In the United States, whippet puppies range from about $800 to $2000, higher in some geographic areas and a bit lower in others. Our whippets are $1200. We have had to raise our prices in the past few years due to the increase in prices of everything from dog food, veterinary care, gas to get to dog shows, and so on.
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There's no difference in our price between pet and show, male and female. All of them have received the same care and attention, regardless of their potential as show or performance dogs and they are all equally precious to us!. (See our sections On Raising Puppies and On Selling Puppies) We don't actively look for show homes, and actually prefer pet homes. Our focus is on producing beautiful, typey pets with the best health and temperaments we can. If you're interested in showing or other activities, we're delighted to help. We spend a great deal of time in "owner support" and are happy to help solve any problems you have with your new puppy.
Most breeders aren’t wealthy, so though breeding is a hobby, most of us have to at least recoup the costs of raising a litter. Those costs vary too, depending on veterinary prices in the area, how much the breeder spends on health testing and care for the puppies, whether there is a c-section or sick puppies involved, and on and on. (We recently had a litter that involved a $1500 section and a puppy who required $3000 in medical care and surgery. And this on top of the usual litter expenses!) Another consideration is the cost of yearly health testing for genetic problems which we do on all of our breeding dogs. These costs continually rise as veterinarians have to raise their prices (and specialist clinics are several decimal points more expensive than regular vets), but for example a "good" price for an annual echocardiogram to check for heart defects is $250.
Since our price is a bit higher than some of the others in our area, here's a rundown on what goes into a typical Timbreblue litter and what you take home when you buy a puppy from us
Briefly, our price reflects the costs of breeding, raising the litter, veterinary expenses, and annual genetic health screening for our dogs. Those include cardiac (echocardiogram), hearing, and vision testing by veterinarians certified in those specialties, as well as thyroid screening and thorough pre-breeding exams with bloodwork and tests for brucellosis (a serious disease which is usually spread by sexual contact).
Even the ones we are not currently breeding (which is most of them, since we have only one or two litters a year) get these health checks. Since all of our dogs are related, a problem in one might mean a future problem in others. If the male we want to use for a particular breeding has not had these tests and his owner can't or won't have the testing done, we pick him up, take him to the vet school and pay for the tests ourselves. Sometimes that means we pay for tests for a dog we don't end up using because he doesn't pass the screening, but that's okay. This is important enough to us that we're willing to take that risk.
Our primary goal in breeding is to preserve the genetic health and sound temperaments this breed is known for, and we do everything in our power to insure our puppies' health. Each puppy receives a thorough veterinary exam before leaving us, and we have a 100% refund guarantee for 30 days after purchase.
Whippets who do things with their owners bond more closely and make better pets. To encourage new owners to get involved with their pups, we offer the following rebates. We'd love to eventually refund your entire purchase price!
Puppy kindergarten $25
STAR Puppy $25
Canine Good Citizen $25
Obedience class $25 each course
Therapy dog certification $25
Agility or flyball class $25 each course
Agility titles $50 each title
Coursing or racing titles $50 each title
Rally titles $25 each title
AKC/UKC Obedience title $100
*UKC conformation champion $25
*UKC conformation grand champion $100
*AKC conformation CH $100
*Neutered or spayed whippets are not eligible to compete in conformation competition. They are fully eligible for all other titles.
Due to harassment from animal rights fanatics, we no longer have our contract online, but we're happy to send it to prospective puppy owners. Just drop us an email.
What You Take Home With a Timbreblue Puppy.
We believe very strongly in doing all the genetic screening we can do. When we bring a puppy into the world, we feel we owe it every advantage we can give it, every opportunity for a happy life. All breeds have some genetic defects (as do mixed breeds) but some we can prevent or reduce through health and genetic screening of the parents. The two most common problems in whippets are heart defects (mostly mitral valve disease) and eye defects (mostly cataracts and vitreous degeneration). We test all dogs in our breeding program annually for heart defects and eye problems, and once for hearing. Though no one can promise your dog will never have a health problem resulting from heredity, we do guarantee against anything that will interfere with your dog's function as a pet. Details are in our contract, available on request.
