Most dog owners have opted to adopt a dog from a shelter over buying the more expensive AKC dog. The number one reason is the start up cost. The starting price for puppies who are registered with the AKC begin at $300.00 and go up into the thousands of dollars. A puppy at the shelter may cost you $200.00 and that includes his shots and the neutering/spaying fee.
The second consideration when buying a puppy is the cost of liability insurance. This insurance policy protects you if your dog bites somebody. The American Kennel Club has a list of breeds that are considered to be high risk and the owner must pay more insurance to be covered in case of injuries. Most guard dogs are on the high risk list.
The third thing to think about is pet health care insurance costs. You will pay high premiums on health care insurance depending on the breed of your puppy. Certain breeds have high incidence of genetic disorder making it almost impossible to find a pet health care company that will even insure your puppy.
For example, many companies will not insure the English Cock Spaniel who is under two years old because this breed is prone to kidney problems. The English Cocker Spaniel may develop a condition called Familial Nephropathy. The kidneys can start shutting down from the age of six months to two years old and is usually fatal. There is no test to predetermine if a puppy will suffer from Familial Nephropathy.
There are some breeds of large dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder that affects hip joints. Hip dysplasia usually happens to breeds that have difficulty bringing their hind legs up underneath their bodies when they walk or run.
Several breeds that suffer with this disorder are: the American Staffordshire Terrier, Great Dane, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Caucasian Mountain Dog.
There is a test that can be run to confirm that a puppy will not suffer from hip dysplasia and the owner must have this test done before a pet health care insurance company will insure him.
Bulldogs may have breathing problems because their facial structure is flat with smashed nostrils. Bulldogs are also prone to sleep apnea, heat stroke, cherry eye, birthing problems, cataracts, and hip problems.
Great Danes have genetics disorders involving congenital heart problems, staph infections, and yeast infections. If a Great Dane is mostly white it is highly likely to become deaf and maybe even blind.
Pet health care insurance companies have the same restrictions for pets as health care companies have for humans. It is almost impossible to find health care coverage for certain breeds. The companies that will insure charge very high premiums. If you are in the market for a puppy to add to your family as a pet, a puppy from the nearest shelter may be a better economical choice.