Where did the inquiries go?
By Jessica Freni
In the period of Covid restrictions and lock downs, there was an unprecedented surge in puppy demand. People were home, they had time, purchases were spurred by stimulus checks and need for companionship. While the quantity of inquiries was remarkable, it did not necessarily correlate with quality of prospective homes (demand for “fad colors”, mixed breeds, impulsive puppy acquisitions, etc). Rather predictably this remarkable puppy demand has seen some waning.
Across “Dogbook” there is a large contingency of blame the economy (inflation, concerns about job security, fear of war or recession, etc) pushing demand for puppies down. Certainly, economic factors are not to be dismissed and are for many prospective pet families a consideration. However, we can not so simply dismiss the decrease in demand for well- bred and purebred puppies as simply signs of the economic times, if so there would be a steep decline in other segments of breeding, but in fact the demand for doodle type mixed breeds continues to be high. Not only is there still a sky rocketing demand for mixed breeds with gimmicky names or fad colors (“merle” French bulldogs, “silver” labs, etc) often these puppies are selling at prices far exceeding puppies from titled and tested purebred parentage.
Is what some breeders are observing,i.e. difficulty finding puppy homes, just economic or is it in part market correction? During Covid-19 puppy demand was unprecedented, but it was also unsustainable. Reputable, responsible breeders could not meet the demand, but a lot of people eager to buy, acquired puppies anyways from less ethical sources. Some of the demand was just satisfied and now it’s leveled out again.
Whatever the reason(s), as demand wavers, we can best prepare ourselves and our puppies for success, not just finding a home, but finding a lifetime home that is a good match. How can we cultivate interest in puppies?