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How to gain get profits from dogs

Jun 23, 2024
Home > Counties > Love for dogs’ leads to business venture for Kericho man

Love For Dogs’ Leads To Business Venture For Kericho Man

A Kericho resident has found a way to turn his love for dogs into a fairly successful business venture.

Zablon Rotich, 60, a resident of Chepkurubet village in Ainamoi sub-county and a farmer also opted to throw his weight into breeding and training German Shepherd dogs which he leases out to security firms for protection at a fee.

The dog training venture which comprises of boarding kennels and a training ground for the furry animals located within his homestead situated along the Kericho-Kisumu highway in a quiet setting on a dead end road with no traffic.

Having worked for 36 years Rotich who retired from active service this year as an Agricultural Extension Officer adds that his love for dogs began when he was three- years- old and he saw the market potential following the death of his father in 1991 who left five dogs under his care.

“When my father passed on he left behind an old Peugeot 504 which was left parked for six months and I felt the urge to have a drive with it so that the engine will continue running without a hitch. When I was coming back the dogs started howling and came running towards the motor vehicle thinking this was their master. I felt the love they had for my late father and from that day I vowed to forever take care of dogs,” said Rotich.

He only owns and breeds the exotic German shepherd breed of dogs. Currently, Rotich owns six mature dogs of this breed, his oldest Tyson who is three years old weighs 60 kilos, and has 10 puppies. All the animals are registered with the East African Kennel Club (EAKC).

“I like German Shepherds because they are all-round dogs. It can do all the work you can think of and it is ranked as an intelligent breed of dogs.  During my years of breeding and training them I discovered that dogs are in two categories show line and work line. The dogs breed for just show line purposes are docile and hardly bark but I was interested in work line dogs which are good for personal protection, tracking, retrieval, and detection of narcotics and they act as aides for visually impaired people.  All my dogs are registered with the East African Kennel Club (EAKC) and one of my dogs took position two during a contest held by EAKC in Nairobi last year,” added Rotich.

The father of three began with three dogs in 2016 and seven years down the line he now boasts of a pack of six mature dogs which he hires out to security firms in the area revealing that it costs a client Sh1,000 to hire a single dog for an assignment and also sells them with his main clients coming from Kisumu, Kiambu, Nairobi, Machakos, Meru, Mombasa and Kericho counties in addition to neighboring countries of Uganda and Tanzania.

“I teach people how to train and handle dogs be it security firms or dog lovers where I cover three units and each unit has a fee notably obedience classes at Sh15,000, protection training at Sh15,000, and tracking and rescue at Sh20,000. I also sell puppies depending on their age and weight from Sh60,000 but I always ensure they are fully vaccinated against Parvovirus twice and DHLP which consists of distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parainfluenza. Each of these diseases is very contagious and can be deadly to a young puppy. I currently sell one German Shepherd puppy for Sh60,000. A client from Tanzania bought one of my German shepherd dogs for Sh200, 000 in 2021,” noted Rotich.

His vast knowledge of breeding comes from his experience while working at the Department of Agriculture within the Kericho County government administration as well as taking part in EAKC dog competitions which he reveals made him acquire a network of friends who are engaged in dog breeding of German shepherd dog breeds.

“The trait of a particular dog is transferred to the offspring. I am able to find good breeds from my close network of dog lovers whom I met during the EAKC competitions. I am concentrating on the German Shepherd work line dog breed and I have been using the male breed from the Czech Republic, South Africa, and Serbia. I charge Sh60,000 for mating,” he said.

Despite it being a costly affair to feed his animals Rotich reveals that he makes his own dog feeds which he also sells to dog lovers. He maintains that he gets his vaccines from reputed agro-vet shops within Kericho town.

“Dog pellets better known as Kibble retails at Sh9, 200. My home ration that I make costs Sh6,000 for a 100-kg bag. To maintain a healthy dog, a dog lover ought to adhere to the vaccination schedules to help avoid costly treatments for preventable diseases like rabies and distemper,” added Rotich.

With a smile on his face Rotich says that when he began his dog venture most of his neighbours did not welcome the idea but over time they have come to accept it as he has helped beef up security within his locality.

Rotich advices anyone interested in going into the same business that they should first love dogs and start small and progress slowly.

“With this investment, I have managed to educate my three children as well as construct my family home which is almost complete. Am a farmer. I keep dairy cows in addition to growing Hass avocadoes for export but my passion is with German shepherd dogs. It is all about passion and I advise those interested in dog breeding to start small probably with one dog then progress slowly as they build up their base,” said Rotich.