Importing a dog from Europe – part 2. How much does a Doberman puppy cost in Europe?
Read previous post about importing a dog from Europe: part 1 – how to find a breeder in Europe.
Cheap Doberman puppies often end up being expensive dogs. Out of all the dogs I had in my life – dobermans were the most “high maintenance” health wise. Make sure you buy a puppy from a reputable and health conscious breeder.
Overall the cost of dogs is cheaper and the quality of dogs are higher in Europe than in the US. “Cheaper” I mean for an american buyer comparing to american prices. “Quality” I mean that the breeds are more true to the initial breed purpose than those in the US. (Read article “American vs European Doberman“). What it means is that in Europe they breed for original breed qualities. Breeding in the US is consumer driven. They just try to make every breed available for everyone, which is not true for many original breeds. Think about “why Labradors are the most popular dogs in the US”? Because they are easy and manageable by any person. So what you gotta do if you breed Dobermans?
Another issue is a genetic pool. The dog owners community is much larger in Europe. People are more serious and responsible about owning a dog, than in the US. Dogs are expensive for Europeans and a good dog sometimes takes years to save money for. There are also more activities, shows, competitions, training available for any breed. If you go to a breed specific show in Europe you are likely to see hundreds of dogs. While in the US – you are lucky if there are 15 dogs signed up for a breed specific dog show. Parents of my dogs were Best of Breed out of a hundred or so dogs in conformation show in Europe. Can you imagine the competition? When I was showing my doberman in the US – he was the only one in his class.
Doberman puppy cost comparison is as follows (from cheap to expensive): European breeders of European dogs, American breeders of American dogs, American breeders of European dogs. American doberman puppies cost between $1500 up to $2500 (and we only discuss prices from reputable breeders here). The lowest cost is for “pet puppy”. Such puppy will be fixed (spayed/neutered) and has a certificate of breeding. The show quality puppy is the most expensive; the puppy will be intact, has a proper pedigree, but the dog will be co-owned with the breeder. These rules were a bit weird to me at first, but the more I got involved in dog community the more it made sense to me. Also, what was weird that you get show quality puppy in the same litter as “not suitable for show” puppies. How is that possible? Anyhow. I knew enough about the differences between American vs European dobermans at that point to move on.
The cost of European lines doberman puppies in America is ridiculous. I found one website that was offering the pups for over $4500. The average price for European dobermans bred in America was starting $3000 and up. So it was only logical to look in Europe.
Puppies from Russia and Ukraine were the cheapest – 500-1000 Euro. Poland and Ireland (I’ve also heard Holland) are about 1100 Euros (in 2014). My pups were 1100 Euros each plus 100Euros/month for looking after a puppy for an extra month (until I could come pick him up).
To sum it up: if you are an experienced dog owner, understand consequences of the original Doberman breed very well, and have time to keep up with a European Doberman – it makes sense to buy in Europe.