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Thread: Pricing

  1. #1
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    Default Pricing

    I know that purchase prices for cavaliers probably vary depending on the different breeders. Also, I'm aware that breeders should be selected by other criteria other than the cost of their puppies. But, since I was thinking of the cost of cavaliers in the other thread, I was wondering what everyone here thinks is an appropriate price for a healthy (tested) cavalier puppy?

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    This would vary hugely depending on the area you are looking. For example, here in Ireland, pet and some show-quality cavaliers from good breeders are in the €450-650 range (but at the same time, backyard breeders and brokers for puppy farms charge the lower end of this range all the time and get it for poor quality dogs from people who do not know better). However few Irish breeders test.

    In the UK prices run a bit higher but not that much. Again, only some UK breeders test, though more do than in Ireland. You have to remember that cavaliers over here are not seen as luxury breeds (as much as they might think they are, themselves! ) -- they are about the 7th most popular dog breed in both UK and Ireland and extremely common.

    In the US a good quality puppy could range from around $1500 -2,500 depending on where you are looking. The coasts tend to be more expensive markets than the midwest. The key thing is finding a good breeder and doing the research that ensures they actually are good as many brokers are experts at making it look like they are good breeders. Often getting an older dog that the breeder has "run on" but decided not to keep, or a retired, older breeding dog, costs much less. Or another alternative is going for a rescue dog from someplace like Petfinder or Lucky Star cavalier rescue.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Here in Tennessee, we talked to breeders who wanted anywhere from $900 to $3,500, but we did call breeders in surrounding states if they were less that 300 miles away. Scarlett was somewhere in the middle, but we got her from a wonderful breeder in N.C. I called around a great deal, and I was told so many different (often contradictory) stories. One breeder was completely nasty to me and told me that she didn't have a dog for me if I wanted to even talk about the issue of cost! I mean, get real! I wanted a good breeder and was willing to pay for one, but to say that I shouldn't even ask about price was crazy! I think the price has to be a factor, but that has to be balanced with your confidence in the breeder. The $900 breeder with whom I spoke was obviously a BYB.

  4. #4
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    I think one important thing is to define "quality" - are you meaning a healthly, well tended for puppy who is being purchased as a family companion - or are you meaning a puppy that has the potential to go on and show and/or maybe a potential breeding prospect in the future.
    Janet V.
    Heritage Cavaliers

  5. #5
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    Good point, Janet!

    Show quality will cost more than a pet; however, if a breeder offers you the SAME dog for more money with breeding rights, be leary. My breeder had another breeder waiting for a show quality puppy from him, which would cost more than Scarlett, but he said it might take a while to get a possible show contender. Also, my breeder had a completely different contract for show dogs than for pets.

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    One breeder was completely nasty to me and told me that she didn't have a dog for me if I wanted to even talk about the issue of cost! I mean, get real! I wanted a good breeder and was willing to pay for one, but to say that I shouldn't even ask about price was crazy! I think the price has to be a factor, but that has to be balanced with your confidence in the breeder.
    That kind of attitude is frustrating. I do know what angle such a breeder is coming from, but this is a ridiculous way of phrasing it. And of course, very few of us have the luxury of not having to enquire about price. Given that good breeders DO charge a range of prices, why wouldn't you seek out one that meets both the criterion of producing loved, quality dogs but also within a price range that you can manage? To expect people not to ask from the start is so silly!! Even if you are buying couture clothing you do tend to be interested in the price...

    A more reasonable approach I think for a breeder that wants to emphasise why s/he charges what s/he charges is to explain general price ranges, the range for a quality dog in the region, and why these pups are this price (testing, lines, quality, show potential or whatever). This helps educate the buyer, keeps the buyer from going for cheap puppy farm/backyard bred dogs (which is where the first kind of response will very likely send a buyer, now terrified to even talk to breeders when they can buy quickly over the internet), and opens up a dialogue and potentially a great relationship for the future.

    I know I learned about the breed and the difference between good breeders and BYBs and brokers by learning about price ranges (whether in the US or Europe). It is really a key indicator of the quality of a dog *in most cases*.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Yes! I had asked that woman a laundry list of other questions BEFORE I ever asked price because I didn't even talk price with anyone who did not have the right answers about health testing etc. After I spoke with her, I was so upset that I gave up on the idea of getting a puppy at all for a couple of days. I finally did get over it, and I sent her an email stating exactly what you just said: Many people in the public are just trying to do their best by their families, and for a breeder to be so nasty and condescending to someone looking for a puppy is inexcusable! If I had not known how important a good breeding program is, I would have gone to the first BYB who was nice to us and bought a dog because I didn't want to deal with another nasty person like her! Thank God another breeder referred us to our breeder who was everything we wanted immediately afterward.


    I mean, Scarlett is probably one of the most spoiled rotten dogs in the world, and we love her dearly, but we have two children, and the difference between $1,800 and $3,500 pays for a lot of piano lessons if you know what I mean.

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    I just don't understand why someone would think price shouldn't be an issue! I don't ever purchase anything without finding out the cost. That would be just silly. And since you were asking a whole bunch of questions why wouldn't price be one of the questions?!

    Glad you didn't give up.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    I dont think I will ever be competent enough to either show or breed anything (human or canine!!), so a healthy, quality puppy that doesnt have to meet the standards. That is another confusion I've hade when looking for puppies: a "pet quality" dog is supposedly a sign of a BYB or other, irreputable breeder, yet if you are looking for an everyday pet, and not specifically a champion or breeder, how do you indicate "pet quality"??

    As you can see, my first go-around with Cedar was problematic; I made so many mistakes. I want to get it right the next time!

  10. #10
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    Ok, I am not an expert, but here is what I gleaned. Having pet quality puppies does NOT mean a BYB. Even champion parents don't always produce puppies that meet the standards for shows. So, ethical breeders try to improve the breed by breeding dogs that have been proven and health tested, but not every litter contains "perfect" dogs. So, breeders sell them as pet quality. You are still getting a good dog that comes from healthy, well structured parents, but the pet quality dog might have some fault that makes him/her less than a champion. (Just like kids-- They can be adorable and healthy, but they may not have that "look" to make them models.)

    While all I wanted was a healthy, happy dog, a show person might have rejected Scarlett because she had a little pink on her nose. Other than that, she might meet all of the standards for the show ring. The thing you want to avoid is a breeder who will sell you the SAME dog at different prices if you want to breed it. I mean, if the dog has faults, you don't breed it if you want to improve the breed. I had to sign a strict spay contract with Scarlett, but I still got a health guarantee and saw that her parents had been health tested etc.

    A breeder/show person would pay more for a dog with breeding rights because it had the potential to be a champion. My breeder said a breeder had waited over a year for a show dog from him because some litters just don't produce dogs that have that potential although the parents are well bred and good tempered. So, a dog either has faults or it doesn't. You shouldn't be allowed to breed a dog with faults just because you pay more for it, and a puppy with potential sometimes doesn't grow up to be a champion, but show people pay more to get a dog with potential if a breeder is willing to give it up. Some breeders will not give up a puppy as a pet for several months until they can tell whether or not they are going to turn out.

    Breeders who truly love the breed will spay dogs with health issues or bad temperaments and not breed them even if they are gorgeous dogs because they are trying to eradicate some of the health issues in the dog. Likewise, if a puppy doesn't meet the show standards, most breeders will make you sign a spay contract. By doing this, they improve the breed. Hope this helps.

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