No Hamiltonstovare at Westminster

Hamiltonstovare aren’t eligible to compete at Westminster, plain and simple. The reasons why are a bit more complex. The main reason is that Hamiltonstovare aren’t fully recognized by the American Kennel Club. The road to full recognition is a numbers game, the first stage is Foundation Stock Service which is where the Hamiltonstovare are. After there are over 150 Hamiltonstovare registered with the Foundation Stock Service then the Hamiltonstovare Club of America can petition to the AKC to progress to the Miscellaneous class. After over 450 Hamiltonstovare are registered with the Foundation Stock Service and the Hamiltonstovare Club of America writes an approved breed standard in the AKC format, then the Hamiltonstovare Club of America can petition to move to fully recognized. So if you own a Hamiltonstovare, please register it with the AKC as each and every dog even in other countries helps.  

Now the Westminster Kennel Club could host an AKC Open Show which would allow all FSS and Miscellaneous breeds to compete. I have requested this multiple times as it would be an instant boost to all rare breeds struggling for full AKC recognition. The Westminster Kennel Club never responded to my multiple requests, ever. The Westminster Kennel Club does host Meet the Breeds where Hamiltonstovare can participate but logistically, it is incredibly difficult to attend for just one day and not get even a chance to compete and it is very discouraging to the general public who ask over and over at the booth to see the breed compete and we have to constantly say that we can’t.  

Hamiltonstovare are eligible to compete in the agility competition and as of 2018, the Junior Showmanship competition. Hopefully FSS breeds will be able to compete and hopefully the breed will advance because it is my goal to compete on the green carpet with a Hamiltonstovare.  

It is your choice

Recently, the animal rights movement has gained momentum in placing guilt over how people obtain their next pet. Obtaining a pet should be a choice made on research and determining what is best for you. Most dogs and cats will be expected to live at least a decade and require veterinary care to keep them in happy and healthy. Purchasing a pet should never be done in an impulse buy.

Currently there is a smear campaign saying “Adopt don't shop” sure it is catchy but the real phrase should be “Adopting is still shopping.” The phrase is supposed to place guilt on buying an animal from a breeder. However, that campaign is doing absolutely nothing to educate the public regarding responsible pet ownership and thrives on impulse buys which will require people to make choices that they are not able to follow through on once their animal is home. The phrase originally was a way to tell people to avoid purchasing animals at pet shops and therefore supporting puppy mills and commercial breeding operations.

Would it surprise anybody that is it is becoming rarer and rarer to find purebred puppies from commercial breeders in pet stores? Instead it is commonplace to find dogs and cats from privately owned rescues available for immediate purchase at every single big box pet supply store such as Petsmart and Petco. Is it better to buy a dog as an impulse buy from a private rescue that has absolutely no government inspection requirements in some places as they have been purposely exempted from basic animal care laws? I say that it isn't, those animals are no healthier or better than puppies sold at a flea market. It is actually better to buy a dog from a commercial breeder because those breeders and brokers have to follow federal laws, inspections and even must follow state lemon laws. Buying a dog from a private rescue means that you could be fueling illegal dog trafficking and importing across state lines and even into the country. Private rescues in many cases are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations but all that means is that they must not show a profit so they can make a LOT of money on animal sales as long as they do not have an operating profit for 3 out of 5 years then they are fine. Private animal rescues can even pay their staff salaries that in some cases are six figures a year.

If a person buys a sick dog from a rescue where the rescue knew that the dog was sick puts 100% of the responsibility on the new owner. If a person buys a sick dog from any breeder where the dog was already sick, in many cases 100% of the responsibility is on the breeder. Buying from a breeder means that the new owner is protected from adopting a dog with communicable diseases, buying from a rescue means that the rescue can sell dogs for hundreds of dollars with absolutely no oversight at all. Also, some rescues will follow this model, adopt out a dog as fast as possible, hope for it to be returned as often as possible and continue to collect multiple adoption fees for the same animal. So some rescues can easily make thousands on just 10 dogs or less.

