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What is a "Fair" Price for a Puppy?


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This isn't a complaint about prices, and I don't want to start a debate.  Just after opinions, especially from Breeders.

I am researching Purebred or Pedigreed puppies, only from ethical breeders, and prices seem to range from around $2k to over $6k.

Obviously there are big expenses, even before a litter is conceived.  Hip scoring, DNA testing, Stud fees, etc, etc.  Then the vet fees, and then the costs related directly to the Pups themselves.  I imagine that many breeders are only in it for love, and if you looked at all the costs like a business, they would be losing money.

But then those at the top end???

 

I'm asking because, whilst I would naturally prefer to spend $2k rather than $6k, I also want to be sure that nothing has been skimped and I want to make sure that the breeder is getting fair reward.

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Breeders can and do make money on a litter depending on the breed of course. I had 4 litters and made $3000 on one litter. Of course that came no where near covering the loss on the other 3 :laugh: and I suppose you could say that $3000 was my wages for all 4 litters. Not much per hour that's for sure.

 

I was speaking to someone the other day, bought a purebred lab for $600, from good lines?, bred her to the neighbours purebred lab, from good lines?, and in her own words sold the pups for $3000 each (microchipped and vaccinated) and made $24,000. Next litter she plans to sell the pups for $3,500. Oh and they know the Mum has "the no overeating gene" because she doesn't.

 

Just ask for the records of the parents etc so you know actual testing has been done.

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In a healthy and popular breed with large litters (eg Labradors) puppy sales can bring in quite a  sum of money.   Probably not enough to pay off the mortgage on a kennel property, or even pay a decent wage for hours spent, but more than enough to pay for testing, food, vet bills, stud fees, costs of showing, etc.  It gets more complicated if you cost in expenses of keeping the bitch when she gets retired from breeding.  And of course there will be litters with few pups or high expenses.

So $2k vs $6k may be the difference between covering the costs of an enjoyable hobby and beginning to operate as a not very profitable business.  

In a less healthy breed with small litters it becomes more a labor of love.

Older established breeders are less likely to have mortgages to pay off and child care costs, so may be better placed to be unprofitable in a business sense. 

I don't think those selling at a lower price are necessarily cutting corners...they may just be in a position to do so.

 

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I guess it comes down to whether you factor in the cost of looking after a number of dogs 24/7/365

i agree that in the short term I make a profit, in the long term I never come close!

so, how far should the general public expect me to subsidise their purchase?

 

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It’s an equation - a marketing equation. Never think of it as anything else because it simply isn’t. 
 

The market will always predict the cost regardless of love, passion and outlay. 

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I look at it this way. Anything 'created' with quality materials by a skilled craftsperson should have a higher value than something mass produced by unskilled labourers. Few corners are cut and they take their time to produce a final product that is both fit for purpose and intended to have a long and useful/enjoyable life. We pay more money for quality goods all the time - furniture, cars, clothes, handbags, shoes, homes, holidays, hell I even spend more on certain plants for my garden. Why would living creatures be any different? Farmers do it all the time too to secure just the right stock.

 

So it amazes me some of the prices people pay for poorly bred or fancy cross bred puppies. Sadly price indicates nothing about quality and skill in the companion animal world.

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As has been pointed out, there are so many variables.   To be honest, as a buyer, my first consideration is what breed/s do I want to spend the next 15 years of my life with.   Then what breed/s would be appropriate for my lifestyle, living conditions and budget ongoing.   At that point, I will be looking for word of mouth recommendations from people I trust, I might be researching on DOL, and maybe visiting some shows to meet some breeders in person.   At some point I will make contact with a breeder whose values as far as I can make out, are in line with mine .. on breeding decisions, health testing, puppy raising methods, support offered, especially to new dog owners etc.etc. etc.        I would obviously have given some consideration to a price range that I could be comfortable with,  but it's certainly not up the front of my actual choice.

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate that people have attempted to help, but few have actually responded to what I asked.

I'm asking for opinions, especially from Breeders, as to what you would consider to be a fair price.

 

Obviously price is not the consideration.:smashpc:  If it was, I wouldn't be asking the question, I just go and buy something for $500.:dunce:

 

And I'm not prejudging any breeder, nor disregarding them on the basis of price.  If say there was a consensus that a "fair" price was $4.5k, then for those asking 2.5, and 6.5, then it just gives some insight into topics to be discussed.

Edited by FCR4
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It used to be that you paid more for rare breeds.  Now you pay more for "trendy" dogs that are everywhere such as oodles groodles etc & French Bulldogs- blue or not.

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How long is a piece of string? There are so many variables to be considered here. A lot depends on the breed, as this will influence the tests that need to be done, and size drives a lot of vet and feeding costs. 

