Goldendoodle Price Wars

  
Doodle

One can never- have too many- dogs!
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 27, '07 6:16pm PST 
So your interested in a Goldendoodle but put off by price? Let's take a look at why Goldendoodles cost to adopt or to purchase. Goldendoodles, like any other dog, accumulate bills for their breeder. Unfortunately, many breeders never recover everything they ever put into breeding their dogs and raising the pups that come from breeding. A breeder's bill in the care of their puppies will range wildly. Many people don't even consider all of the essentials a breeder needs in order to raise their puppies. Many people don't even realize what a huge mess puppies make and that puppies age very quickly. At the same time, their little teeth that were at first non-existant, can now chew up walls, toys and other things as the puppy grows. All puppies go through a "teething phase" as they grow.

Depending upon what the breeder has invested into their breeding dogs and their puppies, a breeder has many things to take into consideration when deciding what to charge per individual puppy. The irresponsible breeder will just contact their local pet store or perhaps an out of state pet store and sell the entire litter for $100 per puppy. This gets the entire litter out of the way, gives this sort of breeder a quick paycheck (however low it may be) as well as keeps this sort of breeder from having accumulated a huge bill with regards to the raising of the litter.

A responsible breeder has accumulated a huge bill and must try to recoup some of their expenses. They will never recoup everything they've invested and that includes their time. Too many people would never buy a puppy if the breeder had to charge for the hours, days and months spent working with their litter of Goldendoodle puppies. They couldn't afford it! From vaccines, to latex gloves, to trash bags, to spritzer bottles, to dewormers, to grooming supplies, to water/electric bills, to newspapers or whatever item they are using for their puppies to sleep on such as shredded paper, blankets or cedar chips.....to toys, to food, to goat's milk.......the list can go on and on and on. So numerous are the items that a breeder must use in order to perform their duties as a breeder and to keep their puppies healthy (and lets not forget the parent dogs) it would boggle the mind of a normal human being.

The market for dogs is also a fickle market. Especially Goldendoodles. I remember when we first started creating our Goldendoodles, we sold them for $250 each. That was because we just began creating them, our vet bills were very low at that time because the vet we used gave us a really good rate and this was back in 1999. Gas was cheap and not out of this world like we see today. We use to be able to sell a puppy for $250 and charge very little for airfare or personal delivery. Things were very reasonable as far as prices go when we first started with our Goldendoodles. Then WHAM! We began to see prices sky rocket! Gas began to go up, the cost of electricity went up. Our water bills went up. Our vet raised his prices; everything, over time, went up where our bills and our dogs were concerned. The market exploded with Goldendoodles. Once we held the only spot for the entire southern region as a Goldendoodle breeder. Within no time, there was a breeder for Goldendoodles on every street corner and they were finding their way into pet stores by the very type of irresponsible breeder I mentioned above who didn't want to accumulate bills for their Goldendoodle litters...they wanted to get in and quickly get out. Suddenly, we found ourselves having to compete with the irresponsible Goldendoodle breeders who were selling their doodles to pet stores. That's tough because a responsible breeder can't compete with irresponsible breeders.

With breeding dogs, comes the competitors. The ruthless, jealous, hateful competitors who go out of their way at trying to take down their Goldendoodle competitors with hate mail, their doodle forums, their groupee friends and whatever means they can think of to try and remove the competition. Some (and they know who they are) go out of their way to make it their daily ritual at getting people to post hateful, erroneous information inside of their Goldendoodle forums to drive the unsuspecting potential customer away from their competition so that they can put a dollar in their own pocket. They came out of the wood work the moment the Goldendoodle became popular and TV shows began to show them off and authors began to write articles about the Goldendoodle in their magazines. Like cockroaches, the hostile breeders crawled and searched the internet for places to spew their hate towards their competitors in a very devious and methodical way so that it didn't appear they were being "malicious" but only "helpful" to the potential "goldendoodle buyer". The tricks were extremely numerous. Within no time, people found a way to cash in at the Goldendoodle's expense. Advertisement sites popped up out of nowhere for Goldendoodle breeders to advertise on and now those people are raking in the dollars at an alarming rate. This fueled even more competition between breeders so that they could get the "top spots" to help their website ratings. Some breeders feel the more money they spend in advertising, the more money they will make in selling their Goldendoodle puppies. I personally began to back off on the spending sprees on the hundreds of advertising sites I use to advertise on because I got tired of wasting my money. Now everytime I want to spend my hard earned money on an advertising spot, the words enter my head that were once told to me by my veterinarian who passed away a day before my birthday a couple of years ago. He told me "No matter how much money you spend on your dogs, you'll never get back what you put in and people are only going to pay so much regardless of what you do". How true his words ring true!

