Weimaraner Sticker Shock

405902_3222494404540_917352780_nRecently, we have received some pretty interesting comments…

The cost of everything keeps going up. For some reason, people believe that a dog breeder should be charging what they paid last time they bought a puppy. Thirteen years ago, gasoline prices hovered between $ 1.15 and $1.30. How much does it cost today? Cliff says it has been hovering between $ 3.60 and $ 3.70 a gallon in Ontario.

Cost Of Living 2000 ( http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/2000.html )

In 2000 the…….

Average Cost of new house $134,150.00
Average Income per year $40,343.00
Average Monthly Rent $675.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.26
Average cost of new car $24,750.00
US Postage Stamp 33 cents
1 LB of Bacon $2.97
Ground Coffee per LB $3.44
Loaf of Bread $1.72
Dozen Eggs 89 cents
Barrel Of Oil Tops $30.00 per barrel

Beyond the rise in our basic cost of living, other expenses have followed suit.

Veterinary expense, acquiring quality lineages, proving through hunt tests, and the stuff of doing the job right are on-going expenses. These are on the rise. Repairs must be made. The Weimaraner, like children, is hard on the domicile. Safety and sanity require the fence be in good repair; kennels/crates be usable, and many other things you cannot imagine. Feeding a quality kibble is expensive, and again, the cost of food keeps rising because everything the manufacturer is buying also goes up in price. It is a vicious cycle. Everyone we are dealing with, is facing the same scenario. For example, this last week we got something from our vet office, (and they are reasonable in comparison to some Treasure Valley Veterinary Practices), and we noticed the price went from $ 18 to $ 25 in one swoop. We understand.Cliff with Red_4382

Most people imagine the fun part of raising pups….

There are moments that are too precious for words. Nonetheless, there are endless hours of work. The first two weeks of a litter’s life may mean little to no sleep. Working around the clock is not uncommon. Beyond socialization, and other fun things, there is a lot of grunge work. It is hard to imagine ever not working a long day, and often we work 2-4 hours more than the average clock-punching worker. This is not the kind of responsibility you can pass off to someone else, or leave for another day. Often, having someone volunteer to help ends up creating additional work. In the end, it is usually counterproductive. Most of what has to be done must be done in a timely manner. That is not a complaint, but it is a fact of life. Quality pups are not raised in the barn, garage, or an out-building. They are not left to their own wiles. There are a lot of steps in the process. Everyone in the family must put the pup’s welfare first, and foremost. Over time, some family members grow weary of the commitment, and its demands.

We don’t do it for the money, but it takes money…

The money aspect is our least favorite part of the process. There are a lot of jokes about us forgetting to ask to be paid. Usually, Shela is the one that forgets about it. Cliff is watching to see if she remembers. If he is around, he takes care of collecting payment. We get caught up in the excitement of the moment. Nevertheless, we have expenses to meet. We must live, and have enough to make it through. Yes, raising the Weimaraner is a passion; however, it takes money to serve others in this manner. Love doesn’t fund the process. Therefore, even though we prefer not to talk about the money, getting rude comments about the price is tough to swallow. Our investment in each pup, and their family is on-going. There is not much else to say. We won’t share quotes, comments, or remarks that get made. Asking us to accept a ridiculous amount of money for our efforts (and investment) is no less rude than you finding your paycheck short, because the boss doesn’t have the money (or think you are worth it).

This is not a favorite topic, but we felt it might deserve some ink. Sometimes people forget what is happening. We cannot compete with someone who is mating their family pets. Finally, we thank our loyal clients. Many of you come back again, and again. You send referrals our direction. We deeply appreciate your loyalty.

About OwyheeStar

We are Professional Weimaraner breeders--with forty years experience at raising puppies. For many years, we have focused exclusively on the Weimaraner! If you are considering the Weimaraner, or live with one, we welcome you to sign up to our blog. We sincerely hope you will find the information, the stories, and varied posts insightful (as well as entertaining). To those who live with an OwyheeStar Weimaraner, we send special thanks. We appreciate the photos, the news, and your friendship. Thank you for being a part of the extended OwyheeStar family.

Posted on May 17, 2013, in Hot Topics, Information and Education and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I just laugh at people squawking about the initial cost of a quality puppy. 1000 2000 3000 it doesn’t matter because its all the other expenses of taking care of a dog properly that is the real expense over 12-15 years. The initial purchase price is insignificant really. I’ve had two rescue weimaraners with not the best breeding, and it cost thousands in vet expenses to treat their health problems. It’s also heart breaking as well as expensive taking care of a sick dog. So after two rescues, I decided on getting an Owyheestar weim. Sunny is priceless.

