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Pricing and Cost

Devotion comes at a price

  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 or furniture; 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 the veterinarian costs for the life of a dog that's ill-bred and sickly.

  Ever heard the saying, "You get what you pay for"? Yeah, well, the pet 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.

What expenses are involved in responsibly breeding?

  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 always mean it is quality (testimonies from happy families is very important). There are several factors that go into the price of buying a puppy from a good breeder and make sure the breeder is doing all of these things or more.
  The ever increasing price of top notch veterinary care and paying state and federal taxes take up a significant percentage of my overall pricing (all my adults and puppies receive regular vet care). I invest in quality Miniature Schnauzers to bring into my program, high quality diet, pre-natal exams, pregnancy x-rays if needed, supplements, emergency veterinary care, c-sections, assisted deliveries when complications arise, vaccinations for adults and the puppies, health testing for adults, routine blood-work, dental cleanings, veterinary exams/health checks for each puppy, food, flea preventative, worming, puppy raw food, adult raw food, toys for my adults, cleaning supplies, bedding, dishes, crates, grooming supplies, my puppy care package, OFA's, AKC registration of my adults and puppies and more! If you can imagine this is just the short list of my costs but it gives you the idea! My time is also not free... do not forget the time invested in working with families, caring for puppies and adults, cleaning, etc.
  Well bred dogs are expensive to breed. Even poorly bred dogs are not cheap to breed. The dam may need 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 $2,500+ or so to breed by the time all is said and done. If there is only a few puppies in the litter, even at $1,500, the breeder is often taking a big loss. Any purebred dog is going to be expensive if the breeder is investing in their program. When you purchase a puppy 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 puppies and that is reflected in the price too. Pre-breeding health checks for both parents, stud fees if needed, 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 180 hours or more per month caring for their adults and puppies. This 180 hours cannot be scheduled around other obligations; other obligations must be scheduled around your puppies and adults. Have you considered what a breeder needs to do to go away for the weekend, a vacation, or even the day--I have to have reliable people stay at my home 24/7. 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 and they will stay available to help out any family in need, even if it means accepting the puppy back into their home if problems arise. Look at your well bred Miniture Schnauzer as an investment in your emotional health, you couldn't get any mental health professional to treat you daily for the next 12 to 15 years for $2000 to $3500.
  My hope is that people who are willing to pay for one of my puppies will provide a very good home. That they have thought long and hard, researched and read about Miniature Schnauzers and other breeds before deciding on a Miniature Schnauzer and the puppy they purchase will be worth every single penny. Not just anyone can walk up, pick up a puppy and take it home.
  Good puppies start long before their parents are bred. Both the stud and dam need constant care and conditioning to produce the best offspring. This means regular veterinary care, screening for genetic problems, pre-breeding health tests, regular exercise, family environment 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 dams temperament affects the puppies - good puppies come from good mothers.
  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 the breeding of quality dogs and the price a breeder is asking for their puppies is up to their discretion. Whether it's $1500 or $4000, every breeder knows what they've invested into their adults/puppies, 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 and time to just obtain that litter.

Exceptional Quality Is Not Expensive, It's Priceless!

Written by T. Breton but modified by Tammy McPherson to fit my M.S. breeding program.