Dog Breeder Career Overview

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What it Takes to be a Dog Breeder

You must have a passion for working with dogs to consider dog breeding as a career choice. Of all the animal breeding jobs, dog breeding is by far the most popular. It will continue to be so as long as people continue to prefer dogs as their companions of choice. A reputable dog breeder is responsible for breeding high-quality purebred puppies that may have a future as service dogs, show dogs, breeding stock, or just reliable companion animals. Good dog breeders are committed to a long list of daily duties that encompass caring for the health and welfare of their dogs. These might include providing food and water, grooming, walking, giving supplements and medications, maintaining detailed records, helping with breeding, assisting at births, studying genetics and pedigrees, and registering dogs with the American Kennel Club or AKC. They must also be diligent and have a close relationship with veterinarians to ensure their dogs receive the best possible nutrition and overall health care. A dog breeder also strives to uphold the aesthetics of different breeds by working with groomers or grooming dogs themselves. A professional dog breeder uses their extensive knowledge of canines to select animals with a good pedigree to maintain superior breeding stock. Responsible and ethical breeders have their animals tested for genetic defects and hereditary diseases and will have the paperwork to back up their claims for interested buyers. It is common for breeders to showcase their best breeding stock at dog shows, to show their hard work, and attract new clients. Most breeders work with one specific breed of dog, although this isn’t always the case. If they breed more than one type, they are usually similar dog breeds. Dog breeders might also specialize in service, hunting, or designer dogs as pets. Reputable breeders use caution when selecting animals for breeding purposes and do not allow inferior aspects of the breed to become part of the gene pool. Excellent breeding stock and making ethical decisions will build a breeder’s reputation and success within this industry.

Dog Breeder Salary 

A dog breeder’s salary can vary widely depending on how many litters they produce per year, how much they charge, their reputation, quality of dogs, and what the market will support. Some designer or cross-bred dogs command a higher price as does pedigree stock from championship lines—especially champion show dogs. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists dog breeders as having a median salary of $37,000 a year; you can make more or less depending on a variety of circumstances. Dog breeding can be a lucrative field depending on if you specialize in popular breeds and how hard you work. If you are a novice breeder, you can supplement your salary with other dog-related services such as boarding, grooming, and walking dogs.

Resources to help in starting or expanding your dog and pet groomer career: