Is Dog Breeding Illegal? (Solved & Explained!)

Dog breeding is not illegal in the United States. However, in order to breed dogs, you must have never been found guilty in a court of law for any type of animal abuse. There are also stipulations in state and local laws that may prevent you from breeding a dog. 

Continue reading on to learn more about breeding dogs, the laws that surround dog breeders, and considerations you should take before becoming a dog breeder. 

Is Dog Breeding Illegal? 

Many dog owners find their dog’s company so enjoyable that they desire to breed their dog, maintain the bloodline, and/or raise a puppy. Others, particularly first-time dog owners, purchase a female dog with the intention of breeding her when she is of breeding age. 

Dog breeding in the United States is legal on a federal level, providing that you have not been previously convicted of any crime involving cruelty to animals. This rule covers all animal cruelty cases. For example, if a cattle rancher was convicted of cruelty to his cattle, the rancher would be unable to legally breed dogs. 

Individual cities and states have their own rules and regulations governing dog breeding. Most states require a breeding license to begin, along with background checks, and facility inspections. Some states and local ordinances ban specific dog breeds for new breeders.  

Considerations Before Breeding Dogs 

A person may decide to become a dog breeder for a variety of reasons. Of course, a love of dogs and a desire to help animals is a typical motivation. Indeed, a pet owner may just adore their dog and wish to take precautions to ensure that their companion remains with them. This is accomplished through a strong breeding line. 

Whatever the motivation, there are numerous factors to consider before beginning the process of dog breeding. Dog breeding needs professionalism, responsibility, and dedication. To be clear, we are not talking about backyard breeders or puppy farming, where the primary objective is monetary gain and there is a distinct lack of professionalism and concern for animal welfare. 

Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider if you are considering responsible dog breeding. 

The Pros of Dog Breeding 

One benefit of dog breeding is to be able to promote safe and healthy pet ownership. Responsible pet parents can be encouraged by breeders. You can accomplish this by sharing your breed knowledge, ensuring the owners are a good match, and remaining in touch to answer any questions that new owners may have throughout their dog’s lives. 

Being able to advance a breed is another big reward for responsible dog breeding. Given that most reputable dog breeders do not make a lot of money, many do it because they love dogs and are dedicated to the breed’s development. 

Dog breeding has resulted in new breeds over the years, and getting the opportunity to have a hand in this can be an awesome payoff. Whether you approve or disagree with the rise of ‘designer dogs,’ they have filled a void. They have certainly enabled many individuals who would not have been able to live with a dog previously (due to allergies, for example) to now enjoy the companionship of a furry pet. 

The Cons of Dog Breeding 

There is a financial cost to dog breeding and without a doubt it is one of the biggest drawbacks to dog breeding. There are medical exams, genetic screenings, and veterinary examinations, as well as food, bedding, and cleaning supplies. There’s also supplies like a whelping pen and hot water bottles. Furthermore, if something goes wrong, you may be faced with a hefty veterinarian expense. 

Along with the financial component, you will need to factor in the time commitment of becoming a dog breeder. Dog breeding can be a time-consuming and demanding occupation. After all, it’s not just about mating, feeding, and raising. Most professional breeders are active members of breed associations and are committed to doing everything possible for the breed. This could include time spent on dog agility training, obedience classes, and socializing puppies. 

As with high financial costs and long time commitments, a deep knowledge is required for professional dog breeding. It’s not something you should do haphazardly. A good and renowned breeder should be well-versed in genetics. Each generation, it is your obligation to improve a breeding line. 

There is, without a doubt, the possibility to change certain qualities and eradicate diseases in order for the future generation to have a healthy life. However, this necessitates a thorough awareness of the breed’s health as well as the capacity to select an acceptable match. 

How to Start a Dog Breeding Business 

In order to successfully start your own dog breeding business, you will first need to contact your local government to ask about what is needed to start one. They will give you the information that you will need to know as far as licensing, breed regulations, background check procedures, and other laws and limitations set forth by their jurisdiction. 

If you already have your license, you can start your breeding business by using either a set of dogs that you currently own or if you are looking to breed a specific dog, you can reach out to the owners of that breed and possibly set up stud and mating services.  

These transactions are usually based on a barter system where the stud dog would have first pick of the liter followed by the female mother before allowing the dogs to be acquired by outside buyers. Keep in mind that dog breeding is cyclical and therefore it is unrealistic to plan for a big payout on your first breeding session. 

Incorporate Your Business, Treat It As Such 

The last step in starting your dog breeding business is to actually treat the business like one. While it can sometimes be difficult to look at your cute furry puppies as a business, they are one and should have business considerations attached.  

Small business loans, insurance, taxes, and other professional services are available to ensure that your dog breeding business not only adheres to laws regarding dog breeding, but standard business laws as well.