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I'm the yet-to-be dog owner who wants to have a papillon. After browsing the web a bit and having a phone conversation with a professional breeder contact, I learned they cost on average about a thousand dollars. This just floored me, and I chuckled right out loud to the man on the phone. He was a bit offended and proceeded to tell me that his (other kind of) dog was $1500. I said "Who has that kind of money but rich people?" and he said "Everybody who buys a purebred dog has, that's just what a purebred dog's price range is."

Well, I've been thinking about this all week, and I'd love to have any of your purebred owners and especially breeders enlighten me. Seems to me, a litter of puppies is produced quite "naturally" by letting two already-existing dogs mate. You don't have to do much to bring them into the world, they'll come on their own. A breeder might say, "Well, we provide them their shots and make sure they're healthy." But I say to that... "Everybody does that. Every responsible dog owner does that, that's nothing out-of-the-ordinary or special." People with dogs from the pound get them shots, vet visits, dog tags, all sorts of things.

So then why this high price for a dog? I'm so bummed out. I certainly don't have a thousand dollars extra in my life, and if I did, it would have to go to a bill, or something. Plus, my friends are razzing me about wanting a purebred dog anyway. They say I should just rescue a little mixed breed dog from the shelter and it will be just as loveable as a purebred. I don't know why I really want that purebred papillon... I just do... but they say it's an issue of pride and ego.

Any comments on all of this?
 

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I won't comment on the expenses involved with reputable breeding practices (others will I'm sure), but I will say there are cheaper alternatives to buying a purebred dog than from a breeder...it's called adoption. However, if you're balking at the upfront costs, I wonder what you're thoughts are on the long term cost of owning a dog? The upfront cost is marginal in comparison.
 

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First off have you considered Papillon rescue???

Second, responsible breeders do much much more for their dogs then provide shots. A responsible breeder screens their bloodlines against the hereditary diseases/ailments common in the breed. Not all breeders are created equal. I have done rescue for over 20 years. I have had all purebred dogs. I also went to a breeder for my youngest (current) dog. My breeder showed her dogs, titled them. Her dogs were OFA hips, elbows, cardiac clear and Cerf for eyes. Why is this important you ask? Well, certainly you have heard of dogs with hip dysplasia or Luxating Patellas? The risk of these things is cut down drastically by simply NOT breeding dogs with these issues. Genetic screening can cut down the risk of producing puppies with these issues. That is basically what you are paying for in getting a pup from a good breeder.
I paid well over the cost that you quoted above and I am hoping that it will pay off in the end by costing me a lot less in vet bills.
My last 2 rescues cost me a small fortune. One was 12 weeks when I got her from the police. I put over $1,200 in her in vet bills trying to save her life and lost her at the end anyway before she hit 6 months. It was horrible and NOT just for the fact of money. I am NOT rich by any stretch of the imagination.
My other current dog Oliver has cost me over twice the purchase price of my breeder dog. That is not to say all rescues are going to be unhealthy either. The girl I had right before these 2 lived to a ripe old age of 13 and she was barely sick a day in her life.
She appeared to be a rather well bred dog though too. Based on conformation etc...

I am a huge fan of rescues or humane societies. There are many wonderful dogs out there in need of a home. Many healthy pure or mixed breed dogs. Young or old. Many to chose from.
If you do decide to go the route of a breeder, I suggest you really do your research. If you are interested in Papillons maybe private message Laurelin on here. Maybe she can steer you in the right direction. :)
 

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However, if you're balking at the upfront costs, I wonder what you're thoughts are on the long term cost of owning a dog? The upfront cost is marginal in comparison.

$1000 up front is a lot compared to a couple hundred every year in vet costs.

And in my opinion, $1000 is WAAAY too much for a dog... Period. For that kinda $$$ a dog better do a hell of a lot more than just pee, poop, bark and eat.
 

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You need to think long and hard about why you want a purebred. Do you plan to show it? Breed it? Brag about it?

Of the six great dogs I've had in my life, just one was a purebred (and several others may or may not be.) For me, it made no difference at all. The purebred was no smarter, easier to train, healthier or in any way more desirable than all the others.

There are legitimate reasons for wanting a purebred, but it doesn't sound like you know what they are or if they'd apply to you.
 

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Papillons are just not cheap dogs. $1000 is actually a pretty low price for one! Even the breed rescue will charge up to $400 for a papillon. Why? It can be darn expensive to show a dog. Health testing like OFA's and CERFs are a bit more money. Toy breeds more often have birthing difficulties. Plus papillons have small litters. The cost is not split between a litter of 10-12 like it could be with big dogs. Paps average 1-4 puppies, most the time it seems there are only 2-3. I also think demand is part of it too.

Any toy breed puppy from a good breeder won't be cheap.

I personally think the breed is worth it. They are fabulous dogs and a joy to live with. Purchase price on any dog is a small drop in the hat in the grand scheme of things. Our 'free' dog ended up having to have a couple thousand dollar surgeries on his hips. Our other free dog (who is actually a purebred papillon) has so far been our easiest. She's not had any major health problems. You just never know.

