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sandgrubber

The Cost of Puppies

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I'm retired from breeding. 

Breeders have long maintained that the expense of puppies reflects the cost of raising them.  There's a lot of room for differences in how you calculate costs.  Is the time spent counted in? If so, at what wage? How about the cost of owning a property that's appropriate for multiple dogs? Do you count the cost of purchasing and raising the bitch, and caring for her between litters? And so forth.

In my day many of us regarded dogs as a hobby and breeding as a labor of love. I felt rewarded at $650/puppy, and well rewarded when it rose to $1300. (Labradors, usually 9 or 10 puppies in a litter).

I'm a little shocked to see how high puppy prices have gone.  I guess people are counting differently and not writing as much off as hobbies and labor of love. 

Edited by sandgrubber
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Rebanne   

the only time the price of the pups covered the cost was when I had a litter of 8. Never mind the other 3 litters had me deep in the red hole. I never put a price on my time. To me, covering the costs was: stud fee and vet fees ( 3 out of 4 litters were FS implants and all 4 were c-sections, micro chips and vaccinations ) and rego fees.

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I'm not a breeder but don't find breeder's prices unreasonable at all (good, quality breeders I mean). It is a skill to breed a good, sound pup so to me that has value. I consider time and knowledge part of the purchase price as well as vet fees involved during the pregnancy and life of the pups, food, supplements, training, genetic testing, micro-chipping, registering, food and cleaning. It all costs the breeder money. It's like buying your product from a professional craftsman.

 

It actually offends me when puppy farmers charge more than a quality breeder and they've put zero effort and skill into the genetics behind the breeding, left the puppy in a pen to be whelped and raised by the mother with minimal human assistance or vet care. That's where the madness is and that is where the true price gouging is happening. How can people not see that?

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At the moment puppy prices are ridiculous, we were lucky our last two were reasonably priced but over all they are way over priced, $3000+ for limited register for so many breeds????? 

I paid $300 for my kelpie x and less for Rascal and they are just as good as our two pedigree dogs.

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asal   

Checking gumtree and trading post x breds are from 2,500 to 5,000 even the same crosses.

 

Never understood why purebred breeders have been extorted to not ask prices to reflect the cost of breeding the pup let alone some to cover the hours spent, so many I have met seem to feel if you cannot afford to sell your pups for less than it cost to breed them then you should not be breeding?

 

Accusing any who do of being puppy farmers and not fit to remain members.

 

Had an interesting conversation with a lady whose old dog has just died and looking for a replacement puppy, for obvious reasons (just look at how few ankc breeds are even available on the dogzonline listings) there are none of her breed available although some are on the trading post and gumtree from unregistered breeders.  She said no way will I be buying my pup from a puppy farmer, I don’t want my puppy coming from one of those dreadful kennels with that awful housing the rscpa are putting up the photos of.

 

Think from memory last year there were three raids with such photos. Yet this lady is assuming anyone not an ankc member is a puppy farm like she saw the photos of, which is lucky for ankc breeders I admit.  went back through the press releases on the "in the news " section and all three were photos taken at an ankc member so the good side is jo public are not twigging where they came from.

 

My other thought was although there was once over 60,000 members the stats for 2019 was 31,961.so much hatred for three that made the headlines.

 

Yet over 60 women a year are killed in domestic violence cases and the silence to restructure laws to protect them or at the very least alternative housing and safety options increased to protect them is totally inadequate compared to the tens of millions donated to protect pets?  Some police have even been caught handing their mate the address to find her even though there are domestic violence orders against him?

 

Cannot help but wonder, do so many really think these dead women deserved to die that way?

 

Anyway, back to our dogs. Thanks to the push to make it hard to register a prefix membership has halved in the past 20 years while the Australian population has gone from 17,993,074  million in 1995  to  25,203,198 million in 2019.

 

(perhaps I should add the constant harassment to drive members to resign, by many self appointed fellow members who feel they are more "ethical an responsible" than the member they decide to target for elimination, Not even being a breed club member and show secretary working their butt off for their breed is exempt from persecution,  from what I've personally seen) as for anyone who breeds more than two or three litters a year is likely to become a target, let alone more.

 

 

Compared to purebred puppies bred in the same period.

 E.g. 54,590 in  1995  to 31,961 in 1991.   Almost half the number of puppies bred, has plummeted from 81,389 in 1995 to 69,335 in 2018. no figure listed for 2019. a drop of 1,197 from 2017 and a drop of 675 from 2016.

 

Then add this so telling set of statistics and why is the ANKC self destructing?

 

http://ankc.org.au/media/6598/a-forensic-view-of-puppy-breeding-in-australiav4.pdf

 

 

All the ANKC statistics are freely available on their own site.

 

So why, why is the persecution of pure bred members continuing even though so few are to be found that are not doing the right thing..?

