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Breeder Fees: What's Resonable/Ethical?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 3rd 03, 09:15 PM
Andrea
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Default Breeder Fees: What's Resonable/Ethical?

"sophie" wrote

I'd like to hear people's opinions on what an 'ethical' breeder's
philosophy about price is.
I've read that a responsible breeder is happy just to break even, and
thus the price(at least for the small dogs I have been looking into)
will range from $300-600.


That seems pretty low, *especially* for small breeds which tend to have
smaller litters. For my breed, which is an easy whelping breed with moderate
litter size, average ranges from $500 - $800. I'd also like to mention here
that price and ethics if anything might tend to rise together. I mean,
unless you area aware of all the expenses, it would be difficult for you to
decide whether or not you think someone is making a profit or breaking even.

I've come across breeders who seem very
knowledgeable and protective of their pups, but who charge double
that.


Seems reasonable (that's $600 - $1200), depending on the breed. What makes
these folks seem knowledgable to you?

Or even more confusing, will charge more for girls or certain
colors (which I also read is unethical).


Not unethical in and of itself, but a warning sign. Have you asked them why
they do this?

But what's wrong with a responsible breeder, whose life is
consumed (I imagine) by taking care of their dogs trying to make a
profit?


"Trying to make a profit" and breaking even are two very different things.
It's *expensive* to breed dogs well, so well bred puppies will tend to
reflect that. But once you start trying to turn a profit it becomes a
conflict of interest to doing it "right".

Should I mark off
those breeders that charge (way) more but seem upstanding based on
this supposed red flag?


Ask them why first. See what they say. See if the answer jives well with
you. Keep in mind, every breeder is different. You may find a really great
one who does one or two things "wrong" and you may find a really crappy one
who does a few things "right". That's why the term "responsible breeder" is
fairly subjective. There are certain basics that are no brainers (like
health testing and not breeding sick dogs, taking dogs back etc) but there
are grey areas too.
--
-Andrea Stone
Saorsa Basenjis
http://home1.gte.net/res0s12z/
The Trolls Nest - greenmen, goblins & gargoyle wall art
www.trollsnest.com


  #2  
Old July 3rd 03, 10:36 PM
Andrea
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"Mud E Poz" wrote
snip
On occasion. Then again, while I had thought that my puppies were well

bred, I
gave them away....


That's why I said "tend". ;-)

--
-Andrea Stone
Saorsa Basenjis
http://home1.gte.net/res0s12z/
The Trolls Nest - greenmen, goblins & gargoyle wall art
www.trollsnest.com


  #4  
Old July 4th 03, 06:29 AM
Christy
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"sophie" wrote in message
om...
I'd like to hear people's opinions on what an 'ethical' breeder's
philosophy about price is.
I've read that a responsible breeder is happy just to break even, and
thus the price(at least for the small dogs I have been looking into)
will range from $300-600. I've come across breeders who seem very
knowledgeable and protective of their pups, but who charge double
that. Or even more confusing, will charge more for girls or certain
colors (which I also read is unethical). I understand that backyard
breeders or puppy mills are only in it for the money and they are to
be avoided. But what's wrong with a responsible breeder, whose life is
consumed (I imagine) by taking care of their dogs trying to make a
profit? I'm just wondering why this is a no-no. Should I mark off
those breeders that charge (way) more but seem upstanding based on
this supposed red flag?
Thanks!


I don't have any problem with a breeder making a profit on a litter if they
are breeding responsibly. I doubt that when you balance the money they have
put into their litters with the money they've spent overall on their dog
"career" that they would come out profitable, though. When you take into
consideration the costs involved in buying a quality dog, showing or
working, health testing, etc. there is a pretty huge investment. Some folks
don't think the costs of buying a dog and proving it through shows should be
counted in the costs of breeding; from that perspective, it is possible to
"make money" on a litter. However, I think that it is reasonable to pay a
breeder for their hard work, since I'm not willing to do it myself. However,
I have heard of some breeders charging *outrageous* prices for their puppies
(reference a recent discussion about the Collie breeder who was prosecuted
for animal cruelty when moving hundreds of dogs from Alaska to the lower 48)
and if one isn't comfortable with a breeder, for any reason including price,
they should look elsewhere. There are certain breeds which simply are going
to have a higher pricetag - rare breeds, breeds that are difficult to breed
and/or have small litters - and generally when one is looking for a show
prospect they will pay more than for a pet, though there are always
exceptions. However, the caveat "you get what you pay for" often comes into
play when comparing prices (not always, but often.) I think that price is
probably one of the last things that should be considered when deciding on
buying a puppy. First, look for a responsible breeder, proven dogs, health
tested, proper temperament, and so on. If you find a breeder who does all
the right things, you will likely find your money spent to be a much better
choice, even if paying twice as much as from a less responsible breeder.
Buying a "cheap" puppy and price shopping to get a bargain is a really,
really risky investment - and not just monetarily; the investment of time
and love in a puppy is a thousand times more costly. The initial price you
pay for a puppy is generally the smallest amount you'll be spending over the
life of the dog - once you've paid for a decade or more of toys, treats,
food, training classes, health care, and all the various other things that
are must-haves, you'll end up spending a lot more in the long run than just
the few hundred for the puppy itself. Chances are you'll spend a lot less
overall if you get a healthy, good temperamented puppy from a responsible
breeder. So yeah, if they make a few bucks on a litter, I have no issue with
it.

