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All the puppy mills I see reported on are these awful, inhumane places etc etc. And all the proper breeders I have seen are relatively small operations.

Does anyone know of a large scale commercial breeding operation (say minimum 500 puppies a year) with acceptable conditions (including socialization, etc) for the puppies and bitches?

Could it be done? Why / Why not? How big (# of puppies/yr) could it be?

In most production operations, there are large economies of scale (the average cost goes down the more you produce) as the facility cost and labor costs get spread over more units produced. Would this also be the case with a larger scale breeding operation? Could costs fall low enough to semi-compete with puppy mills?

Please note: i) I am talking about breeding pets (sold as 8 wk old pups) not show dogs ii) I realize most breeders are not in it for the money but as a hobby etc, iii) I'm not asking whether it is a good or bad idea, just could it be done?
 

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well the process of breeding a good pet and breeding a good show dog are the same. lots of health checks, breeding for proper sound structure, and proving the dog in something like CGC or similar for temperament.

unless you think that a dog shouldn't be healthy just because it's a pet
 

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The sheer manpower needed to pull off a big breeding operation as well as the space needed would get pretty cost prohibitive I would think.
 

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If you can tell me what the average puppy sells for (wholesale price; let's assume you couldn't sell 500 pups retail) I can probably figure out whether that business model would make any sense.

Let's say the average litter is five healthy pups and you breed each female once per year. That equals 500 pups with 100 females. The cost of keeping 100 dogs (plus some males) in good conditions, good food and vet visits? The cost of enough space to humanly house 100+ dogs? The operation would need at least a couple of employees -- even at minimum wage each employee costs $15,000.

If the wholesale price per pup is $200 (?) you've only got $100,000 in revenue. That's not enough to run a lemonade stand these days, much less a quality animal breeding operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
well the process of breeding a good pet and breeding a good show dog are the same. lots of health checks, breeding for proper sound structure, and proving the dog in something like CGC or similar for temperament.

unless you think that a dog shouldn't be healthy just because it's a pet
I thought it was obvious but for clarity I am talking about producing puppies of good health and temperament, whether that is possible at large scale.

If you can tell me what the average puppy sells for (wholesale price; let's assume you couldn't sell 500 pups retail) I can probably figure out whether that business model would make any sense.
Does anyone know what Puppy Mills wholesale puppies for to the pet stores?
 

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I only have 2 dogs. My view only, a experiance mum or first time mum still needs to be watched. What if mum rolls onto pups, what if a pup comes down ill.

The care of one litter is hard enough but mutipule of litters would need a full time team. Does a puppy mill pay out the cost for carers and vet bills when things go wrong? does a puppy mill pay for a C section or let the bitch die? :mad:

Does a puppy mill owner care about health issues in the breed and pay out to make sure that pups that are breed are good quality for money or little money machines.?

Does a puppy mill pay for quality food for bitch and pups or go for what cheapest for biggest profit marge?

Does a puppy mill take the time to do the correct worming or say the pups are wormed infact they are not. You got to do it again.:(

Then go on to cleaness of the whelping area.

These are just a few of what I be thinking off the top of my head before buying. Thats me.
 

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Does anyone know what Puppy Mills wholesale puppies for to the pet stores?
I don't think there is any set price. It's going to depend on who's selling the puppies, the pet store, the breed, the area, etc. You probably just have to take a general estimate.
 

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I heard somewhere that mass breeders get about $100-$150 per pup when they sell to pet stores. I heard it from a mass breeder who was stating why she sells directly to the public (for $350 a pup) instead of selling to pet stores, so I'm pretty sure it's accurate....for her. May be different in other parts of the country.

I have been told there are some "good" mass breeders, but even they usually engage in what I consider to be unethical behavior (killing retired breeders instead of adopting them out, etc.). I'm not sure it's possible to make money on a mass breeding operation without at least some cruelties.
 

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Aside from the health checks, care, blahblahblah, I can't imagine any large scale breeder offering the lifetime guarantee that they'll take a puppy back. That could be incredibly costly if you're looking at 500 pups a year. Think about how many people are going to want to dump their dog. How could any breeder on such a large scale ensure that the pups are going to good homes?
I don't care if you've got billions to throw around; you should keep it small.
 

