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raising dogs

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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For those that have seen the movie "babe" - you see the puppies being sold ...

With great pyrs selling for $500 per dog, it seems that this could be a pretty lucrative farm income space.

 
Leah Sattler
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$500 per dog  make sure and do research where you live and spend some time checking out ads.  I guess it depends on where you are at. a regular 'ol pup from an actively  working pair of pyrenees on someones homestead can often be had for around $50 here if you just wait till an ad comes up, and if you are willing to wait a bit longer and scan ads for awhile, you might get one for free. I had someone trying to give me a 6 mo old one last month. last year I was offered an actively working (goats) anatolian/pyr. beautiful great tempered dog. I used to sit for her and the goats while the owner was away. just didn't need her.

  so many people like to breed dogs just for fun including their working dogs. they are just too easy to be expensive i guess.  the more "exotic" lgds seem to be more pricy because they are difficult to find. and of course if you want to go with someone who has a good marketing speil a "name"  and pedigrees, vet records and all that stuff and have a special puppy reserved then you will pay bucks for it. 

my neighbor breeds yorkies and boston terriers. ships them all over the country. It seems people will pay big bucks for them. I know few people that would pay $500 for a pyr. unless they were the type to like the status. I have found livestock people tend to be pretty practical. 
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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I agree with Leah.  I'm always seeing someone trying to find a home for a free Great Pyrenees pup that is now four to six months old.  They might have managed to sell the rest of the litter, but Pyrs tend to have large litters (ten to twelve pups is not unusual) and there's usually one that is left behind.  Plus vet bills and so on can add up, and it's expensive to feed a nursing mom and her growing litter.  I don't think very many people really make much on selling puppies, unless they have really top-notch dogs and the marketing skills to find buyers for all of them.

Kathleen
 
tel jetson
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Bob Barker would not approve...
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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tel wrote:
Bob Barker would not approve...


You know, I liked Bob Barker when he hosted Price is Right (it's one of my grandmother's favorite programs), but I don't think he had a clue about working dogs. 

Kathleen
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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This past year my Great Pyr  bitch whelped 8- sired by my old dog Buster a Great Pyr/Anatolian Cross. Sold 5 pups and could have sold more, but needed to keep a replacement for Buster (he's 11) and to cover the new pastures being built. Buster has a good rep in this area so it was $100 per pup. Not papered but known to be solid dogs when it comes to tending to stock.

There won't be any new litters for at least a couple of years as have what is needed here and do need to buy/trade for another bitch from unrelated line. Buster throws 1/4 black and blue mottled dogs and did keep his sons that are that way. One will be neutered as will the bitch I kept spayed.

Have seen Great Pyrs and other LGD's left to their own devices and won't add to it. I know my buyers locally and they will wait for a Buster or his son's pups. 

Livestock producers do have to watch that bottom line. They need a dog that they can count on. Buying a show bred dog doesn't always mean they get what they pay for-for the flocks or herds protection.
 
Leah Sattler
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pat- you seem to have a great perspective on it. When I do get an lgd I will be looking for one from someone similiar to yourself. good proven working dogs as parents. don't care  about papers or breed standards other then what is neccessary to do their job. so many working dogs look like they have been ruined by show breeders. I also worry about some of the fancier lgds. seems alot of people breed them just because they can get lots of money for them because they are somewhat of a novelty,(I suspect) not because they are superior working dogs.

I think this may be one of those unusual cases where the more you pay for something the less likely it is to actually be what you want.
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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That's the way to go Leah. My buyer's don't flinch at the colored dogs and get a kick out of the tell tale double dewclaws on black dogs. That and they know dogs work.

One of Buster's sons is working with sheep and boer goats at a friend's place. He is the same fella that gave me Buster years ago. He had lost(they died protecting) all the males of that line through them doing their jobs on the range. The pup he got was the biggest and an Alpha.

Four pups went to guard sheep on large acreages both here in NM and Texas. Coyotes had started to work on the lambing ewes on the ranch here in NM, so the owner was thrilled when I let her know pups were available. She and her friend in Texas that bought the pups take extraordinarily good care of their dogs. All these pups will be spayed/neutered.

A long term goal is to get more cattlemen using the dogs. Yes, it means they need to tighten up their fences. With the losses to feral dogs and coyotes in some cases exceeding 5+% on large and small herds, the money saved would pay dividends.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I suppose dogs in some areas sell for more than in other areas.