-- So the first thing you get with a Timbreblue pup is an unconditional health and temperament guarantee.
-- You get lifetime breeder support. Whatever the problem, we're here and ready to help in any way we can. And we won't blame you for illnesses or accidents. We know you will do your best for your puppy. No one is perfect and sometimes stuff just happens. Give us a call and let us help! We're serious about this, if you need to call us at 11pm to ask if you need to take your dog to the vet, please do!
-- We also have a lifetime no-fault return policy. If at any time during your dog's life, you are unable or unwilling to keep him, he is always welcome back here. And we won't give you a hard time about it either. Life is messy and you never know what it is going to hand you. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your dog is to let go, and we will be here to welcome him home. We'll even give you a full refund in the first month and a declining amount as the dog is older, but you will always receive 20% of your purchase price. If you are unable to transport your dog back to us, we'll arrange it. We never want to see one of our pups end up in a shelter.
We stay in touch with all our puppy buyers through email and phone (the amount of contact is up to you -- we promise not to hang over your shoulder!) and most of them are on the Timbreblue Pups email list, a group restricted to owners of Timbreblue and Marnay dogs. (Marnay is Naydene and Mark Mitchell, who began their breeding program with one of our puppies.) Group members post to the list about the trials and joys of owning whippets and are wonderful about welcoming and helping new owners. You can always call us, but sometimes an "I've been there; here's what we did," is the most helpful! One member recently welcomed a new owner by writing,"We couldn't be more thankful for the friendship and advice this Timbreblue family has given us. I am not kidding when I say that we feel more love from the people in this group who we have never even met in person than some of our friends and family. It is the BEST group in the world you have found...but, you'll find that out soon enough." (Statements like that make it all worthwhile!) We also maintain a Facebook page and the Timbreblue Pupwatch list for anyone who is interested in our dogs.
-- You get a family whose members are there when you need help or just to share a story. We're on the Yahoo email list, many of us are on Facebook, and all of us are available by phone or email. You can get in touch with the owners of your puppy's siblings and compare notes. Our owners arrange playdates, swap dogsitting, and sometimes just get together for coffee or talk on the phone. The annual Timbreblue reunion is in Virginia in the fall and we spend a day letting our dogs get reacquainted with their relatives and enjoying a pot-luck lunch and good conversation.
-- On a more tangible level, you'll receive a puppy packet containing a baby sighthound martingale collar/lead, a collar with temporary ID, three or four toys and chewies, a blanket from home that smells like mom, and more. There's also a book on training, one on whippets, and our own handouts about housetraining, crate training, your puppy's first night home, tips for new dog owners, and general whippet information.
-- Paid AKC registration and framable pedigree
-- Microchip -- You'll register this with AKC Canine Animal Recovery or Homeagain.com in your own name in case your dog is ever lost.
-- Your puppy will go home at ten weeks and will have had his first two distemper/hepatitis/parvo (DHP) vaccinations. He'll take home a health certificate from his full exam by our vet at eight or nine weeks. We start the puppies on heartworm and flea preventative at eight weeks, and we send them home parasite free.
-- We provide extensive support and guidance to help you with crate training, house training, and avoiding carsickness. No puppy can be housebroken by ten weeks, but we'll have our guys accustomed to going outside and paper trained as well. We send you home with "how to" guides for training your puppy in these areas and you can call or email ANY questions you might have -- even the Timbreblue email list is a great resource, we have all been through it with our own pups!
-- Timbreblue puppies are well-socialized, healthy, and happy. We're proud of our breeding program and constantly strive to make it even better! There is nothing like the feeling of taking a litter of 8 week old puppies to our vet's office for their thorough exams, and having everyone remark on how healthy and confident they are. This happens time and time again and it makes us feel great!
If you're interested in reading more about how breeders price puppies, here is a good blog post
. It's by a Great Dane breeder and also includes the whys and wherefores
of rescue prices.