a lot of expenses.
Also, be aware that there are many purebred dogs and puppies that wind up in shelters. Prior to buying an expensive breed from a private breeder, do take a look at the purebred dogs and puppies that currently need homes.
Was This a Good Business Choice for Patrick and Amber?
To some people, it is.
You do risk spending a lot of money for making a little money back but Amber and Patrick are going to do it again with Enna a couple / few more time because it seems the demand is still there. Certain breeds are still in demand for their particular traits and attributes such as muscular structure, fur type, intelligence, and temperament.
A 'mix' would not give you those same qualities.
If after reading this, you decide that breeding purebred anything takes more than you expected and you are looking to start a new business, you should browse through our Simple Small Business Ideas which is filled with simple and easy-to-understand original articles to find the right type of business for you.