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Cost of a Litter Calculator

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Please note that while this information may be applicable to other breeds, it is primarily intended for use by breeders and by extension, buyers of Doberman Pinschers. The form below, is designed to assist the breeder in determining what the approximate costs are for breeding a litter. It is NOT meant to be a document that "tells" a breeder what to do, but rather a guide that indicates the range of possible expenses for their situation.

For The Breeder:

Every breeder should have a working knowledge about the positives and negatives potential sires and dams bring to the breeding arena. Breeding should never be undertaken lightly or without a thorough knowledge of the Breed Standard and how each litter considered will improve the conformation, health and temperament of the subsequent puppies and therefore, the breed itself. The idea behind each and every litter a reputable breeder produces is to IMPROVE THE BREED.

That said, it should be noted that this form can be most useful for the "new breeder" who is interested in beginning a journey towards excellence, eventually establishing a reputation 'of note' for their efforts and the quality of their dogs. It does so by outlining a range of potential expenses, giving pause for the new breeder to consider all necessary options where an intended breeding is concerned. It has the added advantage of providing, for the well established breeder, an overview they may not have considered previously. In both instances it shows breeders what kind of an investment they're realistically looking at with any decision to breed a litter.

For the Buyer:

The form clearly illustrates, and thus educates - why reputable breeders decide on the purchase price of one of their puppies. Puppy sale prices are NOT arbitrary. In order for the breeder to be able to continue breeding quality dogs, they must, at least, break even on the cost of doing so. The illustration goes one step further in that buyers, in negotiation with breeders, have a baseline to begin asking questions about how a given litter was raised; what testing was done on the parents and the puppies; if the breeder was with them during their formative weeks, etc. A breeder who can answer a wide variety of pertinent questions about the puppies and their parents is a valuable asset to the buyer for the life of the puppy.

For Everyone:

It should be noted that this form is not about making judgements one way or another on what is and is not done with and for a litter. It simply provides useful information everyone can apply and then benefit from in the breeding arena.

We have tried to use Initial Prices/Costs that are representative of actual costs in each of the regions listed for the United States and Canada. The expenses used for various Regions are average and/or approximate and represent a known and/or documented cost for each region. Costs can and do vary considerably from place to place, and vet to vet. If you have first hand knowledge of the costs, feel free to use the pull down boxes and insert your figures for a better overview of the expenses incurred when breeding a litter.

While many do not consider the expense of getting a "foundation" dog/bitch a Championship title, as part of their breeding expenses, the truth of the matter is that there is no substitute for quality and where dog breeding is concerned, "quality" is measured by how a dog or bitch adheres to it's breed Standard. It's our guide for "ideal" and thus overall excellence. If a dog or bitch earns the title Champion, that is the ultimate validation regarding his or her worth as a "breeding animal". Dog shows and showing dogs was not intended to be about "the show" - but rather, about measuring how close we come to meeting the ideal described in the Doberman Standard. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider the quality of breeding pairs, using the Championship title as the measuring stick. It is truly, the ONLY acceptable and recognized method of evaluating breeding stock.

Therefore, we would be remiss in this effort if we did not at least mention the cost of finishing the Championship of a breeding dog or bitch.

There is no "average" involved where that expense is concerned. But from purchase price of a show/breeding animal to Championship certificate the range COULD be from $3,000 to well over $15,000 - depending on some factors that remain constant and therefore within your control and many expenses that can't be factored in almost until it's over. (For example - traveling to shows where "majors" are available could mean a 2,000 mile trip to the mid-west as opposed to exhibiting your dog close to home where "major" entries are not likely).

An abbreviated definition of an AKC Champion dog or bitch clearly illustrates why breeders value the title and why animals who can become champions should be considered very important in the breeding arena:

A Champion is a dog (male or female) that has been evaluated by at least three licensed Judges as to how closely that particular dog meets the ideal criteria (correct structure, proportions and size, movement, temperament, color) outlined and defined in the written Standard of Excellence for that Breed. This animal would have been shown to an assortment of judges deemed "experts" by virtue of their title - and subsequently awarded the accumulative points needed to be deemed a Champion by the AKC. Every Champion is awarded a certificate proving they are AKC Champions when the requirements for the title are met. For more information, here's a link to the complete Standard for the "ideal" Doberman Pinscher: httips:// .

