#88 – 16 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Dog Breeding Program in Under an Hour

by | Apr 7, 2024 | Business Management, Dog & Puppy Management, People Management

Ever look at the clock and realize you don’t have anything specific to do in the next hour? Maybe you’ve taken the dogs out, you’re waiting on taking your kid to his next activity, but you aren’t going to leave for 30 minutes or an hour. Finding time like that kind of creeps me out. It’s so rare, as you know. I often feel inclined to make the most of it. How can I possibly use the next 30-60 minutes in a way that will move things forward for me in life? Big asks, I know.

How do you make the most of the little bits of time in your day?

As a recovered messy person, I learned early on that the difference in whether your life feels like chaos or not when you have a busy schedule—which what parents don’t?—comes down to what you do in the little bits of time.

For example, we use an air fryer and it takes about 12 minutes to do the chicken tenders I like. You’d be amazed how you can usually clear up all your dishes and put them in the dishwasher while you’re waiting on those chicken tenders.

Got two minutes while your bread is in the toaster? Throw in a load of laundry. Want to spend a little quality time with the kids? Have them turn on their favorite show and watch it together while you both fold the laundry.

What’s nice about this is that I never really schedule a whole bunch of cleaning and decluttering time at my home because I just sort of do it throughout the day as I’m waiting on things. Sometimes a coaching client will tell me they’re five minutes late, so I’ll put away my lunch dishes or change over the laundry.

What I’ve found is that none of those things take much preparation, not much planning. You just do what you need to with the dishes or the laundry. Yet, what happens when you have a little more time? What happens when you have that 30-60 minutes and your laundry and dishes are already done! First off, way to go! I’m giving you a high five 🙌 that’s such a great feeling!

How to use slivers of time to improve your dog breeding business

What about the dog breeding business? Is there a way you can capitalize on that sliver of time to do a little for your breeding program, and not just doing more cleaning? Granted, cleaning is always good.

I find a lot of breeders will have that sliver of time and they won’t know what to do with the dog breeding business. We end up wasting the time figuring out what we needed to do, instead of actually doing it.

Today I thought I’d share 16 things you can do in that sliver of time, so when it happens you won’t be wasting your time thinking of how to best use that time.

Grab your copy of the Cheatsheet and then get the full list below!

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16 Things You Can Do In Under an Hour to Make Your Dog Breeding Program Better

1. Write a Template Email

Write an email that answers a common question you’re asked all the time, like what dog food your buyers should buy or what puppy pickup day is like. Many times we are asked a question on text message or in messenger, and it requires more than three sentences to explain. If you write an email template with all your juicy tips and tricks for the situation OR you give them a thorough explanation of the process, then you’ll be able to use the template to give that buyer great service, even if you’re in the middle of the grocery store!

2. Send an Email Out to a Buyer You’ve Been Meaning to Reach Out to

Do you feel like there’s always someone you’re supposed to email or get back to? I feel like that all the time. I was really grateful when gmail got that thing where they reminded you to follow up a few days later. It helped a lot. If you have a buyer you’ve been meaning to follow up with–maybe they called you struggling with something and you gave them some tips or they had a recent scare with their dog’s health–it never hurts to take a moment and check in to see how they’re doing.

3. Register Your Current Litter

Or previous litter for that matter if you’re behind … I would never know what that’s like 😂. Sometimes the small tasks like registering a litter are so quick and small that we never plan time for them to get done, so they don’t get done. If you can take the 15 minutes or less to register that litter, or to fill out the puppy information in the litters you’ve already registered, then you’re that much further ahead!

4. Buy that Thing You’ve Been Meaning to Buy!

Sometimes I know I need to order microchips or vaccines and I just sort of don’t do it, for no reason, even though I need to do it and it legitimately only takes 5-10 minutes. The other day I bought some more puppy pads for my whelping box, and I’m glad I spent the measly $20 to make things that much easier when cleaning and rotating! Maybe you’ve been meaning to try a new product. Take that moment and do it! Get that order coming!

5. Record Some Receipts for Your Books

As you may remember from a few episodes back, I had a love hate relationship with bookkeeping for longer than is justifiable. One of the hardest things for me to do was record receipts. I was flat terrible at it, but not terrible at actually the task. Rather, I was terrible at finding time in my schedule to actually do that task. Bookkeeping always felt slightly less important than something else. Take that sliver of time and record some receipts.

If you have no tracking system for receipts, then take those few minutes, find a folder or an envelope (who cares if it’s used!) and label it “Dog Receipts” and put them all in there. Maybe you have all your receipts, but no way to log them. Then open a spreadsheet on your computer or google sheets and label it dog breeding business expenses, then add in the columns: store, date, amount. That’s better than most breeders have done! Give yourself a pat on the back!

6. Rewrite that Section in Your Contract You’re Always Explaining

Isn’t there always something?! You know that section of your contract I’m talking about. It’s the one where people are always asking questions, the wording is awkward or maybe even in conflict with the rest of the contract. Maybe you’re like one of the many breeders I see who have a contract with terrible formatting because things were copied and pasted from various other contracts. That’s okay! Open up that Word document and hit “select all” and then change the font to the same font and text size. Voila! You’ll already love it more!

7. Wash a Puppy or Two You Still Need to Sell and Take Pictures or Videos

Isn’t that always the pain? You have a puppy to sell, but while you can say good things about them all the time, the buyers always want to see pictures or videos. Why do they always want to see the puppy they’re buying? Who knows? But they do. So if you can take a moment to grab two pups, give them a quick bath and take a picture, you’ll have them tucked in the pocket of your phone, ready to go when that buyer invariably calls while you’re in the grocery store … Seriously, I go to the grocery store like once every 10 days. Why am I always talking to a buyer there?

