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In Germany an officially bred setter with FCI/VDH-documents costs about 900 € up to 1300 €. I wouldn`t get myself a dog without such documents (for many reasons) and so I would always pay that price. What else should I do...
I know breeders whose dogs (labradors) cost 1400 € and 1500 €. It`s the regular price for a brown labrador (they are "en vogue" at the moment, that`s why they are so expensive). I cannot decide if these prices are justified, as I´m no breeder and I don`t know how much it costs to bring up a litter (stud dog, vet, food etc.)
I know many people who bought their dogs at breeder`s who don`t breed officially, that means the dogs have no FCI/VDH-documents and cost 400 € to 600 €, people who bought their dogs at breeder`s like this to save money. I don`t have to mention that I think it is totally wrong to support these breeders. But I think the large regular prices "force" some people to do so. Don`t you think that puppies with documents are too expensive and lead people to socalled breeders and other obscure sellers?
Don`t get me wrong: I would never support any other breeder than one whose dogs have documents but I`m worried that these large prices help the wrong, if you understand what I mean...?

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In Australia, it's very often the case that the most expensive puppies are those who have been "backyard-bred" or are pet-shop crossbreeds. I have seen "oodles" and any kind of cross you can think of advertised for well over AUD1000. (By comparison, not one of my well-bred, health-tested pedigree dogs cost more than AUD850.) Pedigree, health-tested stock typically sell here for much less than what is perhaps the norm in other countries.

I am constantly amazed how many people proudly boast that their "cavoodle x lab/kelpiex/ridgie cross" cost them $1500 because the parents were "purebred." Ignorance abounds amongst the pet-buying public here in Australia. People seem happy to pay $$$ for a cross-breed...don't ask me why! They have no idea if the parents are healthy, no idea of what size or energy levels the adult puppy will have...or what grooming may be required...they just go for the cutest face in the petshop window, or the "designer" breed name. There is a misconception here that purebred dogs have more health problems (not true) and cost more (definitely not true).

It is up to the breeder's discretion as to whether or not they charge more for puppies with papers in Australia. Some do, some don't. (I'm not sure that every state in Australia has a requirement to register ALL the puppies from a given litter - hence why some can be sold without papers, even if they are true pedigree. Most states do now have this requirement.)
No, at the prices you mentioned...they are not too expensive - in fact they should cost ten times as much! :-)

I have just had a litter of 12 setters.
I have first of all had the bitch qualified in both show and obedience.
This takes time, money and a lot of dedication.
She has A hips and having official papers to prove this, also cost money.

She comes into season...I have bloodtests done at the vet to find out the ultimate day for mating.
I then mate her (this will involve taking time of work and depending on distance - a varying admount of travel-expence).
Then I pay the stud-fee.
The bitch gets more expensive food during pregnancy.
I may have a scan done just to find out if she is pregnant.
I then plan my holiday to fit in with the puppies. I may not have that much holiday saved, so I will take unpaid time off.
The puppies are born and in my case there was no complication...so you could say that the actual birth did not cost me anything (appart from sleepless nights).

There is the constant checking up for weeks to come and in my case this means sleeping in a room next to the litter so that I will hear if anything goes wrong. I had no problem appart from having to get up about 4 - 5 times a night when I heard puppies making noises.

Then the puppies start eating.
Also they need to be dewormed...
And they will continue eating and eating and eating...in fact you no more open a new sack of very expensive puppy -food before its gone!

The puppies do everything on newspaper...so you have to chase newspaper from all around.
Old newspapers are free!
WOW!
But they also need to be got rid of!
This in its turn (in my case) needs a trailer and trips to the dump. I can not leave the puppies so I have to get people to do this for me.
My life does not stop totally once the puppies are born (although it feels like it)...so I have to find a trustworthy person to look after my litter while I may need o leave the house...this person needs to be paid.

I had a litter of 12.
I was keeping one puppy and all other 11 were booked before they were a week old.
I now have 11 families visiting me at a minimum of 3 times each during the 8 weeks. I want people to come and meet the puppies...but some will go overboard and visit every week...
This time I was firm and only offered coffe on rare occasions. :-)

The puppies start to rush about...at the most I clean my floors 5 times a day...I need tons of cleaners and kitchen-rolls!!!!!!
Wow do I use a lot of kitchen-rolls!
Its time to register the puppies with the swedish kennelclub...yes, you guessed it...this costs money! Lots of it!

And then there is the normal wear and tear...new baskets, new blankets, new shoes (replacing the ones they managed to chew...oh do they chew quickly when they are this many!!!!!!!)

