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This may seem like a silly question to some of you, but I wanted to know how you determine a dog's worth in your program?

I have talked with a few trainers in my area who also import GSD for clients and actually had one guy compare the dogs to a pair of shoes, as far as being merchandise goes. He said that 'it's strictly business.' He was of the opinion that you shouldn't waste money fixing a dog with HD or other health problems, as they are worthless and there are plenty of 'money dogs' out there that can get you tens of thousands of dollars. For him the whole thing was about making a buck.I am not really in that circle of the dog world, but found his remarks and way of thinking about the dogs to be pretty callous.
 

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Those remarks are pretty callous, but, at the same time, like it or not, breeding IS a business. No different than horses or other livestock.

Yes, care should be taken to raise animals properly and humanely, but when breeders are selling animals, they are selling a product. A living product, but a product nonetheless. It does take a certain degree of pragmatism to be able to do this long term.

It will make breeders seem cold to many people, depending on decisions that must be made, but those decisions are necessary.

Some people ARE just cold and callous, but....well unless they're treating their animals improperly, it's really not my business how they are. I don't have to like a person's personality to acknowledge that they may have excellent animals.
 

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There's two extremes. People that think dogs as only animals and others as people.

I don't think either is healthy.

My rule of thumb is that if I can afford it without getting into huge debt, I will pay with whatever is within my means, but if I can't afford it, and I have to borrow a huge amount of money, we have to be adults and acknowledge that poor Fido has lived his life.

I can't force the vet to work for cheap, and I can't spend money that I simply don't have.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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he is in the business of selling dogs for a specific purpose, not pets. Yes, a pet dog can live a long happy life after fixing HD or other problems. A working dog, however, is not going to have a career after that. He will become a pet. So, no, it isn't worth it for him to try to "fix" a dog. He will either euthanize it or rehome it cheaply as a pet while focusing his $$ on another investment.
 

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Are you asking how much would we pay to correct a medical problem, or how do we decide what amount to sell a dog for?

The former totally depends on the dog and his temperament. A very active dog and higher strung dog would have a poor quality of life if he had a medical condition that required tons of down time or crate rest, whereas a dog like my older rescue I feel is so inactive he could probably live happily with only two legs!

If the latter...that also depends on many things. First, if the dog has had hips and elbows certified I think that often accounts for a large jump in price. There are also huge variations depending on who is selling the dog. I sold a dog that I know the breeder could have sold for twice as much because of their position in the sport/breed community. Their endorsement of a dog is worth a lot more than someone like me trying to say a dog is worth X-amount. Who the seller is can double or triple the price.

When I sold a puppy for a friend, the agreement was that she was selling the puppies for X-amount and anything I got above and beyond that was mine. I could keep him for a long time until his hips and elbows were done and ask more, or just do a few weeks of house training and socialization. I intended to keep him until his hip and elbow prelims because I enjoyed training him, but a perfect buyer came along sooner. Even with my breeder's price, my fee for 3 weeks of boarding and training, and the shipping costs, the puppy sold for less than most WGSL base price at 8 weeks. In this case the experience was worth more to me than making money off a puppy.
 

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I originally just wanted to know about how you come up with price for a dog who has had a lot of time put into them training wise, but I was also a little curious about the first point. You already answered both though. Like I said, I am not in this circle of the dog world and I guess I was taken by surprise a little with the comment of a dog with shot hips isn't worth a bag of dog food.


Are you asking how much would we pay to correct a medical problem, or how do we decide what amount to sell a dog for?
 

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a dog with shot hips isn't worth a bag of dog food.
IMO that is a terrible attitude. I can understand not wanting to train a working dog with the intent to sell if the dog has bad hips, but if you are going to be in the business of training dogs you should at least rehome the poor thing as a pet to someone that will take it in.

If a working dog is going to be sold for tens of thousands of dollars the buyer is going to want the best they can get for that money. I can completely understand not wanting to invest in the training if the dog isn't going to sell. At the same time it isn't a piece of wood, it is a living animal. There are people that have a "tough guy" attitude that animals are basically nothing but a tool though and if it costs a dollar more than it will make you put it down.
 

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IMO that is a terrible attitude
But it's true, really. Who wants to PAY for an animal with health issues? The answer is that most people don't.

I recently placed one of my dogs (who is doing VERY well in her new home) for free. Why? Because she has bad hips. Couldn't use her for breeding, her show career was over.

If I had asked anything for her, it would have only been the price of her spay.

She now lives just an hour away and is living it up, and I see her plenty :)
 

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But it's true, really. Who wants to PAY for an animal with health issues? The answer is that most people don't.

