This article edited for beagles and reprinted with persmission from
TimbreBlue Whippets web site.


How much does a puppy from a reputable breeder cost?

The following average prices were computed from data gathered in a survey of breeders on the Showdogs-L, Judge-mental, Purebred_Canines, and Showdogs (eGroups) e-mail lists in fall, 2000. The purpose is to give you some idea of what to expect when you call a breeder, but prices in your area may be very different.

These figures were computed by collecting a sampling of prices, discarding the highest and lowest, and averaging the rest. The accuracy in each breed depends on the number of responses we received and how typical these responses are. As noted before, there are some geographic differences, some breeds charge different prices for males and females, or for the various colors. This is intended only to provide some idea of the price of a purebred puppy .

(UPDATED 2013 for beagles only). The average purchase price range is $600.00-$1200.00

Sound like alot of money??  Please read the following information.

The purchase price of a puppy is just about the last question you should ask a breeder. Yes, we all like to save money, but the time to do it is not when you buy your puppy. You'll almost certainly regret it later.

A friend of mine compares buying puppies to buying clothes. You can go to a good store and buy a quality shirt, well-constructed of good fabric. You'll have that shirt for years. Or you can go to a discount store and buy a factory second of a cheaper line. Trouble is, the seams aren't even, the hem comes out the first time you wear it, and the whole thing falls apart after about four washings. You may love that shirt just as much as you would have loved the good one, but you're going to spend money having it repaired, having to handwash it to keep it from falling apart...and chances are, it's not going to last as long as the better quality one.

A responsible breeder put the best genetic material into building your puppy when she chose the sire and dam. She didn't just breed your pup's mother to the dog down the block because he was handy. She studied pedigrees and temperaments and faults and virtues and chose the particular sire who would produce the best puppies when bred to that particular bitch.

Both parents were likely tested for genetic defects specific to beagles. These problems are not always evident at birth, but can crop up several years later in the most heartbreaking ways. A good breeder cannot absolutely guarantee against all genetic defects, but has chosen as carefully as possible to minimize the possibility of your puppy having them. Before you buy a puppy, you should study the breed carefully and find out what the breed's problems are and whether pre-breeding screening is available.

The mother receives the absolute best prenatal care available, with no expense spared. When the puppies arrive, they are treated the same way. They not only are physically healthy, but are properly socialized and checked for sound temperaments. They receive recommended vaccinations and are checked and treated for worms and other parasites. Show prospects and pets from the litter receive exactly the same care.

When you take your puppy home, it's with a health guarantee and-your most valuable resource-instructions to call the breeder with any questions. Having problems housebreaking? Call the breeder. Wonder if a behavior is normal? Call the breeder. Puppy is off his feed? Call the breeder. There is no question so trivial that a good breeder is not interested in helping you find the answer.

Seldom does a good breeder make a profit on a litter of puppies. What may seem like a large purchase price to you is only a drop in the bucket of expenses the breeder faces in planning a litter. You aren't lining the breeder's pockets when you buy a quality puppy. You are simply helping her continue to afford to breed. Reputable breeders do not breed for the money, but not many of them could afford to breed if they didn't cover at least part of the expenses through pet sales.

Then why do I sometimes see puppies in the paper for $100 or less?

The people who sell those puppies in all probability have not done the necessary genetic screening, health testing, or even acquired the prenatal and puppy care that they should have. It's impossible to cover the costs of even a healthy litter at that price. The family down the street who breeds a litter "just this once" is not likely to have done the research necessary to be sure their puppies are genetically healthy.

Yes, it's possible to make money breeding dogs. That's what the puppy mills do. But they do it by cutting expenses to the bare minimum, raising dogs like livestock, and discarding those who are no longer profitable. Caring breeders don't do that.

Is there any way to get a good purebred dog if I can't afford the price?

Maybe so. You can contact breed rescue. Many good dogs are re-homed every year when for one reason or another their original homes did not work out. (See An adoption fee is required for these dogs, but it is usually much less than the price of a puppy of the same breed.

You can also talk to breeders about giving a home to a retired showdog. Sometimes breeders place these adult animals in private homes so they can receive more individual attention than they would in the breeder's multi-dog household.

Sometimes breeders have puppies returned for one reason or another, and occasionally these older pups are available for a little less than a young pup.

Breeders who are well-established and have waiting lists for their puppies may charge more. You are paying for a track record and a reputation for excellence. Sometimes a beginning breeder has good quality dogs for prices a bit lower, but be sure you are dealing with a newer breeder, not just a less careful one!

If you are willing to put some time into your search and establish a relationship with a breeder, sometimes you can find just what you want at a price you can afford. Some well-known and reputable breeders do sell below the average for reasons of their own. Breeders also often make "special deals" for people they know and know will provide good home.

Just as a high price does not guarantee quality, a lower price does not mean a cut-rate dog, either. Just do your research and ask the right questions.

A very important point to consider: If you can't afford the purchase price of the puppy you want, are you positive you can afford to care for it should an unexpected expense, such as a large vet bill, come up? Sometimes the answer is yes, definitely, but you need to think carefully before you make the commitment.

So if I do want a puppy, exactly how much are we talking about here?

Pet puppy prices vary somewhat from region to region, though those differences are slowly disappearing. The internet is bringing people closer together and more people are willing to travel some distance to buy a puppy. Still prices may vary.