 

You are not going to get a clear answer, because there isn't one. If you calculated puppy price like a business, and calculated time spent as wages, the prices would, I think, be at the upper end of the range you give.

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Agree with what Selkie has said above - unfortunately the question you are asking is not answerable as too broad.

 

A bit like saying 'what is a fair price for a car' or 'what is a fair price for a house'?   Without knowing the answer to all the clarifying questions it is not possible to give an answer.   For a car - which make, which model, new or used, etc.   For a house - where, how big, what condition etc.  For a dog - what breed, where from, what health/temperament etc.  There are as many variables for all of them.

 

I would start by

(a) doing health homework

  • Finding out what health issues the breed is susceptible to
  • Find out the impacts and prevalence of those health issues
  • Find out what can be tested for, how accurate the testing is, when it should be done (aka age), should it be done generationally (or just on the individual)

(b) asking several breeders of the breed (or breeds) you are interested in

  • what is the cost of their pups
  • what health checks do they do, and what are the results 
  • how do they raise their pups
  • performance/temperament etc relevant to what you want to do
  • what support do they provide (you may or may not want/need it - but it is a consideration both of price, and sometimes of quality)

Then - weight that all up and work out what your not negotiables are, and what is the 'norm' for a pup that fits that criteria

 

Some people charge way over the odds, but sometimes top $$ is understandable and definitely the way to go.  Without knowing all of the above, then I cant think of a way to answer that.

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The fair price is the one you are willing to pay. If everyone pays the 6K then that is going to be the fair price.

 

When I was breeding dogs I asked my breed club what the going price was and I charged that. Pretty much all the good breeders did that and there wasn't much variation in price. Seems to be a bit more variation creeping in now. 

 

 

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IMO testing isn't the issue for two reasons.   First, the tests aren't that expensive.   Second, 'testing' as done in pedigree dog circles isn't a very good predictor of health.

 

Unfortunately, the things that can be tested for often aren't the biggest health problems, and commonly recommended tests aren't very good at predicting.  Eg, there are no reliable tests for allergies, cancer proneness; perfect and elbow scores for parents only increase the chances for the pups; annual eye exams are recommended because a dog that looks good one year may be uncertifiable the next (after siringmanylitters).  Also, though genetic tests for degree of inbreeding (associated with many health problems) are now available, very very few breeders do them.

The pretence that 'we are ethical because we do xyz tests' is a sham. I would much rather see a 10 generation pedigree with records of what ancestors died from at what age...snowballs chance in hell of finding that.

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On 10/03/2022 at 10:50 AM, JulesP said:

I asked my breed club what the going price was and I charged that. Pretty much all the good breeders did that and there wasn't much variation in price.

and I guess that's what I'm aiming for.

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On 05/03/2022 at 6:40 PM, FCR4 said:

I'm asking for opinions, especially from Breeders, as to what you would consider to be a fair price.

 

 

I honestly don't understand your question.  Are you saying that the advertised prices *aren't* the breeders' own fair prices?  Considering it's the individual breeder who prices their puppies, logic would state that they're selling for what they themselves deem appropriate hence why there's no static prices across breeds.

 

One breeder might deem $4000 a fair price whereas another breeder (same breed) feels their fair price is $4500.  Neither is wrong nor does it mean that one is unreasonably inflating their prices.

 

Here's a question for you though.  Why exactly is it of such importance to you to worry about what others are buying/selling for?  If it has little to no bearing on your own existence, just don't go there.

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Posted (edited)
On 15/03/2022 at 2:26 PM, Princess Fru Fru said:

I honestly don't understand your question. 

Then why bother responding?

Edited by FCR4
This Place would get Really Tiresome without the IGNORE function
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18 minutes ago, FCR4 said:

Then why bother responding?

Edited 17 minutes ago by FCR4
This Place would get Really Tiresome without the IGNORE function

 

Oh look, we have a comedian on the forum!

 

Seriously, all of your posts since joining have been nothing more than nit-picking breeder dos and don'ts.  This suggests to me that you either have far too much time on your hands, are a nosy, busy-body, have some kind of ulterior motive or all of the above.

 

You aren't going to single-handedly introduce a one-price fits all model for puppy buying so again I ask, why all the questions and what concern of it is to you what others are doing? Please explain to the forum how what other breeders are charging plays such a pivotal role in your day to day life.

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perhaps you'd be happier with some dogs like these for sale (negotiable) on Scumtree, that way you can quibble to your heart's content

"American Staff Terrier pups negotiable"

992418408_Screenshotfrom2022-03-1718-43-31.thumb.png.629e1c98b61a8770f3e8096ed3f24fd8.png

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