How to Start a Dog Breeding Business

If you could spend every waking day and night surrounded by the love of dogs, you might have thought about going into business with man’s best friend. As a dog breeder, you can help families grow their homes with the love of dogs, and help breed service animals to better help people with disabilities, too.

Why Start a Dog Breeding Business?

Entrepreneurs who truly love their furry friends can help match families to cooperative, safe, and loving support systems to bring more joy to households and even to help those in need.

14 Steps to Starting a Dog Breeding Business

Let’s start your dog breeding business so you can fill the world with friendly, helpful, and safe dogs that bring joy to dog lovers and families everywhere.

1. Research the Business Basics of Dog Breeding

“Becoming a certified dog breeder is established on the premises of both ethics and morality, which are quite revered obligations,” says Breeding Business. As a dog breeder, you hold an incredible amount of power and need to use those privileges for good. The USDA has created regulations against inhumane dog breeders to ensure breeding dogs stay ethical for both dogs and their owners, so your research on how to adhere to the ever-changing federal and state laws not just for your business’s sake, but for the betterment of your pups. 

2. Write a Business Plan

To start your business, identify your goals and values for your dog breeding business. Start by addressing these concepts to flesh out your plan:

Your Mission and Vision — You probably already have one thing for sure: you love dogs; how can that be translated into a mission? There are so many business owners and dog breeders out there who get into business for the money, but with a strong vision and purpose behind you, you can create something meaningful with your business, giving adorable puppies homes and helping families live happier lives with a dog by their side.

Startup Costs — Think about the costs you need for your breeding business, like whelping kits, incubators, crates, beds, and more. Find a reputable site like My Breeder Supply to help equip your spot with everything you need to take care of your dogs and pups and write out your cost estimation and how you’ll be able to profit from it.

Your Niche — There are so many dogs out there already, so what particular niche of people do you want to help with your dog breeding business? For example, take Little Angels Service Dogs, a dog breeding organization that brings bred and trained service dogs to people with autism, seizures, and diabetes as well as bringing them to psychiatric patients. Identify the niche you want to focus on to steer your breeding business in a focused direction.

3. Target Market

Knowing your target market will match your niche to the people who want your pups. Little Angels Service Dogs’ target market includes people struggling with disabilities who could benefit from a trained service dog to help them live their everyday lives. Will your target market be similar, or different? Once you establish this, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to market your services.

4. Breeds You Want to Sell

Knowing your target market will also help identify the breeds you want to sell. For example, service dogs will oftentimes be Golden Retrievers, Labs, Poodles, and Boxers, while Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, and Puggles are often deemed “designer dogs.” Through your research, you’ll see just which dogs will fit which business niche.

5. Choose a Location for Your Breeding Business, Project Costs, and Purchase Supplies and Equipment

Unlike some service-based businesses, having a dog breeding business requires lots of upfront equipment costs for birthing and growing, space for training (if needed), and outdoor areas to play. Good dog breeding locations give your pups the space to roam, you the ability to store equipment, and adhere to all the state and federal guidelines of dog breeding.

Here are just a few necessary costs for your dog breeding company includes:

  • Whelping Kits — Used for the mother to birth her pups
  • Incubator Care Kits — Keeps newborn pups warm and snuggly during their first days
  • Enclosed Land — For dogs and pups to train, play, and enjoy themselves
  • Fertility Support Kits — To monitor a dog’s fertility
  • Crates, Beds, and Pads — For dogs to sleep in, transport in, and potty train with
  • Veterinary Costs — So dogs and puppies can stay healthy and happy before being passed onto their forever family

A responsible and ethical dog breeding company won’t cut corners purchasing products and will place the health and safety of their dogs at the forefront of their business.

6. Establish a Pricing Structure

In-depth business and financial planning are key to a successful dog breeding business. Pricing structures are relatively simple— price per pup sold.

But the real pricing structure comes when you compare the cost of equipment and upkeep with the cost of dogs sold. Consider how much your target market is willing to spend on a puppy, and see how it aligns with the materials you’ve invested in.

