becpups - if you're using an educated, responsible breeder who takes being a breeder seriously - you pay for what you get. You can spend $600 with a great breeder (who shows their dogs, tests their breeding stock, gives their puppies good vet care, vaccinations, wormer, and a great start) or you can spend $100 out of the paper and flip a coin as to whether you'll drop $1000 at the vet in the first year... If I gave my puppies away I'd I have to be independently wealthy in order to breed another litter ever again... The litter of 8 that I have on the ground right now is going through $50 in food every 2 weeks (don't get me started on how much their mother ate while nursing them!). Their vet check alone was $100. Wormer, vaccinations, starting them in Frontline Plus and Interceptor... tack on another $150-200... Cleaning supplies? Toys? Shampoo? This doesn't even start to factor in hip, eye, thyroid, VwD, & MDR-1 clearances on the dam - the gas and stud fee on the sire... litter registration costs... Or the hours I spent planning the litter, caring for the puppies, and looking for the right home for each one... or the hours I'll spend talking with the people who decide to buy each puppy, answering their questions, sharing my home and dogs with them - and that doesn't end when the puppy leaves my home and goes to their home...
If you get a puppy from a great breeder... the higher price is well worth it. Of course, if you're going to pay more than $50 for a puppy, you'd better expect your breeder to earn what they are charging per puppy by being educated and going that extra mile.
i do understand that, but i just don't see why people would want to charge so much for a dog..i mean a 1000 bucks for a little dog that isn't a working dog doesn't seem worth it. i can understand if the dog is a working dog or a hunting dog. and i respect good breeders, my next door neighbor is a breeder and they do wonderfully with their dogs, they have aussie's and mini dausaunds. and they only sale their aussie's for 250 for a male and 300 for female. not for sure on the dausaunds. but that is not a bad price to me, they are working dogs, and they are raised around horses, but back to the fact that i just don't see the point in spending that much money on a mixed breed dog, that is the whole point a pure breed with a champion blood line is on thing a mixed breed that u can adopt from an animal shelter for half the cost is another..
becpups, there are very few dogs doing the job they were bred to do these days. There are a few exceptions, like the Border Collie, and the Heelers (just as an example) but since a lot of the reasons why many dogs were bred are not acceptable or obsolete these days, most breeds are not working dogs. You are entitled to your opinion. Those of us who are breeders will keep charging the same price for our dogs, and their buyers will keep walking away very happy people.
I agree about not spending an arm and a leg for a mixed breed dog - largely because those breeders probably bought their breeding dogs for $250 and haven't done any testing, feed cheap food, give cheap vet care, put the bitch out in a whelping pen and walk away... It makes me sick seeing people charging obscene amounts of money for puppies essentially just to make money... the bigger point is that what they make is NOT going back into their breeding program - which is where it should be going.
As for your neighbor - I bet the puppies are well socialized and the dogs relatively well cared for - but I guarantee you that they have do absolutely no health testing on the parents (and with BC's OFA on hips is important) and they bought their breeding dogs from another farmer/rancher who works their dogs. That's fine, when you understand that if the people buying those puppies are putting them out in the barn to work cattle - they probably are also going to take them out back and shoot them when their hips turn up displastic - not stick $1500-2000 into fixing the hip.
$250-300 SOUNDS like a great price - until you understand why they can get away with asking only $250-300 for a puppy.
Especially with working dogs - being a "show breeder" is not so much about "pretty". It's more about correct structure and function. And if you're working with a good breeder with working dogs (I raise and show Shelties) - their dogs should be able to do more than just move around a show ring and stand nicely on a table. We pay attention to herding instinct and the ability to perform other jobs. I could start working almost any one of my dogs on sheep or ducks tomorrow and see results. My dogs are just as apt to get a conformation championship as they are an Agility or Obedience or Herding title.
Even more importantly - I know when I place a pet with someone, that the odds of them having to be put to sleep at 2 years old with a joint problem is slim - both because I breed sound, sturdy dogs, but also because I had their hips OFA cleared before breedingt them, and their parents had their hips OFA cleared, and their grandparents had their hips OFA cleared.
When you see those breeders charging $250 a puppy... that's what they put into a litter of puppies and their dogs. They are likely eating Kibbles n' Bits (which provides little or no nutrition - might be a different brand, but it will still be cheap food), they are probably not wormed well (which is scary when you talk about a working dog), probably haven't been vaccinated or seen by the vet (so you take your puppy home and it has a heart murmur - after which the "breeder" won't take it back and you have to decide whether to watch it die, spend thousands fixing it, or put it to sleep), and even better... the dogs they are breeding will be lucky to make it to 10 years old because while they make nice pets and can move livestock, their family tree is riddled with health problems that no one doing any breeding knows about because they just don't ask those questions. They took two nice dogs and bred them together and are charging you enough money to maybe keep buy their cheap dog food for the rest of their dogs for the year.