  2. As one of those who have “come back again, and again”, (three OwyheeStar Weims over 7 years), as well as managing a business myself, I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. The cost of doing business does not stay the same and moreover, I have seen such growth and development in your business over the years! “Business” almost seems almost an insulting word to use in your case, as what I’ve watched develop is nothing less than a labor of love. I’ve watched OwyheeStar go from a small start-up business to an international success – and that does not happen by just plugging away without continuous growth, improvement and undying dedication. Keep up the great work, and do not feel one ounce of remorse for charging an appropriate price!

  3. This is something I deal with all the time. People want to make me “feel guilty” for buying a dog for what they think is outrageous money instead of adopting. The fact of the matter is, the INITIAL cost of an animal is NOTHING compared to how much they will cost you in their lifetime (especially when you’re a worrier and take the kids to the ‘ol vet for every little thing). Anyways, you guys do AMAZING things and make the best pets, eh, scratch that family members ever! Don’t let small minded people get to you. You do what you do better than anyone else!

  4. Thank You! A few weeks ago I had someone ask me if we would take $ 200. Are you kidding??? A lot of folks walk away, because they expect to pay Walmart parking lot price, or what they paid years ago. What you said, is exactly what Cliff said. We don’t want to push our price any higher than necessary, but in truth, we keep it at a bare minimum. Thank You for your comments.

  5. OK –the third time is the charm right??? Twice my response didn’t post. Thank you for your comments, and encouragement.They mean the world to us. :O)

  6. My mom taught me you get what you pay for. Buy quality and you get quality!

    Jorja is priceless in the happiness, love,laughter and naughtiness she brings to us! She’s well bred, great beginnings ( experiences, tests, loving, trainings… ) loving from my sister and her babies (1 an Owyheestar =why I got Jorja) Came to Belgium and fit right in., I think that means well adjusted. Did I mention beautiful!!!! That she is an Owyheestar Baby doesn’t need to be mentioned, they are all beautiful!!

    It’s a personal choice – do you want a mutt or a well bred dog. All equals what you’re willing to give to your “pet”. If you are a true pet owner they are a life long responsibility. Again- make the choice! I am for animal rescue but, again it’s choice.

    I love the fact that we have this blog to share all our experiences, worries, questions ….Cliff and Shela you are truly dedicated to our Weims, as we are to you.

    As my first graders would say- You Rock!

  7. Great post – Thanks! I agree.A well raised Weimaraner puppy is priceless – but not for free.

  8. I agree with all the above comments- anyone who complains about the initial cost of a puppy maybe doesn’t understand all the time and money and effort it takes a reputable breeder to raise a healthy, well-bred and well-adjusted puppy of any type. And those who make snarky comments need to be educated to the process or maybe they should just buy a goldfish instead! Having been “in dogs” for over 35 years, I wish I had a nickel (I’d be rich!) for every time a dog owner contacts me that they got a dog from a backyard “breeder” or pet store or wherever and ended up with lots of issues (health, temperament, behavior) and their “breeder” is not there to assist them so they come to me for advice on what to do. I am a huge fan of OwyheeStar- you folks treat people as they should be treated and I am always happy to send potential puppy purchasers your way with full confidence! Thank You Shela and Cliff for all you do! Kisses from Willow (Lacee X Dusty), Jan~

  9. Thank you so much. I couldn’t believe you were going to get a Weimaraner from us, but we are honored. Thank you for the comments!

  10. You have a way with words, and turn a phrase well. :O)

  11. Oh Jan, you bring tears to my eyes. Thank you! Sometimes I am blunt, too blunt. I openly admit it. On this topic (Stick shock), I have drug my feet, but felt compelled to say what is so hard to say –the truth about price. Seriously, we probably need more than we ask. That is hard for someone who has not walked in our shoes to understand. There are endless hours of work, as well as a lot of hidden expense. A casual breeder would never incur these expenses. At the same time, if you produce pups you are attacked by those who believe a person should not raise puppies when there are dogs in rescue. People get on their soapbox and make a case that sounds plausible, but sometimes they are misguided, and less than informed. There are a lot of reasons to raise quality well-bred purebred dogs. That is another topic, for another day. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, but as Jamie said above, people ding her for buying a puppy instead of getting a rescue. We live in interesting times–to say the least. Thank you for your advice, encouragement, friendship, and the referrals. We truly appreciate everything.

