Cimarron Frontier Doodles

Why Would You Pay Money For A Puppy?

I am just curious if you or someone you know has ever found themselves wondering, “ Why are they selling that puppy for so much?” Or, “Why do they want money anyway, it's just a puppy?”

While growing up we had several dogs. Most of them just showed up or were puppies that friends or neighbors had, and they were desperate to find people to take them.

So, the idea of ‘buying’ a puppy was not a common thing. Someone’s dog had puppies that you could go see and pick out.

If you have ever had a dog who had puppies, you know that it is never, ever an easy thing to manage. (Unless your dog lived out in the forest or mountain on your 40 acre property and you didn't see the litter until your momma dog proudly led her puppies to your home when they were all grown up……)

As a child, we did have one dog who had one litter, unplanned. This was in the early 1960’s I guess. Of course, as children we were thrilled to have a bunch of puppies! But some of the images in my head of my mom taking care of the pups are of her endlessly thinking up ways to contain the puppies; I mean keep them in a secure place. And when the pups were weaning, I remember her constantly preparing food for them, and they always seemed to be hungry; seems like those images are dominant. I don't remember cleaning up much, but I remember flies….maybe we didn't clean up much….?

Then we put a sign out by the road and soon gave away all those puppies to strangers. And we missed them so much because our entire lives seemed to center around puppies, puppies, puppies, for, I don't know, about 7 or 8 weeks I guess. So we made no money on them. Spent lots of money on them. Experienced lots of happiness with them. And felt lots of stress concerning them.

I think mom did something about worming them but we didn't give them shots. Those puppies were a whole lot of work! And like I said, pretty much our days revolved around the puppies and taking care of them. That's why it is such a strong memory for me.

Those puppies probably gave great pleasure to their new families for many years. Wonder what they were worth to their families? I know that one family brought back their dog for us to see a year or two later. They loved their dog to pieces!

So, why don't we value our family dogs enough to assume they are worth paying a lot for?

We buy televisions. They do give us pleasure. Do we ever wonder why we have to buy one instead of just getting one from someone who wants to give us one? How about a nice Sony 55” Smart TV (2016) model for $1,247.

Did someone spend hours building that TV? Yes, and they should be paid for that if you want that TV. Do you ever feel outraged that you have to pay money for a tv? That would be silly! Someone spent his or her time building the tv.

Of course a TV doesn't become part of your family and provide comfort, affection, security, entertainment, and sometimes therapy….like a dog.

How about a nice boat? Boats give many people pleasure. Do we ever wonder why we have to buy one instead of just hoping someone will build one for us and gift us one? For free.

There is a nice 12.5’ inflatable raft boat for $1,247.

Did someone spend hours building that boat? Yes, and they should be paid for it if you want that boat. Do you think you would feel outraged that you have to hand over money for that boat? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Someone worked hard making that boat.

Of course a boat doesn't become part of your family and provide comfort, affection, entertainment, security, and sometimes therapy…like a dog.

How about a nice ring to wear on your finger? Rings give many people pleasure. Do we ever wonder why we have to pay money for one instead of hoping that someone will make us one and give it to us? For free. Amazon has a beautiful pink sapphire ring for $1,269.

Did someone spend diligent hours creating a thing of beauty that you can wear on your finger? Yes, and they should be paid for that.
So, you get my drift…
The average retail owner in the US gets on average about $26 an hour. He provides something of value to people who are willing to pay for it.

The average Heating and Air conditioning business owner makes $31 an hour. He provides something of value to people who are willing to pay for it.

According to the results I found just googling average salaries for workers in the US, $21.22 is suppose to be the average hourly wage for 2016. It's what someone needs to make to provide for their family. It might go up for this year.

Have you ever raised a litter of puppies? It does take time and effort if you do it right.

I raise doodles. Those gorgeous, affectionate, smart, sometimes non shedding or low shedding. Dogs who are gentle with children and bond so easily with people. I don't raise them for shows or competitions, although doodles have participated in those. I raise them because they fit so well as family dogs. They have pedigrees, and have had genetic testing and temperament testing. They have been purposefully bred with intentionality and thought. And even though they aren't AKC “purebred”, they have won the hearts of countless families. I know who their mom and dad are, even grandmothers and grandfathers. Aunts and uncles. And cousins. We keep papers on them and know all about each breeding parent.

