The cost of breeding
The above list of costs are just the costs associated with breeding, whelping and raising a litter. What isn't included is all of the costs to title, train and test the breeding dogs we use in our program. On average entry fees, gas money, handlers for shows and training can be anywhere from $2000 - $20,000 per dog per year. The higher price is is what we would easily spend to "campaign" a show dog. Dogs like Jack and Charm are 2 dogs we've campaigned.
We do not win money showing dogs. We also do not win money in protection or performance trials. The whole reason for competing in any trials is because I want our dogs judged by an expert judge with an unbiased opinion. These judges, essentially are looking at our dogs against others of their own breed and then award points toward a title. In performance trials, our training and the trainability as well as nerve, grip and sociability are judged and awarded a title.
For a Buyer, who is looking at what breeder to buy a puppy from, titles mean that a breeder's dogs have been evaluated by an unbiased judge. Its a stamp of approval in a way. We only compete in American Kennel Club events for conformation. For Performance we compete in American Kennel Club Obedience, Agility and Rally trials. For Protection Sport we compete in Schutzhund and Ring Sport. ALL of these types of competitions have been around for a very long time. With a very long and prestigious history. The titles from these organizations can be a challenge to achieve. For AKC Conformation, other dogs of the same breed MUST be present in order for you to accumulate enough points for a Championship. In other venues, you only need to show up once and have a judge deem your dog a "champion." No other competition needs to present. While these venues aren't a bad thing, especially for breeds that are extremely rare, to us, its not enough. Competing in AKC conformation is the most prestigious conformation competition in the world and as an AKC judge, I love it. For the performance sports, there are strict criteria and specialized behaviors that a dog must exhibit in order to pass a trial and receive a title.
So in doing all of these activities with our dogs, it only makes for better offspring. Puppy buyers may not think they "need" a dog from titled parents. After all, you just want a great companion. Having parents who have proven themselves to be stable, confident and conformationally correct will only make the most wonderful companion. We never "expect" or push our puppy owners to compete. We truly just want our pups to have loving wonderful and appropriate homes. If an owner is interested in competing, we are happy and excited to mentor our puppy owners.