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I'm new to the whole dog world, this will be my first dog. Do all breeders breed for show? Like you posted, the dogs are raised for companionship, not show. Does that warrant a cheaper price of the puppy, since it isn't coming from a prominent show blood line? The price is CDN $1000 + tax.

One major thing favouring this breeder is the timing. The puppy is 8 weeks old right now and is ready for pickup whenever we want, assuming it is still available. I've contacted other breeders but they haven't responded yet, whereas this breeder has been responding very quickly to my emails. It is the summer, so my family and I have more spare time to take care and train this puppy while it's still young.
If a breeder doesn't compete in the show ring or some type other type of competition how do they know if their dogs are any good and are representative of the breed?

Most westie breeders do not let their dogs go at 8 weeks. Usually they wait until 10 weeks.

The right time to get a puppy is when you've found the right puppy from a good breeder.

Some breeders don't respond to email so I would call them.

I'm in the US so I don't know how much dogs go for in Canada. Show breeders can charge up to $2000 in certain areas and that is for a pet quality dog. I've never tried to get a show quality dog but some breeders will not even sell them. I know my breeder was going to keep any show quality dog if one was lucky enough to turn up in a litter.
 

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I think they have their heart in the right place, but aren't quite there with the smarts yet ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I will for sure get in contact w/ other breeders before buying from her. I'm just going to check the pup and its environment out tomorrow.

From her site, it sounds like she is a nice (possibly naive) lady very passionate about her westies, who in the past, has had very bad experiences from purchasers. Westies are not rare to find, so I think this is the best explanation for her strict rules. I'm sure she's aware that she may be giving headaches to potential buyers which can deter them, but she isn't changing her ways b/c of bad things that have happened in the past.

What do you think?

BTW, thanks for all the heads up everyone, many good points mentioned here in this thread.
 

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I'm new to the whole dog world, this will be my first dog. Do all breeders breed for show? Like you posted, the dogs are raised for companionship, not show. Does that warrant a cheaper price of the puppy, since it isn't coming from a prominent show blood line? The price is CDN $1000 + tax.

One major thing favouring this breeder is the timing. The puppy is 8 weeks old right now and is ready for pickup whenever we want, assuming it is still available. I've contacted other breeders but they haven't responded yet, whereas this breeder has been responding very quickly to my emails. It is the summer, so my family and I have more spare time to take care and train this puppy while it's still young.
If it were me and a first dog that you do not have an interest in showing or other competition then I would be looking for a rescue pup. There are rescue groups for all breeds of dogs.
 

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Hmm.. I just purchased my Pap puppy, Roxy, 2 weekends ago..and her breeder was AMAZING, so maybe if I post some things to look for, it will help?

- Know your breed standards. A BYB will breed for money, and a reputable breeder will breed to better the breed.

- Check for cleanliness, ex) Floors are mopped, house doesn't reek of feces, puppies are more then likely in their own seperate area of the house where they cannot be harmed or get into anything.

-Parents on premises. Who wants to buy a puppy where the parents are no where around and you'll have no idea what the puppy may grow up to look like, or what it's possible temperment could be? You're spending all kinds of money and deserve to know those kinds of things, OTHERWISE you might as well find a puppy at a shelter for much less of the $$.

- Health gaurantee. A reputable breeder will gaurantee the health of a puppy for up to a certain amount of time after leaving their home, and will ask you to take your puppy to a vet within a certain amount of time to prove that you have received a healthy puppy. They should be covered for hereditary defects for life.

- Breeder should be very, very knowledgable on the breed and willing to answer any questions you have. I'd do my research on your breed first, and ask a tricky question that a breeder should have to know. I don't even breed, and I could answer almost any question you could think of about my Paps, so for someone who has devoted their time and money into raising and breeding a certain breed, they should know even more.

- Sincerity and trust. A reputable breeder will not just hand off their puppies. They'll screen you, you'll need to prove you have a home or landlord approval. They only want to see their puppies go to the best of the best. And by the time they know all of this, they'll be able to trust you enough to take a check.


-Proof of first vaccines, and papers for sire and dams bloodlines.

Good luck, and I really hope you find the pup of your dreams.

BTW, anyone else think $1000 for a companion pup from a breeder is crazy?
 

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Alright, I see nothing about health testing on the parents (ask about it, the Westie club sight will tell you which tests are recommended), I also take it as a red flag that she does NO competitions of any kind, fine that she doesn't show as long as she has them judged as conformationally sound, but I see no mention of that either. However she should be doing SOMETHING to 'prove" her dogs as breed worthy.

Honestly, there are MUCH better out there from what I can tell from her website.

