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How MUCH is that doggie in the window?

April 7, 2009

Recently there has been an email going around on email groups about making money breeding dogs and how they claim they can keep the cost of raising a puppy at $20.00. To this I say WHAT?!!!

First of all, I breed dogs, not often but when I do I’d like to make some money on the sale of the puppies. It helps underwrite the cost of dog shows, health testing and just the basic care of the dogs. That being said I haven’t made lots of money selling puppies, actually I’ve never made a profit selling puppies, not because I haven’t tried but because raising puppies correctly can be expensive.

Let’s look at my current litter of Cardigan puppies. I have 4 of them and my sale price (which is about average for well bred Cardigan Puppies) is $800.00, that would be $3600.00 gross on the litter.  I’m keeping one and my kennel partner and co-breeder is keeping one so that brings me down to $1600.00 gross.  One of the puppies is staying here in El Paso with a friend so now we are down to one puppy for sale at $800.  Still not bad for a puppy right?

Let’s see, I didn’t have any stud fee for this litter since both Mom and Dad live at my house. But since Mom and Dad live at my house all their expenses have been mine. Both dogs have had multiple health checks the cheapest being the yearly $25.00 CERF eye test, of course I have the expense of showing the dogs to their championships, some people would say why go to the trouble? It is a hobby and fun but it is also a way to get objective opinions of your breeding stock. 

 So let’s talk about the cost of the litter,I had Mom X-rayed to see how many babies to expect $$, I bought puppy food and special supplement in case I had to tube/bottle feed puppies $$.  I won’t include the extra equipment I bought for this litter since some of my stuff was old.  We had some technical difficulties during the birth which took us to the emergency vet in the middle of the night $$$.  Puppies were home and thriving but needed to get their dewclaws removed,  lots of breeders do this themselves but I like to go to the vet for a check and have them done there $$.  Once Momma quits feeding them it is my job for feeding and clean up.  More puppy food and I use straw to help keep the puppies clean $$.  Then we have vaccines, these 1st ones will be bought and done at home $$, then the next ones will be done at the vets for a check up $$ also the puppies will all get their microchips $$ at 9 weeks.  Soon it will be time for the one $800 puppy to go to it’s new home.  Also included in the price is the microchip enrollment, AKC registration (I’ve already paid to register the litter as a breeder $$) and I register each puppy individually before they go to their new homes $$. Also going home with the puppy is a puppy packet, collar, toy and whatever else might need to go in there for the new owners. 

So if you look at the costs in the above paragraph the $$ = at least $10.00 and $$$ = at least $100  and it is mostly more , you can see that I’m already way over $800.00 so once again I’m going to lose money on this litter.  Maybe next time there were be a couple more puppies for sale and we won’t have to run to the Emergency vet clinic but even with a problem free litter I don’t see how anyone can claim to raise a litter on $20.00 or even raise one puppy on $20.00.  I know there are some places I could save some money, not as many vet checks or cheaper food but since I also give my puppy buyer’s a health guarantee I need to do the best job I can to produce a happy, healthy puppy so that a buyer feels like $800 is a bargain price for what they are getting.

So I guess I’m saying is if you want to buy a puppy from some one out of the back of a pick up at the local wally world or from a pet shop who buys their puppies from someone who spends $20.00 to raise them then go ahead and get a cheap puppy or pay a lot more for a cute convient puppy from a pet store where the only reason they have puppies is to make a profit.   If you want puppy raised with care, concern and love and knowledge then you want to talk to me or someone like me.    Be a snob, talk to a Gold Standard type of breeder.  Do your home work and remember all puppies are cute but not all puppies are created equal.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2009 2:44 pm

    Well said, Jinnie! I was just explaining this very thing to one of my co-workers the other day…they thought we should have made “TONS” of money on our litter last fall. I laughed and told her I didn’t think we’d even broken even, and she was amazed! LOL She asked “why bother?” and I told her we breed for our next generation, to improve the breed, and to have something to show going forward to continue our line, etc., not just to produce “puppies” for everyone to own! I think I shocked her…she thought this was all a “money making thing”! LOL

  2. April 7, 2009 4:30 pm

    Soooooo true – When my boss found out I was having puppies she said ‘ Ohhhh Money, Money Money by the pound. I was horrified! I quicly laid out what my last littler cost me. Frozen Semen, surgical implant, then the Bitch got an e-coli infection, nearly lost her, her milk went bad, lost 5 out of 8 puppies, had to find a surrogate. We had Vet bills out the Whazooo, etc., etc., etc. The uninformed public just dosen’t get it.

  3. April 7, 2009 5:05 pm

    The thing will all of us is that we all would like to make some money to off set the costs but in the long run we do it for the love of the breed. I’m not one of those that is “proud” I’ve never made money but if I make money doing it right I’ll be thrilled. I’d rather make a smaller profit doing it right than a big profit doing is wrong.

  4. April 9, 2009 12:35 am

    Here, here!

    I, too, am amazed at the perception that all breeders make money. Having that said tho, I also tend to think that those people who think we make money probably dont take their dogs to the vet for yearly shots/checkups, and probably feed their dogs the cheapest food out there.

    I certainly have never made money on a litter. Stud fees, vet bills for the mom, vet bills for the puppies, shipping of semen, getting the puppy kit together, c-sections (on holidays in the middle of the night- yes that is extra!) x-rays, health clearances, additional food for mom and pups, supplements, etc, etc…

    And that doesnt even begin to cover the time spent on a litter! From researching stud dogs to waking up at night to make sure mom hasnt squashed anyone, or to making sure everyone has a faucet at lunchtime. If time was money, we would all be poor!

    Good subject Jinnie! 😉

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