Rescues can and will import dogs from various locations to tug at the heartstrings of the general public. In actuality, these rescues may be stealing dogs that have owners and profiting on dog theft. Rescues hope and pray for natural disasters so that they can benefit on people not being able to have the resources to find their animals if they are lost. Recently, some Golden Retrievers have been imported from Turkey at a staggering rate but a watch group found out that the majority of those dogs imported were actually stolen dogs or dogs reported missing. Another case is the case of Piper the champion sheltie that a rescue held hostage for a year while the legal owner fought to get their dog back after the rescue illegally and knowingly stole the dog.

A new report done by the NAIA showed that 85%+ of all dogs in America have been spayed or neutered. That fact alone means that we are at an all time low for dogs being euthanized. The more disturbing side of that fact means that there are less than 15% to maintain the growing demand that Americans have for puppies. We are looking at a massive dog shortage in the next 5 to 10 years, many urban locations are already seeing that shortage. With this shortage means that rescues are becoming more desperate to find dogs to adopt, some rescues are even using dogs that come from commercial breeders to adopt out, they are patrolling lower income neighborhoods and liberating or harassing people who have different views on animal care to get new dogs to adopt, they are even trying to contract with substandard people/breeders to breed puppies to adopt. Many rescues are exempt from lemon laws so they just want dogs to adopt as fast as possible. Rescues are getting in more and more trouble for adopting out animals with behavioral issues where they will bite, attack and sometimes kill their new owners. Rescues need the same oversight as breeders.

Buying from a responsible breeder means that you are getting a valuable source of expert advice, a healthy puppy, and the comfort in knowing how your puppy will be as an adult. Some responsible breeders will also rescue (I list available rescue Hamiltonstovare on my site and we have fostered before), breeders will also have the knowledge of generations of dogs to explain why a puppy looks the way it does. I can look at Raven, Selene, Griffin and Henry and see elements of their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and beyond. Responsible breeders will make sure that you are obtaining the right animal for your needs and at the right time. Some people will say that it is impossible to obtain a dog from a responsible breeder or to contact one, but the key is email us detailed and thoughtful emails that show you have done research. I get LOTS of emails that say “I want one, when can I pick one up?” My waiting list is full of people who I have built up a relationship with, know what they want out of their next puppy and know when they are ready for their next puppy. Responsible breeders do not cater to impulse buys, they cater to people who have done their research on which breed is right for them and why. Responsible breeders support responsible pet ownership, responsible pet ownership does not cause animals to end up in shelters, impulse buys and catering to the irresponsible does.

Do your research, find the dog for you that fits you as it is your choice. Buy an animal that you know will suit your needs, no guilt trip needed.  

Why do my puppies cost so much?

The biggest issue that I get with people is why my puppies cost so much. I understand that people must think with their wallets a lot of the time but in terms of buying from a responsible breeder expect to pay at least $1,000 for a puppy regardless of quality or breed. Hamiltonstovare generally fall into 2 categories, one is imported and the other is native born. The imported Hamiltonstovare will ALWAYS cost more than the native born. A breeder in the UK or Sweden may charge between $1,000 to $2,000 for a puppy but that does not include the cost to get the dog to the states. Currently the average cost to bring a 14 week old (the youngest that they can legally travel) Hamiltonstovare is around $1,200 and the price goes up exponentially as the dog gets older. So if you want to budget for a 4-6 month old Hamiltonstovare to be brought over, plan on spending close to $5,000 with all of the various costs from the breeder, the shipping agency, the vet fees, microchip, flight crate (which will be different than their home crate), and any other thing you can think of.

This blog will focus on what and why native born Hamiltonstovare puppies that are AKC and UKC registered will always cost between $2,000 and $3,000 per puppy. My next litter will be $3,000 a puppy and the reason behind it is complex. The first thing that I must factor in the cost for AI (Artificial Insemination) is high, at the low estimates for shipping from Sweden and the insemination process is around $3,000. I am planning on doing a c-section for Alice as she needed an emergency c-section with her last litter and that is around $1,500 including the ultrasounds and x-rays leading up to the c-section. So already prior to the puppies being born the cost is close to $5,000. Thankfully, I already have a good whelping box and liner, however I am planning on implementing a few new changes to the whelping area that will cost about $100 to do.