I've never received a paycheck for all the hours I put in; Ever since becoming a breeder, I've watched everyone around me get paid and I was never the one getting paid even though I worked just as hard or harder and spent all of my time trying to do a good job and all of the money that came in from a puppy sale went right back out to pay for the accumulated bills caused by the puppies I raised. As a matter of fact, I even had to put money in towards the accumulated bills from my husband's income too! Never will a breeder get back all of the money they've put in to raising their puppies. Rarely is a breeder appreciated by everyone they sell a puppy to. Many do appreciate them, but many do not. No matter how much a breeder charges for a puppy, there will always be someone out there who believes they should pay less! There will always be someone out there who believes a breeder is "living off of their dogs" even though those people haven't a clue as to the reality of raising a litter and what the expenses really are and what is actually involved. What I have watched over the years is how competition has driven down NOT the popularity of the Goldendoodle, but has driven down the prices because breeders have to compete in the price wars in order to sell their puppies. The fact that competitors are their own worst enemy causes breeders even further to NOT be able to recoup but a fraction of what they've originally invested.

So here's what I do know as a Goldendoodle breeder since 1999 and a Golden Retriever breeder since 1996. I know for a fact that some breeders charge over $1000 or more per Goldendoodle puppy because they use sales tactics that many people fall for. Sales tactics like "WE ARE ONLY DEDICATED TO THE DOODLE DOGS AND WE DON'T BREED MULTIPLE DOGS and WE OFA AS WELL AS TEST THE BREEDING PARENT DOGS". Okay, well, if a breeder is only dedicated to their "doodle dogs".....does that mean they are NOT dedicated to the Golden Retrievers or the Poodles that they used in order to create the "doodle" dogs??? How is it a breeder can claim they "don't breed multiple breeds of dogs when they own Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Labradors as well as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles to create their doodles????? I believe more than ONE dog means "Multiple". More people should pay closer attention to the Goldendoodle breeders' advertisements to see what it is they are really saying. If they did, they would be asking the same questions I ask myself when I see them. I read between the lines and pay more attention to what they are NOT saying, than what it is they are saying in order to grab the advertisement headlines as well as to capture the attention OVER their competitors. Some breeders use OFA and other canine testing as a means to drive the prices higher in order to sell their puppies. The breeders who use testing as a reason for their Goldendoodle high price tags know for a fact that the tests conducted on their breeding dogs has no bearing on the tested dogs' offspring. Our Goldendoodles' parents have over 400 OFAgood ancestors within their very lengthy lineage. I know this because I spent 2 years researching the lineage of my breeding dogs' ancestry. The fact that there are over 400 OFAgood ancestors has no bearing whatsoever on any of the puppies created over the years. If a person researches their breeding dogs' lineage like I have, they will come to realize that many puppies from THOSE ancestors have been missed because the dogs were never registered by the owners. Some people never register their dogs because they don't feel it necessary since they don't plan to show them in competition events and they have no plans on breeding. To them, it's a waste of money. To the breeder, it causes a problem. For every person that never registers their purchased dog, it causes a PEDIGREE HOLE to the person who DOES plan to breed. Every dog NOT registered will cause a hole in the pedigree and this causes a breeder to never know whether or not that missed dog had any genetic issues or was ever tested. It may have been, but a breeder will never know it because it's a missed dog on the lineage chain. Because there are so many dogs MISSED on a pedigree, breeders can not be certain whether or not ancestors of their Goldendoodles had any issues or not. That is why I personally do not put much faith in testing a breeding dog. Unless the breeder owns every single ancestor, they will never really know whether there are genetic issues or not, nor can they promise with one hundred percent certainty to their customers who buy their Goldendoodle puppies, that their Goldendoodle pups will always be free from any sort of genetic ailment. Testing or no testing!

