•                                                      COST OF A SWISSY

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

This is my least favorite question, but because it's often an uncomfortable question for many potential puppy buyers to ask, I believe it's worth addressing some of these concerns up front.

I often wonder whether someone should own a large breed dog like a Swissy if the cost of buying/adopting a puppy is a major factor in the purchase decision.  Simply put, the price of the puppy is a small drop in the bucket compared to the cost of taking care of that dog over the course of its life.  

I've seen Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies advertised on the internet for $1000, and I know of breeders charging $3000 and upwards.  Personally, I would have reservations about both ends of that spectrum. REPUTABLE breeders typically charge somewhere between $2000 and $2500 for a puppy. Those who are charging less may be "fire selling" puppies because they cannot find homes (ask yourself why they can't?)   And those who charge more may just be taking advantage of people who are desperate to get a puppy NOW when the supply of puppies may be limited.  But I assure you, if you exercise patience, you will be able to find a puppy from a reputable breeder without being gouged.

All Swiss Run Swissy puppies, whether pet or show, fall within that "typical" price range of $2400.  I do not charge more for show potential puppies, because I value all my dogs equally, as pets first and foremost and hope that their owners will do the same.  Also, a show potential puppy is just that -- a puppy who shows the best potential from a conformation standpoint.  Likewise, I would never charge more for a puppy who shows superior potential for the obedience ring, or a puppy who I know would make the best pet/companion ever?  Owners of Swiss Run Swissy puppies can also receive incentives obtaining a CGC title, any AKC title, and earning a championship.

Once again, I caution that if the purchase price is a major concern, you will want to spend a lot more time researching the costs of actually OWNING a Swissy.  This is a breed that often does not do well on lower-cost foods so be prepared  to spend around $50-70 a month on a good quality food (my dogs eat Purina ProPlan Preformance).   Talk to your vet about their costs for the various orthopedic surgeries that an unlucky Swissy may face.  That could be anything from surgery for an OCD flap in a shoulder, a torn ACL or even more extreme, a total hip replacement.  Bloat and spleen surgery is very expensive as well, and the prognosis for a complete recovery can be iffy.  You need to know in advance that you're prepared to do whatever it takes to care for your Swissy so you'll be able to react appropriately in an emergency situation.  

Swissies are not only prone to large breed maladies such as those I've mentioned above, but also more chronic conditions which may need continuous care for the life of your dog.  Urinary incontinence is one such example (mostly in females) of a condition that usually can be treated with drugs.  Epilepsy is an even more serious disease, for certain, as it not only requires lifelong medication, but also regular vet visits (for blood tests to check liver function, etc.) and potentially emergency vet visits when an epileptic Swissy starts experiencing cluster seizures or a state of persistent seizing .

While many Swissys go through life never requiring more than just maintenance veterinary care, there is no way to guarantee that your puppy will be one of the lucky ones.  You can and should do as much as possible to stack the odds in your favor, by carefully screening a breeder about the health of their dogs and particularly the dogs in the pedigree of your puppy.  Still, because these are living, breathing creatures and not machines, there is no way to guarantee anything when it comes to the health of a dog.  And even if your puppy is lucky enough to win the genetic lottery, accidents can happen...and large dogs are just more expensive, as a rule, to treat for many injuries.  





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