Additionally, this link provides an explanation from the AKC about earning a breed Championships:

Form Use:

There are 3 Entries you MUST make to obtain an accurate Cost Estimate.
These entries are Indicated in Red. The entries are:


Be sure you make the appropriate selections!!!

You may also select or change the number of pups for a litter. The initial number of 6 pups, for the purpose of this form, is considered an average sized litter and we believe that's a fair starting point for this effort. Please adjust that number for your situation.

In the "Additional Puppy Expenses" Section you will need to choose the type of "Identification" that is applicable for your litter or situation.

Important Note: Veterinarian Office Visit charges are built into many of the Expense Items on this Form. Where a Vet Office Visit is normally part of the Expense Item, that item will be designated with an "*" (Red Asterisk). Therefore, the Amount selected is ONLY That of the Actual Item.

For More information about a specific topic click on the

Number of Pups Anticipated

What Region of the United States or Canada do you live in? See the Regions Here

What is the "Normal Cost" of an Office Visit to your Veterinarian?

The approximate Cost to Breed a Litter of Doberman Pinscher Puppies Ranges
from a Low of using the Minimum expense cost
to a High of using the Maximum expense cost
Please Select the Number of Puppies Anticipated and the Geographic Region the Breeder is Located in

Breeding Decision Expenses: (Note: To exclude these costs from the total breeding costs, please check this box )

The Costs of the Testing in this section are not considered by some breeders as being true "Breeding Expenses". These tests, however, do provide the responsible breeder with the information required to make an informed choice as to the suitability of a particular female and male for potential breeding. It should be noted that todays' "educated" buyer, will ask about health testing of the parents and reputable breeders will answer those questions and provide documentation during buyer/breeder discussions. The tests in this section should be done prior to making the decision to breed a litter.

Basic Breeding Decision Testing:

OFA or Penn-Hip X-Rays CERF (Eye Test) vWD - DNA
Thyroid Test *

Additional Breeding Decision Testing:

Echocardiogram (Heart) Holter Monitor (Heart) Dilution Test
Liver Evaluation

WAE (Temperament)

Sub-Total for Breeding Decision Examinations $

Pre-Breeding Expenses:

Examinations & Medical Expenses: (For more info on all topics in this section click here )

Progesterone Test (1 to 5 tests) * Brucellosis Test * Health Certificate *
Immunization Booster * Worm Check *

Sub-Total for Examinations & Medical Expenses $

Note: Some of these tests are not strictly a "required item" however, all the tests listed above do factor into the total health of the potential sire/dam being considered for breeding. Completion of these tests will provide the serious breeder with much of the information necessary in making an informed and wise decision as to the ability of the breeding pair to improve, and therefore, make a positive, long term contribution to the breed. Testing should be equal for both the sire and dam, and documentation should be provided BEFORE the actual breeding takes place.

Please Select an Insemination Method:

Will you be doing Live Cover or using Artificial Insemination

Stud Fee

Frozen/Chilled Semen

Transportation of Bitch to Stud Ship Semen (Includes Tank Rental)
Implant Semen (Could be Transcervical or Surgical)
Collection (Includes Repro Vet & Collection Kit )

Sub-Total for Stud Services $

Post Breeding Expenses:

Sonogram to determine Pregnancy *
X-Rays to count Puppies
Reproductive Examination *
Additional Food & Supplements

Sub-Total for Post Breeding Expenses $

Whelping Expenses:

Whelping Box:
Whelping Box Bedding:
Cleaning & Other Supplies: Supplies in this category are items including but not limited to: Esbilac, Bottles, Weaning Formula , Disinfectants, Detergent, Washing Bedding, Towels, etc. From the whelping until the pups leave.

Sub-Total for Whelping Expenses $

Post Whelping Expenses: (Standard items for Breed)

The Post Whelping expenses are items that are typical for both Mother and Pups for the Doberman Breed. Most of these expenses are based on the size of the litter. The expense amount shown in the selectable List box is based on ONE Puppy. The total amount per item for the size of the litter is Shown to the right and calculated automatically.

