How much is that doggie? And STILL in a window?
A fascinating debate on Twitter ensued when I asked the question ‘Is £1500 a lot for a dog? More? What are your thoughts?’
A lot of our replies immediately asked ‘What Breed of dog’?
So – is this important? Yes and no. A so-called ‘rare’ breed may cost more simply because the market rate demands it. Scarcity increases prices (usually, but not always). I suppose that if you knew it was a rare Chichispi from Outer Mongolia, the only one in the country and hundreds of other people all want one, you would pay more.
You then registered shock…
Lfc4eva said ‘I spent that amount on my car…’ and Evereddieryan said ‘Gives a whole new meaning to Golden Retriever!’.
Is it a guarantee of quality?
This was an interesting one. Swingsandpretty noted ‘I appreciate to breed responsibly it costs time & money,but wonder if some breeders are making out high costs = good pups.’ And I fully believe we should look ahead to the future – you buy a puppy but you get a dog! ‘It is not expensive if you think what a lifetime of care is going to cost’ (KenzoHV).
What about insurance?
As Evereddieryan pointed out ‘be difficult to get full value cover for that.’ – in other words, what if something happened to the dog? Your insurance can be based on purchase price so you would need to make sure the policy covered the potential cost of replacement. I know this is an odd thing to say, but I do see a lot of people who end up claiming for health problems with their dogs on their insurance. If their dog dies as a result of a hereditary condition, what then?
What’s wrong with getting a rescue dog instead?
Some great and very favourable comments about rescue as a good alternative – ‘a lot of money for a dog especially when there are so many rescue dogs needing homes’ (Cloud 1240). Or how about a very valid point from Saff84 ‘seen blue staffies for sale around £1000 when brindle, black and tan staffies are being euthanised every day in pounds #madness’. I would go far enough to say, are we making a decision on looks where temperament is far more important?
And are puppies REALLY still sold by pet shops – including Harrods?
Well, yes they are! This is where the debate really heated up. Calls for this to be made illegal came to the fore. I think that the behavioural aspects of a puppy kept in a shop are rather worrying. The pups can be given water and food and kept clean, but what about their social experiences? I also noticed on a visit to Harrods that the puppies were in a soiled pen, so I am speaking from direct knowledge. It is not enough to play with the pus once in a while. They need to be kept in the environment that they will grow up in. Ask any Guide Dog puppy walker about socialisation, or ask someone like me who sees the disastrous effects of undersocialisation every single day!
LesleyWoodPhoto stated clearly that pups in Harrods ‘were from reputable breeders. Far better cared for & played with pups than the millions sold every day in uk from farms.’ I am sure that it is really important to make sure that pups on display especially at any high profile store have to be thoroughly vetted. Harrods does not have the greatest history of breeder choice given the Harrods puppy farm controversy in 2005 where they were found to be supplied by a puppy farm. Nevertheless, does a price tag of £2000 for their pups on sale mean that you get what you pay for?
I state for the record that I do not like the idea of puppies on sale in a shop. I don’t believe that they are shop items to be bought on impulse. I also do not like puppy farms nor dodgy internet breeders! Nevertheless as a puppy or dog is property, they should have proper laws attached regarding selling and return policies. In Sweden, the law is very specific about this and prevents a great deal of heartache since the breeder remains responsible for the puppy for around 3 years.
You are not buying a puppy – you are buying a dog
Lesley also made the point that ‘I think the criticism should be directed at owners who buy & won’t/can’t pay for proper care. Disgusting’ and I of course agree with this too. I do think that an impulse purchase dog can lead to these problems. A pup that is readily available could come from anywhere. In reality the breeder should be vetting you as potential owner as much as and if not far more than you can ever vet them!
So – having considered all this, would you still pay £1500 or more for a puppy? The question is obviously much wider than one of cost. ‘Monetary worth gets confused with intrinsic worth – they are all priceless, esp the rescue dogs who are a privilege to live with’ (BestBehaviour)
SophsKnox summarised it well ‘It comes down to personal choice and knowing what you are actually looking for rather than buying it just because it has a high price tag.’