BTW, anyone else think $1000 for a companion pup from a breeder is crazy?
Not if the pup is from a reputable breeder with health tested, proven parents.
 

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Maybe it just depends on where you're from. Most breeders around here are $600-$750 per puppy...females generally being the more expensive.
 

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I wasnt impressed by the westies on her page at all. honestly the breeder probably isnt showing because there is no way those dogs could place in a conformation ring (and i obviously havent even put my hands on one).

As a first time buyer, yes, it's exciting you want a puppy NOW, but i am sure you want a puppy that is like what you read about with westies. the thing is if you go to a breeder that doesnt show, isnt in "the scene" with other westie folks you arent going to get what you think you are. a round face, carrot tail, and a white wirey coat arent the only factors that make a westie. The huge downside to this type of breeder is that not only may your dog behave unlike a westie, look unlike a westie, but heath issues that you dont see now can pop up in 2,5,7,10 years and get really expensive and heart breaking. If you can't wait a few months to a year for this pup, you may want to reconsider why you want it in the first place.

Also, with breeders not emailing back, you have to pick up the phone 1. and if lots of them arent calling you back, there's probably a big show or westie function going on. that's what happened when i was shopping for my borzoi. no one called me back for 2 weeks because they were all at some big name national borzoi show i'd never known about.
 

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Ok here is my take on this

1) You should be able to meet the dam and the litter.I think it is reasonable for them to say they need to be older (say 6 weeks or more) and that you have to scrub your hands and not haver visited any other breeders that day at all.

2) There is nothing wrong with a weel run,clean kennel.It is my belief that the litter though should be raised indoors around humans from birth though (ps we do not have a keenel for our dogs though because we are very small)

3) It is fine for a breeder to be into more then one breed the main thing is to make sure that they are knowledgeable about all the breeds that they are breeding.And that they can tell you the good points and bad points and they know and test for health issues.

4) My deposit's on pups are non-refundable (unless there is a health issue at vet-checks for that pup) not because someone changes there mind ect... and honestly in this day and age cash at pick-up is pretty standard (and I actually have my sister here who is a counterfit expert who goes over everything in a seperate room while I go over pick-up with my clients) with everyone in my circle. (deposit's we will take everything) I have heard horror story's of breeders taking checks and they bounce or taking CC payments ect and having them dispute the charge.So yes I would only take cash at pick up.Now if someone wanted to pay via check they have to have it arrive at my home in time for it to clear which would be 2 weeks for out of state (I think for money orders there is a $1000.00 limit and day ? and my pup prices are higher then that)


- Check for cleanliness, ex) Floors are mopped, house doesn't reek of feces, puppies are more then likely in their own separate area of the house where they cannot be harmed or get into anything.

Actually my puppies are in my dining room living room I prefer them to be around people all day long.I would never keep them in a separate room

-Parents on premises. Who wants to buy a puppy where the parents are no where around and you'll have no idea what the puppy may grow up to look like, or what it's possible temperment could be? You're spending all kinds of money and deserve to know those kinds of things, OTHERWISE you might as well find a puppy at a shelter for much less of the $$.

Actually if they show or if they ship there female out to be bred then it is quite possible that one or both of the parents may not be there.My female was just shipped out so dad will not be around for this litter.So no the parents are nor always around.


BTW, anyone else think $1000 for a companion pup from a breeder is crazy?
Umm no..Lets see First Health testing the parents every year around $300.00 (each) then shipping the female out and back so that's around $700.00 Then we have the pregnancy visits for the dog in question (X-rays blood testing ect $400.00. My dogs require c-sections so lets start at $1500.00 (if there are no problems) for the CS.Hoping we don't lose any pups or the dam.Then we have dew-claws to remove (I do these my self but lets just say $65.00 a pup that's what my vet charges) Then we go to the pups themselves vet care,toys,shots/wormers,playpens and newspaper for the pens...Oh I could go on and on not to mention the fact that our pups have someone with them 24 hours a day at my home they are never left alone on our property at all.

So actually NO $1000.00 is not alot IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I was 30 mins away from the breeder's place, and decided to turn back. I got a call from a friend who knows a bit of inside information about breeders. After I heard the info, I turned back.

Now, I cant say for sure that it (the breeder's kennel) was a bad place, i just went with my gut instinct.

Several factors:
1) The numerous, numerous, NUMEROUS "red flags" raised in this forum
2) The "inside info" telling us to stay away
3) My gut instinct on all the wacky procedures (ie. must feed certain type of kibble for health guarantee)

Thanks for the heads up guys.
 

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Good for you :)

They definitely don't look all that reputable.

