Laureate Shelties Blog

A bit of this, a bit of that...with a lot of free spirits.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It costs “oodles” to be a Breeder

I don’t know when it happened, but some time in the last ten years, “purebred” became a bad word. Designer dogs or hybrids (aka mutts) are the latest trend. They are touted as being healthier and hypoallergenic (as most of these "breeds" are Poodle crosses) and yet this isn’t necessarily the case. Since they are mixed breeds, the heritable traits are a mixed bag. Genetic problems that can affect purebreds can also affect mixed breeds. Thyroid, bloat, skin disorders, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, slipped patella are just a few examples. The difference is that breeders of designer dogs are unlikely to test for any of these problems. They will also likely charge more for the mix than Breeders of purebreds that have spent years of their lives devoted to one breed. We wanted a large non-shedding breed. We didn’t even think of getting a doodle…only a purebred Poodle would have the coat we needed and the predictability of traits that PUREBREDS offer.

(If you notice, I use a capital “B” to denote a Breeder that has dedicated their lives, finances and time to produce puppies that are healthy and that conform to the breed standard for their breed. A Breeder will screen the breeding stock for problems that are common to the breed.)

In Shelties, we test for hips, eyes, thyroid and VwD (a bleeding disorder). The dogs have ample space to exercise, are fed quality food. They are groomed regularly and they have regular check ups at the Vet. As you can see from our blog and our website, our dogs are happy and they are healthy. Visit OFA site ( and you will see the results of twenty years of testing hips. Other tests are done, but not registered on the OFA site. Today I brought three of our girls to the Vet for hips and thyroid tests (only half of the testing). And the bill was $1,285.00. But this is a small price to pay to produce puppies that will hopefully give 10-15 years of happiness to their new families. Testing of breeding stock is what Breeders do. Purebred shouldn’t be a bad word.


Nat November 21, 2008 at 6:18 PM  

Very nicely said!! Thanks for writing this post. People should know that designer dogs often aren't what they first expected.

Mont'Alves November 21, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

In Portugal we do not have designer dogs as you people have. We have mixed breed , but either they are acccidents or just dogs with unknown ancesters. These dogs to the portugue mind are mutts. No one would pay an euro to get such a dog as they are always given away for adoption because they are not pure breed. So from the designer dog problem we do not suffer. But, yes to breed healthy pups is indeed expensive and for what i see more expensive then in Canada. Specially if you breed shelties. If you take into consideration that you have should do hips, elbows and eyes (Thyroid and Vwd there is no one to do it, so they are not tested), you have to check the pups eyes, pay the mating fee, travel abroad for the female to be mated, eco's, register the pups, microchip, pay the pedigree and so one and so one, i think that selling a pup for 950 euros is quite cheap, when you think that in a litter you get 3 pups, 4 if you are lucky.
Yes BREEDING is a passion not a profitable business.


PS: then people think i am strange when i laught when asked if i can offer a puppy for free AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

campnurse November 22, 2008 at 7:44 AM  

Hi Kim your blogs are both interesting and informative. I enjoy reading them and seeing the beautiful pictures of your dogs.Shelties are a wonderful breed for all kinds of people no matter where we live they adapt so easily .I guess that is what endears them to us. Molly is doing well we are going to be breeding her again wish us luck. Have a good holiday Pat

Laureate November 22, 2008 at 11:25 AM  

Rui, you said it well...we do this because it is a passion, not a business. I didn't mention how much it cost's to actually produce a litter...I don't want to think about that!
I do feel lucky to be able to do this, but I'm not sure how much longer our hobby will last. I'd like to be optimistic, but even our registering body, the CKC wants to admit mixed breeds into shows! It is a different world these days...but you won't see me joining the doodle craze.

Laureate November 22, 2008 at 12:04 PM  

Thanks Nat and Pat for commenting on my musings. Blogging is an opportunity for me to *hopefully* show how much we love and enjoy our dogs on a daily basis. The monetary cost is really not relevant; but sometimes when you are writing a really big cheque you wonder if goldfish would be a better hobby! ha ha

Julie November 23, 2008 at 1:32 PM  

All my friends and co-workers know that I am waiting for a puppy from you. Everyone, I think except my mother asked me to get a puppy from another place. Why bother to wait? According to them, there are other Sheltie puppies for sale. I've ansering them over and over again that I want to get a puppy from Laureate because I've seen the quality of life the dogs have and that's what I want for my dog as well.
When I was younger and didn't know much about breeders in Canada, I got a sheltie from a breeder. I adopted him because he was being mistreated by the breeder and even though he was only expected to live a year, I invested my love for him and took him home for at a dicounted price of $200. He died 9 days after his 3rd birthday 11 years ago. The vet said it was a miracle to live for that long. I still love him and miss him a lot but next time I get a Sheltie, I want to have full 15 years with my dog.
I have enormous gratitude for you and other breeders who are trying so hard to breed healthy and happy puppies. Thank you!

Laureate November 23, 2008 at 3:27 PM  

Thanks Julie, I appreciate your faith in us. We try our best...


Mont'Alves November 23, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

And Julie is not the only one ;)

The other great thing about being a responsible breeder is the happiness to be highly consider by others and make friends that last for live and give wonderful homes to our puppies.


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