Wednesday, March 12, 2014


“Pet quality” versus “show quality” would alter the price, but that’s not relevant when you consider that most puppies are going to be pet quality. All it takes is a few white hairs or an ear that doesn’t sit at the precise angle and there’s no chance of stardom for that pooch in the show ring.
Steer clear of a breeder who justifies a high-priced puppy by saying, “She’d be twice as much if she were show quality.” (Well, obviously—and if I were Venus Williams I’d be playing at Wimbledon—but what’s that got to do with anything?)
Beware breeders who sell females at one price and males at a lower price—the quality of each dog is what should determine the price, not the gender.
It is common practice to pay in cash or with a cashier’s check; it’s unlikely that anyone will accept a personal check.
There are a few cases where there are legitimate reasons that puppies are more expensive. For example, English Bulldogs are a breed that requires artificial insemination (meaning everything that humans go through for infertility treatments) to reproduce. In addition, the puppies then have to be delivered by cesarean because of physical limitations. The price will be higher because the cost to the breeder is so much higher. $1,000 or more is standard.
Do not attempt to negotiate—each breeder has a set price based on what the breed generally goes for, or even what the market will bear. Obviously, you can try to negotiate if you insist, but it’s considered an offense to the breeder. A dog is not viewed as a car. And even if a dog were a commodity, would you try to bargain for the price of a dress in a store? Would you try to negotiate the price of a meal in a restaurant?

Dog breeds that are not yet recognized by the AKC, or are only recently recognized in this country, may cost more. Once again, this is understandable, since it is costly for breeders to import breeding stock from the country of origin in order to eventually build up good breeding stock here. There are any number of breeds from Switzerland, France, China and Tibet that will take years to build up to the level of popularity that previously foreign breeds (for example, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Shih Tzu or the Chinese Shar-Pei) have developed in America.

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

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