8. Write a Social Media Caption or Two

Writing a nice social media caption that’s ready to go, to use the picture you just took in the last tip, is another great way to use that sliver of time. For me, social media always took so long. That’s why I avoided it. Well, I found out I’m not the only one!

Most breeders find some part of social media annoying. You’re not alone. However, you are in luck. Our team has created the Breeder Copy Hub, a monthly subscription where we give you social media templates that are customizable to nearly all breeding programs. So while you have that sliver of time, try and take 2-3 of them and customize them for your breeding program! If you’re a member of the Dog Breeder Society, this is included in the price! Learn more about Breeder Copy Hub here … and yes, we are aware of the acronym, it was part of the humor of it.

9. Sign Up for the Dog Breeder Society

Speaking of the Dog Breeder Society, take three minutes and sign up! I can’t wait to meet you inside the Dog Breeder Society! You know me. If I recommend something, I have to think it’ll help you or benefit you. I’m not here to waste your time or money. What’s included? Glad you asked! Each month we release a MasterClass which is a deep dive into a breeding topic, giving you all the details and options to help you make better moves in your breeding program.

In addition to the MasterClass, you get full access to the Breeder Copy Hub, which is the monthly 25 social media caption templates and 5 email templates for use with your email list. We also have two live calls each month, the first and third Thursdays, with yours truly. Not only do I love getting to speak with each of you and see your faces on Zoom, but it’s a great way to learn and hear other techniques and ideas from other breeders.

Lastly, there’s the community. Everyone in the community is so helpful and supportive. There is no judgment in the society, I have no tolerance for it; but more importantly, it’s just not the culture. Each person runs their breeding business a little differently, and that’s just how it works. That’s how life works! You can learn more about the Dog Breeder Society—and join!—here.

10. Watch that MasterClass or Listen to That Podcast

Sometimes I have a video I want to watch and just never seem to get around to it. Take these few minutes, especially if resting your feet feels like the thing to do in that sliver of time, and queue up that video or podcast and start it. I’m often amazed at how much new insight into things I can get from watching a few videos or listening to a few podcasts. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about parenting watching a few YouTube channels, it’s been really helpful as the kids grow and need a little different parenting … however, since this is about dog breeding 😉 I highly recommend this podcast, the Honest Dog Breeder, I heard her story was chaos, but in the end she figured out a lot of things and shares them.

11. Write the Copy for a Page on Your Website

Isn’t that always the thing? You go to work on your website and just stare? I’ve found it’s been helpful for me if I just write all the copy on a document in my computer, and then worry about putting it on the website later. Some pages that often need a little work on breeder websites are:

  • the “Why Us” page, where you describe why people should choose you,
  • the “About Us” page, where you tell your story and how or why you got into dog breeding, and
  • the “Puppy Process” page, where you describe the process of getting a puppy.

If your copy is fine, then take the opportunity to post those pictures or list that puppy you’ve been meaning to list!

12. Organize an Album of Pictures of Your Breeding Dogs on Your Phone

Have you ever been scrolling endlessly through the tens of thousands of pictures on your phone? It doesn’t help that puppies like to be blurry in photos, so there are even more pictures on your phone. Anyway, take a moment to get those images put together into an album on your phone so when people message and you need to send the photos, they’re ready to go. This also goes for taking pictures of dog food and other supplies you’re frequently recommending.

13. Make a List on Amazon

A silly thing my ex-husband and I did when he was deployed was share an Amazon list of things we wanted to get our kids for Christmas and birthdays. Since he didn’t see them for a while, he wanted to make sure that what he was picking out was relevant, so he and I shared the list together. It also prevented us from buying duplicates. You can put together a list for your buyers of some of your favorite products, like toys or puppy containment products, so it’s ready to share when they ask. I recently found out Revival Animal now has wish lists. I’m not sure how I’ll use them yet, but I think it’ll streamline my ordering—maybe I’ll make a list for you!

14. Do Research on the Two Products You’re Between

Have you been stuck debating between two things? Maybe you’re looking at changing your whelping setup or you’re looking to see which airline will be your preferred for shipping pups, or which nanny service to use. Take the sliver of time to read some reviews, learn more about what to look for, and then do some price shopping. These things are not wastes of time. Sometimes reading an Amazon review changes everything I thought I knew about a product.

15. Ask for a Review for Google or Facebook

Often we forget to ask for reviews and rarely will people think to give them. Grab the link for the review page and send it to a few buyers and ask for their review. Obviously, pick the people who will give you the good reviews. Then make it really easy by sending them the direct link and say something along the lines of, “I’d love it if you could give me a review, buyers are often curious what it was like working with me as a breeder.” This way they know to write about you the breeder instead of just a monologue about how much they love their dog, which is helpful, but not as helpful as it could be to prospective buyers. Everyone loves their dog, even the really special ones.

16. Lastly, take a break

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is relax. We don’t have to be productive all the time. Taking a moment to sit on the couch and relax or, for me, sit on the front bench in the sun, listening to the birds and looking at the mountain, are much needed to decompress and remind myself of why I’m doing all the things I do. I enjoy it when the kids come to sit with me and we can have a little chat about their latest project.

Well there you go! 16 things you can do in under an hour to help you with your breeding program. If you’d like this list to print off and keep handy, you can grab it using the form below.

Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Honest Dog Breeder Podcast, with me, your host, Julie Swan. Thank you for taking the time to be one of the Honest Breeders. There’s a change for the better coming in the world of dogs and dog breeding, and you’re spearing it.

Show Notes

Referenced Links
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Hey! I’m Julie Swan! I’m here to help you build a breeding business that you love, one that produces amazing dogs, places them in wonderful homes, gives you the life you want, also pays the bills!