 

Making it harder for new members to get a prefix is not getting rid of potential puppy farmers it is sending the majority to join up with the far more welcoming plethora of alternative pet registers instead, humans are a weird mob, aussies included.

 

The ANKC did a survey many decades ago and discovered some 60% of new members had not renewed by years 3 to 5...  some 80% had not renewed by years 10 to 15.........leaving a very small cadre of long time members. Yet still decided to forgo the income and the puppies bred by these short term members.  The majority dropping out due to what all we old timers know, its hard work and heart breaking when things go wrong.

 

Why hand them on a platter to the pet registers instead?

 

Hugging yourselves, congratulating each other these softies would have been puppy farmers anyway does not make sense, either for the gene pool for the breeds continually being lost or the need to continually tighten financial belts due to decreasing income from membership and registration fees has certainly happened and continues...

 

Is anyone learning lessons? or is the need to feel special and rare more important then the future of the breeds we are saying we love?

 

The breeders of old must be rolling in their graves,,, none of them believed the height of excellence was being a dead end breeder, (limit register all but those you keep) they worked to preserve their breeds not eliminate most of the available gene pool?

 

 

Fortunately for the people of Australia who love their pets, the puppy farms are starting up in droves to fill the void .

 

 

 I have noticed the RSPCA is gladly supplying them ‘RSPCA APPROVED” signs after paying the fees. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by asal
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Rebanne   

asal I would gladly charge more to at least cover my costs but when the market doesn't want what you are offering then not much you can do except retire from it all. Which I have done.

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moosmum   

Yep. Still caught in the trap.

Instead of taking responsibility - teaching and promoting  successes in breeding, we teach bigotry instead. 

 

Trying to decide  conditions that identify a  breeder, based on things other than than the act itself.

To make 'Dog Breeding' a successful and valued occupation of humanity, by elimination of the irresponsible, as if responsibility can and must be made inherent to the conditions a breeder works with. Not a learned response  the laws of selection demand.

 

The price of pups will increase as breeder numbers decline in the elimination process.  So long as demand remains stable.

 

To demand  qualification of what makes a breeder before the fact, and assuming the conditions they will inevitably work with  is not being  responsible to our dogs. Its being responsible to arbitrary conditions.  It raises the profits to be made, but  it also creates an incentive and value other than the dogs themselves or furthering their value to our communities.

 

'Conditions' of an environment are not stable or static with out entropy. Creating an environment (of dog breeders)  where they must be stable, static and predictable come what may, is not responsibility to that environment as it exist now or the demands  actually being made.  Its an inability to recognise the environment you have, and respond to it accordingly.

Rejection of environment is not an improvement , its a reduction, and a signal of entropy.

 

 

 

 

Edited by moosmum
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Malyxi   

Your post is so spot on Asal. I can't understand how any breeders pride themselves about "supposedly" improving the breed when they palm off 99% of their puppies as desexed or limited register to prevent competition in the show ring or market. It absolutely baffles me that they consider themselves so high and mighty if their whole breeding program dies with them or the select few pups they might pass to their best buddies. It is essentially a dead end sport and no longer improves the quality and quantity of purebred, genetically clear and consistently breeding stock. They are essentially only breeding for the pet market or else their own personal program if they refuse to let their lines out. If however, stringent restrictions were enforced from the national dog clubs requiring the placement of say at least 20-30% of puppies on main register undesexed to contribute to the available gene pool - and the clubs starting welcoming members rather that ostrasizing them it would greatly benefit the available gene pools for various breeds. Cancel people's memberships who refuse to release any proper stock to the genuinely interested potential breeders as they are dead end breeders. And the clubs don't believe breeding for the pet market is a good reason to breed. 

 

All the consistent lines we have today are because someone worked on them and RELEASED them. If you vet the people you share your lines with, you leave a legacy of what you did. Desexing every pup or parting with it as unshowable/unbreedable leaves your program worth nothing. 

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So... supply is down, demand is steady, prices go up.

Breeders have taken a lot of flack, and aren't hanging together in the face of a lot of pressure.  Older breeders retiring, not many new breeders coming on to replace them. It's harder to get a prefix, hard to buy on main register, hard to operate under a two dog rule... and dog shows don't appeal to younger people. 

I predict that with all the cuts to travel, we'll see boarding kennels (now going broke) convert to small scale puppy farming.  

Btw, I'm in NZ.  Puppy prices are a lot lower here, but it's easier to keep multiple dogs, and I have a feeling that not so many people bother with pedigrees.  

 

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moosmum   
2 hours ago, sandgrubber said:

So... supply is down, demand is steady, prices go up.

Breeders have taken a lot of flack, and aren't hanging together in the face of a lot of pressure.  Older breeders retiring, not many new breeders coming on to replace them. It's harder to get a prefix, hard to buy on main register, hard to operate under a two dog rule... and dog shows don't appeal to younger people. 

