Why are puppy prices so high?
There are many factors which dictate the price of QUALITY purebred dogs.
Reputable breeders who care about the breed are striving to provide quality dogs that are both physically and mentally sound, to protect the breed standard and ensure the health of each individual dog bred. There are many steps involved in the process – many take place even before the puppy is born.
Purpose for the dog show
The purpose of the ‘dog show’ is for breeders to exhibit, recognize and find the best possible specimens for breeding. A good breeder must have the knowledge of correct canine structure and movement, and a thorough understanding of the breed standard for that particular breed.
But I Only Want Pet Quality
Pet quality puppies from "show lines" are superior to ones who aren't simply because they are bred with the goal in mind of creating the highest quality possible. People who only breed "for pets" have their goals set much lower and their only interest is to make money. They simply just buy any two dogs and put them together without thinking about what will be produced. This can come at a very high price with health and conformation issues that often don’t appear until the puppy has grown and is now a valued and beloved member of your family.
Costs of a Good Breeding Program
For the majority, operating an ethically successful breeding program is an act of love for the breed and a very expensive ‘hobby’. Below is listed some of the requirements and costs necessary in creating and maintaining a breeding program in which to create dogs who are representative of their breed standard and who are healthy and have pleasant temperaments:
- Travelling to shows and to meet with other breeders
- join clubs and attend meetings
- education via attending seminars and purchasing related books and periodicals
- COST: $500 - $1000+ per year depending on how many shows you attend.
- Purchase show quality dog to show (the above steps must be done first or it is very difficult to find and recognize a show dog of any worth!!)
- COST: $2500 to $6000 (for an unproven puppy)
- Maintain dog (food, vet bills, de-worming, grooming etc.)
- COST: about $1000 per year per dog
- Show dog at Championship shows to prove its worthiness and value to the breed.
- COST: on the conservative side, about $2000 (this only includes travel money (gas) and entry fees. Hotel stays and meals etc. are over and above these costs.
- Assuming success thus far, purchase another show dog of opposite sex whose pedigree and physical characteristics (genotype and phenotype) will compliment your first one. If not successful, start over anyway!
- COST: add up totals above once if first one worked out, twice if not.
- Instead of buying a male, you can pay a stud fee to another breeder to breed your bitch. Stud fees for a Champion males stud can cost anywhere from $500 to over $1000 depending on the dog. Then you must hope that you girl throws more than one pup (1 to 3 is an average pom litter).
- When above has been repeated (and paid out) enough to have acquired and shown two lovely dogs, one male and one female, who complement each other, you can now prepare to breed them by doing the necessary genetic screening tests for that breed. Or you search for an outside stud and pay the fee as mentioned above.
- If any dog doesn’t pass all of the tests, then you Start Over.
- If no one has any diseases or genetic defects, you may breed them. Now we have ultrasound and for the hopefully pregnant female and an x-ray for first pregnancies in order to determine if the pelvis is wide enough for a natural birth. If not, a c-section will be necessary.
- COST: $250 for ultra sound, $150 for x-ray, $2200+ for c-section
- If the female can’t get pregnant then you Start over with a new female, male, or sometimes both.
- If you are lucky enough to get a litter of 1 to 3 puppies (average for poms) you will now need to feed them when they stop nursing, give them their shots, de-worm them, register the litter and register each puppy individually.
- COST - $300 per puppy.
Raising these little balls of fur is rewarding to us because we get to be there when they are born. We get to feed them and bathe them and train them. We get to take them to the shows. In the end, we get to find them only the best ‘forever’ pet home.
As you can see from the list of expenses above, this is not a business, it’s a passion.
‘ONCE A POM OWNER – ALWAYS A POM OWNER’