DETERMINING THE PRICE OF OUR PUPPIES
As a reputable breeder, I get asked quite often:
How do I determine what I will charge for a puppy? Why does the puppy cost what it does?
While I realize that a Golden puppy is a significant investment, it may help to know some of the factors that go into the cost of a well-bred Golden Retriever.
Contrary to popular belief, breeding if done correctly, is not a profitable venture. We don't set our price on what we have monetarily put into each individual puppy, but what it costs us to run our breeding program as a whole. While we would love to have enough puppies for every request, a great deal goes into the selection of our breeding stock. Our primary focus is to breed show quality puppies that we can campaign in the breed ring. We breed first of all for ourselves, to improve the breed, and have dogs to show and prospective upcoming breeding stock. Knowing that, helps you to know that even a pet quality puppy has been carefully bred and screened. Anyone who is just breeding pets does not have the breeds qualities, temperament and breed type as their first concerns. We do not breed litters to sell puppies, and every litter we breed is with the intention to produce something we can show. This helps assure our customers that their puppy will boast a typical golden coat, temperament and sound structure.
Breeding Goldens or any breed, where the average litter size is 5 to 10 puppies, has a significant impact on the cost. We have to consider many different things like:
The dogs we purchase, the average show or breeding Golden which are bought from the best breeders are costly. The cost of an average show dog is usually very expensive and can cost upwards of $7,000 and then we still have to wait, hoping it passes all the genetic clearances as well as be a good example of the breed. If it doesn’t pass we have a great deal of money tied up in one dog that we now have to spay. Any time we buy a dog or keep a puppy from a litter we are hoping that it will potentially replace one of our breeding dogs, however, this doesn’t always work out as intended.
Genetic testing is an integral part of our breeding program. The more informed we are about the gene code on our dogs and their ancestors, the more responsibly we can breed. We have our dogs hearts checked by a board certified canine cardiologist, have their Hip and Elbows certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and all dogs have their eyes checked for genetic defects and cataracts by a ophthalmologist, then certified by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. We also DNA test for core preventable diseases that include PRA1, PRA2, prcd-PRA, DM, NCL, and ichthytosis. Having said all that, genetic testing is expensive, but critical to providing you with a puppy whose parents have been screened for known problems within the breed.
Finally, we have to consider all the medical costs in our breeding program, C-sections for a mom that has complications during delivery, vitamins and minerals to insure healthy dog and puppies, vaccinations, de-worming, puppy vet checks, and many more things that could come up. We cover these charges overall rather than apply them to the sale of one puppy. We feed a very high quality dog food averaging around $48.00 per bag.
We make it our responsibility to know what lines carry certain genetic tendencies and strive to do the very best we can to avoid problems. We also have to reflect on the day to day cost of grooming supplies, toys, high quality food, crates, crate pads, heating and air conditioning.
While we do not claim perfection, and have no control over recessive genetics and their timetable to show up, we do our very best. We don't even screen people for as many genetic defects before they have children as breeders to with their dogs. But, we will continue our endeavor to provide ourselves and you with quality dogs that are healthy and suitable for their intended purposes.
With all of this said.....
How We Determine A Puppy Price (Please Read to Bottom of Page)
Dog breeding is becoming more and more difficult in today’s times. Food & Medical expenses top the list for breeders trying to keep puppies affordable on creating the perfect "healthy, long lived" family pet besides trying to be competitive in the dog show world. Hopefully this will also help to understand why some litters may cost more then others.
THE "COST" OF RAISING A PUPPY IN TODAY'S ECONOMY IS:
$1,800 to 3,500
Today, we map plan and plan our breeding's for months. We are forced to breed mostly by technology using Progesterone testing to target the perfect conception date, in some cases FedEx to ship the semen from point A to B, and Ultrasound to determine pregnancy. This all costs money to do it right! Then once she is pregnant we wait to 58 days for an xray to see if she will be able to have them naturally or a caesarian section. Once the puppies are here our "dog mom" jobs begin…imprinting, laundry, sleeping by the whelping box so no one gets laid on, potty training starting at 4 weeks, more laundry, no rest for the weary and then socializing and more laundry. We finally get to have a full night sleep around the 4th week. It is a monumental task to do it right and keep everyone healthy and happy. Then back to the vets to make sure everyone’s heart is beating correctly and review their overall health.