I predict that with all the cuts to travel, we'll see boarding kennels (now going broke) convert to small scale puppy farming.  

Btw, I'm in NZ.  Puppy prices are a lot lower here, but it's easier to keep multiple dogs, and I have a feeling that not so many people bother with pedigrees.  

 

Yep. And very expensive to have facilities approved to the increasing specifications of a "qualified"  or even legal breeder.

Edited by moosmum

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Lozlocks   

I am looking to buy a pup from a registered breeder who does the right thing for the breed standard. In my search so far I’ve encountered a puppy farmer who churns pups out at a rate of almost 70 pups last year! Add to that more litters registered in the first 3 months of this year. This breeder is not the only one, there are others. These people are registered breeders. BUT puppy farmers. Now here’s the rub. They charge as much as the breeders who do the right thing with care for bloodlines, conforming to the breed standard, testing for certain breed-specific conditions, DNA testing, caring for the mother’s health and of the puppies, vet care, etc etc. These measures all cost money for the good breeder. The puppy farmers don’t incur these costs. I can’t understand why there are no regulations in place to prevent these puppy farmers from breeding so prolifically and commanding ridiculous prices. They have turned their dams into money making machines.

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55 minutes ago, Lozlocks said:

I am looking to buy a pup from a registered breeder who does the right thing for the breed standard. In my search so far I’ve encountered a puppy farmer who churns pups out at a rate of almost 70 pups last year! Add to that more litters registered in the first 3 months of this year. This breeder is not the only one, there are others. These people are registered breeders. BUT puppy farmers. Now here’s the rub. They charge as much as the breeders who do the right thing with care for bloodlines, conforming to the breed standard, testing for certain breed-specific conditions, DNA testing, caring for the mother’s health and of the puppies, vet care, etc etc. These measures all cost money for the good breeder. The puppy farmers don’t incur these costs. I can’t understand why there are no regulations in place to prevent these puppy farmers from breeding so prolifically and commanding ridiculous prices. They have turned their dams into money making machines.

It's more complicated than that.  There are some long time breeders who could be accused of being puppy farmers if you look at the numbers of puppies they sell, but who know their bloodlines like the palms of their hands... who import to improve bloodlines and who do loads of health tests.  On the other hand, there are people who have only the occasional litter who judge bloodlines by the number of titles in the pedigree and have only a rudimentary understanding of genetics. Given the increasing restrictions on breeding and the 2 dog rules, I think Ozzies can expect to see more for profit dog breeding.  Not all of it bad. 

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asal   
On 02/06/2020 at 10:05 AM, Lozlocks said:

I am looking to buy a pup from a registered breeder who does the right thing for the breed standard. In my search so far I’ve encountered a puppy farmer who churns pups out at a rate of almost 70 pups last year! Add to that more litters registered in the first 3 months of this year. This breeder is not the only one, there are others. These people are registered breeders. BUT puppy farmers. Now here’s the rub. They charge as much as the breeders who do the right thing with care for bloodlines, conforming to the breed standard, testing for certain breed-specific conditions, DNA testing, caring for the mother’s health and of the puppies, vet care, etc etc. These measures all cost money for the good breeder. The puppy farmers don’t incur these costs. I can’t understand why there are no regulations in place to prevent these puppy farmers from breeding so prolifically and commanding ridiculous prices. They have turned their dams into money making machines.

might be an idea to read this.

 

http://ankc.org.au/media/6598/a-forensic-view-of-puppy-breeding-in-australiav4.pdf

 

 

thanks to the idea no responsible , ethical ankc member will breed to produce other than to replace for their own kennel

Let alone, shock, horror disgust, ever breed so someone can buy a pet or ask a reasonable price to cover costs, YOUR TIME... who other idiots are expected to give of their time and expenses and not be paid for it? Who else works their butt off and says, no dont pay me. Im ethical.

 

Not the stupid  "ethical" responsible ankc, dog breeder with their cloak of piety wrapped around them.  since when should only the independently wealthy be permitted to breed purebred dogs?  Ah yes the new age of imploding gene pool.

 

Pensioners used to be the bulk of long term members.  probably still are but now they daren't breed enough puppies to give a decent amount of pin money to supplement their pension or risk being targeted as puppy farmers today

 

 

... these figures are the result.

 

its called self elimination of the pure bred dog.

 

if breeders do not breed to avoid being branded puppy farmers where on earth do you expect to find a pup?  there are over 24 MILLION australians.

 

Frankly 99.9% who want a pet will never find it at an ANKC member... there are not enough left.

let alone enough pups born anymore.

 

bit of reality check might stop the extinction of pure bred dogs, but its not looking like that is going to happen any time soon

 

reality and common sense went out the window when AR started teaching the precious that being "ethical" and responsible is the new words for stupid self destruction.