 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Here there are some people getting $300 per LGD, but they have been here many years and are well established with long time residents. I've been here only 13 years and most my customers are newer people that have worked with in fighting a bio-fuel plant and other good environmental/political causes. They are also into "green" and sustainable.

The other side of the coin is that this area very rural with not a lot of people getting much higher city wages who live and work here. Example the county maintenance supervisor gets $9.25 an hour after 7 years and local police officers might get that same wage or lower to start, depending on experince. Road department might retire after 25 years with $12.00 an hour ending wage and those are local government. Typically you see wages for clerical anywhere from minimum wage to $10.75 long time employee (propane office manager).
 
What has evolved here is a lot of bartering/trading as a result. I'm into that scene fairly heavily.
   
We don't have a strong farmer's market or community gardens(yes-did try, but that's another story) and rarely do you see a sign for eggs for sale-maybe a note on the wall at the Post Office.

Price of dogs will depend on your local economy, who you know and people's general mind set.
 
Seth Pogue
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Coming up with leads for potential owners is a big time commitment. You need to spend many hours "trailing" for buyers by walking your dog in areas where such peole might be and waiting for people to come up and compliment your dog and start the conversation. Then there's a lengthy screening process as you interview potential owners to make sutre the puppies you'll fall in love with go to good homes.  Then you've got to get them to their homes between 6-8 weeks of age befor they become "long in the tooth" and too bonded to you and vice versa.  I've raised a dozen litters and found it rewarding but never profitable.
  If you don't care much about the pups and don't screen potential owners you could probably make it profitable.  But that defeats the purpose.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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With the way that the AKC runs you can only make money on pedegree dogs by being in dog shows. You can only do that by breeding for looks alone. Since the AKC has so much sway in the dog community pretty much anywhere you go you will be labled as an immoral breeder if you do not breed pedegree dogs at a slight loss.

Of course for those of us living in the real world we know that pedegree dogs have huge health problems, from being exclusively bred for looks for many years. and that many dog breeds (cockerspaniel for instance) are completely ruined, maybe forever, thanks to the AKC and its counterparts over seas. Unless there is a shift away from this model of breeding the two choices are to set up a veritable puppy mill (which is not a permie thing to do) or to breed the old fashioned way, which takes people under the sway of the AKC out of your buying pool and means you will have to work to find a buyer and lower your price. If you feed your dogs on scraps and entrails and bones of your animals you can probably turn a small profit, but as it is I doubt you can.

I think Dobermanns are beautiful and considered getting one (with ears so people don't run screaming) but it turns out they only live for 6-8 years, the people running the registry for long lived dogs (trying to fix the problem) wont accept dogs who aren't AKC registered, so if you want a dog that wont drop dead of a heart attack in the prime of its life and is still breedable and who's pups are breedable and sellable you have to pay several thousand dollars.

In the end the whole market is being wrecked by an artificial monopoly.
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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  I would avoid buying a dog where possible. We adopted our Anatolian shepherd.
 
S. G. Botsford
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People who breed dogs for money run 'puppy mills'

Yes you can make money. 

The first pup is the pick of the litter for the owner of the sire.

The next two pay for the vet bills for the shots.

The next one pays for the extra food for the bitch.

The next one pays for the upkeep of the bitch for the 18 months before she *should* have another litter.  (yes they come into heat every 6 months, but they need to be unbred for one heat to regain what they lost nursing.  Are all your kids 1 year apart?

We will ignore pups you have to put down because they have a birth defect.

We will ignore the ones that mom squashes by accident.

We will ignore the bitches you have to put down because you have found they carry a genetic defect, and the letters you have to send out to all owners of pups of that bitch offering to buy back the dog.

We will also ignore the special quarters required.

And the twice a day feeding, cleaning.  The amount of runny crap that 9 puppies can make is amazing.

If you love dogs, you can make a small amount of money as a sideline.  Don't even consider doing it as your main line.

MUCH better money training dogs.
 
Nicholas Green
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Missouri had legislation go through a little while ago on 'puppy mills'.
"Missouri's Proposition B"

Changes the rules and penalties. Even if you are simply breeding your own dogs, if your 'conditions' don't meet the expectations of legislators and Animal Fanatics, you face monetary and possibly criminal penalties.

At the time the bill was passed, none of the 1400 licensed breeders in the state met the requirements. It goes into effect this month.

Luckily, the state legislative bodies are working on a rehaul and/or repealing the entire thing.
 