Christy


  #5  
Old July 4th 03, 02:40 PM
Lesley
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"Christy" wrote in message .. .
I don't have any problem with a breeder making a profit on a litter if they
are breeding responsibly. I doubt that when you balance the money they have
put into their litters with the money they've spent overall on their dog
"career" that they would come out profitable, though. When you take into
consideration the costs involved in buying a quality dog, showing or
working, health testing, etc. there is a pretty huge investment. Some folks
don't think the costs of buying a dog and proving it through shows should be
counted in the costs of breeding; from that perspective, it is possible to
"make money" on a litter. However, I think that it is reasonable to pay a
breeder for their hard work, since I'm not willing to do it myself. However,
I have heard of some breeders charging *outrageous* prices for their puppies
(reference a recent discussion about the Collie breeder who was prosecuted
for animal cruelty when moving hundreds of dogs from Alaska to the lower 48)
and if one isn't comfortable with a breeder, for any reason including price,
they should look elsewhere. There are certain breeds which simply are going
to have a higher pricetag - rare breeds, breeds that are difficult to breed
and/or have small litters - and generally when one is looking for a show
prospect they will pay more than for a pet, though there are always
exceptions. However, the caveat "you get what you pay for" often comes into
play when comparing prices (not always, but often.) I think that price is
probably one of the last things that should be considered when deciding on
buying a puppy. First, look for a responsible breeder, proven dogs, health
tested, proper temperament, and so on. If you find a breeder who does all
the right things, you will likely find your money spent to be a much better
choice, even if paying twice as much as from a less responsible breeder.
Buying a "cheap" puppy and price shopping to get a bargain is a really,
really risky investment - and not just monetarily; the investment of time
and love in a puppy is a thousand times more costly. The initial price you
pay for a puppy is generally the smallest amount you'll be spending over the
life of the dog - once you've paid for a decade or more of toys, treats,
food, training classes, health care, and all the various other things that
are must-haves, you'll end up spending a lot more in the long run than just
the few hundred for the puppy itself. Chances are you'll spend a lot less
overall if you get a healthy, good temperamented puppy from a responsible
breeder. So yeah, if they make a few bucks on a litter, I have no issue with
it.

Christy


Finally, someone's eloquent post does justice to the "reputable breeder" issue!
I don't think it can ever be said any better.

Lesley
  #6  
Old July 4th 03, 06:32 PM
BoxHill
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I've come across breeders who seem very
knowledgeable and protective of their pups, but who charge double
that. Or even more confusing, will charge more for girls


The only reason to charge more for girls is the potential $$ to be made from
breeding them. So I'd say that anyoner who does that is a problem, since their
pet puppies should come with a spay neuter contract, and "show" breeders are
very, very picky about who they will sell girls with show potential to.
Janet

//Dear Artemesia! Poetry's a sna
//Bedlam has many Mansions: have a ca
//Your Muse diverts you, makes the Reader sad:
//You think your self inspir'd; He thinks you mad.
  #7  
Old July 11th 03, 01:43 PM
Amy Dahl
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wrote:

Or even more confusing, will charge more for girls or certain
colors (which I also read is unethical).


I wouldn't call it "unethical" just because it is done. However, I can't
think of an ethical reason for doing so. If someone had a reason that
benefited the welfare of the dogs then that would be a different story.
Usually, however, the difference in price is because the breeder views,
or worse encourages, the females as breedable. And colors - what's up
with that? It doesn't cost anymore to produce one color than another.
Often pups are "marketed" based on color. That might benefit the breeder
but it does nothing for the health or welfare of the dogs, and it too
foten focusses attention in the wrong direction. It focusses attention
on a trivial attribute.

Bracketing the question of ethics, in some breeds females are in
greater demand because they are seen as smaller, more manageable,
and/or easier to train. This is the case in Chesapeake Bay
Retrievers, where young adult males seem to find their way into
rescue at a much greater rate than females. As a breeder, I sweat
a lot more over placement of males, and try to get every one into
the hands of someone experienced with the breed. Typically I could
sell every female ten times over (to good homes) but, after
screening, I just make it on the males.

