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How to Make $1000 Per Month as a Hobby Breeder

I will admit that this is not the best nor easiest way to make an extra grand per month, but I wanted to share it with you as an example of creative thinking and how doing something that you enjoy could become a way of making extra money.

My kids have a couple Cockapoos, one male and one female.  They got them because they loved the breed and wanted the experience of breeding them for puppies.  So this is what they did.  I had been explaining to my oldest daughter about websites and blogs, so she has done most of the website work herself while the younger ones have helped take care of them.

We have already had one litter back in the fall.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly a profitable venture as there were some unanticipated vet bills.  However, this past week we had the second litter of puppies so assuming that there won’t be any major surprises, let’s see if breeding puppies as a hobby could generate some extra monthly income.

State Regulations

The first thing you might want to check is if there are any state regulations for breeding.  In Indiana, you can breed up to 20 females as a hobby without a special license.  Personally, I think that is probably too many, but that is what the law reads currently.


In order to generate $1000 profit in a month, you will have to sell one litter per month in order to bring in about $3000.  Given that our female could have 2 litters in a year, I would assume that you would have to have 6 females.  I would probably also get 2 males for some additional variety.  Our dogs cost us $750 each so the cost to purchase 8 dogs for breeding is $6000.

Let’s also assume that you have healthy dogs, but there are still vet costs for the annual check and immunizations and other preventative medications such as for heartworm.  Let’s assume that the cost is $500 per year per dog.  Total cost for health maintenance is $4000.

Feeding 8 dogs would be an expense as well so add another $50 per month per dog for food and treats.  I would imagine that if you were this serious with having dogs, you could probably do the grooming yourself so the expense for a kit would be a one time thing.

Our overall ongoing monthly expenses would probably be in the neighborhood of $800 per month then for everything or $100 per month per dog.  Round up to $1000 for surprises.

Finally, we have to assume that there will be some costs associated with the puppies.  They will mainly eat from mom until weaned so food costs should be negligible, but there will be some vet costs.  We make sure that ours have all their shots until they have been sold.  I figure that if you are bringing in so many dogs on a routine basis, that you might work out a discount with the vet.  I will keep all the records from this litter and revisit this post to put in exact numbers, but let’s assume $250 per puppy.


It seems like a good price point for Cockapoo puppies is $750.  This is in the middle of the market and is the price for this litter.  We have already had some inquiries so it seems to be right.  Each of our two litters has been 4 puppies so that would make $3000 in revenue per litter.

Subtract the puppy costs gives $2000 per month and subtract the parent monthly costs of $1000 and we are right at $1000 per month in extra income.


For me, this would honestly not be my first choice of methods to make extra income on a monthly basis.  I like dogs well enough, but not so well as to have up to 20 in my house or yard at one time.  Mainly, this was an exercise to see if it would be possible to use this method to make some extra money.  For those who absolutely love dogs, it seems like it might have potential.  Combine this with some other pet related activities and you just might be on to something.

The other issue is time commitment.  We have wanted to keep that to about 15 hours per week.  That certainly seems possible, but with animals the time involved could exceed our allotment for a side income.  The hours can’t be solely put in on the weekends.  The dogs would have to be cared for on a daily basis, played with and fed, let out when nature called, etc.  Again, not sure how practically viable this would be for fitting our website criteria.

If any of you has more experience breeding animals, I would love to hear about it.  As for me, the puppies are really cute, but I am just hoping to break even from a financial point of view.

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7 comments to How to Make $1000 Per Month as a Hobby Breeder

  • It constantly amazes and sickens me how much people are willing to pay for dogs. My and my wife’s families have always gotten rescue animals.

    • admin

      That is commendable to rescue dogs like that. We have been about half and half. The rescue dogs always seemed to have some anxiety issues. I suspect it was because of the abuse that these animals receive. It is a shame.

  • Ah now this is up my alley, I actually have been a hobby breeder for many years, but when my health started declining I just could not put in 4 hours of animal care a day or more anymore and I needed to focus more on homeschooling activities.
    I was the main breeder for a local pet store in the Upper Peninsula for a few years as they knew quality not quantity was my priority and even used genetics to get rare colors.

    I could write a whole series of articles on this one subject alone! At one time I had 5 dogs, 100 rats, 100 mice, 40 guinea pigs, 10 ball pythons and about 40 finches!

    One thing I would stress is that too many pets from breeding wind up in humane societies and pet rescues. while a dog CAN have 2 litters a year it would be in the mothers best interest to only have 1 and the mother should be 3 years old.

    When breeding any animal Quality should be the upmost goal striving for a strong and improved breed and in dogs, you rarely really make a profit unless it is a puppy mill operation.

    Also in a down economy the pet industries faired quite poorly and in fact there was almost an epedemic of exotics being dumped off including alligators being fished out of the chicago river when people could not longer afford their beloved pets. All something to consider.

    On the flip side it can be a very wonderful learning experience for kids, our daughter was breeding her Shitzu dogs and loved it very much and learned so much from it. Also if you get word out you care about the health of the breed and breed great quality dogs it can produce some income after food costs, vet bills and such are tallied in. It typically is a side business that you are lucky to break even on though as any reputable breeder would tell you.
    Poor to Rich a Day at a Time recently posted..Date Day That Pays You Money!My Profile

  • I will also say ( see told ya I could write a whole series of articles LOL)

    That in looking at dog breeding itself, the breed must be very carefully decided because each breed is very different. Shitzu’s for example usually have very little whelping difficulites yet can have bad overbites in poor quality or breathing issues from pushed in noses.

    A bulldog has to have a planned C-section, a yorkie femaled due to pelvis being too narrow needs a male smaller in weight than her for breeding and many times can have difficulites if pups heads are too big to push out.

    Also how high the demand in your area for particular breeds needs to be considered, also is there a breed or two that is flooding the market? This brings prices down considerably. In our area that is border collies and we got ours for free.

    There are the xtra expenses for feeding a pregnant mother top quality diets for healthy pups, the cost of registering the litter , vet bills, ads to sell ( you actually should have people wanting babies before you even breed) raising pups to 8 weeks and other costs to consider. Pups should never be sold prior to 8 weeks old , so having a spot to raise them needs to be considered too.
    Poor to Rich a Day at a Time recently posted..Date Day That Pays You Money!My Profile

    • admin

      It sounds like you have a great deal of knowledge and experience. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Man, that does not sound like something I want to do at all! Good to know about the ins and outs, but that is way too many doggies for me. :)
    Frugal Portland recently posted..Reworking my Retirement Contribution: Opening a Roth IRAMy Profile

    • admin

      It is a lot of work, which is why it is the kids’ project. I certainly don’t have time for it myself.