When I plan a litter, I figure that the momma dog could have five puppies. I would spend at least 4 hours a day caring for them in their first 4 weeks. So in the first 4 weeks, I will have spent 112 hours.
If I spend 8 hours a day for the next 4 weeks caring for them, I will have spent 224 hours.

Actually, those are pretty conservative hours. I'm pretty sure I spend more time than that. But I don't want you to think I am exaggerating, so I will keep it conservative. There are whole nights spent sometimes.

There is a lot of poop involved when you have 5 or more puppies that you have to clean up countless times a day. Lots of social interaction and training. Taking them to the vet. Weighing them. Taking tons of pictures and videos. Adding the pics and videos to websites. Updating families ….

So, if you add the 84 hours to the 224 hours, that is 336 hours spent caring for puppies during at least just 8 weeks that they are under my care. And they often spend more time here before going to new families. If I was paid an hourly wage, I would receive around $7,130 for the time spent raising a litter of puppies.

If I had a litter of 5 puppies and was paid $250 a puppy, I would only receive $1,250. That's like $3 an hour. Not the $7,130 I would earn in a job with similar hours.

I would be such an unfortunate person to work and love so hard for such small financial reward!

This is not even counting the other expenses when raising a litter of puppies!
Below is an estimate for our taxes in 2016 of percentages of expenses in a variety of categories.

There are vet bills, Genetic Health testing, dog and puppy food, supplies, breeding stock purchases, containment expenses, fees, advertising, travel expenses, and I think we added one more category before we sent off our taxes. Of course this doesn't even bring into account the time I spend raising the puppies and caring for the breeding dogs.

That is why I ask about 4 times more than $250 per puppy. I go into debt paying bills related to the puppies because when I don't have puppies, I still have to feed the adult dogs, take them to the vet, buy supplies, fix the house up for containment needs, etc.. it's my job.

But that isn't even all there is to it. Let's bring in my family who have to share their home, inside and out with several dogs. They help me a great deal. Some rooms of our home they can't even use. Part of the outdoor yard they can't use. They live with the busyness of multiple puppies who take over our home. They hear whining puppies, smell poop, and walk around crates, bowls, sleeping dogs.....Of course, I try to keep the poopy smells to a minimum with frequent cleaning. But the reality is that puppies poop. And a large litter poops a lot. Ha ha!
Those who require just $250 or so per puppy have had an “oops!” litter of puppies and just want to get rid of them as soon as they can. Raising a litter of puppies isn't their job. It is a rewarding experience but they can't spend all their time and resources and survive financially if they don't get paid enough to make it worthwhile.

My job is to raise healthy, loving, and trainable companions for families. These companions will enrich the lives of their families for many years. Should people pay for one of my puppies? I think if someone has a job and does it as well as they can, they are worthy to receive a wage.

I just ask the same. Breeding doodles is my job. It is a fun and rewarding side hobby, but I can't do it only as a fun side hobby. I would need employment to fund my fun hobby. But I wouldn't be able to have time for full time employment because I would have to leave work for weeks at a time to care for puppies.

There is another reason to ask for a generous fee for a puppy. “If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking.”- Lou Holtz. You know the saying, “If you don't sacrifice for something, it is easy to quit or give it away.” Your commitment to a puppy is sealed with the result of your own hard earned wages. When you pay, you feel more responsible. I don't want any more dogs ending up as rescues because it is easy to get rid of them. There should be some feeling of perseverance that makes a family plow through house training, puppy biting, whining, and poop cleaning.

So, breeders of dogs provide something of value to fellow humans. Somewhat like a retailer, or a contractor, or a jeweler, or a ship builder. The dog you get will provide you with so much over the many years he is part of your family. It takes a lot of effort, love, time and emotional strength to raise a litter of puppies and make them available to families to be loving companions. They are of just as much value (really, so much more!) as your new TV, or mower, cable, fancy truck, or ring. I hope that you will see the value in investing in a well taken care of puppy to add to your family.

Of course, there are many adoptable dogs that you don't need to spend a lot of money on. Someone else gave money to house, feed, and vet the dog. You should never feel that you have to spend a lot of money on your future canine companion if you cannot or choose not to. I do believe these poor dogs should have a home also. My family has rescued shelter dogs and has ‘found’ an abandoned dog. There are many generous people who voluntarily support shelters and veterinarian offices so that homeless or unplanned litters can find homes.

They may be free or inexpensive to us, but someone was generous and took care of the bill. Because it takes time and money to raise puppies; there definitely are expenses with each rescued dog or puppy.


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