Puppy Costs

Our puppies presently are $2000. This page is for those of you who think, "Two thousand dollars  for a DOG? You have GOT to be kidding me!" 

It was inspired by a blog post that you can read here . This page is more about our own personal costs, but you can learn even more from the blog post.

First - I know you can get many great dogs inexpensively, or even for free. Layla is the first dog I got from a breeder; all our dogs before that were from shelters and they were not loved any less. 

For any dog - or any animal, really - that you're going to buy/adopt/whatever in the future, think of the price in two parts. First, what costs went into the animal before they were yours, and then what you get after you buy it (warranty, breeder support, etc). 

Here are some the costs of Enda's litter that produced Tilly:

    • Health testing before the breeding, to ensure Enda is healthy and free of hereditary disease
      • Cardiologist clearance: $50
      • Thyroid clearance: $105
      • Hip/elbow x-rays: $320
      • Eye clearance: $45 per year, 3 years of tests = $135
      • Polyneuropathy DNA test: $50
    • Veterinary expenses for the breeding
      • Wellness visit, bloodwork, vaccines: $250
      • First reproduction vet visit: $416
      • Three Progesterone tests: $96 each = $288
      • Shipping semen from Missouri to New Jersey: $500
      • *daily* blood draws at our local vet to collect serum to pinpoint ovulation
      • First breeding, TCI: $506
      • Second breeding, surgical insemination: $1036
      • Ultrasound to confirm pregnancy: $180
      • X-ray before due date: $150
      • C-section: $1104

 I stopped counting the expenses after Tilly was born, because I would rather have not known just how much things were costing. Some other things we had to buy was a special footing for the whelping box, to give good traction and prevent hip dysplasia; new puppy pens for when she'd move into the kitchen; small crates; LOTS of food for Enda while she was pregnant and nursing; toys; multiple car trips to bring Tilly to visit other litters and get exposure to new dogs and puppies; vet visits for Enda and Tilly to make sure they're healthy; puppy vaccines; two weeks off of work right after Tilly was born to make sure Enda and Tilly were okay; video cameras to monitor 24/7; etc etc. 


I didn't include the expense of showing and competing with Enda to prove her "value" of being worthy of being bred.

So, that's an idea of what it cost just to get Tilly alive and healthy. If there were multiple puppies, the expense for breeding would have been the same but the expenses after they were born would have been more: more toys, more food, more vet visits, more litter, more clean up supplies. 

Next, look at what extras come with the puppy. From the blog I linked above: "To put it more colloquially, if you’re a manager or a professor or some kind of an expert in something, ask yourself what a complete newbie would have to pay you for permission to call you any time of the day or night and keep you on the phone for hours at a time – for the next twelve or fifteen years."

THAT is where the price of a puppy comes from. It isn't just the money and time that went into making sure the puppies are healthy and given every opportunity for enrichment and development; you're buying the BREEDER for the life of your puppy, or beyond. If your puppy swallows a washcloth on Christmas Day (Tilly....) and you need to know what to do, your breeder is there for you. If your dog starts eating sticks, or isn't listening during training, or stops eating their food - your breeder is there for you; literally any time, day or night. Some breeders don't provide that support, but it's up to you as the puppy buyer to decide if you want it or not. Nobody wants or expects problems to happen, but they do, and it's always good to have someone there for you.

Plus, the warranty that breeders provide goes into the cost of the puppy as well. Be aware of breeders who require you to return your dog before you get either a refund or a replacement dog. It's necessary in some situations, but most of the time it is not. Warrantees are basically where the breeder stands behind their "product", or puppy. If they sell you a puppy or dog that develops an issue, besides regular old-age deterioration, they stand behind their breeding and will make it right.  

If you're going to buy a puppy or dog from a breeder who does not invest the time and money into their litters before breeding, while raising the puppies and for the entire life of the puppy once it goes home with you, walk away from that breeder. It's not a contest to see which breeder spent more money (or the least money), but be aware of what you "get" for the cost of a puppy. If someone bought a dog from a breeder, a rescue or a pet store for $____ and you never get to follow up, know nothing about the parents and health concerns, or only get six months worth of care, please consider if it's really a fair price.