We believe in:
* Raising puppies in our home to obtain the best social skills as adults
* Purina Proplan dog food
* Early Neurological stimulation
* Litter Potty Training starting as early as 4 weeks
* Nursing as long as possible to maximize immunity
* Socializing with humans, other adult mothers, and some sires at 7 weeks to obtain good social skills.
* Temperament and conformation testing at 7 weeks.
Our seasoned adults are used to raising puppies and this makes it easier for the puppy to go to their new home where he/she might be the 2nd dog coming into a house hold. They learn quickly how to interact with another adult besides there mother.
This is our hobby and our passion. We do our best to stay current on medical issues and environmental issues which affect our life.
I wrote this page so buyers could grasp how we arrive at our asking price of our puppies and how difficult our jobs of trying to keep a quality puppy affordable to the average family. There is a difference between good breeders and not so good breeders just like everything else in life.
COSTS BREEDING A LITTER PRICE
DAM REQUIREMENTS: "NOT INCLUDING SHOW EXPENSES which are $500 per show avg." The average Cost of buying a show quality female you can breed is $2500-7000
• Vet Check on Dam CBC Blood Work-Smear for Infections $200
• Timing/Progesterone Tests $140 per test/3-6 Tests per Breeding $420 to $840
STUD DOG FEE: Service Fee (Deposit) $300
• Remainder of Stud Fee(live puppies) $1,200 to $3,500
Cost up to $4,840
SHIPPING SEMEN EXPENSES:
• A. Fresh Chilled Semen (X2)Canine Shipping Box; Semen Extender; Ice ( these charges are if your stud dog owner packages it. More $ if a vet prepares it for shipping) $500
• B. Frozen SemenTank Rental; Preparation Fee; Tank Return $400 to $600
Plus Shipping Fees: FedEx; UPS; Airplane-Counter to Counter; $200-600.00
• SEMEN INSEMINATION: (Pick one: A. B. C. or D. Expenses)
A. Natural breeding, driving to Stud Dogs Location xxx.xx
B. Artificial Insemination (A-I) If performed by a Vet $150 to 600
C. Transervical"Vet Procedure" (usually inseminated twice) $500 to 800.
D. Surgical"Vet Procedure" $1,000 to 1,500
Ultrasound to Confirm Pregnancy $60.00 to 200.
• BREEDING TOTAL: (NO PUPPIES YET) $2,580.- 8,500.00
CARING FOR DAM & PUPPIES: (Not including cost of whelping box)
• Dam (gestation through whelping) Extra Food and supplements for Dam: $500
• Whelping Natural-Cesarean $0 to 2,000.
• Post Whelping Vet Check $150 to 250
• Whelping Supplies: Bedding (at least 3 sets of bedding), Oxytocin/Vet on call, Extra towels, Pedialyte, Puppy Collars, Heating Source, Disinfectants-New Linoleum (to put around the whelping box) $800 to 1,200.
• Washing and More Washing! Bedding is washed Daily $200
• Raising Puppies Food, Bedding "Litter", Toys, Replacement Toys-Possible New Pens, Toy Pools, Possible Pet Sitter, Worming Supplies $1500 and up
• Vet (when there is no problems) Vaccinations, Microchip, Health Checks $80. x 8 = 640.00
SUB TOTAL: LOW TO HIGH $3,790- 6,040
• Sleeping in The Box NO SLEEP WANT SOME SLEEP!
GRAND TOTAL: LOW TO HIGH $7,270 to 19,755
DIVIDED BY 4 PUPPIES AVERAGE "COST" OF 1 PUPPY $1,817.50 to 4,939
Replacement Costs of worn out items????
Cost of raising a potential mom of puppies from birth to adulthood???
Cost of showing breeding dogs to make sure they conform to breed standard
Time into studying the breed standard, pedigrees, current health issues, genetic concerns, temperament, training, availability to clients for questions, etc.....
THIS IS JUST THE "COST" OF RAISING 1 AVERAGE LITTER OF 4 PUPPIES.
THIS IS SIMPLY A "HOBBY" AND A LOVE FOR THE BREED. I HOPE THIS PUTS THE COST VS PRICE WE CHARGE FOR A PUPPY IN PERSPECTIVE.