Why DireWolf Dogs are Expensive

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Feb. 10, 2022
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Crystal (Silver River/Anastasia)

As we come closer to the ideal look and exact bone/body structure of the extinct, prehistoric Dire Wolf, DireWolf Dogs bred by Dire Wolf Project breeders will increase puppy prices. Purchasing a black sable beauty with slanted yellow eyes, small erect ears, a fluffy mane and tail, and the best companion dog temperament on the planet from a certified Dire Wolf Project breeder will likely set you back another thousand. Are they greedy bastards or could there possibly be a valid reason behind the upcoming price hike?

In today's society, the enemy has become the greedy capitalist out to line deep pockets with gold collected from off the tired backs of poor, marginalized, helpless souls who remain oppressed due to societal or governmental constructs. In the Dire Wolf Project's case, we are typically accused of breaking the backs of our breeding females for our own diabolical, but certainly profitable, ends. A mythical caricature of a hunched fat man with greasy black curls dressed in an tailored Armani suit rubs his pudgy hands together in glee as gold coins sparkle and clink when they cascade through his fat fingers onto an oak desk below. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dire Wolf Project breeders live modestly and spend close to 90% of any income to improve the daily lives of our beloved dogs. So why in God's green earth do DireWolf Dogs cost so much if greed is not involved? What could possibly cause someone to price an innocent fluffy puppy upwards of $4500 to $5000 and not bat an eye? Let's find out the truth behind the price increase scheduled to take place by Dire Wolf Project breeders in the coming year.

First of all, it is important to note that the Dire Wolf Project is a small woman/family owned and operated corporation. In a time when women entrepreneurs were few and far between, Lois began the steep climb up the ladder of being self-sufficient. Not needing a man to carry her through life, she bravely stepped out into the world to make a name for herself. A deep-seated drive to create a calm, gentle, loving large companion dog with minimal health issues and uniquely recognizable features that promoted health, wellness, and longevity began to take over her life. Over twenty-five dedicated years flew by as she proved to the men in her life that she was not going to allow anyone to knock her down from building her dream.

This road was not easy to travel. She lost many comforts along the way, even sacrificing her family for her convictions. Stepping away from the in-crowd of elite purists who, even today, remain steadfast to the eugenics standards of the late 1800s, Lois deliberately chose to marginalize herself. Throughout the years, she found others who understood why she departed from the prestigious establishment of high society and pedigreed canine beauty contests.

Throughout this time, Lois remained alone, just making enough to get by. Generation after generation, she quietly sold her puppies around the country, remaining mostly obscure and unknown by the greater population. From time to time, activists would target her for daring to pop her head outside the well-established rules and breed "mutts". After all, there were already too many lonely backyard bred orphaned dogs in the pound waiting for a chance to have a loving family. Why bring more into the world?

But, Lois is no ordinary dog breeder. She has a gift. She knows her worth and the reason behind her persistent unorthodox breeding practices. As a strong, independent woman, she never let anyone knock her off your predestined path. Her mission to fundamentally change the way people thought about dog breeding is too important.

Eventually, her eldest daughter, Jennifer, sought to understand her mother's deepest passion. After extensive research of her own, Jennifer came to know why her mother had estranged herself from her family and amassed a following of devoted owners willing to help the cause in any way.

This also led Lois's second daughter, Amey, to begin to see the value in building the family business. Now the Dire Wolf Project is run by a unified family unit of dedicated women who see the value of a life sacrificed for a worthy ideal. A chance to bring lasting change for our most beloved of furry companions. What is that sacrificial life's work worth?

Think of how much you pay for a brand-new vehicle. I happen to think the prices are outrageous, but in recent years, prices have skyrocketed to what used to be the norm to purchase a home in many parts of the country. $30,000 now no longer raises an eyebrow for most people when they walk onto the car sales lot. A vehicle gives you years of access to anywhere you want to go. But a metal engine on wheels can't cuddle with you or teach you how to be a better person. How much more worth is a living being who devotes its life unconditionally to you and your family?

Now, if that living creature came with a lifetime health guarantee, years of dedicated breeding ethics, a woman who has given her life to bring about your beloved tail-wagging companion, and an entire family of devoted owners willing to help should anything arise, how much more is that living angel worth?

You see, a dog's price is set based on what that precious little life is worth to a breeder. How much will it cost us to place that dog into a loving home; a home where that furry friend can be loved and properly cared for?

First, we must weed out anyone who has nefarious intensions. People looking to find a bait dog to train their Pitbull for the fighting ring comb the local papers and online marketplaces for free-to-a-good-home dogs, so we certainly can't give away our dogs.

Second, we must weed out anyone who sees dogs as cheap commodities to give away without care whenever they grow tired of them. Shelters now charge $250-$300 for adoption fees, so what is the price that will make a person think twice before giving up their dog to a shelter?

Third, we must at least cover our expenses in order to feed, house, and maintain our dogs in top condition so that their lives in a kennel facility are happy and healthy ones. How much money do you imagine breeders spend on extra large dogs and puppies every year? $9,000/dog is a good rough estimate, if you wondered.

Fourth, we do not want to associate ourselves with the mass production of puppies in any way. We care deeply for each of our breeding dogs and mass puppy production on the wholesale market is big business. Any potential owner not willing to do the research to know exactly where their puppy came from is not worth our time. We must weed out any buyer looking for a cute puppy, no matter from where it originates. This means that our puppies must be priced higher than those puppies sold in large chain pet stores as well as puppies sold sight unseen on big puppy farms that hide their facilities and do not allow their customers to visit. What do average extra large puppies from big puppy farms cost?

Fifth, we want to encourage anyone on the fence about getting a dog from the Dire Wolf Project to move along to another breed. If we can sway a family into finding a puppy from another breed, then we know that family was not the right fit for our dogs. This is because we cherish dedicated owners who have taken the necessary time to understand what we are all about. What is it worth to be able to know for certain that the person hoping for a DireWolf Dog from the Dire Wolf Project is not just out for a novelty look without knowing the breed's most cherished feature, its unique large breed companion dog temperament.

Sixth, how much would you pay for a puppy that came from a breeder who is dedicated to you through thick and thin throughout the life of your dog? How much is it worth to you to have a compassionate and thriving community of like-minded dog owners who understand the worth of their furry companions and are willing to share their life with you? How much is it worth to have an extensive breed-wide health and DNA database going all the way back to the beginning of the breed? How much is it worth to have instant access to your breeder and the founder of the breed at any time you need?

Dire Wolf Project breeders price our puppies higher than many other dog breeds because we care deeply about each and every dog bred throughout the project. We also care deeply about the families that come to us seeking to add a precious living angel to their family. The deep love we share for the dogs and people we encounter over the years leads us to honor their valuable presence in our lives. Prices are always determined with care and thoughtfulness for the greater good of the lives we love.

So, know that even if prices do rise in the coming year, we have thought through the very real reasons behind the move and only seek to honor the love and devotion we have for the lives we hold in our hands. It is our responsibility to give them only the best lives where they can grow in the happiest environments where they are appreciated for the amazing creatures they are.


If you want to delve deeper into Lois's steadfast determination to bring about a new type of dog breed, Dire Wolf Project: Creating an Extraordinary Dog Breed will give you all of the details and science behind the Dire Wolf Project's ideals and what makes our efforts stand apart from any other dog breeding program on the planet today.


Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Alsatian Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Alsatian dogs.