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How do I Become an Animal Breeder?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The steps a person takes to become an animal breeder normally depend on the types of animals he hopes to breed. Generally, a person who wants to bread small, domestic animals may do so without attending college. He will, however, usually need to spend at least some time reading about breeding the animals he plans to work with. It may also prove helpful to seek an internship or volunteer position working with those animals before getting started in this career. Individuals who want to breed large, exotic, or livestock animals often seek a degree in an animal-related field.

An animal breeder is a person who breeds animals for the purpose of selling them. He may breed animals, such as dogs, to sell as pets. Sometimes, however, an individual will decide to breed livestock, such as cattle, or horses for racing or recreational riding. Some animal breeders may also breed animals to sell to scientists interested in using them to study ways to optimize animal breeding or the production of animal products. Additionally, an animal breeder may breed animals he intends to keep, either as pets or for the purpose of working his farm.

If a person wants to become an animal breeder and work with small domestic animals, such as cats and dogs, he may be able to do so without seeking any formal training. It may prove helpful to do a good deal of self-study in such a case, however. Gaining experience working with animals may also prove helpful in such a situation. An individual who wants to become an animal breeder may work or volunteer at an animal hospital or shelter. He may even gain valuable experience by working with an experienced breeder.

An individual who wants to become an animal breeder of larger or more exotic animals may need a degree in a related field. For example, he may pursue a veterinary degree to become a veterinarian, or he may earn a degree in animal husbandry, which may be particularly helpful for a person interested in breeding livestock. An individual interested in this field may alternatively seek a degree in zoology, a major that may be well suited to a person interested in breeding exotic animals. Often, a bachelor’s degree is suitable for someone who wants to become an animal breeder, but some people may choose to advance their education by earning graduate degrees.

It’s worth noting that the degree a person needs to become an animal breeder may depend on whether he will work for a company or start his own business. For example, a company may require even those breeding cats and dogs to earn a degree, while an independent breeder may get by without one. Additionally, an animal breeder may need to seek licensing in some places, especially if he is working with exotic animals.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Practical Adult Insights writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By lluviaporos — On Jan 13, 2014

@MrsPramm - Which is why I really think that people looking for a pet should try adoption. Dogs that are pure bred or come from a pet store or directly from a breeder are often going to be in poor condition or they are going to be prohibitively expensive. And I just don't think that cat and dog breeding should be encouraged as a private enterprise.

If you want to get into animal husbandry, you should move out to the country and try your hand at breeding livestock.

By MrsPramm — On Jan 12, 2014

@Fa5t3r - It is so sad when you hear about people trying to breed animals who have no idea what they are doing. You can't just pick any old dog or cat, you have to make sure they don't have any genetic problems or illnesses they might pass on to their pups.

I used to work at an animal shelter and we often had whole litters of deaf dogs brought in because someone didn't have a clue what they were doing and they ended up triggering a recessive gene.

Then you have dogs like bulldogs and pugs where breeders have to make sure that they keep the characteristics of the breed without damaging the health of the dog. Bulldogs can't even give birth naturally, they need to have a c-section because of their stocky build and narrow hips. But a hobbyist might not know that.

By Fa5t3r — On Jan 11, 2014

The thing is, people often think that breeding animals, particularly dogs or cats or parrots, is a way to make a quick buck. They see how much exotic breeds go for in the papers and calculate that by the number of puppies in a litter. It seems like easy money doing something fun, so why wouldn't they want to?

But even people with good intentions often don't realize how much money goes into keeping breeding animals and babies in good condition. It's usually done for the love, rather than for the money. Anyone who is getting rich off this kind of work is either extremely competent and doing it as a career or they are exploiting animals and probably keeping them in very poor conditions.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Practical Adult Insights writer, where she focuses on topics...
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