And a breeder does not have to show, but they should be doing something with their dogs, maybe lure coursing, or something the Westie was bred for. They could have their CGC's or be therapy dogs too.

And a breeder should always genetically test their dogs for problems the breed has, such as bad hip, bad heart, etc...
 

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Glad you made that call.

BTW, I asked a friend who breeds and shows Westies down here. She doesn't breed oftne or have puppies, but says the going rate here in Texas for a pet-quality puppy is $700-1200 and she knows a few people higher and lower- so there's quite a range.

I think a lot of folks are put up by the 'a health tested well-bred pup is expensive, you need to save your money!' but really, it pays to check with the breeders who do everything under the sun and 'look' too expensive. The price range can be huge. In my breeds (collies and spitz), puppy prices range from $400 (pet-quality from a decent show breeder who doesn't do anything more than eye testing) to $800 (hips and eye checks) to $1200 (hips, eyes, thyroid, cardiac checked on parents), to $2000 (hips, eyes, thyroid, patellas, elbows and emphasis on normal eyed, but using a bloodline to get those normal eyes that none of the others will touch because it's associated with a very, very large volume breeder and is known for skitzy temperaments.)
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Since we're on the topic, I have a question about dog health and dog prices. I presume the more you pay for your pup, the better health checks it gets, as Dogstar mentioned. However, the breeder dicussed in this thread is selling 'bad' pups for $1000, quite pricey for not so great Westies, I'd say.

I'm looking for a healthy companion dog, not for show, but I'm sure show dogs have better health than the average dog.

My question is, is it a bad idea to skimp and pay $700-1000 for a (not-so-perfect) Westie (ie advertised from Kijiji, a website that posts classified advertisements of all kinds), rather than shelling out up to $2000 for a perfect show dog? The answer sounds very obvious, 'you get what you pay for', but I'm just wondering if you guys have different opinions or even experiences from purchasing dogs from regular families rather than professional breeders.
 

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If those regular families gentically health test their dogs, and their dogs have excellent temperaments...that would be decent. But reputable breeders don't advertise, so you probably won't find that.

You would be buying from a BYB, which usually don't breed for temperament or health, so you could end up with a messed up dog, it does happen.

Reputable breeders, you have a pretty much almost perfect chance of having a very healthy, and tempermentally sound dog. Although sometimes problems occur, but they are few if the breeder knows that they are doing, and has good breeding stock.
 

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It depends.

I think the ethical thing to do is spend what you have to go buy from an ethical breeder. To me, this means someone who is proving their dogs in a venue outside their own home, whether it's show or agility or earthdog or working trials. You vote with your dollars and your feet. They're doing breed-appropriate health testing, eliminating unsound and unhealthy dogs from their breeding programs, screening homes, and taking back puppies at any time in their lives.

If that means your budget is $700? You look till you find an ethical breeder for that price. With such a popular breed as Westies, I suspect you'v egot a local breed club near you. Join that club. Get to know folks. Consider looking for a slightly older pup or a young adult who grew up to not be quite show quality (for example? Mal is available to the cost of his neuter to a pet home- he's not the quality I want to breed, he hates performance, and he can get more one-on-one time in a pet home.) Let people get to know YOU, and the right puppy will find you in fairly short order.

Even though it's hard to wait? Don't necessarily be in a rush. It's hard to wait, but worth it, for the right pup.
 

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Dogstar I love your habit of asking and answering your own questions. It cracks me up all the time. Just had to say that.

Back on topic: to the OP, I'm really glad you decided not to buy a puppy from that breeder. Trust me, it's not something you'll ever regret.

There are two ways of looking at this "cheap BYB vs expensive but reputable breeder" issue. (BYB = backyard breeder = Kijiji-type breeder.)

The first is purely financial. I tell this to people all the time -- save $500 now, spend $2000 at the vet later. Breeders who don't investigate their dogs' history and who don't do extensive health-testing are much more likely to produce puppies with hereditary health diseases. With a reputable breeder, you have a puppy contract if anything goes wrong, and you have the assurance that there are no hip dysplasia or cleft palate genes floating around in your pup. Your dog is a sound representative of his breed.

Of course, there ARE people out there who have been lucky enough to purchase a dog from a bad breeder and never pay the price in medical bills later on, which is when you move on to the ethical implications of purchasing a pup from a BYB. As Cait said, you vote with your wallet. When you pay a bad breeder money for her pups, you encourage her to keep producing puppies from untitled, untested dogs... pups of the same quality as the hundreds of thousands being put to sleep every year.
 

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- Check for cleanliness, ex) Floors are mopped, house doesn't reek of feces, puppies are more then likely in their own separate area of the house where they cannot be harmed or get into anything.

