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Thread: Price of a hunting dog?

  1. #11
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    Nov 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatzby View Post
    Price has never been a deciding factor for me. It’s more about timing and a breeding I cannot live with out. Sorry I know this doesnt really answer your question but the cost of the pup is irrelevant compared to the time and energy I plan to invest. Let’s not even talk about the entrance fees I’ve paid the AKC, HRC, and NAHRA over the years $$$$$$
    What this guy said... Price for the pup is just the tip of the iceberg and pales in comparison to what you will spend in time if you are training it or what you will pay someone else to train it.

    You could get it for free or pay $2k - will not make that big of a difference when you have ~$10k into the dog in the long run. Think more about what you want to get out of it and the value of your time in the field - being stuck for 12 years with something you decided to compromise on to save a few hundred bucks is a high price to pay.

    Having said all that, the price does not directly correlate with the quality of the pup and there is a lot of luck involved - more than most will admit. I have spent $1400 on a high-demand top of the line pup, picked early in the litter, and have struggled to make a responsive dog out of him and have many health issues (despite all the certifications). I have also gotten a pup that was the last one left for $400, and he has been a stud in a pack of high-priced, professionally trained dogs.

  2. #12
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    Nov 2011
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    Wichita,KS.
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    I don't think the local market is that high at least for hunting stock. I see a lot of 3x mpr mh labs going 1000 and under, health clearances I don't know. The peake market is limited, but nationally 14-1500 will get you a solid hunting/ huntest quality dog. With peakes the genepool is so limited you are looking at the dam more than anything. 2 winters ago I found a breeding I was really interested in. I just couldn't do it, 2000 out of an unproven bitch. 2000 and up I think your paying for confidence in the breeder as much if not more than confidence in the breeding.

  3. #13
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    Nov 2013
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    Western MT
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    I think $1,000 for a well breed PUP is more than adequate. But to every rule there is exceptions.

  4. #14
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    Oct 2009
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    Eight years ago, my Golden was $1200, now their puppy's are $1800. Chicago area breeder, well known for Golden's - around $2000.

    My Max has been worth every penny! So far, have been blessed with few health issues...

  5. #15
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    Nov 2014
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    Kansas
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    The pro told me I could have the 6 month old pup for free, but there were conditions. Most expensive dog I ever owned, but also the most fun.

  6. #16
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    Oct 2016
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    Sioux Falls, SD
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    Never really thought about what I'd be "willing" to pay. Probably no more than $1,000. But I "want" to pay as little as possible for a good dog. I don't care about pedigrees & don't do field trials. I hunt pheasants about 25 times a year under the most demanding conditions & need a dog that will find them, flush them, retrieve them, follow basic obedience, be pretty cute, & be a great family member in the house. I'm a springer guy. I've owned 2 ESS's. Both are/were papered males, although the first one chewed up the paperwork before I could send it in & I never got around to dealing w/ it. He cost $200 in 2002. He was everything I wanted him to be and more. My second I paid $350 for in 2012. I never thought I'd say this, but he's even better! He's equally effective in the field, & I've NEVER met a dog with such a friendly, willing-to-please temperament. They may not have the statistical potential of a $1,500 ESS, but I've gotten to know the owners, parents & puppies to the point that I've felt confident they'd be healthy & end up fine. Plus, I hunt a lot more than a lot of people, which is where a dog learns much of what they need in the field anyway. I, personally, have probably shot around 700 roosters with my dogs over the past 16 seasons, the vast majority from SD public land that's the hardest hit around. As far as putting birds in the bag, I'd put them up against ANY other dog (Walt, past tense). Buzz is 6 now, so next spring or the following, I'll be in the market for a back-up springer. Pretty sure I'll be able to get by just great for under $500. I'm just confident enough in the dogs & in what ability I have that I don't need to spend another $1,000 or more simply to hedge my bet.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  7. #17

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    $1500 just isn't much money to give for puppy. It is only a weeks worth of pay. If you are worried about that then I would suggest a rescue dog.

  8. #18
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    Oct 2016
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    Sioux Falls, SD
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    Quote Originally Posted by westksbowhunter View Post
    $1500 just isn't much money to give for puppy. It is only a weeks worth of pay. If you are worried about that then I would suggest a rescue dog.
    Not a bad suggestion. And that's what plenty of people do. But there are responsible hobby breeders who DO know their stuff out there. They're having litters & their puppies need homes. Their pups can be "rescued" for a LOT less than a pro breeder. You just have to be willing to find them & they have to be able to win your trust that they know what they're doing. Question: If you were interested in a true rescue dog, do they often have much info about those dogs?
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  9. #19
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    Oct 2008
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    Central MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by westksbowhunter View Post
    $1500 just isn't much money to give for puppy. It is only a weeks worth of pay. If you are worried about that then I would suggest a rescue dog.
    Bingo.... When you buy a puppy you are making (hopefully) a 12 or so year commitment. Who cares what they cost!
    And to defend breeders. By the time you do all the necessary health testing you will likely have $1500 in to clearances. A MH title will cost over $1000 in entrance fees (assuming the dog has a 75% pass rate) Add in travel costs, training costs etc. Plus initial cost of pup..... Now factor in the risk of loosing your bitch during whelping, still born pups, parvo and other risks. Plus you give up 7-9 weeks of your lives caring for puppies.
    I better quit typing I am starting to think $2500 is to damn cheap for a puppy!
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  10. #20
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    Oct 2016
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    Sioux Falls, SD
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    There's no doubt people who make a living breeding dogs the right way need to be paid...a lot (to me). They've got costs to cover just like anyone else & deserve to make a profit on top of it. Part of my issue is that my WIFE knows you can get a really quality dog for a lot less than pro breeder price. Don't get me wrong. If I absolutely HAD to pay $3,000 for a great dog, I would. Luckily, I don't have to & can apply the difference to braces, cars, college, musical instruments, & other awesome stuff, like cases of bismuth (since 16 ga tungsten-matrix got discontinued). I know, "Who cares what they cost?" is said somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But the same very valid logic put forth by Gatzby and others above could be used for shotguns, trucks, clothing, & all the other gear a pheasant hunter wants to own. It all adds up. It's interesting to see where people's priorities lie. (Recall, I'm hunting only - no tests/trials or breeding. If I were doing those other things, maybe my price point would be vastly different.)
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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