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Thread: fifth cavalier in two months...

  1. #11
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    The cost discussion cycles through a couple of the email lists pretty regularly. Generally the people in the UK and me are on one side, and then mostly the US breeders/a few pet owners are on the other, saying they hate this particular discussion etc etc.

    I've heard allthe arguments from US breeders, and still, like most of the UK breeders/pet owners, I do not really understand why they charge so much for puppies. I've heard the small litters, the cost of stud fees, the costs of health certs, the testing, the vet care. Yet vet care is generally cheaper in the US than the UK/Ireland, the litters are the same size, the stud fees around the same according to UK breeders, the testing the same. There's a UK breeder who runs one of the lists who notes that she breeds malinois, one of the rarest dog breeds in the UK and US where there are also small litters. She noted some were complaining on a malinois list why malinois puppies in the US were so expensive at $650!! She thought that was pretty funny -- expensive is relative depending on where you are and what breed you are talking about.

    I do know far fewer UK/Irish breeders test than in the US. On the other hand many have long-lived healthy lines and once you research and know that, having certificates did not seem to make that much difference.

    Overall (and I am totally generalising here of course) I think it is that cavaliers have been given a kind of image in the US that they don't have here at all -- of being costly dogs for the wealthy. NO ONE views them that way here -- they are as commonly seen as labradors and GSDs; I see far more cavaliers than cockers for example. There are seven in my close neighbourhood that I see regularly on walks, and I live in a working class area of Dublin, not a posh suburb. They are often the dog of choice for little old ladies... But they are far rarer in the US. So market demand and their cachet makes it possible to charge $2,500 for a pet quality puppy that over here would cost €450 ($600). Be aware that when brokers charge €1800 for Irish puppy mill dogs over the internet, you are paying all that money for a puppy that the broker paid about €50-200 for. All the rest is pure profit.

    Oevrall I think it is far better to deal with a reputable breeder in the area that you live. Reseraching good breeders from abroad is difficult, and once you add on all the transport costs the prices begin to level out, plus with a good breeder from your own country, you have them as a resource as your puppy grows.

    All that said, I could not have afforded a cavalier if I lived in the US, I don't think; much less two. It's an awful lot of money to pay up front for a puppy and that would have been hard to manage; I'd have likely gone for a rescue mixed breed smallie. Though now I think I will always have at least two cavaliers!!

    Edited to add: Don't get me wrong, I do think that ideally testing should be done. But when it is not done widely, you use other approaches. And I think now I'd be more concerned about SM, which you can't test for, than MVD anyway.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  2. #12
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    [quote="karlin"]Overall (and I am totally generalising here of course) I think it is that cavaliers have been given a kind of image in the US that they don't have here at all -- of being costly dogs for the wealthy. NO ONE views them that way here -- they are as commonly seen as labradors and GSDs; I see far more cavaliers than cockers for example. /quote]

    I'm with you on this Karlin! I think so much of it has to do with supply and demand. I was willing to pay up to $2000 for a dog and I ended up paying $1500. If people will pay, sellers will charge it. Why not? That's is the law of supply and demand after all. Honestly, the cost of testing is cannot possibly justify the cost of the dog.

    The price of gas here in CA is expected to reach $3.00/gallon by the middle of summer. You think people won't pay for it anymore?!!
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  3. #13
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    Interestingly I've seen several US pet owners *defend* the prices on the basis that 'not everyone can afford a Lexus even if we'd all like one' -- that sort of thing, which does point towards the cavalier as luxury item argument. Which to anyone on this side of the pond is funny to begin with, because a cavalier (as much as it would believe it deserves to be seen as one ) is NOT seen as a Lexus among dogs! No more so than, say, a shih tzu.

    I've also seen the argument that if you can't afford one then how will you manage the vet costs. Etc.

    But both those arguments are off the subject of why the costs are so high.

    I just think it is plain old market economics.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #14
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    Cathy said:
    If people will pay, sellers will charge it. Why not? That's is the law of supply and demand after all. Honestly, the cost of testing is cannot possibly justify the cost of the dog.

