How much is that puppy…say what?!?

Every litter I have, I get one or two families that make an innocent comment about the amount of money to be made breeding, after all, 11 puppies at $1200 a puppy is $13,200, that is a good income!

Today, after having one of those conversations, I have decided to bring out my bills for my two litters this year and tally them up.  I have to preface this with; there are many many ways to breed, there are most definitely ways to save money on some expenses (and, some of my expenses many would deem unnecessary, which is true, I did not NEED to purchase a top of the line whelping box (let alone order a second one), I do not NEED to breed dogs the way I do (frozen semen) etc.), what is written below is a true account of my 2012 expenses, the way I choose to do things, which is neither the right, nor the wrong way to do them.  It is simply my way.  I know I’m going to regret adding up this data, I’m much more of a ‘hand over the debit card and not look at the totals’ kind of guy, more often than not it’s too depressing to know the full extent (at least for myself).

To reiterate, I had two litters at the same time, so I will double each cost as the exact same things were done for each female/litter, individual differences will be noted.  Again, this is to be considered neither the ‘right way’ nor the ‘wrong way’ to breed, it is my way and what works for me.

Away we go….

Pre-Breeding Costs

DescriptionCost (each)Total
Hip and Elbow Radiographs $400.00$800.00
Eye Examination and submission to CERF$55.00$110.00
prcd-PRA, PRA1, Ichthyosis, DM DNA screening$460.00$920.00
Whelping Box$1760.50$3521.00
Fleece for whelping box, two to use two to wash.$128.00$512.00
Total for Pre-Breeding Costs:$3251.50$6503.00

Breeding Costs

DescriptionCost (each)Total
Progesterone (Package Deal unlimited tests), to pin point ovulation.$500.00$1000.00
Special Breeding Diet $46.37$92.74
Stud Fee (Female 1)$1500.00$1500.00
Stud Fee (Female 2)$1500.00$1500.00
Shipping of liquid nitrogen Tank for Frozen Semen (Female 1) to and from my vet.$600.00$600.00
Two Collections and Shippments of Fresh Chilled Semen (Female 2)$250.00$500.00
Surgical Insemination with Frozen Semen (Female 1)$1500.00$1500.00
Transcervical Insemination with Fresh Chilled Semen (Female 2)$600.00$1200.00
Total for Breeding Costs:$4146.37 (Female 1)
$3746.37 (Female 2)

Whelping, Raising, and the Rest

DescriptionCost (each)Total
Food for females from end of pregnancy until puppies are full weaned$48.00$240.00
After hours C-section (Female 1)$2867.32$2867.32
C-Section (Female 2)$1800.00$1800.00
Food for puppies from weaning until going home$48.00$96.00
Dewormer (Strongid and Panacur, purchased by the bottle with some left over)$150.00$150.00
Shavings for puppies potty area once they are starting house training (shavings are fully changed 2 times a day, topped up/cleaned inbetween).$12.00$120.00
Vet health check and vaccinations for puppies at 8.5 weeks of age$55.00$605.00
Microchip for each puppy$15.00$165.00
Litter Registration$27.80$55.60
Individual Puppy Registration$25.60$281.60
Foreign Sire Charge$11.30$22.60
Artificial Insemination Charge$11.30$22.60
Four generation certified AKC Pedigree of sire (needed for CKC registration)$32.00$64.00
Printing of Individual Puppy Packages$10.00$110.00
Training Kit sent home with each puppy$22.95$252.45
Assorted Toys/Chews$100.00$100.00
Total for Whelping, Raising and the Rest:$4331.12 (Female 1)
$2621.05 (Female 2)

The Grand Total of Expenses

Description  Total
Pre-Breeding Costs$6503.00
Breeding Costs$7892.74
Whelping, Raising, and the Rest$6952.17
Grand Total$21,347.91
This is the grand total of all expenses, a break down of each Female is located below.


As you can  see the total expenses were $21,347.91, from the two litters there was a grand total of 11 puppies born.  1 puppy went to one of the stud dog owners, 5 puppies were not sold (service dog hopefulls, show prospects, puppies I decided to keep etc.), so that equals 5 of the 11 being sold.  5 x $1200 = $6000.  Thus these two litters net a profit of negative $15,347.91. So not only was the $13,200 from ‘expected’ puppy sales not met, a further $15,347.91 was spent just to make it all happen.

I decided not to include the cost of my time (9 weeks of 24/7 ‘on call’), laundry supplies (4 loads per day, minimum), long distance telephone calls with new owners, nor the money spent on showing the females to Championships (entry fees, gas, hotel, handlers, training classes).


The Numbers Female 1

Description Total
Pre-Breeding Costs$3251.50
Breeding Costs$4146.37
Whelping, Raising, and the Rest$4331.12
Grand Total$11,728.99
Female 1 had 8 puppies in total, thus making each puppy 'worth' $1466.12, which would allow the litter to break even.


The Numbers Female 2

Description Cost
Pre-Breeding Costs$3251.50
Breeding Costs$3746.37
Whelping, Raising and the Rest$2621.05
Grand Total$9,618.92
Female 2 had 3 puppies in total, thus making each puppy 'worth' $3206.31, which would allow the litter to break even.



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