I then have the ID-marker come over...no I will not travel with 12 puppies in the car...I rather pay extra for milage + the cost of having the puppies tatooed.
Then there is the vet-check + injection.
Same here, I will pay the extra cost of having a vet come to my house instead of the other way around.

All puppies passed!
Well done!
Now the buyers will come for the pick-up.
Each puppy is bathed in special puppy-shampoo and I spend about 2 hours with each puppy-buyer, going through the ins and outs...how to lift, how to train this and how to train that...

Well that was easy!!!!!!
All that remains now is taking my HUGE lump of money and sticking it in the bank!
Looking forward to that! :-)
But hang on...what is left?
Once all costs are deducted?
Nothing!
Especially as I declare all my puppies and pay both VAT + income-tax on what is left after I have deducted the costs.

And this was a very large, but totally uncomplicated litter!
No vet-bills, no medicine...nothing...

You should try it some time!!!!:-)))))
I dont think there is a problem with high prices, but then I am talking about Sweden.

I just feel that people are prepared to pay what the puppies cost...and yes, you can find cheap ones here too.
They tend to be the puppies that are advertised on the internet when they about 8 months old and need a new home due to "change of circumstances" or owners that have suddenly developed allergic symptoms. :-)

I do think the prices are high...but when I look at the work and money needed to raise a litter, its like I said before, they should cost ten times as much :-))))
my dog interest is not meant to be profitable, it is a hobby and a hobby tend to cost money. I have had two puppy litters, where I had to have some left because they have not sold directly. And it costs money! But otherwise I think it has gone steadily up, plus a little more. I do not give birth to puppies for income, but because it is a hobby that I love, it will then enter a few extra kroner, it is a good thing, but I have no special demands on me to earn so much money on my hobby, just even up..
But this is me and my filosofi..
//Kristina
After reading the tyrade above, I have one question.Ursula
WHY OH WHY do you breed Setters or any dog?

It seems to be such a bother. I felt like getting out the violin. Your choice! Not the dogs or the bitches, Yours.
Philip,
I think I am trying to point out that if you are a serious breeder, and put in the effort that is required, pure-bred puppies are not too expensive.
In fact quite the oposite.
And this discussion was about the cost of a pure-bred puppy.

Breeding on a small scale and as a hobby, I think breaking even is what you can hope for. Its certainly nothing you do for the money-side of it!
And if you were to look at it only from an economical viewpoint...well our pure-bred puppies are totally underpriced...:-)
Oh dear!
I just noticed that I totally forgot about the one-year membership in the setter-club that I pay for every puppy-buyer.

And last, but certainly not least: The aftercare "phone-me-any-time-you-want" during the dogs entire life!
I will answer ALL questions (if I dont know the answer, I will find out). I will help with training (both on the phone and in "real life").
I will listen to long stories of how wonderful the dog I bred 13 years ago was and I will share puppy-buyers grief as well as their happiness.

Did I write that puppies should cost ten times as much?
Well I take that back!
Ten times as much is nowhere near enough!!!!!!!
i agree with you Ursula, i had a big litter of 15 which if you raise them proper, no cutting corners, costs an awful lot and i didn't bank a vast amount, but one thing Ursula which i think you will agree on dogs are NOT as expensive as HORSES!!!!!
I agree fully!
Apart from dogs,I have had also veteran cars (people say this is an expensive hobby) but there is NOTHING compared to horses when it comes to getting rid of you money in a very effective manner! :-)
Philip, I think I understand the point Ursula's is making - even though I personally have not yet bred a litter. A good breeder - that is, one breeding with the breed's best interests at heart (and not their own personal profit or gain), makes many personal and financial sacrifices in order to ensure their puppies have the BEST possible start in life.

Unfortunately, the general puppy-buying public doesn't understand that. To many people, breeding dogs involves nothing more than bringing together two likely adults...no health testing, no making sure the puppies are exposed to numerous household experiences, no worming - no real care, other than to get those pups out the door as fast as possible and to make as much money from the litter as possible. That's why we now see such a proliferation of "rare" colours for sale - silver Labradors, blue Weimaraners etc...unscrupulous breeders (or those who are just plain ignorant of breed standards and basic breed characteristics) use these as selling points to jack up the price of what is, essentially, a pup that doesn't conform to the standard as outlined by the controlling kennel council. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that many backyard breeders and puppy farmers have no clue that such things even exist. They're as caught up by the "rare" colours etc as their ignorant buyers.

