most common questions I get from people interested in buying a puppy are:
"Tell me about your dogs," and "How much
do they cost ?"
Tell me about your dogs !
Thanks for asking! You'll learn a lot by taking the time to read this and
entire Hollytree website.
As a Dalmatian puppy breeder, I strive to produce sound, healthy, and beautiful
Dalmatian puppies. Temperament is very important to me. Dalmatians are affectionate,
happy, and athletic dogs.
A well-bred Dalmatian is active, not hyper. While they love to play, expect
a Dalmatian to follow you from room to room and when you stop, to lie at
your feet or want to cozy up with you. They are "people dogs."
A well-bred Dalmatian is intelligent and loves to please..... but be prepared
for some fun antics! They are clowns at heart!
TO BREED - - GENERAL INFORMATION
I would like to tell you what goes into the making of a sire and dam and
therefore the litter of puppies. It may appear a reputable breeder is making
good money in the sale of a puppy until one realizes the work, time, and
money that went INTO the making of a litter of puppies.
The breeder is the owner of the dam, or the mother of the litter. The dam
"whelps" or delivers the litter. The breeder assists with the
whelping, raises, does the veterinary care, and socializes the puppies.
The owner selects which sire, or father of the litter. The owner of the
sire wants the best for the puppies as offspring can prove his worth as
Reputable Dalmatian breeders do not breed for the purposes of sale and
Breeders many times keep a puppy out of the litter they produced to show
and further their bloodlines.....so they are wanting the best! They have
specific goals in mind, the priority of which is the producing of well-bred,
beautiful, and healthy puppies that are placed in ideal homes. It does not
end there. A reputable breeder will be your advisor for the dog's entire
A breeder may have raised the sire and/or dam of the litter. Sometimes
the dog may have been bought from another breeder to introduce a bloodline
into their program. In any case, the dog was raised from puppyhood and more
than likely shown.
A PUPPY TO ADULTHOOD
Raising a pet puppy or a show/performance puppy is the same for everyone:
a safe place with protection from weather extremes, good food, good health,
and veterinary care. Your breeder will recommend a quality dog food appropriate
for the breed. You will need a fence, a crate, a dog bed, and grooming equipment
such as a couple of brushes, tearless shampoo, a toenail clipper or grinder,
tooth scaler, and an ear cleaner. You'll need stainless bowls a puppy can't
chew on, first aide items, a collar, a lead, and perhaps a dog coat. Hey!
Don't forget toys, too!
Raising a puppy to adulthood on all of the above can cost over $1,000 in
the first year. If an owner does not have proper equipment and supplies,
this total can jump to $2,000. Dogs are raised to approximately 12 to 24
months before being determined if of good enough quality to be bred.
A show or performance dog should not be bred until it is over 18 months
and preferably 24 months at which time the hips can be x-rayed and entered
into the health clearance data banks. Before that time, preliminary x-rays
can be taken, but these will not be entered into records.
Determining whether or not a dog should be bred involves a lot. The pedigree
for starters. A serious breeder studies the pedigrees of many dogs and considers
each ancestor as well as the littermates of the parents and grandparents.
The vast majority of the dogs in the Hollytree Dalmatian pedigrees are
American Kennel Club champions. Several have obedience or performance titles.
The initials in front or behind a dog's name represents titles. For instance,
Ch or CH in front of a name means Champion and the
initials CD after a name is an obedience title, meaning Companion Dog. Ttere
are many initials for many titles!
Each breeding is planned with great care. If possible, the offspring of
the sire and dam from different breedings are evaluated. The combination
of ancestors is carefully evaluated with the goal of improving the next
In order to prove the worth of a future sire and dam, the dog should be
strictly evaluated and more than likely be shown. Good physical conformation,
correct movement, and temperament is essential. Many show breeders will
have others help them evaluate a puppy or dog according to the Dalmatian
IN CONFORMATION AND/OR PERFORMANCE
The costs of raising, conditioning, training, entries, travel, and campaigning
a dog are not cheap. Training fees may occur. Factors include: the right
vehicle, crates and dog pads, grooming aides, shampoo, brushes, toenail
grinder, show leads, show clothes, and gas and hotels. Dalmatian owners
are lucky as grooming is minimal compared to the dogs with long or full
Most entry fees are $22 to $28 per dog per day. Many owner learn to show
their own dogs and love doing it. If they can't, the breeder, the stud owner,
or a local breeder may be interested in showing your dog for a reasonable
fee. A professional handler may be necessary in order to get the dog to
the shows and to be shown. Shows are in different cities each weekend and
A show dog's championship title can easily cost $3,000 to $5,000. A dog
that is campaigned can cost as much as the owner wants to spend - - $15,000
to $35,000 in a year.