I recently placed one of my dogs (who is doing VERY well in her new home) for free. Why? Because she has bad hips. Couldn't use her for breeding, her show career was over.

If I had asked anything for her, it would have only been the price of her spay.

She now lives just an hour away and is living it up, and I see her plenty :)

What you did seems to be the opposite of "not worth a bag of dog food".
 

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I don't agree with the remarks regarding a specific dog's worth. but I can follow the mind set.

An example for me would be my horses. I give myself a personal limit of three. I like to compete/show I now have one mare who is aged and can't be ridden. I have a 8 year old gelding who due to an injury as a yearling, can't be ridden. The leaves me with one horse. But the other two cost me the exact same amount of money to keep in my barn as the one that I can actually do with what I'd like to. If I didn't have the other two, I could have three show horses.

But, sadly I believe in commitment. The two that are just pets now will remain with me until they pass. They have no value to anyone but me. And I'm looking at the average age of a horse being 25-30 years. The third horse....well, the jury is still out on that one.
 

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I have talked with a few trainers in my area who also import GSD for clients and actually had one guy compare the dogs to a pair of shoes, as far as being merchandise goes. He said that 'it's strictly business.'
I've encountered that attitude too and it's why I don't deal with the commercial breeder/broker end of the dog world. I understand it's a business and there's a market demand to be met, but personally I don't want to support it. Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

When it comes time for me to buy a GSD, I'll go to a hobby breeder whose values are in line with my own and with whom I feel I can have a good relationship. Might not be a super close one -- we're all busy people with full lives -- but I want to deal with someone that I like and trust and who would make me proud to represent their kennel with my dog.

In response to your original question: I honestly don't know. I am not capable of putting a price on my dogs. I sink hundreds, occasionally thousands, of dollars into every one of my foster dogs. I spend weeks or months training them to be happy, affectionate companions who will have the skills they need to fit easily into their new families' lives.

And then I give them away for free.

I'm very very picky about the homes I choose for my fosters -- the #1 rule is, it has to be a better home and a happier life than I can give to that dog -- but I don't put a price on them, because I can't and I don't want to. And I'm lucky to have the luxury of being able to afford that.
 

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I originally just wanted to know about how you come up with price for a dog who has had a lot of time put into them training wise, but I was also a little curious about the first point. You already answered both though. Like I said, I am not in this circle of the dog world and I guess I was taken by surprise a little with the comment of a dog with shot hips isn't worth a bag of dog food.
Is that really surprising though? I mean that actual comment is a bit harsh, but either way I personally would never pay for a dog I know to have "shot hips" and my dogs do not work long hours nor are they even top level dogs in their respective sports. You are asking in the breeding section...what breeder will pay for a dog with bad hips?

As far as the price of work or breeding prospects....depends on who is selling the dog and what has been achieved. Me personally, I'd say a green dog, no major faults (good dentition, both testicles, etc) with checked hips and elbows should be $2000 or so. A dog with certified hips and elbows, started on breed survey requirements (show rating, BH and/or significant amount of training for title) $3500 and up. That is what *I* would ask knowing I can get. Someone with a lot more prestige could probably double those amounts.
 

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his words sound callous when you think of your dog as your
fur baby, cuddle bug, my whole world, pet/companion, etc.
his way of thinking the dog is a commodity.

This may seem like a silly question to some of you, but I wanted to know how you determine a dog's worth in your program?

I have talked with a few trainers in my area who also import GSD for clients and actually had one guy compare the dogs to a pair of shoes, as far as being merchandise goes. He said that 'it's strictly business.' He was of the opinion that you shouldn't waste money fixing a dog with HD or other health problems, as they are worthless and there are plenty of 'money dogs' out there that can get you tens of thousands of dollars. For him the whole thing was about making a buck.I am not really in that circle of the dog world, but found his remarks and way of thinking about the dogs to be pretty callous.
 

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I originally just wanted to know about how you come up with price for a dog who has had a lot of time put into them training wise, but I was also a little curious about the first point. You already answered both though. Like I said, I am not in this circle of the dog world and I guess I was taken by surprise a little with the comment of a dog with shot hips isn't worth a bag of dog food.
Not a breeder or in the business. I don't think dogs are human...they are dogs.

I value LIFE. End of story.

I've put a ton of money into Jax for her ACL. She has mild HD, basically she was done before she started. I have years of training and every time she's almost ready to trial something happens. First it was bad training, retrain her and she blows her ACL. Back to training after rehab and now she's pulled a groin muscle...out another two months.
 
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