Why are puppy prices so high?
The price of QUALITY purebred dogs is a bit high these days. Many people want to know why.
For the reputable breeders who care about the breed they are breeding and are working hard to provide quality dogs, both physically and mentally, that will be an asset to the breed, there is a LOT that the breeder puts into their program before a puppy is even born!!
Showing to Strive for Quality
We believe showing dogs is important for the very reason the shows were invented in the first place: to find the best possible specimens for breeding. I show my dogs to make sure I know what the top dogs are, what their qualities are, and to strive to meet or exceed those standards. There are fads that come and go in the show ring and I am not talking about that, and I am very against breeding to dogs that win ONLY because they win. A good breeding program still must have the knowledge of correct canine structure and movement, what the correct "type" is for that breed, a thorough understanding of the breed standard for that breed, etc. However, I feel it is very hard to breed outstanding dogs of a certain breed without measuring your dogs against others -- it is simply too easy to become isolated and out of touch with what is important for that breed.
But I Only Want Pet Quality
Pet quality puppies from "show lines" are a better cut above 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 there only interest is to make money so just buy any two dogs and put them together without thinking about what will be produced.
Costs of a Good Breeding Program
Here are some of the things that go into creating and maintaining a breeding program of lovely dogs that are great representatives of their breed, are healthy and have good temperaments:
Purchase show quality dog to show (NOTE: the above step must be done first or it is very hard to acquire a show dog of any worth!!) COST: £3500 to £6500
Maintain dog (food, vet bills, de-worming, etc.). COST: about £3500 per year per dog
Show dog at Championship shows to prove its worthiness and value to the breed. COST: on the conservative side, about £3000 (this is ridiculously conservative as only petrol money, entry fees and grooming products were included and not lodging or handler fee!)
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. Or the other way is to go out to a stud which to use a top show pom at stud costs from £500 to use just a show dog from £250 and if they have there CH £1000 upwards.
When above has been repeated (and paid out) enough to have acquired and shown two lovely dogs, one male and one female, who compliment each other, you can now prepare to breed them by doing the necessary genetic screening tests for that breed. Or your search for an outside stud.
IF ANY DOG DOESN'T PASS ALL THE TESTS, STOP, and START ALL OVER!!!
If no one has scary diseases, you may breed them. Now we have Ultrasound and for the hopefully pregnant female. COST: £50
IF YOU CANNOT GET FEMALE PREGNANT, STOP, and START ALL OVER with new female, male, or BOTH!!
If you are Blessed with a litter of 1 to 3 puppies (average for poms). you will now need to feed them when they start eating mama's food, give them there shots and de-worm them.
IF A C-SECTION WAS NEEDED, add £1000 to £1500 to litter cost.
WITHOUT a C-section, a conservative estimate assuming only 2 show dogs were purchased and turned out (HIGHLY UNLIKELY), a litter of 3 puppies costs the breeder: £15,500 if you take the lower cost of all the fees and buy your own stud that you do not show but you would really need to or £13,000 if you use your own stud.
THIS IS £5,166 PER PUPPY!! Not including theses other costs which cannot be avoided by law
licencing fees at £800 a year
insurance which you must have under licence £500 a year
plus staff wages that you must have a certain number under licencing laws £26,000 paying minimum wage but if you want to keep good staff you need to pay bonuses and more. This is just for 1 member of staff working full time
unless you have another job or a partner to help pay the bills as well then you have to pay the rent the bills the food, the car the maintenance and so it goes on
this adds another £27,300 a year to find on top of your household bills or if you need more than one member of staff
To be quite honest, Pommania and most breeders have actually paid a LOT more (most of us would much rather NOT look at the actual figures!). The cost of the hotels or car/van to accommodate dogs, trolley/table cages were not added to the show costs. Also now with our imports the dogs cost over £4,000 each. As health is priority importing was the only option.
And so now you know,
Why the Prices Are So High :-).