ETA: I think examining why you want a papillon is the key here. Then it should be more clear as to whether or not they're 'worth the price' for you.
 

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First, I don't know enough about Paps to say what their price range is and I would suggest you do a bit more research before locking in on that $1000 price tag as costs will vary and a higher price tag doesn't always mean you're getting a better dog. How many breeders have you spoken with and where did you get their contact info?

As for why a dog may cost that much, there's a lot more that goes into responsible breeding than just allowing two intact dogs to mate. If you are buying from a breeder who shows their dogs, it's possible they have invested thousands of dollars in showing their dog in an effort to prove their breeding program. And hopefully the breeder health tests which is not the same as simply having a vet declare the parents healthy and costs significantly more. Of course, there's always the chance that the breeder you are looking at is not responsible, has invested little to nothing in their dogs and breeding program and it is all about the money.

Have you considered breed specific rescue? If you aren't interested in a mix but would like to rescue it may be a better option for you.
 

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If you're interested...

Breeder's list:

http://www.papillonclub.org/pcabreederslist.htm

I've shopped around a lot. If I were looking at purebred papillon puppy from a good breeder then I'd expect to pay $750-$1400 for a pet quality dog. There ARE other breeder options though. I got Summer when she was 3, almost 4 for $500 from a breeder. Some breeders sell adults that don't work out for the breeding program for whatever reason. Many times these dogs are cheaper than a puppy. I also know some breeders will sell mismarked puppies cheaper. I'm not sure why or the reasoning on that since the breeding and quality is the same, but they will.

rescues to check out:

http://www.pcarescuetrust.org/
http://www.pap911rescue.org/
http://www.paphaven.org/
 

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Nope... I kept all that in mind. My post was showing that $1000 up front is worse than, lets say, $1000 spread over a years time.
And I said "long term" costs not yearly costs. Heck $1K is a weekend for some dog enthusiasts. But $1K over the lifespan of a dog IS marginal.
 

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My last 2 rescues cost me a small fortune.
I adopted an adult mutt found as a stray from a rescue organization last June. Benji wasn't in the "system" very long. He was taken out of the city pound after the mandatory 7 day waiting period when no one claimed him. He was only in rescue for 4 days after that. When I adopted him his weight and coat condition were very good, he was very friendly, and appeared to be in good health.

Well, I gave the rescue organization $500 to cover an expensive neuter (undescended testicle), shots, and a few days boarding. When I took him in to my own vet they diagnosed kennel cough and found he had a benign tumour near his anus (caused by his being intact after so long). We cured the kennel cough, gave him another round of shots, removed and biopsied the tumour, and cleaned his teeth. So another $1300 to my vet, who is far from the most expensive around.

Last month, Benji cut his paw and was in pain so we took him in to the expensive vet nearest us. Cost: $370 of which $170 was paid by his $300/year insurance. The deductible is $200 per "incident."

Last week, he vomited and passed blood in his stool so we took him back to the expensive vet. This time the bill was $250 with another $200 deductible.

So Benji, who is relatively healthy (nothing chronic wrong with him) and very happy has cost us about $2500 not including the cost of food, toys, etc.

Dogs are expensive.
 

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I think you need to ask yourself why you want a pap in the first place. If you don't know why you specifically want a pap, then...I'd take your friends suggestions and go to a shelter.
 

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Exactly Philovance! They surely are. Those emergency costs can really kill ya.

I never want to deter anyone from rescue claiming that all dogs within rescues will end up costing you a lot more then if you bought from a good breeder. The truth is it is all a gamble no matter the choice you make. I guess after years of being lucky in gambling (on dogs) I had a few that ended up breaking the bank so to speak. When it came time to make another choice as to whom should become the next family member. I decided to play the odds in my favor and purchase a dog from a breeder that does all the health screening. Get back to me in 10+ years and I will tell you if it was worth the extra in purchase price. There were a lot of puppies available from breeders that were cheaper too but I thought, if I was going to do this one time, I wanted to get the pup of my dreams. LOL Well, my dream pup was a girl and I ended up with a boy but so far, he is a pretty wonderful boy. :)
 

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I've never quite understood why people are sold on only having a particular breed. I've also never understood why people are sold on only having a puppy and won't even consider an adult dog, but that's another topic altogether. I've owned a couple of mutts in my life that were wonderful dogs and I've owned mutts that were nothing but trouble. I've owned purebreds that were wonderful dogs and purebreds who were trouble as well.

My advice would be to go down to the local shelter (they often have purebred dogs) and find a dog who fits your personality and energy level and is the right size dog you're wanting. (I.E. don't pick a Mastiff if you live in a studio apartment.) You can find puppies there as well as adults and at my local humane society you can even get on a list to be notified if there is a specific breed you're wanting. If they get a papillion in, they'll call you and you'll have first dibs.
 

