Assuming that you have read everything there is to know about Shih Tzus – their history, their temperament and their health, among others – and feel that this is the right breed for you, it’s time to consider the price before making a truly final decision. Cost factors into a lot of our decisions, and that should extend into buying cute furry companions. So to cut to the chase, a puppy would range around $500 to $900 while it could go as high as $1,500. But why are the prices different? The short answer is that it depends on a number of factors.
Why is there an importance put on price?
You might be thinking that paying for a pure bred will cost you lots of money. You are not wrong in that assumption, but there is a difference between paying for value and getting duped. It’s so easy to sell a pure breed for a high cost but do you as a buyer know the origins of the puppy? You might be sold a puppy at a high price but not know that it came from an unhealthy line. This is why it’s important to consider the price you were given and where the puppy was sold. Is it from a trusted breeder? You have to ask these questions before committing, otherwise you might get stuck with a dog that looks flawless as of purchase but reveal its flaws down the road.
Factors that determine price
These are some of the factors that decide the price of a Shih Tzu puppy:
- AKC Registry. Two of the most known registries are the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Continental Kennel Club (CKC). That said, there is a stark difference between the two. The AKC is stricter when it comes to registering breeds; they also require breeders to follow set guidelines. The CKC, on the other hand, is more lenient in its requirements. There are reasons the AKC is strict and that primarily boils down to ensuring the bloodline is preserved, maintained and improved. From all this, you can guess that AKC breeds are a lot more expensive than their CKC counterparts.
- Breeding program costs. Having two dogs mate to produce a litter is not the aim of a breeding program. Breeding involves money – lots of it. Breeders want to make sure the litter is comprised not just of high-quality puppies but healthy ones too. Just getting a male and female with a good bloodline will cost a breeder thousands On top of that, they have maintenance to consider in the form of high-quality food, visits to the vet and grooming supplies – just to name a few.
- Show quality dogs. There are dogs specifically bred for show. These four-legged creatures are expensive for a reason: they must meet set standards. In other words, the dog needs to be perfect. Out of a litter, only a few will meet this standard so you must be wary of breeders who claim all the pups in their litter are show quality. And of course, if you want to save on costs, it’s best to stick to the puppies that are not meant for show.
So how can you pay for value? Look for small, experienced home-breeders who price their puppies around $400 and up. And more importantly: don’t be ashamed to ask questions about the heritage of the pup.