Vet Office Visit: (For Post-partum check up)* This is an Examination for the Female to insure her post whelping health. Would include the Pitosin Injection if necessary
Vet Tail Docking & Dew Claw Removal Per Puppy
Total Docking
Food & Vitamins for Pups after weaning for the litter - Per Litter
Worming of Pups (Generally 2 or 3 times) Per Puppy
Total Worming
The Cost used is for 2 wormings per pup + the Office Visit
Puppy Vaccinations (Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitus, Parainfluenza) Per Puppy *
Total Vaccination
Puppy Vaccination is a controversial topic among breeders and owners. For the purposes of this Costing form, vaccinations are considered at only the currently recommended (by the AVMA) standard, as such we have used 1 Combination DHPP Vaccine.
vWD DNA Testing (Per Puppy )
Please read Comments at right!
(& Click on the Dobe for more info)
Total vWD Testing
There are 3 instances where this test is not necessary because the status of the puppies is established "by parentage" (both parents have already been tested and there is documentation supporting a CLEAR or AFFECTED rating).
CLEAR TO CLEAR = All puppies are CLEAR by parentage.
CLEAR TO AFFECTED = All puppies are CARRIERS by parentage.
AFFECTED TO AFFECTED = all puppies are AFFECTED by parentage.
All other combinations of parentage - i.e. CARRIER TO CARRIER - will produce clears, carriers and affecteds in the same litter - therefore, the DNA TEST must be done to determine the vWD Status of each puppy.
A vWD DNA TEST is the ONLY 100% accurate and acceptable method for determining vWD status in any breed today. (The old Elisa method is not reliable). VetGen is the ONLY laboratory qualified to do the vWD DNA test today.
Ear Cropping - Per Puppy
Total Ear Cropping
Ear Cropping includes the office time, anesthetics, surgery, etc.
Antibiotics (Post Cropping) - Per Puppy
Total Antibiotics
Antibiotics given for the time required for the ears to heal. Generally 7 to 10 days.

Sub-Total for Post Whelping Expenses $

Additional Puppy Expenses

Taping & Posting Supplies - Per Litter

- Per Puppy (Check the separate costs before selecting Both)

Total ID

If the pups are to be tattooed this can be done at the time of ear cropping. Microchips are more expensive than the tattoo. Legal requirements for identification exist in some municipalities/countries. Please check the laws for your legal requirements.
Litter Registration (AKC) - Per Litter
Total Litter Reg
This Cost is $25 per litter and $2 per Puppy.
Individual Puppy Registration - Per Puppy
Total Puppy Reg
Some breeders prefer the new owner to Register individual pups
Temperament Testing - Per Litter
DPCA Futurity Nomination -Per Litter (PreWhelp) Not done in all cases . Nomination is done before the litter is born and is $15.00. Once the litter is born, Each Pup actually nominated is another $15.00.
DPCA Futurity Nomination -Per Puppy
Total Nomination

Sub-Total for Additional Puppy Expenses $

Miscellaneous Expenses:

Puppy Toys This item includes stimulation toys for mental growth of pups
Puppy Buyers Kit The buyers kit includes items such as leashes, collars, food supplements , food, toys, etc. that are given to the buyer to take home for their new pup. It would also include written material such as taping instructions, feeding instructions, pedigree information (including pictures) and other care information, etc. as well as the cost of printing.
Heating Lamp(s) Depending on the time of year and climate, the breeder may require lamps to keep the new puppies warm in the whelping box.
Time Off work (expected) - # Weeks Salary per Week Total Salary Lost While not strictly a "Cost", it should be factored into the cost of breeding a litter of pups and is included in the Total Cost on this form.

Sub-Total for Miscellaneous Expenses $

Other Possible Expenses:

Emergency C - Section Typically C-Sections are not planned as a routine course of action. Differences may exist for "during" or "after" normal business hours. However this is still considered an emergency procedure.
Whelpwise Service (On Call Midwife Service)

Sub-Total for Other Possible Expenses $

Total Cost of Producing a Litter of Pups, based on puppies is $

On a Per Puppy basis this would be $

To Obtain a Printout of this Cost Estimate please press the "Print" button in your browser.

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