Viet Nam News
ĐẮK LẮK — Hoàng Văn Tiến, 27, starts the day on his dog farm by grooming his four-pawed Alaskan Malamute friend Nana.
Tiến, from the Central Highland province of Đắk Lắk, said Alaskans are notable for their beautiful fur coats.
As well as a grooming Nana’s coat every day, Tiến also has to ensure a healthy diet for his dog.
The food requires different levels of nutrition depending on each stage of Nana’s development. When Nana was a puppy, Tiến fed him milk and calcium, but as he grew, the diet changed to include chicken, beef, vegetables and trứng vịt lộn (duck embyo eggs), Tiến said.
It costs more than VNĐ1 million (US$44) to feed Nana each month, he said.
Nana is one of 30 dogs in Tiến’s farm now, along with Huskies, Poodles, Pugs and Bulldogs, among them 15 females.
Tiến earns about VNĐ500 million ($21,825) per year from selling their puppies, Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.
The dogs at Tiến’s farm.
The story began in late 2016 three years after Tiến had graduated from a vocational school but had failed to turn his training into a success. He seemed to have lost his way, and did not know what to do to earn a living.
At that time, fortunately, one of Tiến’s closest friends in HCM City, suggested he started breeding foreign dogs because Alaskans and Huskies were becoming more popular than ever.
After thinking carefully about the idea, Tiến decided to spend VNĐ10 million ($440) on a pregnant Alaskan.
However, his wife was unhappy when he brought the dog home.
“A foreign dog is not suitable for a poor area like Cư Kpô Commune,” she said.
“It can’t even guard the house like a Vietnamese dog. I don’t like it, it’s a waste of money,” she added.
Tiến took a risk and lied to his wife that the dog belonged to a friend and he was just looking after it while the friend was away on business.
Two months later, the dog gave birth to four puppies that Tiến sold for about VNĐ40 million ($1,750).
His wife was won over, and gave him the nod.
Tiến and his giant friends.
His wife’s approval gave him the motivation to buy two more Alaskans and a Husky. The dogs gave birth to puppies after several months.
Tiến realised that the cool weather in his commune was suitable for raising dogs from the North Pole, so he decided to build a farm covering 1,400sqm with 28 cages and a playground for the dogs last year.
The farm is surrounded by trees and away from residential areas in Nam Anh District.
At first, Tiến had a lot of difficulties raising different breeds of foreign dogs. They got ill, the food was not suitable for them, and he did not have the skills to take care of the pregnant mothers.
“I spent two months in HCM City learning all about that,” he said.
He also turned to Google and social media for advice.
Foreign dogs in Việt Nam often contract skin and digestive-related diseases, so they need to have a healthy diet and be bathed and groomed regularly, he said.
At present, the dog farm is providing puppies for customers across the country, including Hà Nội, HCM City and Cần Thơ. It also provides an artificial insemination service.
"Everything works well," he said.
Tiến is currently thinking about expanding his farm to 50 cages and growing more grass in the dogs’ playground. If the farm does expand, he will hire an additional 4-5 workers to take care of the dogs.
Tiến is a member of dog lovers’ club in the province’s Buôn Hồ Town where he shares his experiences with local youngsters who want to start raising foreign dogs.
Vũ Minh Cường, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Youth Union in Krông Buk District, said Tiến’s story was a good example for local youngsters interested in starting their own businesses.
The union planned to set up a co-operative to provide knowledge on how to train and trade pets, he said.
“Raising a dog not only requires a meticulous nature, you also need a love for our canine friends, ” Tiến said, while playing with his dogs on his farm.— VNS