My First Bird Dog - Rationalizing the Sticker Shock

After being stuck between two litters, I just received word the one I ultimately selected entered the world over the weekend and everyone is happy and healthy (well, I assume they’re happy). I’ll be picking up a female puppy and introducing it to you around Christmas time (anticipate the ubiquitous puppy in bow under the tree photo).
While I’d like to coast through the next two months, there is business to tend to. The business end of a bird dog may be its nose, but the business end of getting that dog is your hand as you hand over your hard earned cash. Anyone purchasing a bird dog these days can easily expect to pay high three or even well into four figures. That’s a lot of puppy chow before the puppy chow!
I’m finding it rather helpful to liken the purchase of a bird dog to that of an automobile, an association I had ample time to correlate a couple weeks ago as I sat on the side of the road in my broken down truck waiting for a ride, a tow and a hefty repair bill: Like any vehicle, the care and lifetime maintenance of a dog – food, veterinary care, gear, general “spoiling” of your new family member – will far outweigh the initial sticker price and subsequent shock. One recent estimate from a pet insurance company estimates the lifetime cost of owning a dog today is approximately $17,000. An average puppy purchase price equates to just four to six percent of that cost.
We don’t have to like the sticker prices, but this is a way to put things into perspective. As for my truck, it’s fixed, my bank account has dwindled, and I’m ready to roll and pick up my first bird dog in seven or eight weeks.
Previous “My First Bird Dog” posts:
Introducing “My First Bird Dog”
What I’m Looking For
Gun Dog Experts’ #1 Piece of Advice
Just Show Me the DOGFAX
Why Attend a Hunt Test or Field Trial?
What Was Your First Bird Dog?
Stuck Between Two Litters
Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauck.