The question is often asked, “Why aren’t young people involved in showing dogs?” While the answer is not just black and white there are some obvious responses. First and foremost it’s damn expensive! Young people are often just beginning their careers or have entry level jobs which is not allowing for discretionary spending that accompanies the relationship between a dog and owner.
I’ll use myself as an example of the grand money issue, because who would know better about this situation than someone living in it and I really don’t have anyone else to compare against without getting super nosey. I work a full time job with health insurance partially covered by my employer, I’m off on weekends and the schedule isn’t too bad. I won’t complain as I have a pretty good gig with no college education. But I take home less than $1,500 a month. Thank god I live with my parents otherwise it would be me, my dogs, rabbit, birds, cats, fish, and toads living in a cardboard box. Could you imagine how crowded it would be in there?
So now here comes the fun part – math! My most favorite subject ever, I’m kidding I hate math almost as much as it hates me. Let’s start our journey into the show dog world, first have to get a puppy – I mean this is a huge investment to your future. This darling ball of fluff will cost you from $1,500 a whole month of pay for me to – $5,000 for a fantastic NIPPO Shiba. I’m not knocking breeder’s prices; I believe you get what you pay for and someone has put a lot of time, energy, and money into my pup. Now we have our puppy – let’s say we spent $2,500 on it. We need supplies for our puppy; I do a lot of online shopping because it’s usually cheaper, so I used those prices for calculating my costs.
Crate at Medium size- $30 on sale (normal price is $95)
- Collar & Leash – $45.25 (White Pine collar & leather leash)
- Water bucket – $6.49
- Stainless steel bowl – $3.00
- Crate Pad – $16
Our subtotal is about $2,600.
Show supplies for our new show puppy:
- Show collar/leash combo – $12 (Alvalley slip lead)
- Grooming table Medium – $122
- Dog blow dryer – $175
- Grooming box – $70 (minimum)
- Brushes – $50 (minimum)
- Shampoo 1 gallon – $45.95
- Extra crate – $30 (minimum)
Our new total is over $3,100 which for me is more than two months of work! We haven’t even gotten to grooming products, entry fees, hotels, gas money, and handler fees (optional)
BUT WAIT! I’m forgetting something important – FOOD! And treats, bones, and toys.
Food and treats costs me $100 online and with my other supplies (supplements, treats, horns, hooves, and antlers) another $103.68 a month. I buy for 5 dogs so we’ll divide by 5, about $40 a month.
I haven’t even gotten to vet care, training classes, or even god forbid, a medical emergency!! Nor have I included people cost like rent, insurance, the cell phone bill, water and electric, and groceries! See how quickly that $1,500 a month has disappeared?! Maybe someone could stay afloat buy getting a second part time job, but that leaves one stressed out and I feel not enough time to spend with the puppy.
Honestly I think this is the number one reason young people don’t get into dogs – they simply can’t afford it! I have other theories as well which I will share the next time.