An obedience or other performance title could cost more or cost less since
the dog is required to pass the test a certain number of times. For instance,
in obedience, a Companion Dog title, called a C.D., could be earned in 3
trials, but the Utility Dog Excellent or U.D.X., takes 10 trials and the
dog must pass BOTH the Open and Utility classes in order to earn a 'leg.'
A lot of time, effort, patience, training, and love go into training a dog
toward the performance titles. It would be rare for a performance dog not
to go to many training classes. There is almost a limitless number of titles
to be earned in performance.
An example of one performance title would be 3 trials and the dog earns
the 3 necessary "legs" for a CD. If entry fees are $25, and if
the dog passes all 3 trials, total is $75. Travel expenses, gas, food, parking,
overnight hotel or travel vehicle is the bare minimum.
It's hard to estimate, but a CD title could cost $400 to $600. A title
requiring more trials or more distance to travel to could add to that cost.
One lady estimated over $3,000 for a particular performance title.
While scrutinizing all of these prices, remember the FUN !
Factoring in the fun, training your dog, meeting new people, having a good
time while traveling, and the pride of putting titles on your dog does help
make up for the bills. Being involved in dog events is awesome!
So, perhaps now the dogs being considered for breeding have a good pedigree
and titles or at least have titles in the parents and grandparents and so
on. What about HEALTH ?
The owner and a veterinarian can observe and assess that the dog is clear
of certain health problems. However, other health problems must be diagnosed.
Usually specific health tests are recommended by the breed club as different
breeds tend to have different problems. See the Dalmatian Club of America
website for information on Dals.
As a dog matures, health clearances appropriate for the age and breed are
The first test a Dalmatian puppy will get is the Brain Auditory Evoked
Response or BAER test. This will determine if a puppy is deaf, can hear
in one ear but not the other (unilateral), or can hear in both ears (bilateral).
A reputable Dalmatian breeder will give a puppy's BAER hearing result to
each new owner.
Other tests may be performed on older puppies and dogs and include such
exams of the hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, and heart. There are other tests
for different breeds.
Different breeds are concerned with different health problems. Some problems
cannot be tested for or may occur later on; seizures or epilepsy is an example
Health clearances are also found on many pedigrees. These are usually listed
under a name; just because a test is not listed, does not mean the dog was
not tested; the information may be missing. While you may not understand
what each one is, ask the breeder. Also, many of the terms can be found
under Hollytree Dalmatians' RESOURCE
and RAISING A LITTER: LET'S TALK COSTS
The dam of the litter must be in optimal health. Vaccinations must be appropriate.
I always worm my girls as soon as I see signs of impending heat prior to
being bred. A brucellosis test must be drawn; this is $60.. A vaginal cytology,
$20, progesterone testing, if needed are $35 each.
There is the expense of getting the dam to the sire. It may be a 100 miles
or it may be 1,000 miles, so travel expenses really can't be estimated.
It is customary for the dam to be flown/shipped to the stud dog.
Sometimes fresh or frozen semen is used and the cost of shipping this in
its special container could run close to $200.
Several progesterone tests may be needed to determine ovulation. Having
a veterinarian inseminate ($85 - $125 for each breeding) or do a surgical
implant ($300 - $400) are possible expenses.
Just getting the dam bred could cost $250 to $2,000.
The sire has a 'stud fee.' There is a stud fee contract. It is not unusual
for a stud fee to cost the price of one puppy or an actual puppy.
An average stud fee is $500 to $1,000.
Where to raise the litter is important. A place must be readied for the
arrival of the newborn puppies. This must be a very warm environment. Puppies
do not shiver when they are born. Getting colostrum milk from the mother
is imperative in the first 15 hours. If something were to happen to the
mother and a human does not intervene, the puppies will die quickly. Breeders
use a "whelping box."
The breeder takes Mom and babies in for a health check after they are born.
Hollytree Moms always get a x-ray to make sure all puppies have been delivered.
At about 2 - 3 days of age, dewclaws are removed. At intervals starting
at 2 weeks, puppies will be wormed with different worm medications. Each
week the puppies are photographed. Each day, the whelping box is cleaned
several times and fresh pads and towels are laid. There's lots of laundry!
As the litter grows, a larger area must be used. Toys and objects to explore
are added into the Puppy's World. By the time the puppies are walking, the
beginnings of housebreaking starts. At 8 weeks, the puppies will get their
A whelping box, a heated environment, clean towels, blankets or sherpa
pads can cost a breeder between $200 to $500.
