Originally Posted by Noludoru
The thing is... that breeder is charging $900 for limited registration of a Shiba, and $1,700 for breeding rights (I hesitate to say show quality, because I don't know Shibas and have never been to a show, but I've seen what show quality Shibas look like; and they are in no way shape or form show quality no matter how blind the judge is). You're going to pay something like that for just about any Shiba you buy, and probably more for a dog from a pet store and much much less for a rescue. I'll break it down a bit..
Shiba from rescue:
Cost: $80-300, depending on the rescue, the dog's age, health conditions, etc. If they're charging more than $300, I doubt they are truly a rescue.
What you get: A dog who is probably from a puppy mill or BYB, and has no guarantee on health. The dog has been spayed/neutered/vaccinated and given veterinary attention if it's needed, and will probably be temperament tested and most likely has received at least some basic training. You'll have help from the rescue for the rest of your dog's life if you need it, and they will be able to recommend trainers and vets in your area.
Shiba from BYB:
What you get: A dog who may or may not have had socialization and vet care, whose parents are BYBred or puppy mill dogs who may or may not be healthy. You're paying a heck of a lot for a dog you can get at a rescue for much, much cheaper.
Shiba from pet store:
Cost: $1,500-$2,500 (or more, but then it really depends on where you live - the pet store near me that just closed is in the middle of nowhere in the country and still had a market for $3,000 dogs; I'd imagine pet stores in Cali and NY could charge more, for instance)
What you get: A dog who has most likely been bred in a puppy mill, at best a litter from a BYB who couldn't sell. The dog may or may not have papers, and if it does come with papers they could be fakes. (Besides, papers mean absolutely NOTHING without information about the dog's ancestors... it's just a bunch of names of dogs who were trapped in tiny cages and bred until they couldn't breed anymore.) The puppy has received little to no socialization, and much of that has not been positive. The dog is probably not healthy and most likely has never seen a vet or been vaccinated, and definitely has not been fed a decent food. No health certifications from parents, questionable temperament, and god knows what else. You COULD get a perfectly fine dog, sure, but talk to all the people that haven't, and judge whether you're willing to take that risk for yourself, especially with the amount of money you'll be forking over.
Shiba from reputable breeder:
Cost: $800-1,500 (I'm estimating based on the *few* prices I could find and what I know to be usual for other breeds, because with Shibas I'm really not sure. I haven't read the entire thread and maybe somewhere along the line someone else found the average price for well-bred Shiba Inus)
What you get: At a minimum a 3-generation pedigree, hopefully more; a dog who has the best possible chance of being healthy due to parents and at least grandparents as well having health certifications. A Shiba who fits the breed standard in both temperament, gait, and looks; who is well socialized and well adjusted, and constant support from the breeder for the lifetime of your dogs and even beyond that, a real friend who will do his or her best to help you, because he/she truly cares about the dogs. You get a dog who has had the best possible start in life and well on its way to becoming a companion you can share your life with for a decade or more.
What Shiba Web has to say about reputable breeders...
Does that breeder seem to know his breed? (Here is where your research is invaluable.) Do you know more about this breed than the breeder does? Does he breed his dogs with that AKC standard in mind? That AKC standard is the "blueprint" for that breed. Suppose you always wanted a house with a front porch. You picked out a builder and gave him a blueprint of exactly what you wanted. When you come to see your house the porch is on the back. When you question the builder he tells you that he didn稚 like the way it was on the blueprint so he built the house "His Way!". Are you going to be very happy with that builder or that house?
Does he guarantee his puppies? Is it just for health or for other problems also? Is he aware of the genetic problems in his breed (every breed has them) and is he screening his dogs for those problems? Are you buying a "pet" or a "show". If you are buying a "pet", why is it a "pet"? If you are buying a "show" is it guaranteed to show, to point, to finish? If you are unable to keep the dog will the breeder take it back? Just look at the adds in the newspaper. Everyday you will usually see at least one add that reads "Moving", "Child Allergic", or "Needs room to run". If he does have a guarantee, is it written and is the breeder willing to sign it. Remember, unless you bring a witness along with you, it痴 your word against the breeder.
The bit in red is what especially disturbed me about your breeder, as they're selling dogs as show quality when they clearly are not, and someone else already covered the "health guarantees" and we've all been talking about conformation, so I wont elaborate more. They even have an entire page devoted to health topics in Shibas.
This is what the National Shiba Club of America has to say about responsible breeders, and they have a long list on their page. This is what you should be looking for in a breeder when you see their website and their Shiba's brags about their titles, loads of info on Shibas, and a distinct absence of many litters in the last year or two. I don't see anything on that particular site's health certs, but I bet if you looked more thoroughly than I did or shot them an e-mail you'd find them. This site has health certs on at least one dog, three generation pedigrees, show brags, etc on their site. Again, what you should be looking for.
The National Shiba Club of America also has this to say...
# A breeder who says his dogs don't need the health checks or refuses to show you any health certification.
# Breeders who have puppies in several different breeds.
# Breeders who breed "designer dogs" such a Labradoodles or peek-a-poos. These are mutts and anyone who buys them is really being taken to the cleaners.