Post from the Quality Irish Wolfhound Puppies Facebook Group written by: Troy Pitzenberger
How much for that puppy?
Quality Irish Wolfhound Puppies | Facebook
On this page we have discussed how to bring up price with a potential breeder. Their answer can be used to assess their motivation for breeding if we dig a little deeper into this topic.
The average price of a purposefully bred puppy from a quality driven breeder will be between $2500 and $3000. That will cover nearly every single good breeder. Here is where it can get a little tricky. There are several profit driven commercial puppy farmers that charge the exact same price. I know three commercial breeders that charge $3000 for a limited registration puppy. That is with a five minute search of their websites. If I researched a little further, I am sure I could find several that charge in the exact same range as the quality breeder.
This is lesson number one, the price of a puppy is not a meaningful indicator of the quality. These breeders cut many corners in order to maximize the profit derived from this price. They do not do all (sometimes none) of the testing required to minimize the potential problems a puppy may have. Once they get your money, they will cease to care about you and your new puppy. Some of them will say that they will be there for you for the life of the dog. That is only in good times. If your puppy has a problem, watch them quickly change their tune. They let their puppies go before ten weeks. Each day they keep a puppy past eight weeks cuts into their profits. Once those puppies are weaned, they will start counting the days until they can get them out the door. Puppies eat and poop in large volumes. That costs money and time. Some of them will have another litter that is already born and they need to move the older ones out so they can concentrate on the next batch of little money makers. It is a livestock operation to them.
If a breeder sells their puppies for less than the average, they are most likely just trying to undercut their puppymill competition. These breeders will be cutting every corner possible in order to turn a profit. When done the right way, Irish Wolfhounds are expensive to breed. When costs are minimized to maximize profit, the real cost to the buyer can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. If you think the up front cost of a puppy is high, you should see the vet bills for taking care of a sick puppy.
So you find a breeder that is selling puppies for $3000. How do you know if they are breeding for profit, or to preserve the breed? The quickest way will be to ask them what the price is for a full registration puppy. A full registration puppy is one that can be shown and bred with the blessings of the AKC. The quality breeder charges the exact same price for a puppy with full registration as they do for one with limited registration. We do so because It does not cost one cent more to raise the full registration puppy. Not one cent. The difference will be that a quality driven breeder will not sell a puppy that can be bred to anyone they don't trust, and that trust takes time. The profit breeder charges more for full registration and they will be happy to sell that puppy to anyone that can pay the extra fee. In other words, if a breeder charges extra for full registration, they are a poor breeder and profit is their motivation.
Let's say you are an aspiring backyard breeder, how do you get your breeding stock? Or, you just want a show puppy and you don't want to wait for one from a good breeder. Here is where things get full blown crazy. I have seen the price for full registration puppies from three different commercial kennels. Cindy Nunneley Biehler, of Midwest Irish Wolfhounds Ranch, charges $5800 for a puppy that can be shown and bred. Ronda Gibbons, of Sunny Slope Hounds, charges $5500 for a puppy that costs no more to raise than her $3000 puppies. Linda Spade, of Spade Ranch Irish Wolfhounds charges $4500 for her full registration puppies. These are outrageous prices for puppies that are produced by cutting many corners. I can't know for sure why they think they can get away with this type of gouging, but I can speculate. It is hard to get a puppy on full registration from a quality breeder. They have to trust your motivations and sincerity to a level that calms their fear that one of their dogs will end up in the hands of an unscrupulous breeder. That is something that keeps good breeders awake at night. The thought of one of our beloved puppies being exploited for money, makes us physically ill. The exploitative profit breeder knows how true this is. They have the backyard breeder over a barrel. There are several advantages to having championship titles behind your new breeding dog. Even if the titles are meaningless and achieved by purchasing them through the use of a professional handler, the backyard breeder wants these advantages, and they have to pay dearly for them.
The bottom line is that the price of a puppy has no direct link to the quality. Quality is about what the breeder puts into the puppy, not the money that the breeder gets out of it.