Do You Have to Lose Money Breeding Dogs?

Hello German shepherd dog and puppies lovers:

I am just so tired of reading that people shouldn’t and can’t make a decent living breeding dogs. There is room making money in llamas, horses, fish farming, alpacas, worms, pigs, etc. It is biblical even. Abraham, Lot, Moses, Israel, Job for example were in the business of animal husbandry and were very successful at it. In Germany there is a proud and honorable tradition in breeding dogs that has been passed down from generation to generation. They pass down this craft to their children, and are painstakingly rigorous and intently perfectionist. We wouldn’t have our GSD breed if not for the work started with Max von Stephanitz and carried on for generations, proving and improving the breed, culling the gene pool. We are the beneficiaries of their efforts.

I am so tired of hearing that you are either of two types of breeders, those who are broke and do it for the breed, or those who make profit and have a puppy mill. We at Banffy Haus have only 5-7 litters per year, feed our dogs Royal Canin, get them the best vet care, have a heated nursery, wonderful runs with the best kennels from L-Bar-M Ranch products. We play music and sound effects for the pups, know them by name, are intent on reducing genetic diseases, assiduous about the blood lines we breed, serious about joint health, look to honor the breed standard and strive to retain working drives. We are vigilant about cleanliness with our own dog septic, puppies sheets which cost a bit more to disgard after one use, fresh cedar chips and fresh smelling kennels kept fresh smelling and constantly sprayed off. We want to be craftsman, proud of our work, and proud of our progeny. But we can still make a profit and shouldn’t be embarrassed. It is natural.  We were careful in what we spent on our micro-kennels to keep costs at an acceptable level, trying to create a paradigm for other small hobby breeders so that they can do things right and still be able to afford it and earn a return.

The trick is to start with the right motivation and then apply the right skills. I read a blog today where someone asked what breed they should do to breed for profit. Just click here to see the exchange. This was the wrong motivation. We start with a love for dogs, in fact a specific love for a specific breed and a desire to provide top quality companions for families.  This respect and enjoyment will show in how we set up our kennels and the way we treat our dogs. Deciding upon a breed in order to maximize profit is the wrong motivation. I was an athlete and a coach, having also spent five years in military school. I was brought up loving animals. There was something about shepherds that fit for me, something about these brilliant, courageous athletes that I really respected.  I started with shepherds and have only bred shepherds. I focused even more specifically on West German show lines. This is my breed, my focus, my craft. In the next blog post I will discuss the right skills and how they are brought to bear to enable a true craft breeder to make a decent profit while improving the breed and running a very nice micro-kennel operation. There are not just two rubrics for German Shepherd breeders.  Not only are there those who are puppy mills or those who basically do it for the breed and break even or go broke. There are also those who are true proud craftsman and balance their craft with running an operation that can also allow them to continue breeding wonderful representations of this marvelous breed and support themselves in the process.

Every litter for me is an exciting event.  I still love the smell of German Shepherd puppies.  I still love working with these magnificent animals.  If you get a chance, you can also visit our K-9U on the home page for more useful articles and short helpful, free of charge, educational videos on the breed.  Just click here.  Also you can visit our kennel design page which we are incrementally building and will include a video catalog for building your own micro kennel.

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