Do Papers Really Matter?
I think it's safe to say that most of us are not rich, and we all appreciate a good deal. Why not? Blowing money unnecessarily is just a waste, and most of us enjoy finding a bargain even if we can afford to spend more. When shopping for cars, electronics, furniture or even a pet, frugal living is the way of the wise these days.
So, why the big deal about shopping around when looking for a puppy?
The price that you pay for a healthy well-bred puppy is minimal compared to the cost of raising, owning and veterinarian costs for the life of a dog that's ill-bred and sickly.
"The bitterness of a poor-quality dog will linger long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten."
Ever heard the saying, "You get what you pay for"? Yeah, well, the pet dog industry is one place you won't find a better example of the prudence of that advice. Quality in the breeding world can range anywhere from absolute crap to jaw-dropping fantastic - and everywhere in between. And although it may not always be this way, in most cases you're going to get exactly what you pay for.
Quality has never been cheap and buying a quality puppy definitely is not! You are going to have to expect to pay more than just a few hundred dollars to buy from a responsible breeder. It is important to remember though that just because you are paying a large price for a puppy it does not mean it is quality. There are several factors that go into the price of buying a puppy from a good breeder. The ever increasing price of top notch veterinary care is one of the main reasons, many breeders spend thousands upon thousands each year at the vets. Not to mention the money that goes into a breeders breeding stock, high quality diets, pre-natal exams, pregnancy x-rays, supplements, emergency veterinary care, c-sections, assisted whelpings when complications arise, vaccinations for adults and the puppies, health testing, routine blood-work, dental cleanings, veterinary exams/health checks for each puppy at least twice, sometimes 3 times! If you can imagine this is just the short list of costs, but it gives you an idea!
I personally spare no expense for our Bassets! Add to that that a responsible breeder rarely breeds a female more than twice a year ,Now divide all those expenses by the number of puppies ( For Bassets 8-10) and even at $1,250 most Responsible breeders are lucky if they even break even. (Responsible breeders of any breed are lucky to break even)
Also, personally Bassets are hard to breed due to their body size and short legs. Often requiring C-sections and vet assistance. Because well bred dogs are expensive to breed. Even poorly bred bassets are not cheap to breed. The dam often needs a c-section for the birth that can cost $1,500 or more. Plus there is care for the dam during pregnancy and after birth. If they do it right there is health/genetic testing before breeding. The average litter can cost $6,500+ or so to breed by the time all is said and done.
When you purchase a dog through a reputable breeder, you have to remember that the breeder has already spent a good amount of money on veterinary care for the mother and the pups, and that is reflected in the price of the puppy. Pre-breeding health checks for both parents, stud fees, prenatal care, initial vet visits, shots, wormings, food, and all the other things that the breeder takes care of long before you ever get to bring your puppy home--these things cost a lot of money.
So What is a breeder's time worth?
It is estimated that the average breeder spends 120 hours per month caring for their dogs and pups. This 120 hours cannot be scheduled around other obligations; other obligations must be scheduled around your puppies. Basset puppies are extremely susceptible to hypoglycemia and instant death during the first two months of life if they are not cared for properly. So, having a litter of puppies for any breeder pretty much takes a considerable chunk of time and independence from your life. A good breeder will carefully screen and interview all potential buyers to ensure that their puppies get placed in only the best homes. They will also offer support to the puppy's new family to make sure that they are properly prepared to care for the puppy, and they will stay available to help out any purchasers in need, even if it means accepting the puppy back into their home if problems arise.
Good puppies start long before their parents are bred.
Both the sire and dam need constant care, or conditioning, to produce the best offspring. This means regular veterinary care, screening for genetic problems, pre-breeding health tests, regular exercise and good nutrition. It also means maintaining your dog's mental health. Stressed animals can experience fertility problems. Many breeders swear by the belief that the dam's temperament affects the puppies -
good puppies come from good mothers. Consequently, they avoid breeding shy or unstable dogs.
I personally feel NO BREEDER SHOULD EVER have to explain or justify their prices. Quality dogs are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and expensive to breed. Much goes into breeding of dogs and the price a breeder is asking for their puppies is up to their discretion.
Whether it's $500 or $2500 every breeder knows what they've invested into their dogs, how much they've paid, and the quality they are producing, registration, and their actual litter expenses.
When looking at purchasing a puppy you can't just consider the cost of the puppy but a breeders overall expenses to just obtain that litter. Exceptional Quality Is Not Expensive, It's Priceless!
"There is only one Happiness in Life, To Love and Be Loved. "