Follow up veterinary care with abdominal x-ray, oxytocin injection, dew
claws, and health check, $140 to $160.
Wormings and vaccinations of a puppy up to 8 weeks of age average $50 each
Toys and treats average $20 - $40.
Once the pups are over 6 weeks, they travel to have their BAER hearing
test. For Hollytree puppies, this means a trip of 3-1/2 hours one way in
a large van. Lots of paperwork is filled out. It's a long day! The BAER
hearing test is $35 a puppy.
If the puppies have not been microchipped, they are the day of the test
to positively identify them with their test. Each microchip is about $25.
Health certificates may be needed for intra-state travel or flying. $20
MUCH DOES A QUALITY PUPPY COST ?
Now that you know the difference between a reputable breeder and a backyard
breeder or puppy farm, let's sum up a quality Dalmatian puppy:
A quality Dalmatian puppy has value because of its champion and performance
ancestry, the temperament and health clearances in the ancestry, the contract
guarantee, the way it was raised, the BAER hearing test, the microchipping,
the veterinary care, the good quality dog food, the cleanliness in which
is was raised, the socialization it received, and the potential in the show
or performance events. You have a contract guaranteeing the puppy from genetic
You also have a Dalmatian advisor for the life of the dog. You know everything
to be known about your Dalmatian puppy. MOST of all, you have the love and
affection of a beautiful and loyal pet.
Performance or Pet Puppy: $1,000. ($300 Deposit)
Show Puppy: $1200 - $1,500 ($500 Deposit)
Co-Owned Show Puppy: $1,000 ($400 Deposit)
Older Puppies and Adult Dogs: $500 to $1,500 depending upon show potential,
show points, and breeding potential.
Rescue Dalmatians: $250 to $400, depending upon veterinarian fees.
Payment is due before taking your puppy home.
Anyone out of state must agree to a "home check" by an agreed
upon dog fancier. I do not like to fly dogs, but this depends upon the circumstance
and if the new owner will be flying with the puppy or dog.
Buyer is responsible for any costs involved in transporting, flying/shipping
of a puppy/dog including shipping costs involved if the puppy/dog is returned
for ANY reason.
This includes show puppies that are unacceptable to the buyer for any reason.
This includes but is not limited to air charges and crates. Normal veterinary
charges will be paid by the seller.
As a general rule I will be the one choosing the best puppy to suit an
individual buyer's needs and requests.
Puppies are individuals. I temperament test the puppies and watch their
attitude and degree of activity every day. I know my puppies well. I may
be able to give you a choice of puppies and will describe each puppy's temperament.
will have plenty of photographs as well!
It is important for you to know what you want to do with your Dalmatian
puppy when it grows up. Discuss this with any Dalmatian breeder so they
can help you select an individual puppy that suits your lifestyle.
A SHOW quality Dalmatian puppy is a wonderful companion that should be
shown in conformation shows for championship points and any performance
events the owner enjoys. A show contract is signed by the owner. A show
quality Dalmatian is also considered 'breeder quality.' The World's the
A PERFORMANCE or PET quality Dalmatian puppy can be just a wonderful companion
or be shown in performance events such as obedience, rally, agility, tracking,
road trials with horses, and fly ball. There's no limit to the fun! A performance
or pet quality Dalmatian will have a spay/neuter contract.
* Please see my contracts listed on the Puppy
Show puppies are chosen first and their placement ALWAYS takes priority.
Performance puppies are next.
Show and performance puppies are only placed in homes where they are sure
to be show. In small litters it is possible that all of the puppies are
potential show prospects and no pet puppies will be available.
HOLLYTREE PUPPY !
The puppies will have started with housebreaking and crate training. New
puppy owners are provided with an extensive puppy packet which includes
the veterinary records, a copy of my contract, BAER health clearance, pictures,
pedigrees, puppy booklet, collar, a blanket from 'home,' and more.
Puppies will go home between 7 - 10 weeks depending on when I am able to
determine which puppies are potential show dogs and if the pups are mature
enough to go home.
Every effort is made to insure each puppy will be destined for a long,
happy and healthy life. Many Dalmatians live to be 14 to 15 years of age
You will spend lots of happy hours training and socializing your Dalmatian
All puppies need manners and obedience training. The first years of training
very important to create a family member with manners. I highly recommend
at least one obedience class beyond any "Puppy Class." This will
give at least 2 classes of socialization and basic training. The more, the
Several owners go on to put show and performance titles on their Dalmatians.
I am proud of each and every one!