Pet Breeding and Trading

By ACS Distance Education on January 30, 2019 in Animals, Careers & Jobs Success | comments
Dogs, cats and many other types of pets commonly originate from breeders. Breeders are often, but not always, regulated by law. Some animals however may be harvested from the wild as pets.  Breeders often sell direct to the pet owners; but in some places, pets are supplied in bulk to a retailer who may sell them through a pet shop.

Scope of Work

Breeders need to meet legal and ethical standards in most developed countries; though requirements vary in different jurisdictions. Developed countries (eg. UK, USA, Australia) license dog breeders, and set down requirements such as how animals should be housed, handled and minimum veterinary care.  Legislative restrictions also apply to taking, keeping and movement of wildlife.

The scope of work here is affected heavily by the regulations, as they relate to the species and breeds which are dealt with. Breeders may facilitate natural or artificial methods to induce pregnancy. Animals then must be cared for during and post pregnancy. Some jobs may be highly technical (eg. artificial insemination), and other tasks may be routine  (eg. feeding and exercising animals).

Work may involve:

  • Breeding - planned breeding, pre and post natal care, pedigree registration
  • Catching - tropical fish taken from wild for aquaria, wild animals caught for breeding
  • Trading - buying, selling and even trading sperm of high value animals (eg. stud horses and cattle).

What You Need to Learn

  • Animal husbandry and biology
  • Animal health - first aid, biosecurity
  • Animal behaviour -informs handling
  • Handling techniques – wild or domesticated. eg. transportation, confinement
  • Safety Practices – for humans & animals
  • Animal Ethics
  • Regulation/laws
  • Catching wild animals – specific skills depending on species
  • Management – managing projects, finance, manpower, resources, accounting practices, legal practices

Starting a Career

Career generally start with a strong interest in animals. This may be through being around pets or farm animals at home; or becoming involved with amateur groups (eg. a kennel club, birdwatching group or young farmers organisation).
As interest and networking develop, knowledge and passion can grow, leading to opportunities. There may be a natural progression to working with animals, whether in an amateur or professional capacity; and in due course formal or informal learning.  

  • Breeders may learn on the job, working as an animal attendant at a stud farm (livestock), zoo (wildlife), or kennel/cattery (pets).
  • Traders may buy and sell animals; perhaps as a go between, trading with breeders and pet shops; or as a stock agent.
  • Catchers may begin working in conservation or even ecotourism.

Progressing a Career

Top breeders need to understand biological processes and genetics that underpin breeding in captivity, and conservation of species and genetic diversity in the wild. Leading experts may learn a lot of what they need to know on the job; or may undertake formal courses at colleges or universities. There are many ways to progress your career as a breeder:

  • Attend trade shows and build networks
  • Build your breeding profile showing animals
  • Get involved with associations for your breed
  • Extend your learning with courses, seminars, and books
  • Strive to be aware of trends and developments within the industry.
  • Ongoing professional development and networking are critical to furthering a business or career.  Any business or individual who wishes to advance their career will need to build their management and marketing skills. Invest time in this, especially if your aim is to run your own business.