When the Covid 19 pandemic took the world by surprise in 2020, a large majority of the population was left in a state of loneliness, confusion, and in search of comfort and companionship. Because of this, we saw the biggest surge in demand for puppies that we have ever seen. Although this was good for our business and we were able to provide many people with beautiful puppies, it also opened the door for a lot of unqualified and dishonest breeders to step into our industry.
Whether they were actual breeders or just outright scammers, these people saw this massive spike in demand as an opportunity to take advantage of people’s needs and make a quick buck. The result, of course, was that many people ended up receiving puppies that did not have the genetics—or even health guarantees—that were promised, all while being ripped off on pricing.
The most disappointing thing that we observed during this surge in demand, however, was how many of the qualified and established breeders responded. During that time, we watched as many of our competitors doubled their pricing just because they knew they could get away with it. Of course, the principle of supply and demand is a real thing, but we did not feel like it was the time or place for raising prices—so we didn’t. During this entire surge of demand, we chose to refrain from raising our prices by a single cent while we watched others do the opposite. We’ve always found that integrity and a heart for serving our customers will pay off in the long run more than trying to make more money in the short run. Of course, at any time in running a business, it’s easy to start slacking, getting lazy, cutting corners, etc., but we choose to continue to push ourselves to offer the best product, service, and prices.
Although we saw a much more noticeable increase in dishonesty, scamming, and lack of integrity during the surge of the Covid 19 pandemic, these issues will unfortunately always be present within the dog breeding business. Because of this, we have come up with three important tips to keep in mind while you search for a dog breeder:
1. Health testing in dogs and willingness to provide those results. There are so many competitors who claim to health test their dogs but don’t actually share the results and proof. Ultimately, you can say whatever you want, but the proof is always in the pudding. At HC Bernedoodles, we have our health results posted publicly for all to see—you don’t even have to ask for them.
2. Being willing to take the time to have a conversation with people. When demand was high, a lot of breeders weren’t easy to get ahold of or weren’t willing to talk and answer questions. We try really hard to do this, as well as provide breeder support after the purchase and answer any questions or offer any advice where we can.
3. Legitimacy and knowledge. We are often astounded by breeders’ lack of knowledge about genetics. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, but a strength that we have is understanding the genetic structures of our breeds—knowing the difference between recessive and dominant genes and how those result in puppies and different dogs that are bred (especially how colors are created). If we proclaim to be a professional breeder, we should absolutely be able to understand and explain genetics. We like to explain as much as possible to our customers/potential customers.
When it comes down to it, integrity and honesty are hard to fake, so look for true knowledge, good reviews, openness, and willingness to help. You are picking your next family member after all, so it is not something to be taken lightly. If you have any questions about the dog breeding business in general or the puppies that we have at HC Bernedoodles, we would be happy to help you!
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