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I prefer purebreds, because I like knowing exactly what I'm going to get (size, energy, grooming needs, temperament, etc). Puppies now, I can give or take; I actually like older dogs more.

Small breeds tend to be more expensive, because litters are smaller, they sometimes require c-sections, and there's much more demand for them. You also pay for the testing and titling of the parents. I would, of course, never pay $1k for a purebred if it's parents were NOT tested or proven in anything. Some people just assume 'if it're purebred, it has to be expensive' which is how pet shops get away with charging $2k for some badly bred puppy mill dog with an unknown parentage and health history. It's simply ignorance on the customer's part.

You have to know what you want, how to get it, and what the normal value of it is, or else even paying 500$ for a pup could be a rip off. Especially if, like most people, you don't really have strict preferences about what you like, and would be just as happy with a shelter dog. Purebreds aren't better than mutts, they're just different, and they're made appeal to specific desires/needs in people.
 

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Okay, thank you all for your very great responses. You've made me re-think things a little and ask myself some questions.

The reason I want a dog is basically cuz I'm lonely. I'm 52 years old, single, and just had my heart broken a month ago. My friends are saying I need something better to come home to every night than inane TV and crying myself to sleep. I did have a pet a long time ago, a 15-yr-old cat I loved dearly that died in 1994, and thought I'd never want anything else again. But I'd like a dog now because I enjoy walking and because I think I have some talent for training. I have a small condo, and there's a girl down the hall who would check on "my dog" and walk it in the middle of the day.

The reason I want a papillon is that Yahoo did an article on dogs a couple weeks ago and it said they are one of the smartest breeds. Had all sorts of good things to say about them. Bred to be companion dogs, small enough to maybe even litter-box train, friendly, beautiful, classic just like the ones in old European paintings.

My friend's point, though, is that most dogs are pretty trainable, and a papillon is not going to be an Einstein compared to a Gomer Pyle if I went to the shelter. She says if I want something small and furry and warm and friendly, there are probably a dozen there to choose from. She has a maltese, and I just don't like that poodle-look, but I like something that reminds me of a sheltie or a collie and papillons look kind of like that to me. I'll have to admit I liked the idea of having a fancy purebred dog... not to show, but to show off, lol.

I dunno... now I've just got to think about all of this I guess.
 

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http://www.petfinder.com/search/search.cgi?pet.Animal=&pet.Breed=Papillon&pet.Age=young&pet.Size=&pet.Sex=&location=54301

those are the results in my area when I searched for a Papillon. As you can see on the left you can chose any breed and put your zip code in and search to see what is available in your area. There are so many dogs and mixes of dogs out there.
As far as having a purebred to "show off" just think of as any pound mix as a "designer breed" and you get all kinds of bragging rights. ;) Good Luck to you. I can't wait to hear what breed you choose.
 

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The reason I want a dog is basically cuz I'm lonely. I'm 52 years old, single, and just had my heart broken a month ago. My friends are saying I need something better to come home to every night than inane TV and crying myself to sleep. I did have a pet a long time ago, a 15-yr-old cat I loved dearly that died in 1994, and thought I'd never want anything else again. But I'd like a dog now because I enjoy walking and because I think I have some talent for training. I have a small condo, and there's a girl down the hall who would check on "my dog" and walk it in the middle of the day.

The reason I want a papillon is that Yahoo did an article on dogs a couple weeks ago and it said they are one of the smartest breeds. Had all sorts of good things to say about them. Bred to be companion dogs, small enough to maybe even litter-box train, friendly, beautiful, classic just like the ones in old European paintings.

My friend's point, though, is that most dogs are pretty trainable, and a papillon is not going to be an Einstein compared to a Gomer Pyle if I went to the shelter. She says if I want something small and furry and warm and friendly, there are probably a dozen there to choose from. She has a maltese, and I just don't like that poodle-look, but I like something that reminds me of a sheltie or a collie and papillons look kind of like that to me. I'll have to admit I liked the idea of having a fancy purebred dog... not to show, but to show off, lol.

I dunno... now I've just got to think about all of this I guess.
All dogs are trainable. Some are just easier to train than others. I wouldn't get a dog based solely on it's trainability. I would pick a dog based on it's personality. Some dogs and some humans just have personality conflicts. That's the way it is. Go to a shelter and look for a dog with a lower energy level than yours. You'll save a life and get a great companion to boot. You can get both purebreds and mutts, adults and puppies there.

I prefer purebreds, because I like knowing exactly what I'm going to get (size, energy, grooming needs, temperament, etc).
I would argue that you get that with any adult dog purebred or not.
 

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I would argue that you get that with any adult dog purebred or not.
With adults, of course. Most people prefer puppies though.

I have a specific aesthetic and energy level I like best in dogs, which is easier for me to get in a purebred. I don't judge anyone by what kind of dog they get -- all dogs deserve a good home, regardless of their pedigree. I honestly think most people would be just as happy with a cute mix as with a purebred.
 
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