How Does a Dog Breeder Spend a Workday?
- Man's best friend is still in huge demand. Most people searching for a dog will turn to breeders to be assured of getting the type dog they want and to be assured of the health and temperament of the animal. Small in-home breeders carefully document the lineage of the puppies they sell, so a buyer is assured of getting a well-behaved, loving pet. Dog breeding, done correctly, can be fun, enjoyable and profitable. It can also be a lot of work. A caring dog breeder will spend longer, more erratic work days than if they had a regular 9-to-5 job. Tending to dogs and then their puppies is much like tending babies. The breeder must be willing to commit her time whenever the dogs or puppies need them.
Daily Care of Adult Dogs
- The dogs have to be fed and exercised on a daily basis. This means 7 days a week, every day. The breeder will need to play with the dogs to keep them socialized. Small breeders raise their breed dogs in their homes and treat them as beloved pets. They give their dogs the same daily attention as any dog owner is expected to give.
The dogs need to be walked or let out into a dog run or fenced area several times a day for potty breaks and socializing with each other. The breeder must pay attention to the breeding cycles of the dogs and mate the male and female according to the puppies they are hoping to have born. They will match certain colors to produce puppies that are a desirable color. Most breeders work with pure-breed dogs, but if they have more than one breed, they are careful not to let the breeds mix.
If the breeder has a large amount of dogs, he may have a grooming schedule that could be on a daily basis or may plan one certain day for bathing and grooming. Some days may be spent taking dogs to the veterinarian for either a regular check up or for any illnesses. He will have a file for each dog that must be kept up to date for any problems, illnesses or temperament issues each dog has.
- If one of the mothers is about to have puppies, the work day can become hours long or even continue through the night, as the breeder must assure a safe delivery for the mother dog and the puppies. The breeder may have to assist the mother in the delivery of the puppies and check to make sure all puppies are breathing and appear healthy. Some breeders worm and vaccinate the puppies themselves. When the puppies are 6 to 8 weeks old, the breeder must take them to the vet for a puppy wellness checkup. Puppies that are sold by breeders must have a health certification from the vet.
As the puppies grow and wait to be sold, the breeder must teach them the basics of potty training, manners and socialization. The puppies may live in the home as part of the family while they wait for new families. They have to be bathed and groomed just like the breeding dogs, so the breeders' workday will increase if they have many puppies at once.
Some breeders will microchip the puppy before it is sold. This requires the breeder to have the equipment to insert the microchip and the scanner to read microchips. The small chip is inserted just under the puppy's skin between the shoulder blades. Each chip number is written into the puppy's file.
Management and Selling
- The breeder must also find time to do daily paperwork. The new puppies have to be registered with the AKC if they are to be sold as registered pure-breed dogs. The breeder usually has an online account with the AKC, which makes this very easy for her. She also needs to keep records on each new puppy and document its lineage.
If the breeder has a website, this site must be checked and updated. When new puppies are born, the breeder has to upload new photos and post that new babies are available. The breeder will spend time each day answering emails or phone inquiries about new puppies.
People will want to be sent specific information about a puppy they have seen on the website. Some people will even want to come and view the puppy before it is old enough to be sold. Breeders will not sell the puppy until it is 8 weeks old. Some even wait until the puppy is 12 weeks old before removing it from its mother.
The puppy may be purchased entirely online and shipped to its destination. When this occurs, the breeder must contact the airport and arrange shipping. She must travel to the airport with the puppy and provide a recent health report from the vet before the puppy is allowed to be shipped. They also must arrange to ship the puppy according to weather. Airports will not allow shipping of the puppies if it's either to hot or to cold, because the puppy must ride in the cargo hold in a shipping kennel.