It’s a dog’s life…post lockdown Part One:

By Matt Wiggins
happy dog

I think it’s safe to say, we have all just lived through and are continuing to deal with one of the toughest times we are likely to see in our time on this planet (I sure do hope so anyway!).

People have lost their loved ones, their jobs, their homes, had their other health issues compromised and that’s before we even start talking about mental health.

Whilst there has been lots of loss, there is one thing that many people have gained.

A Dog!

Now, rightly or wrongly, I’ve stayed very quiet on the subject of lockdown puppies, the price increases and many other dog-related lockdown topics but today, I thought I’d share my thoughts.

I’m going to cover a little bit about what has been and gone and then over the next couple of days I really want to share my thoughts on the effects of lockdown on dogs and owners, what’s to come in the future and what we can do about it.

So, whilst acknowledging that I risk offending people by directly opposing their views here goes.

The percentage of people who purchased a dog and then decided to rehome it is very unlikely to have risen during this time – Every year at Christmas the media run the same story.

“Xxx number of dogs abandoned over Christmas”

Last Year I actually looked into this deeper and there was a downward trend year on year. Less people are giving up their dogs than ever before. I guess it does make a good story though.

Very few people actually deliberately cashed in on selling dogs during lockdown

There has been much speculation, starting around April 2020 about how people were just breeding puppies to make money. Here’s why that’s a stupid claim.

It takes 58-68 Days from mating for a litter to be born. It then takes a further 8 weeks before a puppy can leave its parents. Based on the first lockdown being announced on the 16th March, any puppy deliberately bred to cash in on price increases couldn’t have been born until late May and wouldn’t actually have been able to leave to its new home until Late July. Bitches don’t just get pregnant either, they have to be in season which generally occurs once every 6 months.

I’m not denying that certain people who wouldn’t have usually bred their dog decided to do so when they saw prices rising, of course that happened, some breeders would have had more litters than they usually would too but not as many would have taken that decision as people think.

People weren’t being greedy

In order for prices to rise in any market, demand must increase. Anybody can put any price on something that they are selling but, ultimately, the market will dictate the market value. Generally, when prices increase, it’s because there are more people looking to purchase than there are people looking to sell. That is exactly what happened, all of a sudden, more people wanted to welcome a dog into their life, demand increased, the number of puppies on the market didn’t really increase (see above) and subsequently, the prices rose.

Very few people purchased a puppy on a ‘whim’

I’ve been in the business of supplying trained dogs for just over a decade. I understand the market trends, the busy periods, the quiet periods and the causes and effects. Here’s my take on why demand increased so exponentially (and it’s not because people were buying on a whim).

The most common objection to dog ownership is working too many hours away from the home. For almost a whole population, that changed overnight. The amount of people all of a sudden without jobs (but money in their pockets) or in a position to work from home increased dramatically thus, with the biggest barrier removed, a huge demand was created.

Those who were going to buy, purchased at the same time instead of over the Year

Usually, demand for dogs is spread fairly evenly over the Year. People have certain commitments that they wish to get out of the way before welcoming a dog into their home. For some it’s a holiday, others a wedding but, typically, people buy a dog when its convenient for them. In light of the lockdown, all of these commitments disappeared almost overnight meaning that there was no better time to welcome a dog into their home then right there and then.

So, that’s, in short, my feelings on the situation in terms of the money, dogs being purchased on a whim and the surge in demand.

Tomorrow I’m going to write about the new label on the block ‘ The lockdown Puppy’ I’ll also give a preview of Sunday’s article, looking in depth into what’s to come as a result of the past two years and how we can help.

Hope you’ve found this one interesting and it’s given a different perspective. More of the same to come.

Don’t forget to like and share. Also, tell me in the comments your lockdown experiences with your dogs

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