For those that don’t have a lot of time to read, I’ll get straight to it. In the US, a Weimaraner puppy costs from about $400 to $2,600. The high end is more than 6 times the price of the low end — that’s a huge range!
Let’s look at the low end first. While you cannot make judgments about the quality of a breeder based on price alone, bargain-basement prices typically reflect bargain-basement practices. Not always, but do your homework and ask the right questions to find out!
On the other hand, you may be gasping at the high end price, and wondering if going to the top of the price point is worth it. If you think about it, the initial price of the dog won’t even come close to what you will spend on your dog over it’s lifetime. This may my not hit home without a little math: A $800 puppy costs about 18 cents a day over his lifespan. A $2,000 puppy costs about 45 cents a day. The difference is 27 cents a day or $8 a month. $8 won’t even buy you a bag of dog food!
Cost of ownership runs about $1,000 a year (at least!) so going cheap really doesn’t make sense overall. Your initial savings can easily be eaten up in 2 seconds if you have a rambunctious puppy that gets into things or is prone to minor injuries. (Let’s be real here. You are planning on getting Weimaraner puppy. There will be unexpected costs!)
A quality breeder produces quality puppies. And yes, quality does cost more. That $400 or $600 puppy? Is the breeder cost cutting by not doing the things listed below?
On the other hand, high price does’t necessarily mean high quality. Anyone can slap a high price tag on their puppies, and talk a “game.” The cost summary below illustrates just how much it costs to breed a litter if done right. Make sure that the breeder is doing the things listed below. Health testing is expensive, and so is raising a litter the right way so that you have the best start you can with your puppy. If the breeder is not doing the things listed below and merely sticking a high price tag on that cute puppy looking for you to make an emotional purchase –beware!!
Cost of Breeding a Weimaraner Litter
Costs Related to Brood Bitch
|OFA hips and elbows ($50-70 for the vet exam, $150 for the X-ray, and $40 film submission. More fees if sedated.)||240||500|
|OFA thyroid ($50-70 for the vet visit, $50-100 for lab costs, $15 for OFA submission)||115||185|
|UC Davis health tests - HUU/HYM/SD ($50 per test)||150||150|
|CERF ($35 for the exam by specialist, $12 to submit to CERF/OFA)||47||47|
Costs Related to Breeding
|Stud service (Usually the cost of a puppy)||1,500||2,500|
|Travel to stud dog (Gas, meals, lodging ; or flight costs)||200||1,200|
|Breeding - Natural $0 or artificial insemination (Semen shipment, surgery, post-op care of bitch)||-||2,500|
|4-7 progresterone tests ($50-75 every 2 days)||200||525|
Costs Related to Pregnancy
|Mom's food, vitamins, supplements (Additional due to pregnancy)||50||200|
|Ultrasound for pregnancy confirmation||100||200|
|Xray for head count confirmation||100||300|
Costs Related to Whelping
|Supplies (Fixing whelping box, towels, colored ribbons, and other miscellaneous necessities - does not include start up costs*)||25||100|
|Birth expenses (No complications or complications with a c-section)||-||2,000|
Costs Related to Raising Puppies
|Puppy supplies (Toys, food, supplements)||50||150|
|Tail docking and dew claw removal at vet's office||200||500|
|Worming (Every 2 weeks starting at 2 weeks, done at home)||25||45|
|Puppy vaccinations (Done at home or at vet's office)||200||300|
|Emergency vet visit for puppy (e.g., fading puppy, sneezing, coughing, limping)||-||500|
|Emergency vet visit for mom (e.g., mastitis)||-||100|
|Extra laundry, electricity, paper towels, etc||20||100|
|Puppy field trips to new homes and for socializing||10||50|
|Birds for testing and exposure||25||150|
|Final vet checkup for puppies before going home||150||600|
|Assemble puppy "going home" packets (copying, food samples, collar, etc.)||10||50|
|AKC litter registration ($25 + $2 per pup)||33||41|
|WCA futurity forfeit ($40 plus $30 per puppy)||180||280|
Does NOT Include:
- Start-up costs: whelping box, hemostats, scale, heat lamp, gloves, lubricant, syringes, suction bulb, thermometers, weaning dishes, feeding tubes, bottles, etc., etc.
- Cost to finish championship or other titles for both parents (Easily in the thousands!)
- Time and wages lost
- Wear and tear on vehicle
- Wear and tear on house
- Wear and tear on yard
|Total cost of breeding a Weimaraner litter||3,680||13,373|
The average cost of breeding a Weimaraner litter (the right way!) is about $8,000. And let’s say the cost to earn some titles is another $4,000 for competition (low estimate!). You are looking at a breeder spending on average of about $12,000 just to produce a well-bred litter. If there are 6 puppies in a litter, at $2,000 each, the breeder will barely meet their own costs.
Bottom line: If a breeder is doing things right, breeding is very rarely a money-making operation! Examine the breeder’s practices and make sure she is reputable and spending not only the money, but the time, energy, and research on producing high quality, healthy and temperamentally sound puppies. If she is, then consider the higher end of the price range as a small price to pay in the scheme of things!
Photo courtesy of Amy Boring, A Boring Photo. @aboringphoto