 

Now unless your a dead end kennel and proud of it, your liable to be targeted for elimination

 

how long before anyone wakes up?

 

its almost too late already

Edited by asal
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asal   

meanwhile the puppy farms are being encouraged to apply for their 'RSPCA approved" sign on the gate and take up the massive slack  and thanks to all the states bring in the register laws they are all "registered" breeders

 

even if most of their stock are oodles and from the last I checked fetching 2,500 to 5,000 and there are more "wanted" adds than puppies advertised

 

my vet hates puppy farms with a passion, but he has come to the conclusion they are the only future for the continuation of most dogs. pure and cross.

 

Edited by asal
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Scratch   

Yep it’s true. Whenever I hear ANKC breeder whining about puppy farms, I remind them to go home and breed some dogs then! 
“oh, I only breed when I want something for myself” seems to have become the catch cry of the ‘show’ breeder. There it is all in one little statement. I don’t have a problem with that if it’s what suits them, but don’t bloody complain when someone, anyone, steps in to fill the market! 

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asal   
On 02/06/2020 at 10:05 AM, Lozlocks said:

I am looking to buy a pup from a registered breeder who does the right thing for the breed standard. In my search so far I’ve encountered a puppy farmer who churns pups out at a rate of almost 70 pups last year! Add to that more litters registered in the first 3 months of this year. This breeder is not the only one, there are others. These people are registered breeders. BUT puppy farmers. Now here’s the rub. They charge as much as the breeders who do the right thing with care for bloodlines, conforming to the breed standard, testing for certain breed-specific conditions, DNA testing, caring for the mother’s health and of the puppies, vet care, etc etc. These measures all cost money for the good breeder. The puppy farmers don’t incur these costs. I can’t understand why there are no regulations in place to prevent these puppy farmers from breeding so prolifically and commanding ridiculous prices. They have turned their dams into money making machines.

I forgot to add, do you realise that for many breeds 70 pups would be some 10 to 4 litters?

 

I know you are allowed to breed ten litters or more if you want BUT it will mean you will be inspected as a potential puppy farmer. and the complaints will start against you if you breed 4 or more anyway, eagle eyes are scanning to dob in puppy farmers.  As a friend learned after breeding 6 litters, hounded out of her breed club. even the fact she showed and won does all the healt checks. the eagles are watching and judging.

 

Do you know for a fact that the person you referred to does not care for bloodlines, conforming to the breed standard, testing for breed specific dna testing? etc?  thats pretty big assumptions.

 

or is it the number of pups the sticking point?

 

I was accused of being a puppy farmer, the ankc inspector sent out, the stony face said it all, convicted prior to trial... all my dogs are dna profiled, three and four generations health checked regularly.

 

The inspector after examining them informed me as if I would be surprised to know it.

 

"do you realise over half your dogs could go best in breed at any show?"

 

so the assumption, the charge of being a puppy farmer automatically assumes your dogs are rubbish.

 

Nice one

 

Have questioned ever since, why bother being a member of such a nasty group it has morphed into.

 

Yet my dogs are purebreds, descended from many great breeders who kept their lines continued on from the breeders who entrusted them to continue their work into the future.

 

Why should I resign and end the legacy of the breeders before me who expected their hard work not to die in a dead end "ethical"  kennel?

 

 

 

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Back to the original question, last litter of 7....before I had a pup on the ground, I would have easily spent $2K on health testing, travel to meet several potential stud dogs, update puppy & whelping supplies etc and $2K stud fee, $2K on a caesarean (surprise to vet and myself - 2 pups trying to get out at the same time). 10 days later we had another bit of bad luck with Ginny coming down with gangrenous mastitis (day after a thorough vet check) which can be deadly - easily another $2K with multiple vet visits, extended multiple ABs and twice daily cleaning and bandaging. Not to mention time off work caring for her and the pups 24/7 - slept next to the whelping box for 4 weeks. Add in food, vaccinations, microchips, puppy packs and that’s another $2K. I kept one pup so that doesn’t leave much wriggle room in terms of expenses. That goes in no way to covering the time and effort I put into my dogs, puppies and puppy buyers. For life. I make no apologies for charging $2K/pup and will increase it next litter.

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The price of puppies has gone up. But so has the general cost of living. 

 

Quote

The price of pups will increase as breeder numbers decline in the elimination process.

Or not. When I got my first shiba there was less than 10 breeders in Aus?  Loki was $700 limited register then. There are far more breeders now and I'll need to pay well over a thousand, close to two for a shiba on limited now. 

Edited by cannibalgoldfish
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I think $2000 for a well bred, well raised, cared for puppy is quite reasonable, that is around the amount we have paid for our last two, but when breeders of most breeds are starting at $3000 and up, plenty in the $4000-$5000 price range I think that is getting ridiculous for a family pet.

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