Is breeding dogs your business?
We are a small "hobby kennel" on 5 beautiful acres in East Tennesseee producing 1-2 litters year. Those litters are planned with the betterment of the breed and genetic health in mind which means we travel to do breedings, import frozen semen for AI breedings, and travel to see potential stud dogs not just within the US but to Canada and Europe, as well. We literally spend more on basic vet checkups and teeth cleaning each year than we take in from placing puppies.
Fortunately, we have ample resources as we are both professionals with nearly 30 years in our respective fields. David is the Principal Technical Architect (Systems Engineering) for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online and Carolyn is the Group Controller for the Americas Region for Key Safety Systems (now Joyson Safety Systems).
Breeding and showing dogs is a hobby -- a very pricey one even before you factor in the opportunity costs associated with making career, housing and commuting decisions to accommodate our dogs. We've spent a not-so-small-fortune creating what is effectively a private dog park to accommodate our kids. David is a full-time telecommuter which allows him to be home with the dogs all day. When we travel to shows, we have an RV that allows us to take all our dogs with us.
This is all a very long-winded way of saying we support our dogs -- our dogs don't support us or our dog show careers. We are very fortunate that we do not make breeding or dog placement decisions with money as the primary consideration.
How many dogs do you have?
The number fluctuates, but typically we have kept between 10 and 15 dogs at our home at any given time although we are in the process of reducing that number. We tend to have more older, "non-productive" dogs than other breeders might keep. It's a personal choice we made. Our dogs, for the most part, have been with us for life. We have recently decided to begin placing some of our younger adults and adolescents so that they have the opportunity to be 'only dogs' in great homes.