$850 - Both the sire and dam of this puppy came from top quality breeding stock,
developed over years and years of selective and knowledgeable breeding. Both meet
the requirements of the official Breed Standard in conformation as well as temperament.
Each has a pedigree which has been studied and thoroughly researched. These
dogs have been selected to breed to each other because they can both contribute to the
excellence of the breed as well as complement one another.
$350 - The dam of this litter was purchased from a local pet store and originally came
from a puppy mill. She was sick off and on the first year of her life due to many
different types of intestinal parasites and malnutrition. The sire, an oversized
male, lives down the street and was purchased from an ad in the newspaper. Neither
owner has ever heard of the Breed Standard. The female is skittish and snappy.
Her owners hope that having a litter will calm her down.
$850 - Before this breeding ever took place, both male and female had tests including
x-rays (front and rear), eye test, thyroid tests, and in some instances...heart tests to
determine that there were no physical or genetic problems that might be passed on to
offspring. The breeder is well aware of the genetic problems to which the breed is
predisposed and uses no animal for breeding unless it is certified clear of defects by a
qualified Veterinarian. The health of her pups is guaranteed.
$350 - The breeder is totally unaware of the genetic problems within the breed.
Trips to the veterinarian, except for dire emergencies or yearly shots, are considered too
expensive. The breeders hope is to make money off the sale of the
puppies. If he keeps expenses down, he can buy that new couch hes been
wanting. Puppies are sold with no guarantee.
$850 - The breeder is a professional and he has a good reputation to maintain.
His goal is to produce beautiful and sound specimens which anyone would be proud to
own. Profit, if any is made, goes toward future breedings, always aimed toward the
betterment of the breed, or for show entries, handlers fees, new equipment and
important veterinary tests. Both the mother and pups are fed the highest quality
diet. Many trips to the vet assure him that mother and pups are thriving under the
very best of care. The pups are raised in a busy area of the house or kennel where
they are socialized, groomed, and exposed to different kinds of stimuli. They are
touched and talked to, cuddled, and even sung to. They are never sold before they
are eight weeks old. Every buyer is interviewed at length and they fill out a
questionnaire...pups are placed only in homes where they will receive the best care.
The breeder spends time with each new owner, educating and answering questions.
Follow-up calls are made to make sure the pups are adjusting well. Each new owner
receives a bill of sale and health guarantees, vaccination record, minimum
three-generation pedigree, guarantee of registration with the AKC and thorough puppy care
and nutrition information. If the puppy is not considered to be of such quality as
it will better the breed, the puppy is sold with a limited registration or non-breeding
agreements. The new owners are encouraged to continue a relationship with the
breeder long past the puppy stage, and to call and ask questions at any time during the
$350 - These puppies are born in a box, in the garage, and receive little care other
than what the mother gives. To cut costs, they are weaned on generic dog food and
allowed to nurse on the mother as long as possible to keep food bills down. The
bitchs health declines rapidly due to poor condition and some pups are weak and
runty. They are sold as quickly as possible because advertising and vaccines are
expensive. They are sold without having had their dewclaws removed, without shots,
parasite checks, vet examinations, guarantees, or information of any kind. They are
sold to anyone who has the cash. If the new owner is lucky, he may receive an AKC
registration application. Although the puppy is of very poor quality, it is sold
with full breeding rights. The new owner usually disappears with the pup, never to
be seen again. If the market is not good, the breeder takes the leftover pups to the
local pet shop, and in some instances, the pound.
The comparison you have just read is hypothetical, but very typical of what we see all
too often. Although not every breeder who charges higher prices is reputable and
ethical, pet buyers should keep looking until they find one that is. When I am asked
why my prices are so much higher than those in some newspaper ads, I mail a copy of this
article. Those buyers who respect the quality and excellence are wonderful customers
and become "partners" in this hobby that I love so much. Those that are
seeking pets deserve nothing less than a nice quality, healthy, and trusting animal.
As well as a breeder they can count on. -- Anonymous
(reprinted from the May 2009 issue of Top Notch Toys)