As long as the purchase price of your new puppy is within $1000, you should NOT make the price of your chosen dog or puppy have any bearing on whether you will buy him.
I am consistently baffled at how ignorant many potential dog owners are when they call me and tell me that they’ve got a “good deal” on a dog. People think that because they are buying a $200 dog, rather than a $500 dog, that they are getting some kind of deal.
That $200 difference will more than likely mean that the dog’s lineage is somewhat dubious.
Again, there are exceptions to this rule. In certain parts of the country, depending on the breed, you can buy a very fine dog for half of what you might pay if you’re buying from a high profile breeder. But my experience and observations have proven that it is better to risk paying a few hundred dollars more and buy a healthy, well-bred dog, than to save a couple of bucks, only to spend 10 times as much when you find out that, because of poor breeding, your dog needs hip repair, worming, heart medication, etc … simply because you chose to scrimp on the purchase price of your dog and buy an inferior puppy.
Remember, this dog will be your companion for the next 9 to 19 years. The purchase price will be long amortized in that period of time. The second reason to ignore the purchase price of your new dog is that, by the time you get done with a full veterinary check up (including hip x-rays for medium to larger breeds when buying an adolescent or adult dog), you will have racked up several hundred dollars. Even if you go to shot clinics, for a puppy, five series of shots at approximately $15 is still going to cost you at least $75. Add in emergency trips to the vet for accidental scrapes, bumps, eye and ear infections, and other such anomalies, and you’ve got a fit load of bills.
Buying a genetically superior dog(meaning the most well-bread dog you can afford) will reduce the number of trips to the veterinarian you will have to make in the long run.
Why should you not spend more than $1000 on your new puppy?
Because that is the top of the average going rate on a well-bred pet quality dog. Anything more than $1000 is excess, and what I consider price gouging.
The exception would be if you are purchasing an older dog which already has titles, proven working drive, or you are buying the dog as a stud or bitch for a planned breeding program. Keep in mind that if you purchase your dog from a breeder who is out-of-state, you will also be required to pay for the pre-flight veterinary examination (required by the airlines), the shipping crate, and the cost of shipping. This can add another $100 to $300 to the price of the dog.
And whether you are shipping him from across the country, or simply picking your new dog up from a breeder across town, the first thing you will want to do is take him to your veterinarian for a thorough check-up.