Wednesday, March 12, 2014


There is a small number of breeders who have overpriced their puppies, seemingly for no reason other than that they can! Their “what the market can bear” attitude may strike you as a touch unethical, but these breeders do well. The fairly pathetic fact is that there are people who actually want to brag about how much they spent for a dog—or believe that if a dog is priced higher it is somehow a better animal. There are greedy breeders with slick Web sites and good sales techniques who can command astronomical prices for their puppies based on their claim that their line of dogs is competing in field trials instead of ring shows, the kind we usually see on television.
But unless you are a hunter or shepherd yourself, why would you need a dog from a line that has been pumped up to compete in the field? Some of these breeders may claim that their Labrador or Border Collie is “smarter” than those bred for the show ring, but the truth is that field dogs are not necessarily smarter: what they are is “higher drive”—meaning more motivated to work. Therefore these field dogs often make worse pets, because they are bred to work long hard hours in the field and there just isn’t enough for them to do in the family life in a modern home
Why are people paying $1,300 and $1,400 for Labrador Retrievers when Labs are the single most popular and readily available dog in America—and like any non-rare breed should cost  around $500 from a private breeder? Unless you’re looking for a potential show champion, why would you pay more than twice the going rate? Is it a status symbol to overpay and brag about it—or is it that theory that anything that costs more must be better?

Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

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