I know this can vary greatly but what is the average price that one can expect to pay for a lab puppy from an experienced breeder? I've had my eye on a local breeder and saw that her dog has been bred and puppies are coming soon so I called to ask a few questions. She offers a full guarantee, they are OFA certified and something else that I didn't quite catch (eyes I think?). Dad is a champion. Full shots. They come home at 8 weeks old. They'll have AKC papers and she offers show or pet quality. She requires multiple visits from the time they open their eyes until they go home so she can get to know you and you can get to know the puppies. She charges $1,500 with $500 down now. I'm having sticker shock. I guess I expected the price to be under or just at $1,000. I know you can't put a price on a companion. Is this the average price I should expect to pay? I really like this breeder based on her website and talking to her over the phone but there is another breeder that is linked on the AKC website that is an hour away.
varies by region. generally speaking, you can pay 900-1500 or more depending on teh area. Within an area it can also vary, some breeders choosing to charge more. For many areas 1000 would be about average, that is about the cost here in my area (Ontario Canada)
I recommend reading up on clearances, BOTH parents should have clearances for hips, elbows, eye, heart, cmn, eic at a minimum. and both parent sshould be proven in a venue (you said the dad was a champion in this case - what about mom? does she compete?).
Having to travel an hour for a breeder isn't bad at all, some people are many many many hours away from reputable breeders. I would suggest you ask around. If you post your area some people in your area may be able to say if that is a little more than the average.
We're in SW Florida if that helps. Are we allowed to link breeders for advice on a particular breeder? I have two that I've been looking into.
I found prices between $800-$1800 when I was looking, I ended up driving 3.5 hours (one way) to get my puppy. I think $1000 is safe to say is average for a pet. I am not in FL, though.
To give you an idea for comparison.
In western PA we paid 900 for our yellow lab. Hips guaranteed to 24 months. Both parents' health available. Reputable breeder, all shots up to date when we got him.
Depends on what part of the country you live in. East Coast? $1500 is average. BTW, you want hips/elbow OFA'd, eyes need be be CERF'd annually and checked for PRA status, Heart OFA's by echo cardiogram AND an EIC test...on BOTH parents.
Guarantees are kind of useless, but it depends on what they say. If it says "replacement puppy" or you need to return your puppy should there be a genetic problem, the guarantee is worthless. If they will at least refund up to the purchase price if your pup's quality of life is impaired (moderate hip dysplasia is usually not a quality of life impairment), then OK. Full shots, I am assuming you mean the pups will ge their first round of shots. Ask when. 7-8 weeks is the new NORMAL. Anything earlier is out of date protocol. Offering show or pet quality is usually a red flag. A breeder, even the best darned breeder in the whole wide world, can't guarantee anyone a show quality puppy. All pups should be the same price as they same care goes into each one. They should ALL be sold on limited registration. And just in case, if they charge more for show or breeding or Full registration vs. Pet pup, this would be another red flag.
Back Yard Breeders are often well versed in marketing and making a very nice website, so don't like a breeder because they have a nice website. Interview them using this cheat sheet: Puppy Checklist
Also, most reputable breeders don't want you at the house before the pups are 6 weeks old for safety reasons (you could easily bring in parvo unknowingly and infect the entire litter and kill the pups)....so any breeder that tells you that you can go over as soon as the eyes are open...let's just say this would be another red flag.
But all that said, the breeder you chose MAY be fine...but make sure you take the extra steps to check the little details. There are alot of breeders around the country with pups...and if you are willing to drive more than a few hours, you will have lots to choose from.
Thanks for the info; especially the red flag stuff. I'd never thought of the safety issues with visiting early, great point. She says she does it with all the potential owners so now I'm a bit worried because they'd likely be handling all puppies before choosing one. She didn't offer any info on exactly what the guarantee was either. I would not want a replacement puppy!
Maybe I'll look more into the guy registered with the AKC.
what do you mean "the guy registered with the AKC"?
There needs to be a college course for soon-to-be puppy owners! There is so much to learn!
Last edited by Jilian; 08-15-2012 at 09:30 PM.
While the AKC breeder of merit is not a bad start, it doesn't mean the breeders have been inspected and do everything right, there are gaps in the process.
When you buy a puppy with limited registration, you can register the puppy with AKC but any babies that dog has CANNOT be registered. this is what good breeders do, they sell puppies on limited registration (or co-own) unless they have a relationship with the buyer.
Still make sure the breeder does ALL the clearances (AKC doesn't check that per say) on both parents and that both parents are proven in a venue of some kind. I like to go one level more (but this is personal choice) and go with a breeder that raises puppies indoors and starts some basic socialization. I also like breeders that pick the puppy for the buyer.