How Much do Dog Breeders Make?

When people research to purchase a high quality puppy from a breeder they are often astounded to discover that quality breeders charge between $1500 to $4,000 or more for a pet puppy. They think that the breeders must be making a generous income. However, what the public often fails to see or take into consideration is all the "overhead" or "behind the scene" costs involved in running a reputable breeding program..


Let's Talk about Dog Breeders Salaries

The pay rates and annual salaries for dog breeder varies based on far too many factors to put in this article. The average hourly wage can range from $9.14 to $35.15, or more with an annual salary between $19,010 and $73,110. Although there are breeders who produce well into the six-digits. When it's all said and done, how much a breeder charges for their puppies comes down to a personal decision based on their breeding program, healthy quality bloodlines and monies invested. Higher priced puppies doesn't always mean the breeder is making a higher salary. Also, with more breeding dogs comes higher expenses, so again, more dogs doesn't always mean a higher salary either. Remember, a lot of money goes back into the dogs, especially if you are not short-changing them. Here are a few expenses you have to take out of any puppy money you get. It's important to remember that these monthly bills don't drop just because you don't have puppies for sale.

  • Food

  • Treats

  • Toys

  • Beds

  • Crates

  • Blankets

  • Grooming Supplies

  • Cleaning Supplies

  • Breeding Supplies

  • Dog shows or competitions

  • Health testing

  • Routine Vet Bills and Dental Cleanings

  • Unexpected Vet Bills

  • Etc..etc..


Some Other Things to Consider…


  • The breed you choose to breed (some breeds typically sell for higher than other breeds. Other breeds are known for high death rates, required c-sections or pregnancy complications etc...)

  • Average size of their litters

  • Number of litters per year

  • How many puppies are surviving

  • How much are you putting into the puppies ( tail docking, dewclaw removal, treating coccidia, giardia, fleas, ticks, ear mites, vaccinations, de-wormers, microchips, shipping, puppy packs, etc..

  • Are the moms needing x-rays, ultrasounds,  c-sections or help from a vet delivering the puppies due to any type of complications.

  • Are you needing to pay a vet or breeding specialist for progesterone testing, semen analysis, AI's etc...

  • Emergency supplies for puppies needing to be bottle fed or in IC Unit.

  • Emergency Hypoglycemia kits if your breeding teacup sizes

  • Veterinary Health certificates, vaccinations

  • Salaries for Employees if any

  • Electric bills, usually higher.

  • Insurance

  • AKC Litter registrations for each litter

  • Website maintenance

  • Streaming of live feed online, cameras, lights, equipments and so much more.

As you can see, it's hard to say how much you will make as a breeder because a lot of your salary will depend on how you set up your breeding program and the decisions you make.