Why does a corgi puppy cost so much?
Reflections on the price of puppies and the life of breeders.
There are many reasons why someone might want to buy from a breeder. They will know that their puppy has been raised with love and will give them pleasure. Sometimes it's because the buyer has a special need, which the breeder can best help meet by helping them choose the puppy that's best for them. Some buyers want the peace of mind that comes with a health guarantee. They want to know that the breeder is confident in the quality of the dogs he sells.
It is important to understand that an excellent breeder is extremely conscientious about his dogs. From the way they are raised to the time they are placed with a great family, there is an incredible amount of physical, daily work that is impossible to put a monetary value on, such as cleaning kennels, weighing puppies daily, administering supplements every day, thorough physical checks of every puppy every day, proving the puppies' exposure to other people, places, sounds and smells, cleaning outdoor play areas when the puppies are old enough to play outside.... these are just some of the regular tasks.
The first big expense for the potential breeder is the cost of buying a dog with outstanding qualities for future breeding. Depending on the breed, this can range from a few thousand to over 5000 Euros. This is the price of the dog plus the breeding rights.
The prospective breeding dog will need the same vet visits, vaccinations, stool and blood tests as any puppy. In addition, a responsible breeder will also carry out health checks to obtain prior information about whether the dog's hips and elbows are acceptable for breeding. He will also carry out screening for the genetic diseases that best affect the breed. Depending on the vet, these tests can cost between 400,000 and 500,000 HUF. However, it is not enough to just have these tests done, a responsible breeder will not just show the paperwork that they have had the tests done, but will also take the results of these tests into account when selecting breeding pairs when planning future litters.
The dog will also be examined by a vet specialising in veterinary medicine. The examination is performed after pupil dilation and consists of an indirect ophthalmic examination. The cost of this examination is approximately HUF 40,000.
Most responsible breeders perform genetic testing on their breeding dogs. These are quite expensive. A basic DNA analysis costs about 200.000 HUF per dog. There are additional tests to check for other less common diseases, as well as checking the DNA of the coat colour... We do this because we don't want our dogs to pass on genetic problems without our knowledge. We would rather spay or neuter a dog than breed it irresponsibly.
The breeding dog will be fed premium dog food. The price of premium dog food is much higher than the price of dry dog food available at a regular grocery store or pet shop. This can cost hundreds of thousands of forints a year, depending on the number of dogs.
Many breeders also give dogs various vitamins and supplements. These supplements are often expensive, but can be very useful in preparing growing puppies or breeding dogs for shows and in protecting their joints. The cost of these supplements is between 30,000 and 40,000 HUF per dog per year.
Breeding should NEVER be done with young, immature dogs. Excellent breeders wait at least until the dog's third heat cycle. The breeder may not be able to have all the necessary tests done before the dog's third breeding cycle. A good breeder will wait for the results rather than take the money. This is the ethical procedure to help ensure that good traits are passed on to the puppies.
All these costs are incurred before the breeder is absolutely sure that his dog is of high breeding quality. Sometimes dogs do not pass muster and will not be good dogs for breeding. This dog will be withdrawn from the breeding programme and neutered, all after a huge amount of money has been invested in the dog.
Starting a breeding cycle involves more costs. Most breeders will need 2-4 progesterone tests to determine the right time to breed. These tests usually cost 20.000 HUF each, so in total it will cost at least 80.000 HUF just to do the tests, not counting travel costs to the vet, as not many places can do a progesterone test on the spot within a few hours.
On top of this, there is the stud fee, which ranges from 2000 to 5000 Euros, with the sky being the limit for outstanding breeding boars. The owner of the stud dog usually asks for this payment in advance and no one cares how many puppies will be born after the studding. However, most breeders will offer the breeder that if the bitch does not get pregnant, they can repeat the studding with the dog in the future for free.
If the pregnancy goes smoothly, the only medical treatment needed is usually an ultrasound scan at around 4-5 weeks to confirm the pregnancy. This usually ranges between 10.000-20.000 HUF depending on the veterinary practice.
During pregnancy, feeding is the major expense. The appetite of a pregnant dog increases greatly during pregnancy and the post-partum (lactation) period. Also, at some point, puppies will start eating canned dog food and dry food. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the food.
Preparing for the birth of puppies is REALLY expensive. Even at a minimum, there are many very necessary things. At least 300.000-400.000 Forints to buy all the necessary things (feeding crate, medicines, etc.)
During the first two weeks, all puppies are weighed at least twice a day (in practice, much more) to ensure that they are gaining the right amount of weight.
We also start the neurological stimulation programme around day 3. We treat the puppies' ears, paws, tail and belly so that the puppy learns that these touches are pleasant, not threatening. We also expose them to new smells and sounds every day. Our programme includes a series of YouTube videos with sounds that the puppy will hear in the future. These sounds include things like: running household appliances; sirens; children laughing, crying and screaming; trains running and whistling; and various other sounds.
General things like toys are necessary and important for the stimulation and mental development of puppies. To keep the puppy's area clean, more bedding and other cleaning materials are needed, as they need to be cleaned 5-6 times a day.
Puppies are born and raised in our home. They spend more and more time outside around 5 weeks of age. We have an enclosed play area in our yard. We have lots of toys for them, including a tunnel for them to run through, balls for them to push and chase, and ropes hanging from above for the puppies to tug on. The enclosed area has a large dog house with a heater for cold days. The puppies always come back inside in the evening and stay inside on very bad weather days.
Puppies are wormed every two weeks as a precaution.
At six weeks of age, all puppies go to the vet for a health check. We want to make sure our puppies are healthy before they go to their new homes. Before leaving us, all puppies are microchipped and receive their first puppy vaccinations. The day before leaving home, all our puppies are bathed again to make sure they look and smell clean. These costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of forints per litter.
There are also costs (and time) involved in answering customers' questions; photographing the puppies and posting them on social media; maintaining the website; preparing information and training packs for all new owners; health guarantees and neutering contracts.
Once the puppies are in their new homes, we will answer any questions customers may have. We always make sure our puppies are safe, happy and loved.
We also tell all our customers that if at any time in the future they find they can't look after their dog, they should let us know. We tell them in advance that we do not want our dogs to end up in a shelter. We help owners find another good home for their dog.
As you can see, responsible breeding is about much more than putting two dogs in a room and collecting the profit. In fact, many breeders are lucky if they break even! We do what we do because we love our dogs, and we want others to experience that love between a dog and its human!