Why Do Puppies Cost SO MUCH?
Breeding responsibly is expensive! Responsible Breeders will devote hours upon hours of their time testing, trialling, and showing their dogs. All this comes at a price - let's break it down:
- An initial purchase of a show-quality, breeding dog: $2,000-$3,500
- Transportation to her home, remember this is a rare breed; breeders may not be close by! $500-$1,500
- Showing that dog to her Championship, including travel, entry fees, and training: $1,500-$4,000
- Titles in Conformation and other events not only prove the dog matches physically with the established breed standard. They show the dog is mentally sound and able to be examined by strangers, listen and respond to commands under pressure, and withstand the stresses of travel.
- Health testing: $500-$1,500
- Standard Manchester Terriers need to test their Eyes ($50), Thyroid ($350), Heart ($50-$300), and DNA sampled for von Willebrand's Disease ($65) to meet the minimum requirements for the CHIC program. Additional testing for Hips/Legg-Calve-Perthes ($350-600), Patellar Luxation ($50), DNA tested for Juvenile Dialated Cardiomyopathy ($65), and DNA tested for Xanthinuria ($65). These additional tests are valuable if their pedigrees have inter-variety breedings between Standards and Toys.
- Maintaining her in good health with quality food and routine veterinary care; from puppyhood through to breeding age: $3,000-$6,000
- Maintaining club memberships and local licencing requirements: $300-$600/year
- Here in New Brunswick, a Pet Establishment Licence (PEL) is required for anyone breeding or selling dogs for consideration (AKA money). It costs $250/year plus an additional $100 for proof of zoning requirements. This fee includes a yearly inspection by New Brunswick SPCA. Our PEL# is 01064.
- Responsible breeders often belong to their National or Local kennel clubs, which have established a code of ethics for members.
That is quite a lot invested so far, and we don't even have puppies yet! Let's examine the average cost of a single litter:
- Stud Fee: $1,000-$2,500
- Why so much? The stud owner has similar costs in testing, trialling and showing.
- Pre-breeding veterinary exam, including brucellosis testing: $500-1000
- This may also include progesterone testing, that can vary in price from $80-200 per test, and many bitches require several tests to pinpoint ovulation for optimum breeding time.
- Pregnancy and whelping supplies: $250-$1,500
- Supplies include a whelping box, heating pads, sterile swabs, nutritional supplements, puppy ID collars, a weight scale, a thermometer, surgical scissors, extra bedding/towels, pee pads, cleaners, and an assortment of other supplies. Some of these things, like the whelping box, can be reused, but they still need to be maintained and repaired as necessary.
- X-rays $350, Ultrasound $250, and the risk of an emergency c-section $1,500-$4,000
- Microchips $35-50/puppy and CKC Registration $35-50/puppy
- In Canada, every dog sold as purebred must come with registration papers at no additional charge, and permanent identification, through microchip or tattoo, is a prerequisite for registration. Run away from any breeder who is selling purebred puppies without CKC papers, or is charging extra to supply you with CKC registration.
- Individual puppy shots, deworming, and veterinarian exams: $70-150/puppy
There are many things not covered here. The breeder's time researching pedigrees, travelling to the stud dog or importing semen, tending to the mother and puppies, and screening buyers often is unaccounted for when pricing a puppy. In many cases, the breeder will keep a puppy or two from the litter, reducing the number of puppies available for sale to help recover some of the costs associated with producing them.