Breeding is about a lot more than that. My point always has been, and always will be - if you don't want to spend the money buying from a great breeder who tests, knows their breed and bloodlines backwards and forwards, and takes this whole thing seriously as a breeder - go to the Shelter or Rescue. If you want to only drop $250-300 - save a life - because the dog you'll buy from your neighbor for $300 is exactly the same dog you'll buy at the Shelter - maybe slightly better socialized = but you're rolling the same dice health wise - and I bet if you had a pedigree to compare, the same no name, no record dogs would be in it... (which means less about titles and more about how much the breeders actually care about quality - two 10 year olds can take two Border Collies and breed them together - whether they know what they are doing in order to produce healthy, sound puppies is another thing).
Not trying to ruffle any feathers, just posting in case anyone is interested... adopting a young dog or puppy is very difficult from a good shelter when you have small children. Our local humane society says no pups with kids under 5-8 years. Most local rescue groups are the same. I understand that puppies are time consuming and challenging. I've been told that pups are often returned when the owner can't handle it, or that they are concerned for the kids. I just wouldn't adopt an older dog because I couldn't be sure of their background. There seems to be a different level of trust and respect when you raise a dog from a pup. My kids and their safety come first. It's really too bad that a young family seems to be discriminated against in the adoption process. We had to purchase our boxer puppy. Yes we are working through some health issues, but the first few visits to our vet were an all clear. I doubt EVERY shelter dog is completely healthy. But even so, from an aspect of "handling" life with kids, ages 5, 2 and 6 months and our 4 month old boxer Roxy, it is going very well. She is very gentle and respectful, as are the kids. They love to run and play together! Sure, sometimes life gets crazy, but atleast everbody learns to be patient. : ) We are good people, my husband is a farmer, our kids are happy, we play, we feed Roxy good, natural food.... we provide for; our purchased, not adopted dog. I know there are great dogs in the shelters. I grew up volunteering in one. There just may be many case specific reasons why a person may purchase their dog. It just seemed to me that people are quite hard on each other about the whole breeder vs. shelter debate. Just one more opinion.
Though, keep in mind a GOOD breeder will screen you and ask questions about your family, children, lifestyle, etc. And depending on the breed you are looking at...will also decline you if you have young children.
However, a BYB or other less than ethical breeder will not ask questions and sells the pups to whomever flashes the cash.
Yes, definately a good point. I hope I'm not supposed to take offense to it though. I do feel that after meeting my family that any reasonable, reputable breeder would have no problems placing one of their babies with us. But I know what we are and what we're not as well. A tiny dog and a busy toddler... not a good match. Small kids, a smaller house and a 150lb. beast... not a good match. I'm all about exercising common sense. Maybe some people who are not have ruined it for the rest of us. I can see how rescue groups and shelter employees may become likely to discriminate. I've heard that some workers begin to disliike people after seeing animal abuse & neglect. However, some just border on the line of cocky and rude. I have children, not some vicious puppy eating monster. Quite honestly, I would prefer to work with someone kind and respectful while making such a large decision. (yeah it kind of sucks that people who want your money are VERY nice!) I hunted for months for the right fit. If I ask questions I'd like helpful answers. Nobody enjoys a being made to feel like a moron. Sometimes it seems like people who base their lives around animals forget how to treat people. I don't have much experience with dogs, but everyone has to start somewhere. What would be nice is great breeders with lots of health checks who were friendly, and didn't need you to refinance your house to take home a puppy. I had trouble finding that person. Finally I just picked a dog. In choosing Roxy we did make a potentially huge mistake by falling for her & her personality despite the lack of background health checks. Very hard to balance finance with heart. I wish we could've paid top dollar for a health guaranteed pup. Now we may get nickeled and dimed to death. Time will tell. What do you do? So back to the original post... if you can find a healthy dog that you love, no matter the breed, I guess pricing is subjective. Most people will charge what others will pay. Hopefully you can afford it and it's worth it.
***Edited By: RoxyBoxy on 10/2/2008 1:41:55 AM*** Reason: ***
Roxy I understand your situation. As a breeder I don't "stereotype" families. I think pups raised in apartment homes can be well excercised and cared for, for example. However, I am leery of placing a puppy in an apartment home if I ask the person "Do you walk/jog daily NOW?" and they say no... if they run a mile every day already, they are more apt to take their puppy for a long walk. If they are too busy or don't enjoy physical excercise now... they almost 95% of the time won't do it AFTER they get a puppy.
That's just an example. Most GOOD, responsible, intelligent breeders don't veto a home just because you have kids or a small home. They ask A LOT more questions than that. I have a questionnaire I have interested families fill out. But I don't want yes or no answers. I want insight into their lifestyle. If I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling about an answer, I inquire further about what they meant.
If you deal with any breeder worth their salt, they don't draw a line in the sand about stupid technical facts. It's the big picture they look at. And they don't sell you a puppy after 1 phone call or e-mail. It's a lot of bantering back and forth and getting to know each other. If you only dealt with breeders who didn't do this... that was your problem.
