Like commercial poultry farming, dog farming has been seen by experts as a sustainable business with the potential to create job opportunities for the unemployed.
Dog breeding, according to some veterinarians, is becoming increasingly rewarding due to the growing insecurity in the country and the need to secure homes and offices with cost effective and reliable guards found in dogs.
Human guards could compromise security and even pose threats to office and home owners, but not dogs. Therefore, the use of dogs is becoming popular not only for protection, but also as loyal companions.
Different dog breeds include the Alsatian, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, and Belgian Malinois.
The Managing Director (CEO) of Divine Dignity Animalistic Konsult, Clement Oluwasola, told the Guardian: “It is essential for someone who wants to get into commercial dog breeding to get the best breeds that will serve the purposes of buyers.
Oluwasola said: “For young people who wish to breed dogs with the aim of maximizing their profits, I would not want them to underestimate the importance of purity of breed lineage and species accuracy. .”
Stages in Dog Breeding
There are several steps to consider before concluding on dog breeding. First, farmers and veterinarians advise getting dogs from reputable sources to ensure purebred bloodlines. Second, investigation and marketing plans must be in place to ensure where to sell the dogs without problems. Keeping puppies for more than three months due to the inability to sell poses dangers to the business, as it increases the cost of production which may not be recouped by selling the puppies later.
How to Raise Dogs
First of all, make sure you have a very good, pleasant and supportive environment to keep dogs by making conducive cages for them. Building cages for the dogs is a must, but they could be loose in a fenced environment. For convenience, male and female dogs should be separated and dogs of different breeds should be housed differently. The access of male dogs to females must be limited to avoid too early breeding and crossbreeding. Males must have access to females ready to mate.
Breeding too early puts dog health at risk and a reduced number of puppies could result from breeding too early, which could also lead to a high mortality rate. Crossbreeding distorts the purity of a breed, which can also affect the marketability of the puppies, and therefore lead to poor pricing and a reduced profit margin for the breeder.
Food and nutrition
Feeding dogs nutritious food is one of the most important factors in successful breeding.
Bola Ayodele, a dog breeder, said: “From early childhood, they should be fed with mother’s milk, which could be supplemented. And once they reach maturity, they must be fed their best meal, which is bone, to keep them fit and strong.
Clement, who spoke earlier, added that aside from food, proper veterinary care would not only take care of vaccination programs but also infectious diseases. “We can’t get the best result by feeding them alone without veterinary care,” he said. He advised that only professional veterinary doctors should be patronized.
Need a license to start a dog breeding business?
Mr Mathew Oyeleke, a dog breeder in Ilorin, Kwara State, while sharing his experience with The Guardian, said, “You wouldn’t need a license to start dog breeding. However, Oyeleke admitted, business name registration is essential if the breeder is to mean a serious business.
Anyone interested can breed dogs and earn a living. Also, personal development on how best to breed, crossbreed, feed/nutrition and market should be at the forefront of the skills of potential breeders, as there is little room for mediocrity in the business. , he argued.
One of the main reasons for breeding dogs is for profit maximization, which is key to reducing youth unemployment and poverty. The essence of the business is to generate sustainable income while meeting the needs of buyers. These needs, again, include security of life and property; agricultural protection; policing and the war on drugs and arms trafficking.
Apart from breeding dogs for house, business and farm guards, they can be useful in different places like banks, detective services at airports and seaports among others.
People, especially middle class and wealthy Nigerians, keep dogs for companionship, which are usually referred to as pets. These classes of people are the targets of commercial dog breeding.
“I know people who keep dogs for a matter of class and wealth, as they have a huge budget for their dogs every year,” Clement said.
Economics of dog breeding
Owner of St. Mathew Concepts, Ilorin, Oyeleke, while briefing The Guardian on the economics of dog breeding and breeding, said: “We have different breeds of dogs, for example, Rottweiler, Doberman , Boer bull, Caucasian and mastiff.”
Puppy prices depend on the breed, age and health of the dog. Some puppies are sold for 100,000, 80,000 or 70,000 naira, depending on the purity of the breeds, he said.
The number of litters (puppies) also determines when a breeder will recoup capital, but in total, Oyeleke said a breeder could break even in a year with just one purebred dog. With five or more puppies, a farmer could generate income that some paid jobs could not bring in a year.
Oyeleke said that if a farmer raises 50 puppies from five female dogs in a year and sells each at the average of N50,000, such a farmer could smile to the bank with around N2.5 million or more, adding that the cost of food and veterinary services on dogs should not exceed N500,000 per year.
He, however, revealed that disease and infection, high feed cost and marketing difficulties are some of the challenges dog breeding faces. The proliferation of mixed races by some unscrupulous elements, he added, has de-commercialized the business, creating sales challenges for genuine entrepreneurs.
Olu Solomon, another breeder, claimed that dog breeding, though demanding and requiring regular expenditure for food, medicine and fortification, is an activity that could profitably occupy diligent people to earn their lives decently.
He told the Guardian that two types of races are hot cakes. The German Shepherd and the Rottweiler, he explained, are two breeds that are in high demand among Nigerians.
“In my own experience, German Sheppard and Rottweiler puppies sell faster than others. Although other breeds also sell, but not like them,” he said.
If a farmer buys a puppy worth N25,000 and eats rice, fish and chicken legs, for example, less than N6,000 should be enough in a month. And as he gets older, he eats more, costing an average of 6,000 to 7,000 naira per month. But the German Shepherd, he added, doesn’t really eat much, unlike other dog breeds.
Olu said the number of puppies born in a cycle “depends on the lineage of the dogs; some can give birth to nine puppies or even more. I met one who gave birth to 15 puppies. But the problem is that the higher the number of puppies, the higher the mortality rate. So it’s better with the average number of seven and eight puppies.
Revealing the income-generating potential of breeding dogs, Olu said, “I sell puppies from five or six weeks old. A German Shepherd puppy costs around 25,000 naira, depending on the customer. The German Shepherd has notes. There are some that are N30,000 upwards. So many people want good dogs, but ironically they don’t want to pay for value.
However, he warned that “it is not recommended to meet dogs during the first heat. Thus, from eight months they reach the stage of maturity. And some mature at 11 or 12 months.
Another collateral benefit of dog breeding, Oyekunle and Olu agreed, is that breeding dogs serve both to generate income and to protect the lives and property of the investor.