The different pricing levels of puppies
by Lee Hanrahan
There is a pretty wide range of prices out there when you look at buying a German Shepherd Dog. Of course great pets can come from anywhere – but if you are going to buy a puppy from a breeder - know the facts and don't support people who are just out to make a buck. This short article tries to explain what you will get for your money. The price of a puppy is a drop in the bucket of what you will pay over the lifetime your dog. Buying a well bred dog can keep future costs and heartache to a minimum.
$0.00 - $500 These puppies are backyard bred dogs that are produced by people that either care only about making some quick cash or are breeding their pets because they can. The parents of these puppies will have no health tests, they won't have any titles or any outside unbiased critiques. The breeder will tell you the mother and father (who are probably not suited to be bred together - it's only about convenience) are up to date on their shots and are healthy – not nearly enough to breed! Advertisements (mostly on free sites like Kijiji) for these types of puppies use incorrect terms and many, many spelling errors like 'purebread' - they are not registered with the CKC (so therefore are NOT purebred) and most of the time the 'breeder' can't even spell Shepherd correctly. You won't see any information about the dogs being bred, because there isn't any. They have no merit, they have no accomplishments and they could very easily be mixed bred, dysplastic & have horrid temperaments or even worse - they're "King" Shepherds ;-) Supporting this type of 'breeder' is, in a word - wrong.
If this is your puppy buying budget - find a nice rescue (from a reputable rescue organization) - or save up until you can afford a better bred dog.
$500 - $1,000 These puppies usually come from mediocre breeders. The parents probably have something - maybe a conformation title or a health test. They are CKC registered and these breeders will charge more for rare colours (there are no rare colours), more for show or breeding quality (or charge you extra for full registration) or maybe even charge different amounts based on what sex puppy you want. These breeders know the basics - just enough to probably convince you that they have quite a bit of knowledge - but they really don't. Some of these breeders have been around for decades and rely on their longevity to sell dogs. Some of these puppies may even come from half decent parents - but the breeder is just breeding for the sake of breeding… No real concern for the breed, you or dogs…. These puppies come with fancy 'puppy packages' & the list of what you get is pretty useless - garbage guarantees, puppies that are 'home raised' (like that is rare?) and/or maybe a bunch of crap about how their dogs are more like the 'larger old fashioned straight back' type of GSD (do some research - the breed never looked like that!). Their puppies are magically suitable for anything you want and they may even accept credit cards or Paypal!
If this is your budget - save up a couple of dollars more and find a better breeder!
$1,000 - $2,000 These puppies come in two different groups - those that are worth this price and those from breeders who think the can get away with charging this much. Good, reputable German Shepherd Dog breeders breed survey (KKL), title & health test their breeding stock so it's easy to tell the two groups apart (see check list below). Well-bred puppies come from quality pedigrees and from breeders who genuinely care about the breed, their dogs and where their puppies go. This is the type of breeder we are and the type we support. Take some time to compare the 'product' on paper. Yes you are buying a puppy with 4 legs, 2 ears and a tail, but take a close look at why the parents of this puppy were bred - what makes the puppy worth the dollars the breeder is charging? Is it just a pet you want?
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten. Benjamin Franklin
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