How much is that doggy in the window?

I've seen a lot of lists that reputable breeders have put together for litter costs. When I raised my first litter and started adding up the litter expenses alone, not including any of the costs associated with obtaining the dam's championship or her health testing, I stopped adding at $5,000.00 and this was BEFORE the litter was actually born.

For this list I will not include anything related to the general, considerate care of an animal; including shelter, food, treats, toys, crates and bedding, water, training classes and general health care.

Purchase Price or raising cost of the dam - between $1,500.00 - $3,000.00 depending on many factors.

Obtaining an AKC Championship. This varies depending on so many factors a book could be written about it. There are travel costs, hotel, food, entry fees, parking, handler fees (unless you handle your dogs yourself), show leads, bait, crates and other equipment needed for shows. Estimated $2,000.00 - $4,000.00.

OFA Hip/Elbows x-ray - $40.00 OFA fee plus $250.00 vet costs, $290.00 Total

OFA Thyroid - $15.00 Annual OFA Fee, plus $100.00 vet & lab costs, repeated annually at ages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8 recommended, $690.00 Total

OFA Eye - $15.00 Annual OFA fee, repeated annually at ages 1 through 9 years old plus $35.00 clinic fee, $450.00 Total

OFA Patella - $15.00 OFA Fee plus $30.00 clinic fee, $45.00 Total

OFA Cardiac - $15.00 OFA Fee plus $40.00 clinic fee, $55.00 Total

BAER Hearing Test - $15.00 OFA Fee plus $55.00 clinic fee, $70.00 Total

Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test - $65.00

ProjectDog Early Onset Adult Deafness (EOAD) Discovery Testing - $50.00

Stud Dog Fee - $2,000.00 - $3,000.00

Progesterone testing done by vet/lab through blood draw - $100.00 each, at least 3 needed. $300.00 - $400.00 Total

Vaginal Culture done by vet if needed - $100.00

Brucellosis test done by vet/lab through blood draw - $100.00

Breeding can go one of several ways:

Travel to stud dog for breeding. Varies on distance and length of time you need to stay, hotel, food, etc. - $500.00

Fly bitch to the stud dog for breeding/boarding - $1000.00

Cost for collection and shipment of semen (typically done twice for fresh chilled) - $500.00 - $600.00

Artificial Insemination, Trans-cervical insemination (typically done twice) - $500.00

Artificial Insemination, surgical insemination (recommended for frozen semen) - $1000.00

Ultrasound to confirm pregnancy - $250.00

X-ray for puppy count and development check - $250.00

Emergency On-Call Service Fee with Veterinarian - $100.00

If an Emergency C-Section is needed - $2000.00

Additional food and supplements for dam while pregnant & nursing, worming for dam and puppies - $250.00

Puppy Transition Food & Puppy Food till 8 - 10 weeks of age - $300.00

Whelping Supplies (Puppy Warming Box, gauze, sterilization supplies, thermometers, umbilical cord care, hemostats, scale, emergency milk substitute, etc.) - $500.00

Whelping Box - $250.00

Whelping Next (maintains puppy body temperature) - $250.00

Bedding, Puppy Fleece and Washable Puppy Pads - $400.00

Puppy Playpen & beds - $400.00

Puppy toys and interactive objects - $250.00

Increased utilities associated with the litter (water from washing, electricity) - $200.00

Dew Claws, puppy shots, microchips for all puppies - $300.00

Plus any number of hidden costs I've completely forgotten about.

Added up, the cost of raising a single responsibly-bred litter is between $12,000.00 and $20,000.00!

The bitterness of a poor-quality dog will linger long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten. Remember, you get what you pay for.