I think this is a symptom of the way dogs are viewed by many. That is, they are seen as possessions, rather than as special companions whose worth is infinitely greater than any arbitrary dollar value. In Australia, this sad truth is perpetuated by dog laws that make it very difficult to treat dogs as anything other than backyard pets. For example, we can't take our dogs onto public transport, or into shops, the way I know some European countries allow. We have restrictions on the number of dogs we can keep (if we live in certain states, or certain areas) and for many people, a dog is nothing more than an accessory for the backyard. And that says nothing of the media's anti-dog sentiments - too many sensationalised stories about dogs attacking children for "no reason." (And of course, they always get the breed wrong and call the dog a pit bull, or a staffy, and then you see the photo of the dog and it's not.)

"Positive" news stories about pedigree dogs are rare...usually pulled out only at Royal show time...and then it's one of those "look at these pampered pooch" type stories that tell the public nothing about the breeds or their purposes, nor do anything to show pure-breeds in any light other than as a joke.

Breeders here fight an uphill battle against this sort of stuff - or should I say GOOD and ETHICAL breeders.

Ursula's point, therefore, that these sorts of breeders don't charge enough for their dogs is valid and true. They don't - and they should! I can't imagine the heart-break some breeders go through, putting their every effort into their special litter, only to see their puppies overlooked when the public go for the designer dogs in the petshop window for 3 times the price. Or worse, buy their pups then neglect them, or worse, use them with any old dog to breed something for profit for themselves.

Perhaps if pedigree dogs cost more, people might give them respect they deserve?
Sorry but my reply is going to be a bit short, business calls.
I think I'll take some of the first comments by Ursula's tongue in cheek because i do agree that following standards is a pricey business and love of the breed far far more important.
All our Irish have come from good, loving and well respected breeder or Irish Setter Rescue.
We have also had contact with dogs and bitches from so called PUPPY FARMS, usually the one's used as factories to produce pups and I'm affraid my thoughts on the people who run these places are not printable here.
I will close for now but my eye has just been drawn to Melinda's last comment;

Perhaps if pedigree dogs cost more, people might give them respect they deserve?

or does this just push more and more people to the type of breeders I personally despise.
It's a very nasty circle. The true lover of the breed will always be there but so will the others.

As to 'Are dogs too expensive' The answer has got to be NO. Love, companionship, trust and many other words have no price.

I'll stop now or I'll just keep waffleing on. Later tonight I will read the above replies properly.
Christine, the way it works that there HONESTLY is no money left after a fair-size litter is like this:

You can not just look at a bitch ready for mating and what happens after that in an economic sense.
You must take in to account previous losses. I do not think there is a serious breeder around that has been able to use all the puppies they have once chosen for future breeding.

I have myself had to have a bitch put down before I could ever breed from her.
This was due to a operation of the anal glands gone wrong.
When she was put down, she had been x-rayed and was OK, she had been shown and was in champion-class obedience.
All this cost a lot of money (not taking in to account time and dedication) to achieve.
So all that has to count as a loss.

I have also bought in a brood-bitch that ended up getting run over by a train at the age of 9 months. Another loss in many more ways than the economical one.
Way back I imported a setter from England, he started moving very badly and got worse and worse...turned out his hips were just about the worst that the vets had seen. He was put down at the age of 11 months.

I have also kept quite a few bitches for future breeding (but that have lived with other families) that I have disgarded for one reason or another. Up until the time I have decided one way or another, I have paid for their insurance. Most of these bitches have been disgarded due to me keeping two bitches from the same litter (one staying with me and the other being placed in a family). I then thought that my own bitch has been the better of the two, and have used only her.
So that means no income from those puppies and only money being spent on them. The "un-used" bitches have been given to the familys for free.

Also I have had a few instances were my bitches have been mated but have not produced any puppies. Yet I have taken the bloodtests before all the same, I have traveled to the stud-dog and then perhaps paid for a scan just to make certain that what I suspected was actually true.

All the instances (or money losses) above have to be taken in to account when you look at what is left after you have paid all bills for your current litter.
I am convinced that there realy is no money in breeding dogs.

Unless of course you cut corners, use bitches you perhaps should not have...or go for cocker-poos...etc...no check-ups of breeding-stock, no follow-up...nothing.
Or if you go to the puppy-mill side of it, where bitches that have had their last litter are being put down as not to cost any money.

Im sorry I am harping on about this subject...but I do come into contact with quite a few (non-doggy) people that will ask for the price of puppies and then ask how many I had in the litter...and I can see that they are multiplying these figures and arriving at a totally false conclusion. :-)

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