Actually my puppies are in my dining room living room I prefer them to be around people all day long.I would never keep them in a separate room

Almost all of the breeders I went to see, before I found Roxy had the puppies gated into the kitchen. Roxy's breeder explained that they still socialized with children and family/friends, who had easy access to a sink to wash up before touching the puppies. The fur-mom and dad were able to access the kitchen all day to be with the pups as well. She also said the tile floor was easy and quick to thoroughly disinfect and clean up any 'accidents'. She could see and check-up on all of the puppies whenever she wanted to, and she said with people visiting, and potential new owners coming to view the puppies, it was safest to keep them in the kitchen..where they could still be socialized and interacted with, but without all the dangers of free roam.

-Parents on premises. Who wants to buy a puppy where the parents are no where around and you'll have no idea what the puppy may grow up to look like, or what it's possible temperment could be? You're spending all kinds of money and deserve to know those kinds of things, OTHERWISE you might as well find a puppy at a shelter for much less of the $$.

Actually if they show or if they ship there female out to be bred then it is quite possible that one or both of the parents may not be there.My female was just shipped out so dad will not be around for this litter.So no the parents are nor always around.

Out of curiousity, if she's just had a litter, why would she be out being bred again already? Mom should atleast be on the premises, don't you think? I can understand dad not being there, if a stud service was used. However, on the other hand, if I were using a stud service, I would have to get to know that dog, and the owners well enough that they'd want to be around to see where the puppies are going..their dog had part in it too, and I'm sure I wouldn't want to breed my dog with another dog owned by people who are just in it for money..if that makes sense. I tend to go more towards breeders who own both parents, anyway. That kind of ensures all of the thought and tests, and shows me what my potential puppy may be like, by watching momma and daddy act in their environment together.


BTW, anyone else think $1000 for a companion pup from a breeder is crazy?
Umm no..Lets see First Health testing the parents every year around $300.00 (each) then shipping the female out and back so that's around $700.00 Then we have the pregnancy visits for the dog in question (X-rays blood testing ect $400.00. My dogs require c-sections so lets start at $1500.00 (if there are no problems) for the CS.Hoping we don't lose any pups or the dam.Then we have dew-claws to remove (I do these my self but lets just say $65.00 a pup that's what my vet charges) Then we go to the pups themselves vet care,toys,shots/wormers,playpens and newspaper for the pens...Oh I could go on and on not to mention the fact that our pups have someone with them 24 hours a day at my home they are never left alone on our property at all.

So actually NO $1000.00 is not alot IMO


Like I mentioned before, we rarely see puppies over $750 in Connecticut, unless you are walking into a pet store..(gag.).. So that's where my question came from. Roxy was $600..very healthy puppy, parents on premises, proof of health tests, proof of vaccines, proof of bloodlines. Actually, her parents had excellent patellas, which luxating patellas are a big deal for Paps, so that was exciting..I was also able to watch her parents play in the yard with the puppies, and take a run through an agility course that was set up in the backyard. Needless to say, her breeder was awesome, inexpensive, and still fully involved with the puppy (wants to see pictures, hear stories and progress, and offered to take her back no matter how old she is, if at some point in our lives, we can no longer care for her)..I'd do business with her again in a heartbeat..
 

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Like I mentioned before, we rarely see puppies over $750 in Connecticut, unless you are walking into a pet store..(gag.).. So that's where my question came from. Roxy was $600..very healthy puppy, parents on premises, proof of health tests, proof of vaccines, proof of bloodlines. Actually, her parents had excellent patellas, which luxating patellas are a big deal for Paps, so that was exciting..I was also able to watch her parents play in the yard with the puppies, and take a run through an agility course that was set up in the backyard. Needless to say, her breeder was awesome, inexpensive, and still fully involved with the puppy (wants to see pictures, hear stories and progress, and offered to take her back no matter how old she is, if at some point in our lives, we can no longer care for her)..I'd do business with her again in a heartbeat..
In the tri-state area breeders that are in their various AKC clubs and ones who show routinely charge $2,000. I have done extensive research on two different small breeds here and they are both in that price range.

I have seen breeders who were not in the national or regional clubs who did health testing and seemed great but their dogs could not compete in the show ring. These puppies were $800 - $1200 on average. Now the way they look might not be a big deal to some but if that's the case then don't be surprised when they get bigger for them to look different then what you were expecting.

One thing about show breeders is that their dogs age really well. I saw dogs at my breeders that were 14 years old and they still looked great. They not only looked great but they were still feisty - a classic westie trait. I don't think people don't think long term enough. A well bred westie will live a long time. If you don't get a good dog, all the money you saved up front will be spent later if they don't age well.
 
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