                        
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sgbotsford wrote:
People who breed dogs for money run 'puppy mills'



That is a bit of an oversimplification, I think.  I agree that the AKC and such organizations has in some cases had a hugely detrimental effect on some breeds, certainly both the Cocker Spaniel and Collie come to mind, but there are lots of responsible breeders out there.  The point perhaps is to find breeders who have done with their dogs what you want to do with yours.  I tend to agree that working dogs should get extra points for demonstrating they can do what the breed was originally  used to do, and many many breeders now do campaign their dogs in various working trials as well as the conformation show ring. However, some people are not active for one reason or another, and so an affectionate little dog which doesn't require a mile of walking twice a day and which just brings pleasure to the owner whenever they look at it  suits other people.

If it wasn't for the AKC and such organizations many breeds would now be extinct, actually. The Bouvier was certainly close to it after WW2 as they were not widely known and many of them were killed off doing war work. They are marvellous dogs which  rapidly gained supporters when people found out about them. Mostly the Bouvier breeders have been responsible and most of them seem actively to pursue working titles in drafting, herding, tracking or police work (some  all of them!) as well as conformation titles for their dogs.

I LIKE that there are different breeds with different characteristics. I like that I can get something that is supposed to be a great Pyr and be fairly sure that with appropriate training it will behave as a Pyr should and not like a bloodhound. Bloodhounds are great dogs but not much use for the same things as a Pyr. If I want a dog with  the characteristics  of a Basset hound,  I'm not going to be happy with one that behaves like a Jack Russell terrier. If I want the dog to help me  hunt grouse, then a Springer Spaniel is likely to be a happier choice than a Doberman. If I am very active but live in an isolated area with drug dealers around, then a Belgian Malinois may well  be a better fit for me than a Borzoi. The  AKC and other organisations provides a reason and status to keeping these things sorted out.

One woman actively breeds dogs which she has campaigned extremely successfully   internationally in Agility. She has a waiting list of buyers for pups.  Her dogs are definitely registered, whether they have championships in the show ring ? - I think they do, but not sure. . They also travel with her as she is involved with a "show" which is put on at various fairs around the country which is just celebrating dogs..purebred or not.

The point is not that "people who breed dogs for money run puppy mills" nor that AKC and such organizations ruin dogs. It's that people all too frequently buy animals for the wrong reasons and without having a clue what they should be doing with them or how to train them. Even, sometimes, how big they will get to be. I once got a shepherd collie cross from a shelter which had been given up  because they didn't think it would get that big and it wasn't even a big dog!.

I think that the person who gets a mutt puppy, never really trains or does a thing with the dog but feed it and clean up after it,  then raises a litter from that pup (perhaps because  "it will settle her down" or because "it's not fair for the dog to be frustrated"!!!) with no other reason and no homes for the pups,  is as negligent and irresponsible as the puppy mill owner.  Both end up keeping the shelters filled.

OTOH  vets are also responsible; the fees they charge in my experience are out of all proportion for the time and effort involved, especially in neutering.  I once helped a vet spay a cat; it took him about 10 minutes and this was in a barn, not the clinic. To charge $100 for that procedure and then wail about people not getting their animals spayed is hypocritical to me.  Anaesthetic doesn't cost so much that his time was worth $600 an hour. Neutering takes even less time and is a lot simpler.  If these fees were a fraction then more people would get their animals done.

It's also not exactly true that all purebreds are rife with problems and no mutts are. Although hybrid vigor does come into play they all carry the genes of their forbears and can still be heartbreakingly subject to the same things. 

All of that said..I agree that training dogs is likely to be much more rewarding financially than breeding. To get the financial rewards from breeding the dogs do have to do something unusually well and you have to be able to prove it. That requires effort and usually money. Otherwise it's likely to be a thin margin.
 
Cj Sloane
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S. G. Botsford wrote:
The next one pays for the upkeep of the bitch for the 18 months before she *should* have another litter.  (yes they come into heat every 6 months, but they need to be unbred for one heat to regain what they lost nursing.  Are all your kids 1 year apart?


51 weeks, actually.
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm down to one LGD and I really need another. We've kept our male Maremma intact with the hopes of breeding him. I now have leads on a few dogs, 2 are bitches I can breed. One is a Pyr who has been bred a few times. The owner said that although Pyrs get pregnant and birth without difficulty, they tend to smother some of the puppies by accident, like a pig I guess. Has anyone developed any strategies to minimize this?
 
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