Thinking like a business man or woman breeding dogs

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | October 27th, 2017

Dog breeding is one of the most difficult businesses to venture into and yet when handled with business sense it can be very rewarding. Breeding dogs is not just having puppies from your dogs but having puppies with a ready targeted market waiting to clear your stock. Becoming a breeder is a decision many individuals make without using business sense and consequently lose money without even knowing where they lost the money from.

There is no difference between doing business as a superstore and running a dog kennel as a breeder, I’m sure this will shock some of you reading this article. Let me tell you the similarities: Running a superstore you keep records of everything for example the products records, employee records, electricity bills, rent invoices, sales records, purchases records, employee salaries payments records etc. the difference in trend is that most dog breeders hardly keep any records for future reference.

Things like dog food purchase records, date of first heat of a bitch, date of birth of puppies, record of number of puppies littered, records of veterinary care given, records of the amount each puppy was sold etc. In fact in Nigeria this is a big problem of breeders.

Running the kennel as a breeder with these records doesn’t put money in your pocket as a breeder but gives you progress report on the business of breeding dogs. The problem I see most times is where so many breeders refuse to keep records because their stock is few. This important stage is where most breeders get it wrong because this is actually the starting point. There are things you can remember, like the number of bitch you have –of course you know them by name so you don’t bother – but as a business man or woman keeping records can help you show others where you started, where you are and where you are headed.

Another problem with dog breeders is breeding the wrong dog. I want to consider a breeder as a business man not a hubby breeder so he should know if his stock is a highly desired breed. Some breeders just breed a dog because he or she loves the dog breed personally without considering the market of the breed. The first thing that should be in the mind of the breeder is how to breed dogs whose puppies will not last longer than 6 weeks with them. People tend to learn this after breeding for years and some people specifically decide to become a pioneer breeder of that particular rare breed and reap well some years from when they started.

Feeding dogs can be very expensive that many breeders try to find cheaper sources of nutritious meals for their dogs. Sometimes they decide to make their own food and serve and other times formulate food for their dogs. Some breeders would book some restaurants to keep food remnants for their dogs and sometimes they buy these food remnant from such restaurants. There are costs associated with these activities which these breeders refuse to put to account thereby making their imagined records incomplete.

You have to realize that making profit from running your kennel or losing money is simply part of business. The loss will help you to re-strategize by going back to your books and/or inquiring from other breeders some facts to determine why you lost. This activity will go a long way to help you do better the next time.

One thing that breeders refuse to understand a times is the fact that you may have to give out some dogs or puppies in other to save cost. Superstores run promos not because they are happy giving out products at cheaper price but because some of those product have remained on the shelves unsold for too long and have almost eating their profit from “warehousing”. There is a warehousing cost associated with any product you see on the shelf of any superstore. Let me compare it with a puppy who should have been sold when he was 6 weeks but because buyers are not coming he stayed another two months and when you run the calculation you see that you can’t sell that puppy above a certain price and keeping the puppy costs you each meal that he eats – i.e eating his profit already. The best option is to apply the “warehousing cost” concept and sell it with heavy discount or give him out completely if that is the most cost effective way.

Sometimes you can have accidental breeding of two different breeds of which selling the puppies will be very difficult except you want to compromise your integrity and lying to people that they are a pure breed –this will ruin your business in the long run – but selling at a very attractive price will help you dispose faster and save you a lot of cost. Of course you might make profit from them and that is cool also.

Sourcing puppies for people from other breeders can also help your business earn extra income. As a known breeder your reputation will make people gravitate to you for advice on where and how to get good puppies and many of these people will want you to source puppies for them so that you can get the best puppies for them. You source from other breeders and bill the clients for the cost of sourcing and make extra income for your kennel. Some people source puppies as a business but I believe people will trust breeders better.

You can also board other people’s dogs while they travel as a means for extra income because people will trust you to manage their dogs properly while they travel for holidays when they cannot take the dogs along. Like I have mentioned before boarding of dogs is a business on its own and can make you extra income.

Thinking like a business man or woman breeding dogs will help you keep good records and harness some of these extra sources of income to manage and fund your own dog breeding business to make the money you really deserve breeding dogs. Thank you.


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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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