Sure, BYB's are usually friendly, nice people. Guess what... all those questions they answered and didn't make you feel like a moron... THEY probably didn't know they correct answer to either. Often, BYB's walk the walk and talk the talk - but they haven't done enough research to give you a good, informed answer. You can relay information and not sound condescending. What a lot of breeders get fed up with is the "myths" that get spewed by pet owners who were scared of dealing with a breeder who didn't come off like Donna Reed. I want to be your friend. By I only have a limited amount of patience for people who you tell something 2-3 times and they STILL think that some myth they heard is true (like how all boys are more dominant - or you can tell how big a puppy will be based on the size of the parents - or that show quality is determined by markings).
Like for instance - the myth that breeders charge what people are willing to pay... NOT true. A good breeder charges about what it takes to try and cover some of their expenses. It is NOT cheap to raise a litter of puppies properly. It annoys me when people think we make a killing doing what we do IF you do it well and do everything you should do. Puppymills, BYB's - THEY make a killing. Those health tests cost money. Good food costs money. Good vet care costs money. Better yet - good breeding stock costs money. You probably just bought a puppy for double what the breeder paid for their breeding stock. THAT should scare you. Did you ask where they got THEIR dogs from? Because while you may not want to buy from a Puppymill - most BYB's get their breeding dogs from Puppymills because that is the ONLY place that will sell them a dog for breeding if they won't do health testing, don't show, don't continue their education as a breeder.
I agree that too many breeders forget how to deal with people. However, having been on both sides of the coin (pet owner and breeder) - WAY too many pet people go into making a purchase/adoption thinking they know more than they do and not willing to listen to someone who does. They don't think that the BREEDER matters. They only care about the puppy. You have to realize that every decision your breeder makes with their dogs effects YOU because they chose to buy the dogs they are breeding, they chose how much knowledge they felt was enough to make sure they bred healthy, sound dogs, they chose what food to feed, wormer to give, vet care to provide. Those things directly effect you and your dog.
And I disagree that you need a puppy if you have kids. Often times an older dog is a better choice. What you see is what you get. That puppy you are raising - she may have dogs in her background that as adults became agressive and dominant. Those tendencies probably wouldn't show up until after she goes through puberty. I think if you have an adult with sound temperament, they often are BETTER for a home with young kids. The desire to get a puppy usually has little to do with the adjustment for the children and more with the fact that everyone wants a cute puppy.
You may be very lucky and have no health issues. Or you may be like me... before I started breeding a bought a Sheltie as a pet because she was the right price, color, and sex. She had severe temperament issues that started really showing up as she hit adolesence. By 18 months old she had luxated patellas in both rear knees ($600-1500 PER KNEE depending on the vet and area). By 2 she was diagnosed with allergies that have required shots, special food, and a lot of extra work. By 3 she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (the medication is cheap - the repeating of the bloodwork to check her thyroid function every year is $60-80). By 7 years old she is on arthritis medication/pain killers daily that are $1 a day to give JUST so she can KIND OF function like a normal dog. I love her and enjoy her as a pet - but if I had kids... that would be a nightmare. Because by 2 years old I had a dog that couldn't really roughhouse, didn't enjoy being super active, and with her temperament issues would have bitten them...
It only works out about 1/2 the time. Hopefully you're one of the lucky ones. Me, I have horrible luck and choose not to gamble.
Everyone here made some great points. I think that I would rather buy a puppy from someone who did a thorough screening of me than from someone who just took my money. Unfortunately, I didn't do the research and didn't get my dog from a breeder but from a 'broker'. She had tons of puppies of different crosses and the only thing she could say to describe them was that they had a great temperament. Of course, my pup was so beautiful and everything and I was so gung-ho on getting a puppy, that I paid a ridiculous amount for a mixed breed. Plus, she didn't care about where this puppy was going to live, in what conditions she was going to live, how much exercise she will get etc. Luckily, she has been healthy so far but I don't know what her parents' genetics are like so I could face some issues in the future. Dont' get me wrong, I love my dog more than anything but I wish I hadn't been so impulsive and pig-headed that I had to get a dog at that very moment. Understandably, you'd feel like you're getting the third degree but these breeders really care about the dogs they breed.
As for a rescue or shelter, they wouldn't be such if they didn't screen potential adopters. People buy puppies at pet stores and when they don't come trained or have health issues, they desert them.
Anyway, I'm no expert but I know that I will do my research next time.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
Hi abbylynne. Yes, you make very good points. I do agree with good breeders charging fair prices for what they've invested. I was more talking about designer dogs with no health screening (charging what people will pay) I just could not find a good line with any sort of reasonable pricing locally to where I could go meet the dogs. I don't want someone shipping me a dog I've never met. Yeah, and I don't know about the adult dog thing. It'd be hard to convince me to feel as trusting. Just a personal hang up I guess. With regards to discrimination & attitudes I was more refering to shelters & rescues. The more I learn, the more I respect the high quality breeder. Shoulda coulda woulda. Thanks for your thoughts.