    I completely agree with Cathy and Karlin. There is no reason for the ridiculous prices other than people willing to pay the price. Other breeds have the same costs and tests that are/are not done, and they don't come close to what is charged for a Cav here. I have never heard a valid reason as to why this is. Two of mine are rescues and the other two came from a breeder that doesn't charge as much for her puppies. There are no fancy papers or champions on their pedigree, but what do I care. I have no idea where one of my rescues came from. Lilly, my newest, has a fancy pedigree and she is no prettier, smarter etc. than the others.

    rosalie[/quote]
    rosalie

  5. #15
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    It is hard, I agree that it is very much a case of "if people will pay that much, breeders will go on charging high prices".

    I can't see how they justify it either. I know that in Scotland it is just purely due to the lack of puppies avaialable - some people are "cashing in".

    Over here, a few are now being MRI'd for the malformation which can cause Syringomyelia, but there are clinics now which only charge £200 for that procedure. However, even if the dog does not have the malformation, they could still be a carrier. Until there is a gene test available {which sadly may not ever even happen, it's very difficult} there is little we can do in the way of testing.

    I only know of one breeder in the UK who routinely hip scores - it's not seen as a big problem in the breed, and I guess probably causes less problems than many other health conditions, due to the small size.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  6. #16
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    it is VERY rare to find a cav puppy/ adult dog in any pound because people pay a lot for them and probably wouldn't pay unless they were gonna keep them.

    But on the other hand they may have been bought just for BYB and if they "serve their purpose" they would be dumped or surrendered :cry:
    Evan and little Louie

  7. #17
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    Unfortunately there's evidence too that the wrong people may be getting them out of the pounds. For that reason I'd never ever have an unneutered purebred in Ireland or the UK, though lots of people do. Interestingly the only cavaliers I have seen up for rehoming in pounds are neutered or elderly or have a health problem. Some have mysterious 'homes booked' already, the case with every single unneutered younger cavalier in my exeprience , as often do guard dog breeds. The whole pound system needs far more oversight and record keeping.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #18
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    :cry: People who use and abuse dogs like this should be shot. I'd do it Does that make me evil?

  9. #19
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    Default Fifth Cavalier in two months

    It certainly is good to hear some sane discussion on the Cavalier cost issue. I visit (actually "lurk") on a board that is mostly Cavalier breeders and the issue of price has just gone another round on that board. It was kicked off by a breeder who said that she didn't feel that she could justify charging such astronomical prices for her puppies anymore knowing that there would probably be substantial vet bills ahead (I think she was thinking of the MVD/SM issue) for the pet owner (and actually not being able to justify it by the expense to her of having a litter).
    A lot of the breeders came back with the counterargument that ALL purebreds in the US now sell in the Cav price range and all have health issues. I don't know what all purebred dogs go for here. I know a Tibetan Spaniel breeder who sells her pet type pups for $800. I have a neighbor who has two Scotties, both grandsons of a Westminster BIS, and they were each only $850. Australian Labradoodles are around $2500, but I think they are playing to the "captive audience" of allergy suffers.
    It's a good thing that Cavaliers are so charming and adorable.....what else would you consider buying if it was advertised as "the most expensive one you can buy and guaranteed to cost three times as much as most other brands to maintain" (that may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point!).
    Sarah Emory

  10. #20
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    We paid over $1,000 for our Cavalier because that was the going price. They just aren't available (from reputable breeders who health test) for less than that in my area. I hear lots of people say they would never pay that much, but my answer is that I didn't WANT to pay that much either, but we wanted the puppy. Also, we had one lady treat us like dirt because we even asked about price. She told me if I wanted to talk about a dog for less than $2,500 she wouldn't even consider "letting me have one." I don't understand the high price, but I couldn't imagine not having my Cavalier either, and in my area, where most people don't even know what she is, there are no Cavaliers to be found at less than $1000.

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