How Much Does A Sheltie Cost?

That answer depends on where you get your sheltie and what that breeder's focus and interest is. 

There are many costs to producing a Yankee Sheltie. When you look at these items, you can understand why these expenditures are not for the faint of heart, or for the occasional breeder looking to just have a few litters out of their bitch.

Yankee Sheltie Cost:

  • Purchase bitch for breeding $2000   
  • Purchase stud for breeding $2000
  • Registration and microchip $115
  • PennHip X-rays $1080
  • Thyroid test every 2 years $966
  • DNA tests $610
  • Eye exam every year $644
  • Wellness exams / rabies vaccine at vet $350
  • Litter 6 week vet check x 7 years $1050
  • Food/ general care $7/day for 7 years $35,770 **
  • Total for 7 years care $43,985 
  •  @ 4 pups/litter, 1 litter/year for 6 litters per bitch’s life = 24 pups            
  • 2012 Cost per pup  $1,833.

If you want to remove purchase cost of the bitch and dog when using dogs bred here the figure drops to $1691. If I can avoid DNA tests for dogs whose parents have been tested here, I can drop my cost to $1665. If I can produce litters of 5 puppies the cost is $1452.

** "...$7 figure we used as the cost per day to care for each dog... We based this figure on 30 minutes of labor and $1-$3 worth of food, cleaning materials, and water. We consider it to be a reasonable cost figure." (USDA Final Rule on daily cost to house dogs in a shelter). Somehow I doubt a shelter feeds a raw food diet, bath, groom regularly or do other optional things for the dogs in their care.

Generally, a dog and bitch are bought and raised until about 1 ½ years old to 2 years old before being used for breeding. Average is 1 litter per year consisting of 4 pups until about 7-8 years of age average for a total of 6 litters in a bitch’s lifetime. 

That means that one can anticipate a total of 24 pups. These figures are for raising and testing a male and female for those 7 years.

It assumes incredibly healthy dogs that require only minimal veterinary intervention.

It doesn’t include

  • medications,
  • accessories like grooming needs,
  • toys,
  • supplements,
  • dog shows costs,
  • kennels, and
  • renovations to living environment.

This cost of a sheltie also doesn’t take into account the dogs and bitches grown out, tested and found to be unqualified to use for breeding and sold at a loss as a companion quality dog, etc. etc.

It also doesn’t provide any profit from these efforts.

I bring this up, so as a consumer you can decide if this is a valuable enough process to you. You can decide if you are willing to pay for these measures taken before a pup is even conceived. 

Click here to read an article about an owner of a golden retriever bought from a reputable breeder for his perspective.

In addition, I believe it is time for the myth that responsible breeders shouldn't make a profit, be put to rest. Everyone in the world makes a profit on the products they produce. We should be no different.

If the price of a good, healthy, beautiful dog is too high for the general consumer then simple lack of demand will show that I should stop breeding companion shelties.  

As always, I try to be as transparent as possible in my activities because I think it is imperative that any prospective buyer has a right to make an informed consent.

Your decision as a consumer will help me to decide if I should continue with my activities.

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