Color is another question. People have definite preferences, and
all colors are not equally easy to breed. Recessives occur in
small numbers unless the parents are that color--which involves
extra expense in purchasing a female of the color, paying the
higher stud fees, and possibly a lot more travel to get to a colored
stud of adequate quality. Because of the selection for color, it's
harder to breed quality dogs in recessive colors. Colors like blue
merle must be bred for on purpose (avoiding sables, for example,
because merle could go unnoticed in a sable, leading to an unintentional
merle x merle breeding) and occur at a rate of 50% on average in blue x
black breedings. In some breeds, the preferred colors only occur in
breedings which also produce a proportion of mismarks--dogs that
are disqualified under the breed standard. A lot of people wanting
a purebred want the dog to meet the standard for the breed, even
if they have no intention of showing. They might expect a discount
on a dog that fails to meet the standard.

I don't breed for color, but it seems to me that if a breeder goes
to the extra effort, expense, and selection necessary to produce
a sought-after color, he/she could reasonably charge a price commensurate
with that. If the litter included a less-sought-after color, the
breeder might need to sell them at prices that would give the breeder
a good choice of homes to select from.

Amy Dahl
  #8  
Old July 11th 03, 04:21 PM
Marcel Beaudoin
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(Fitjar7) wrote in
:

My question is, who sets
these ethic standards? I have never seen as many self-styled experts
as in the breeding of pure bred dogs,


Most breed clubs set out a Code of Ethics for Breeders of their
particular breed.

http://www.dog-play.com/ethics.html

and

http://www.dog-play.com/coe.html

For good links. As Diane mentions. Some of them are useful, some of them
are useless. You have to go through and decoide which codes of ethics fit
with your personal code of ethics.

--
*******************************************
Marcel Beaudoin & Moogli

*******************************************
'Dain Bramaged.'
*******************************************

  #9  
Old July 11th 03, 06:19 PM
[email protected]
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On 11 Jul 2003 15:14:23 GMT Fitjar7 whittled these words:

I hear so much about what is ethical and what is not. My question is,
who sets these ethic standards? I have never seen as many self-styled
experts as in the breeding of pure bred dogs,


Ultimately YOU decide what YOU think is ethical or not. If you consider
it ethical to support practices that contribute to the slaughter of
millions of pet animals that is your choice. I know that not everyone
thinks it is an important problem.

For those who do think reducing the number of pet animals killed is an
important goal then there is the issue of making decisions consistent
with that belief.

The breeder has control and thus the breeder's decisions can
significantly influence what happens in the future of that animal.

I believe in healthier pet animals. I believe in reducing the numbers
killed. Thus I believe in supporting breeders who improve animal welfare
and avoiding breeders who contribute to the problem.

Instead of just shaking my head sadly at how we kill millions of dogs a
year I do what is in my power, educate people about their choices.

If everyone met *my* standards for ethical breeding our kill rate would
plummet. That won't happen, but if people just raise their expectations
a little bit then the health and welfare of dogs overall will improve.

Diane Blackman

  #10  
Old July 12th 03, 01:28 AM
[email protected]
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On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 12:43:24 GMT Amy Dahl whittled these words:

snip

Colors like blue
merle must be bred for on purpose (avoiding sables, for example,
because merle could go unnoticed in a sable, leading to an unintentional
merle x merle breeding) and occur at a rate of 50% on average in blue x
black breedings.


Merle to merle result in the same ratio

"On average over a large number of litters, breeding merle to merle will
produce one fourth full colored dogs, one half merles and one fourth
defective whites. Breeding merle to full color will produce one half full
color and one half merles, but no defective whites. The merle to full
color breeding, then, produces just as many merles as does the merle to
merle breeding, and without the danger of defective puppies. The safe
breeding for a merle, then, is to a non-merle mate. This breeding should
produce all healthy puppies, and about half will be merles."
http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/Merle.html
http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/SableMerles.html

In some breeds, the preferred colors only occur in
breedings which also produce a proportion of mismarks--dogs that
are disqualified under the breed standard. A lot of people wanting
a purebred want the dog to meet the standard for the breed, even
if they have no intention of showing. They might expect a discount
on a dog that fails to meet the standard.


This kind of thing is exactly why I believe that breeding for color is
detrimental to dogs. Especially if the breeder's goal is to satisfy the
market. So they breed for the color that can bring them income and at
the same time produce dogs that are considered "undesireable." Bleech -
that kind of thinking is what I used to think predominated the purebred
fancy. I've been delighted to find out that it is not nearly as
pervasive as I thought, although a lot more pervasive than is healthy for
dogs.

I don't breed for color, but it seems to me that if a breeder goes
to the extra effort, expense, and selection necessary to produce
a sought-after color, he/she could reasonably charge a price commensurate
with that. If the litter included a less-sought-after color, the
breeder might need to sell them at prices that would give the breeder
a good choice of homes to select from.


I have little empathy for this perspective as dogs as objects 'd art. I
don't get it and I probably never will.

Diane Blackman
 




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