“Dogs are man’s best friends”, goes the popular saying. Dog breeding in recent times and the cost of some breeds piqued my interest to delve into how lucrative dog breeding business is and how to start.
Dogs are believed to be domesticated descendants of wolf with their tail upturned. They are the most variable mammals available with about 450 recognized breeds. Dogs are known to have developed senses which include vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell and surprisingly, sensitivity to the earth’s magnetic field.
Dogs have been useful to man in many ways such as hunting buddies, watching and security. Personality traits of dogs include boldness, aggression and hyper-social behaviour. Behavioural traits include guarding, hunting and herding all of which have evolved and fine-tuned over time.
Dogs are friendly but approach them with caution or don’t even dare when their owners are not present.
A fast growing and lucrative agribusiness is dog breeding. Dogs have been domesticated for a long time in history and may not be alien to many people but some breeds are just superb and highly sought after. They possess distinct traits which help in selecting which dog is best for each task of human endeavour.
Local dog breeds are the most common in the rural areas while the high bred cities pride themselves with the foreign and expensive dog breeds. A discussion with some dog breeding entrepreneurs gave me goose bumps. Take a look at these breeds and their price which may even be higher depending on the client and how healthy they are:
- A Rottweiler puppy can sell between 100,000 naira and 150,000 naira.
- A Cane Corso puppy sells between 150,000 naira and 250,000 naira.
- An English Mastiff sells between 250,000 and 350,000 naira.
- A Caucasian dog sells between 100,000 naira and 250,000 naira.
- A Boerboel sells between 150,000 naira and 300,000 naira.
With dogs reaching sexual maturity at six months, dog breeding entrepreneur can make a ROI in just two years of investing in dog breeding. How then can one begin dog breeding business?
Dog Breeding Business
Just like any other business venture, it is important to conduct a feasibility study and ask questions from the right sources which include other successful people in dog breeding business, veterinary doctors and zoologists. This is very important especially if the breeds are foreign before even considering building the dog house.
Regardless of the wide acceptance of dogs, some breeds are vulnerable needing extra care and attention while some can thrive with less attention.
Due to their closeness and association with man, some dogs are vulnerable to human ailments which include dental diseases, heart problems, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer etc.
Adequate knowledge is required in the selection of dog breeds for commercial purpose; this will help to know the feed required, health risks and other important dog breeding practices. Having a medical expert in dog healthcare is highly important.
Another thing to consider when going into dog breeding business is the target market. How to sell these expensive buddies can be daunting especially when surrounded by people who have no interest or believe they are too expensive.
Therefore, there should be a plan and structure on how and who to sell to when breeding dogs.
Dog Breeding Market Opportunities
Many professional dog breeding entrepreneurs do not just breed the dogs for sale; many take it even a step further by training their dogs. Dog training is another business opportunity for dog breeders or other animal experts with specialty in dogs. Some breeds are highly trainable in technology while some are trained for sports and fun.
In criminology, dogs are highly important in solving crimes. Dog breeds that are used in criminology or simply put law enforcement include the Airedale terrier, Bloodhound, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Border Colie, German Shepherds etc. These breeds are specially trained and have natural traits that aid their use for detective cases.
Another market opportunity in dog breeding business is selling to people for security purposes. Personally, I think twice before entering into any house with dogs regardless of the breed and size despite having lived with one named ‘Shepherd’ as its name and breed. Dog breeds in this category include Akita, Australian Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, my favourite Puli (my mop dog) etc.
Dog breeding entrepreneurs can also decide to focus on families who have dogs as pets and companions. The breeds for companionship include Pug, Saint Bernard, Greyhound, French Bulldog, Irish Wolfhound, Shih Tzu etc.
Have you ever seen a dog dancing competition? Well, I saw one and was amazed at how well the dogs moved and swayed to the sound of music and even tapping their legs and going on two legs. Dog dancers and dancing is beginning to gain popularity even in Africa. Dog breeds that dances excellently include Golden Retriever, Great Danes, Border Collies, Shar-Pei, Greyhounds etc.
Starting Dog Breeding Business
Considering the cost of dog meals, medications and healthcare, one might be tempted to start dog breeding business in a big way and go for very expensive breeds but take caution, lets see what to look out for before starting.
Start With Easy Breeds
There are some dogs that can be breed easily even at reduced cost of meals while some are highly expensive to raise. For someone venturing into dog breeding business without an idea, it is best to start with dogs that are easy to breed.
It is an excellent suggestion to start with these breeds to forestall fatal loss of investment. Easy to breed dogs include German Shepherd, Collie, Beagle, chowchow etc.
The next thing after selecting the best breed suitable for your dog breeding business, it is time to build or construct the dog house which is called kennel. The kennel can be made with wood or bricks depending on the breed and available space.
The dog house must be roofed but well ventilated. Construction can be done by a carpenter or bricklayer and there are some factory made kennels; the choice is truly yours.
Understand Their Feeding Habit
Dogs are very similar to humans in feeding; some can eat anything while others are allergic to some food items. Generally, dogs are allergic to gluten, grains, eggs, beef, etc. Symptoms of food allergies in dogs include coughing, visible shaking, diarrhea, head shaking, vomiting among others.
Some dogs can have their meals formulated whereas some are only best fed with concentrates. Some dogs can consume food items eaten by humans while others don’t. It is important to know the feeding requirement of your dog breed.
Purchase Dog Toys
Dogs are hyper active and social animals with so much energy to expend. It is therefore important for them to have toys that they can pass the time with without creating unnecessary fuss. Dog toys include Kong Squeakair, West Paw Zogo Flex, Zippypaws Skinny Peltz etc.
Ensure that the dog toys are not easily damaged or chewable for the safety of the dogs and when a toy is getting damaged, kindly retrieve and put them away.
Reproduction in dogs can start as early as six months although it is advisable to delay up to a year or two in some breeds. Select a male and female parent dogs and allow them to mate.
A dog can birth between 1- 10 at once but on the average, about 5 puppies can be birthed at once. When selling the puppies to families or as general rule for puppies, they are not to be named.
Market Your Business
The best and easiest way for people to know about your dog breeding business is to advertise. With recent technology, marketing have been made easier with the advent of social media platforms including websites. Online marketing nowadays, is easier as long as trust is earned and services delivered as promised.
Dog breeding business is highly profitable and also helpful in law enforcement. It is an investment that needs a health expert and dog trainers to be a partner when starting a dog breeding business so as to curtail loss of investment.
Dog breeding business has its own disadvantages and advantages and having an idea of that gives a cushion effect to some extent.