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Does anyone know of a large scale commercial breeding operation (say minimum 500 puppies a year) with acceptable conditions (including socialization, etc) for the puppies and bitches?
Nope. I've seen some places where they have a clean, dry warehouse and the dogs are fed and kept healthy, but they still live in small wire cages with minimum human contact for their entire lives. To me, that's a terrible way to raise dogs and puppies.
 

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I'd say you'd have to have at least three people per whelping. Some whelpings take place at 2 a.m. They'd have to have immediate access to the dogs, or else that's pointless.

Maybe it could be a commune of sorts- you'd pay the employee's living expenses by having them live there, and some sort of per diem work.

I bet you could get veterinary students who are out for the summer to volunteer for a few weeks or months for an internship.

There are ways to keep cost down.

One thing that's not mentioned is how expensive it is to compete with your dog. I'm assuming that the $5,000 or plus it takes to get a dog to fully compete for it's championship would be included.

Both parents should be shown or otherwise titled. That's quite a bit per dog. That's why good breeders can charge so much. They have the best stock.
 

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One thing that's not mentioned is how expensive it is to compete with your dog. I'm assuming that the $5,000 or plus it takes to get a dog to fully compete for it's championship would be included.

I didn't pay that much to finish mine. ;-) Didn't even pay a quarter of that to almost finish my bitch, either. :p

I don't mind if both parents aren't finished. My foundation bitch never was shown, and her parents never did finish.
 

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I don't think it's possible to turn a profit from breeding dogs and doing things correctly. I *do* think that breeding CAN be done responsibily on a larger scale if the person is independently wealthy (think the big show kennels of the 30s-40s, like Giralda, and Parader later on.)

I think that big show kennels benefit breeds- they allow more GOOD dogs to be retained for breeding, especially promising boys (which allows for more genetic diversity- I think the ranking systems have REALLY negatively impacted diversity, along with the 'only breed to a champion' syndrome- it becomes about the wins, not about the dog, sometimes). I think that the "all dogs must be in the house or it's cruel' has contributed to the decline of this, too- I think kenneling CAN be done humanely and sustainably.

But for profit? As a business? No.
 

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I guess it would depend on how far you travel and whether you special. Plane tickets are expensive. I was rolling all of that into it.

There are dogs that finish very quickly, within three or so shows, but that's not the norm.

I don't think that $5000.00 is unreasonable, especially considered that it would be over a course of time.
 

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I guess it would depend on how far you travel and whether you special. Plane tickets are expensive. I was rolling all of that into it.

There are dogs that finish very quickly, within three or so shows, but that's not the norm.

I don't think that $5000.00 is unreasonable, especially considered that it would be over a course of time.
Especially if you prefer dogs that are not only finished in conformation, but in some sort of working/performance capacity as well. Not only is that a huge investment in $, but in time to train the dogs (or more $ if you are paying someone else to train/handle them for you).
 

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I'd say you'd have to have at least three people per whelping. Some whelpings take place at 2 a.m. They'd have to have immediate access to the dogs, or else that's pointless.
Why would you need to have at least three people per whelping? I have a litter of puppies due any day now and I don't feel that I need any additional help. I've delivered two other litters on my own and never felt that I needed anything other than the phone number of the emergency vet and some gas in the car to act as backup. (Then again, I do tend to keep odd hour and a 2 a.m. whelping wouldn't put me out at all.)
 

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Economies of scale depend on low marginal costs - that is, the cost of producing each additional unit of output is very small relative to the cost of producing the first one. Usually, this means automation, but it can also mean a cheap, unskilled labor supply. Unless you can build a robot that can care for a pregnant female and provide continuous interaction with the pups, or find a cheap supply of dog-savvy handlers, neither condition applies to dog breeding.
 

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Why would you need to have at least three people per whelping? I have a litter of puppies due any day now and I don't feel that I need any additional help. I've delivered two other litters on my own and never felt that I needed anything other than the phone number of the emergency vet and some gas in the car to act as backup. (Then again, I do tend to keep odd hour and a 2 a.m. whelping wouldn't put me out at all.)
yeah, i think 3 is a bit excessive....it could also stress the momma....i do have one other person present when whelping--my husband to take the pics of each pup w/in a few min of birth....other than that i have the vet on call....

oh, and i take vacation at the time of due date....
 

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There are some extremely successful working GSD kennels in Europe who "mass produce". They have a large number of staff, however. People hired specifically to socialize puppies. People that train the same dogs in shifts every day. People hired to potty train. etc etc etc

It can be done, but it is not something you ever see in America.
 
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