Page 110 - ShowSight - August 2019
P. 110

                A Reading from the Book of Face: Is a Breed’s Appeal Ageless? BY DAN SAYERS continued
  Puppy buyers come in all shapes, sizes, colors—and ages. photo by Dan Sayers
with small children. The first had a defi- nite age range for adults—and a limit for children. “Mid-thirties, with kids over ten,” she declared. The other Ridgeback breeder wrote that she considers a buyer’s energy level as well as his or her age. “It is prob- ably more important to screen for a physical activity level and temperament match than to target an age,” she suggested. “When I was in my late twenties I was brushed off. This is why people turn to rescues. Later I met resistance (even though I was looking for an older puppy or adult) due to having a toddler. Finally someone took a chance on me. The older you get, the more naive 20-somethings look.” This breeder said that she checks on the financial stability of her puppy buyers too, but doesn’t discount a potentially good home because of a buyer’s age. “Mentor them,” she said. “Then you have a young person in the sport.”
The breeds of the Working Group come with their own demands for care which may or may not be met by puppy buyers of vary- ing ages. “My current litter is going to retir- ees and a couple in their early 30s,” reported
a breeder of Alaskan Malamutes. Interest- ingly, this breeder noted that all of the pups from her recent litter went to “repeat buy- ers,” none of whom are “interested in breed- ing.” A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed- er replied that she finds her puppy buyers at either the beginning or end of their work- ing lives. “Young couples or older empty nesters mostly,” she posted. And a breeder of Rottweilers responded that, in her opin- ion, the best puppy people for her breed are solidly middle-aged. “Late twenties through early 40s,” she wrote of her target demographic. “I won’t sell to 18-24-year- olds anymore unless they are exceptional. Have not had good luck regarding young people and Rottweilers, which I find sad as I got my first one as a 20-year-old.” Like all dedicated preservationists today, breeders of Working dogs often have their “work” cut out for themselves.
A Terrier’s appeal can depend on the breed’s size. “I would say the average age [of puppy buyers] is about 55,” offered an Airedale breeder who wrote that her pups go home with everyone from “young
families to retired adults.” A breeder of Bed- lingtons posted, “I find my puppy buyers are empty nesters who want to add a well- bred dog to their home or the younger set who have [gone] the rescue route, found it was not all it was cracked up to be, and want a well-bred dog.” An experienced Border breeder posted that her puppy buyers range in age from 25 to 70. “Anyone over that, I GIVE a retired, trained dog that will be NO problem,” she added with conviction. A breeder of Cairns shared that the average age of her puppy buyers was 45-50, with a wider range provided as “from 30-ish to 65-ish.” Another Cairn breeder shared her most recent experience for reference. “This current litter, pretty much all of the folks who were interested in buying were retired,” she offered. The puppies of two Irish Ter- rier breeders seemed to find the same type of homes for their puppies. “Young families to senior citizens,” offered one. The second breeder provided a more definitive response. She wrote, “30 to 70. Middle age [people] don’t buy puppies.” Likewise, a Wire Fox breeder noted an increased age range of her
108 • ShowSight Magazine, auguSt 2019

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