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How to Become an Animal Breeder in the US

Animal breeders study and analyze animal reproduction cycles and genealogy to help in breeding of purebreds or cross breeding to increase an animal’s value and productivity. A career as an animal breeder involves working with animals round the clock and researching on different ways to improve breeds.

What does an Animal Breeder Do?

In your line of work, you will have the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Research and learn animal genealogy
  • Offer immediate care to animals before and after breeding including feeding them and providing medical assistance when necessary
  • Observe and follow animal’s ovulation cycles
  • Artificial insemination
  • Record and assess an animal’s fertility data
  • Arrange the accommodation, sale and movement of animals after breeding
  • Feed and care for newborn animals
  • Ensure the breeding process does not break any animal protection laws
  • Prepare and maintain breeding facilities to ensure they are safe for animals
  • Brand or tattoo animals for identification
  • Dehorn or castrate animals when necessary


Basic qualifications to practice as an animal breeder include:

  • Post secondary education in animal breeding for an entry level position
  • A bachelor’s degree in veterinary science, agricultural science, zoology or a related field
  • A masters degree in zoology to work in a zoo
  • A license from your local council
  • Knowledge on state regulations that govern animal breeding


You will also need additional skills, which will include:

  • Ability to make observations, take notes and record data
  • Empathy and genuine care for animals
  • Ability to work in a team and share information with other team members
  • Physical stamina, patience and a calm attitude when dealing with animals
  • Critical thinking and quick decision making
  • Keen interest in animal welfare
  • Up to date information on animal breeding technology
  • Understanding of animal safety procedures

Work Environment

Your work environment will vary depending on the type of breeding. As a domestic breeder, you will work in homes or animal shelters. If you work as an agricultural or zoo breeder, you will work at specified breeding locations or in research laboratories. You will also have access to a wider breed of animals and more advanced equipment.

Your career will have you working both indoors and outdoors regardless of the weather conditions. Your work environment is dependent on an animal’s schedule. In agricultural breeding, the breeding season may have you working overtime. The birth of a newborn is an exciting experience; however, it can be exhausting as you have to monitor it round the clock.

Your work also exposes you to various hazards, for example, bites and injuries. You also risk contracting infections from animals. Always wear protective clothing and take safety precautions at all times.


Entry level



Middle level






Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages

Career Prospects

A career as an animal breeder gives you an opportunity to work with different animals. You can advance your career to become a consultant breeder or work as a researcher. Alternatively, you can pursue a career as a veterinary or animal surgeon.

The experience you gain as an animal breeder also helps you become more conscious of animal rights. You can then use this information to advise animal rights organizations or start your own animal rights movement.

In case you enjoy working with animals and are curious about reproduction in animals then you should consider a career as an animal breeder.

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