7. Create a Marketing Strategy and Market Your Business

With your lovely breeding program in action, you can now market your dog breeding services to your area! Review your state regulations of who you’re allowed to sell dogs to and where you’re able to sell them. Create an Instagram account to showcase your pups, a Facebook page to make it easy to share your litter with your community, and build relationships with local pet shops to get the word out there about your venture.

8. Name Your Business

There’s nothing more fun than picking a name for your dog breeding business. Think of what would bring your target market to your doors — a silly quirky name, or a sleek, fancy name? Whatever it may be, check when registering your business to make sure it’s not already taken, as there can only be one business with your name in your state.

9. Source Quality Breeding Dogs

Healthy and happy dogs will promote generations of healthy and happy puppies. When sourcing your dog breeds, find reputable breeders that have a clear line of the lineage of their dogs so you have a clear record of their health and behavior. Whenever you purchase a dog for breeding, you have to make sure that you’re purchasing breeding rights as well, which legally allows you to breed.

10. Choose Your Business Structure

Make your business legitimate by creating a business structure. There are a few ones to choose from, some more common for dog breeders than others:

Sole Proprietorship and General Partnership

These are unestablished business types. A sole prop is for one business owner, and a general partnership is for two or more owners. Note that your personal assets like your home, car, and items won’t be protected against legal issues that might come against your business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

This is an established and incorporated business type that gives you an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account. It also protects your personal assets by establishing a business entity that can be held liable for legalities charged against you. An LLC is for one member (founder), and an LLP is for two or more partners. These are common business structures to start with due to the relatively easy and inexpensive setup and protection for business owners.

Limited Partnership

This is an incorporated business structure where two or more people start a business together. Partners are only held liable for the amount of money they have invested in the business.


This is an incorporated business structure that you probably won’t be dealing with, at least at the beginning of your business, because they’re a little more complicated than LLCs. S Corporations have fewer than 100 shareholders, and C Corporations are owned by stockholders.

11. Register Your Business

After deciding on your business entity, go ahead and register it! You can either go to your state’s Secretary of State website or have business formation specialists at doola take care of the nitty-gritty for you.

12. Acquire Certificates, Licenses, and Permits

As an ethical breeder, having licenses and certifications that ensure the betterment of your animals. There are federal and state laws for dog breeders to ensure they’re staying humane. Here are some popular dog breeder certificates, licenses, and permits to make your company trustworthy:

  • USDA License: Required if you have more than 4 breeding females and sell puppies wholesale to pet stores, brokers, and online
  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA): Ensures that your dogs don’t have medical diseases that could be passed down
  • CERF Examinations: Checks for eye diseases or disorders that dogs could carry down to puppies

This is just a small list— there are more ways to ensure your dogs are being properly cared for and show your clientele the care you have for their future fuzzy family member.

13. Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a business bank account will help you organize your spending come write-off season. All those dog beds, playpens, food, and more will be tax write-offs for your business when you report in the spring of each year. Opening a business bank account— like ours at doola— will give you a clear view of your business expenses without having to hand-pick them amidst your personal ones.

14. Get Business Insurance

For breeding dogs particularly, complaints and claims can sometimes come years after selling a dog. Browse insurance companies like KennelPro for dog breeding insurance that covers your business in case a customer is unhappy with their little pup.

Build Your Doggy Dreams With doola

Dreaming of your business is one thing— starting it is another. We know you’ll have a lot on your hands with caring for your four-legged friends, so let doola help you form your business and manage your finances for you. Never leave it up to guesswork so you can focus on spending time with your furry friends. 


Do you need a license to breed dogs in the US?

You need a breeding license if you have more than 4 breeding female dogs and sell dogs “sight unseen.” Take a look at American Kennel Club’s dog breeding requirements outline for more information.

How much money do I need to start a dog breeding business?

Prepare to invest a few thousand dollars to start your breeding business to cover materials, space, and dogs.

Can anyone breed dogs and sell them?

The dog breeding requirements are still relatively lax compared to what many animal rights activists want, as almost anyone can start a breeding business.

What is the age limit for dog breeding?

While there isn’t currently a legal age requirement for breeding a dog, it’s recommended to keep litters to between 4-6 per dog and for dogs under 7 years old.

doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

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