The rough estimates to keep a litter of 4-5 puppies alive is around $100 a week. I keep my puppies for a minimum of 10 weeks so that they can have the maximum amount of socialization and human interaction possible. So that is $1,000 just to keep the puppies and the mother alive. That does not include any vaccinations, socialization trips, puppy evaluations, toys, etc.

According to my calculations to keep a litter of 4-5 puppies alive, socialized, with proper vet care from conception to new homes is close to $8,000. This again is not factoring in for the amount of money and time I spend on showing the mother to the level that she is at, nor does it factor in any health testing done on either parent. The sire of the litter has also been shown extensively in Europe, so that is not factored in at all. Also, a stud fee has not been factored in either as customarily it is either a fee or a puppy. So, lets put things into perspective, I am planning on keeping a puppy, the stud owner gets a puppy and there's only 2-3 puppies left to sell. With me charging $3,000 a puppy, that's a net loss of $2,000 for a litter of 4 and a possible slight profit of $1,000 for a litter of 5.

If I were to factor in things like cost of showing, import of the mother, care and maintenance of the mother then for a litter of 5, I'd be at a loss of over $5,000 at a conservative estimated minimum. The idea or concept that breeders make money with their puppies is just not true. If I wanted to make money from my puppy sales then I'd have to charge close to $6,000 a puppy at minimum and that just isn't fair. I do not believe in charging the same as horse for a dog. I also do not price differentiate between males, females or for quality. It costs the same amount of money to raise each puppy regardless of gender or quality. I do have various levels of contracts though that will stipulate how that puppy is to be raised and just because I charge $3,000, that does not mean that you can breed the dog at all or to anything. My pet quality contracts stipulate a spay/neuter to be done on the dog after the growth plates have closed by a licensed vet for males and after the first heat cycle and close of growth plates for females. My breeding/show/performance quality contracts strictly forbid spay/neuter unless it is medically necessary (ie pyometra, testicular torsion, cancer, etc.) however that decision must be made by a licensed veterinarian and I must be informed of the procedure by the owner with vet records proving the medical need for it. My breeding/show/performance quality contracts also stipulate that any breeding must be consulted by me prior to any breeding or agreements being made of any kind. I want to make sure that my line of Hamiltonstovare is known for being the very best and I want to ensure that going forward. I take these items very seriously and place financial penalties on these items on my contracts.

I understand that spending a lot of money up front for a puppy can be difficult but the school of thought at play here is that spending $3,000 up front now will actually save you money throughout the span of the dog's life. All of my puppies come with a 1 year health guarantee against any congenital issues, so throughout the first year of life all you have to pay for is the puppy price, well puppy vet costs and basic care/training.

I am going to explain next why it is so important to be willing to spend the money up front because if you don't, you could easily spend 10 times that if you are not careful. At the same time that I got Alice, a relative of mine got a backyard bred Golden Retriever who was already 18 months old. This dog did not come from health tested parents nor did it come from parents with any titles at all. This dog was also spayed way too young. As a result, this dog had to have multiple expensive surgeries, and unfortunately had to be put down due to an aggressive and preventable genetic disease. Her owners spent over $30,000 in the dog's lifetime in medical bills alone. To put that into perspective I have spent less than $10,000 in the lifetime of 6 dogs for medical bills spanning the same amount of time. This person had consulted with me prior to obtaining the dog and I advised them to go to a responsible breeder but they refused to pay the puppy price. So instead of paying $2,000 for a well bred puppy, they spent over $30,000 on a poorly bred dog only to have the dog live less than the breed's average lifespan.

So $3,000 for a healthy puppy or a lifetime of vet and/or training bills that will total far in excess of what any responsible breeder would ever charge? You decide.