  12. briannealina

    I don’t think you can put a pricetag on the amount of LOVE you give to these pups from the time they are born until they leave for us. I am grateful on a daily basis for the early work you put in to my sweet girl, Coco (Elle x Blue 2011). From day 1, she has been sweet, even-tempered (assuming I’ve been a ‘good’ human lol), confident, willing to please, and most of all, BALANCED. She is full of life but willing to reign it in when I ask her. Truling amazing for a creature as spirited and headstrong as she is. 🙂
    And speaking as someone who’s raised two rescues – and dealt with the myriad of issues that undoubtedly spurred their surrender to shelters – I sincerely believe that it’s the early work that you do that makes these puppies so wonderful, loving, and able to be the little characters they are. It gives us, as owners, the foundation to be successful with our pups. For that, I owe you more than money; I owe you my graditude (and a healthy dose of good karma for sure!)

  13. Jamie, I think this is so true. Yes, the initial cost is nothing compared to what you will spend over the life of your fur family members. When you love a critter so much, you want to keep them as long as it is possible. It is at best, never long enough. I have seen these comments from people, and heard them as well. I believe our focus needs to be responsible pet ownership. If people got their pets altered, then there would be a lot fewer in rescue/and shelters. Sorry, but it is the truth. Dog breeders who do their job right, actual help reduce pets that end up in the shelter.

  14. Thank you for these lovely comments, and thoughts. Yes, Coco is a Weimaraner, and even though many people want a Weim that is other than a Weim in behavior, it is not possible. I laughed at how well put your description of her was, and it was apt for the breed. I didn’t know this topic would get so much ink, but I love the commentary. Thanks again :O)

  15. I agree with much of what was said above- our Dora is an amazingly sweet, intelligent and responsive. I don’t doubt for a minute all of these traits are brought on by the quality work the both of you do in those first weeks. Thank you so much.

    If anything – charge more. You’ll weed out the irresponsible people who decide to get a dog “on a whim” or without planning out how their life will need to change to accommodate the puppy. The more the financial commitment, the better the odds your clients will have a true commitment to the dog itself. Obviously you can’t afford to price yourself out of business, either, but ride the line. You want the owners if these fabulous doggies to be responsible and committed!

  16. I agree with much of what was said above- our Dora is amazingly sweet, intelligent and responsive. I don’t doubt for a minute all of these traits are brought on by the quality work the both of you do in those first weeks. Thank you so much.

    If anything – charge more. You’ll weed out the irresponsible people who decide to get a dog “on a whim” or without planning out how their life will need to change to accommodate the puppy. The more the financial commitment, the better the odds your clients will have a true commitment to the dog itself. Obviously you can’t afford to price yourself out of business, either, but ride the line. You want the owners if these fabulous doggies to be responsible and committed!

  17. Carrie –thank you! We don’t want to price our beautiful critters beyond a lot of good folks–people who would make a great home, but could not afford a nickle more. We also know that having a ton of money, doesn’t make you a great Weim parent. We have heard, and seen stories where people paid a premium price (we are talking way beyond what we ask), but later dumped their Weim. My mother used to say, “There are all kinds of people in this world.” I think that statement covers a lot of varied things that happen.Regardless, we must ask enough to do what must be done.

    We get so many tire-kicker (price-shopping) inquiries. Some of these folks keep writing, and keep writing. It takes a lot time to reply to everyone. We have some prefabricated replies, but often they don’t fit the situation, and I must write a personal note. Very often, we never hear another word. (Odd don’t you think?) Regardless, there are all too many times we get the rude note about our price back. So, I don’t know which is more heartrending — rude remarks, or dead silence. (Lol)

    Time is something that is limited. We find it interesting, when we arrange our schedule for a visit, and people take three hours of our time, but then are unwilling to invest $ 25. We love to showcase our Weims, however, there are only so many hours in a day. Not so long ago, we could not do a visit for a family on the weeks they were passing through. It was not possible with our schedule. They got very upset, and went elsewhere. They might have been a great family, but sometimes we cannot do what people expect. I am sure they felt we had some hidden agenda, or were hiding something. We were just busy.

    Dog breeders (for the most-part) do not get respect. I thought sticker-shock was a good topic to post, because I can use the link in the future. It will also help other breeders, and possibly a few persons who think we are on easy-street getting wealthy. Nonetheless, we are not the only breeder getting hit with these comments.

    Finally, we pour our heart and soul into the process. At the end of the day, we know we have done all we can possibly do. Of course, we never feel it was enough either. We push ourselves hard. We do what is possible, but often we forget to take even a moment for ourselves. We are trying to do better. We so appreciate everyone who has commented, and encouraged us. This is a hot topic. I started writing it several weeks ago, and kept putting off finishing it. I worried about offending our beloved clients. I should have known better. 🙂

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