Breedings dogs who are tested are only able to come away from a test as being free themselves from whatever ailment the dogs were tested for. Also it is a known fact that testing for dogs is very limited and the tests are only good for a particular length of time. For example, a dog can be free of hip dysplasia when tested but the test is limited for only 1 or 2 years. That means the dog is required to always be tested. Lets say that the dog is always free of hip dysplasia until the dog becomes a senior dog. This does NOT in any way mean that this dog who was given a sound x-ray at the time of testing is NOT a carrier of the defective recessive, polygenic gene that can be passed on to its offspring. It also does NOT mean that the other dog who was bred to the tested dog and who was, itself, also tested and declared free of hip dysplasia is NOT a carrier either! Two carriers of defective recessive genes will pass on the same defective recessive genes to their offspring. More information about how defective genes are passed on to offspring can be found on many terrific websites across the internet with regards to genetic issues for the canine. Such websites are written by genetic scientists who are conducting research on dogs and NOT by breeders, by the way. At any rate, my point is this. No matter how much money a breeder invests on their breeding dogs where testing is concerned, they will never be able to fully promise those who pay MORE money on their Goldendoodle puppies (based on the testing issues) a genetically sound dog. It would be impossible for a breeder to know with one hundred percent certainty that their breeding dogs were NOT carriers, until companies such as VETGEN or other canine genetic laboratories come up with a way to have DNA genetic markers to rule out the breeding dog as being a carrier for silent, defective polygenic recessive genes. When this happens, the DNA markers will be a godsend to all breeders! Until this happens, people are wasting their money on paying high dollars for a Goldendoodle or any other sort of dog from a breeder who uses canine testing on their breeding dogs as a reason for charging higher prices. So many people fall for the "test" trap that is boggles my brain. Personally speaking, I own many of my Goldendoodles' ancestors and thus, I personally know the over all health quality of the Goldendoodles that are produced. Since 1996, we know for a fact that not a single purebred Golden Retriever puppy was ever returned to us due to a health issue. All of the Golden Retrievers used for our Goldendoodles produced purebred Golden Retrievers long before a Goldendoodle was ever created, by us. We know for a fact that since 1999, we've never had a single Goldendoodle returned to us due to a genetic issue and we know what the over all health quality is for our Goldendoodle dogs. Since 1999, we also know the over all health of our Poodles used to create our Goldendoodles because we still own the same Poodles we started with. 2 of our original Poodle sires have since been retired because they are now nearly 8 years of age, but we still own them and they are still very healthy dogs. We know for a fact that we are one of the original Goldendoodle founders here in the United States. I know this to be a fact because back in 1999, we held the entire southern region as the only Goldendoodle breeder for several years before other breeders began to pop up sporadically. I know for a fact that it wasn't until 2001 that more and more Goldendoodle breeders began popping up and in 2003, there was an explosion of Goldendoodle breeders. Now, here in 2007, there are so many Goldendoodle breeders that it's impossible for a breeder to sell all of their puppies as quickly as they once were able to no matter WHAT they offer!!! Price wars are fueling and the competitors are feeling the price war pinch. They are feeling it so badly that those spiteful breeders I talked about earlier, are going to greater measures at knocking down their competition by bad mouthing anywhere over the internet that they can so that they can steer the potential Goldendoodle buyer in their own direction because their sales are also lagging.

So, Goldendoodle prices are going to vary per breeder. I personally try to keep my prices average for my area but we also offer various price programs for those who may want a longer genetic health warranty or for those who may want amenities such as a vet check or a micro-chip or other things like testing. We offer the potential Goldendoodle buyer the option of having whatever is available for a canine such as blood work up, testing, x-rays or whatever but that sort of buyer must realize that those things cost money and those things have to be paid for by the person desiring such amenities. There is no way a breeder can offer such amenities and sell their puppy for a low sum of $250 or even under $1000! What we do know is that the only people making and raking in an extreme amount of money are the veterinarians, the canine food suppliers, the retail stores that sell canine supplies and the people that operate advertisement sites where breeders pay to have a spot on the internet. The breeder is the last person on the food chain to see a paycheck so there is no real incentive for anyone to go out and become a breeder. Dogs accumulate huge financial bills and regardless of what a breeder does, they'll never get their money back. A breeder who has a really nice set up is a breeder who had alot of money to start with and is a breeder who has something else going on other than their dogs.
A breeder who has a terrific Kennel layout is a person who either had alot of free money to dedicate to the cost and construction of their kennel before they started or got a very large loan to endorse the construction and the layout and has the ability to pay the loan back whether they have dogs or not. Their income is coming from somewhere other than their dogs. Expensive kennel layouts can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions. The person that believes the breeder with this sort of layout came into the money by selling dogs, needs a reality check. Breeders who have this layout also have to have their Goldendoodle prices set very high to try and recoup their expenses and help pay back that loan. The average breeder can not afford such a setup nordo they have the space available. This is why those on a doodle quest will find such a wide variance of prices where Goldendoodles are concerned.

*Author: Dee Gerrish from Goldendoodle World
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