Page 112 - ShowSight - August 2019
P. 112

                A Reading from the Book of Face: Is a Breed’s Appeal Ageless? BY DAN SAYERS continued “‘I have every walk of life, young-to-older couples with
empty nest, to families, to single people 20s-30s,’
  puppy buyers. “Used to be younger, but the last few years it’s late 50s after the children have left home,” she shared. A breeder of Miniature Schnauzers offered that she has a wider pool of potential puppy buyers, writ- ing, “I sell to all ages, young-to-old.” How- ever, another Schnauzer breeder replied that she typically finds homes with people aged “45-65.” Similarly, a Scottie breeder who responded wrote that she places her pups with people in their “50s to early 70s.”
Who can resist the many charms of lit- tle dogs? Well, according to the responses provided by Toy breeders, it all depends on the breed. Among Chihuahua fanciers, the typical puppy buyer today seems to be firmly middle-aged. Two breeders described the majority of their buyers as “40+” and “40 and above.” A Toy Manchester breeder responded by noting that inquiries for her puppies come from people of various age ranges. “I have had all sorts,” she said of the folks who are interested in this “extremely versatile, and collectible” breed. Likewise, the public’s familiarity with another breed has maintained it’s popularity for decades. A response from a breeder of Toy Poodles emphasized that her puppy buyers rep- resent a cross section of dog lovers from every station in life, “from young fami- lies to retired seniors!” However, a breeder of Silky Terriers sees things differently. “I tend to get ‘older’ people,” she wrote. “I breed Silky Terriers and the waiting time can be up to two+ years. I think ‘younger’ individuals are so into rescue or have no desire to wait for the breed of dog they want.” Her opinion, no doubt, is shared by many of today’s preservation breed- ers who have to compete with an increas- ing demand for dogs of unknown—or ill-conceived—origin.
Curiously, not a single breeder of Non- Sporting dogs offered an opinion about puppy buyer demographics. However, the same can’t be said for the Herding breeds. Several breeders of Australian Shepherds weighed-in on the subject. “I have every walk of life, young-to-older couples with
empty nest, to families, to single people 20s-30s,” reported one breeder. “But if I had to find one more common than not [it would be] late 20s-to-30s with family and kids ranging from just born to 21.” Another Aussie breeder reported that her pups typi- cally go home with “young couples, late 20s.” A third wrote that her puppy buyers are aged “late 40s and older.” This breed certainly enjoys broad appeal among the dog buying public! A breeder of Belgian Malinois offered a thoughtful view on the age of her puppy buyers. “That’s changed dramatically as fewer families have an adult at home during the day,” she stated. “Used to be young families. Now, much older, sometimes single people. Very different.” A pair of Belgian Tervuren breeders seem to agree with this assessment. One reported that her last litter of pups went home with people in their “30s thru late 70s.” The oth- er agreed, noting that her puppy buyers are aged “mostly 40s-to-70s. But [from] my last litter of ten, two went [to] owners around 30.” A Border Collie breeder has had suc- cess placing her puppies with “families with children” and a breeder of Bouviers finds her puppy buyers show interest while in their late 20s to upper 70s. “More on both ends versus in the middle,” she claimed. A Briard breeder places her puppies with people that she estimates are “30-ish to 75.” Another breeder of this French herding breed shares this opinion, suggesting that her puppy buyers are as loyal as the dogs she produces. “Most of my buyers nowa- days are repeat puppy owners who are 40+ years,” she wrote. A Collie breeder posted that her pups generally go to people in their “30s to 70s.” A pair of Cardigan breeders shared many similarities when describing the ages of their puppy buyers. “I have two age groups that are typically interested in my dogs: Young professionals out of college, starting their careers and building their family units; nearly retired or newly retired people ready for the next phase of their lives,” reported one. “I get a smattering of people in between those two demographics,
—Australian Shepherd Breeder
but those represent the majority.” The sec- ond breeder of Cardigans offered a similar response. “Most common for us [are] young couples with no kids yet (generally 20s) and couples with kids who have left the nest,” she replied. “But we do get all age ranges. We have also put quite a few with families.” Also responding to my question were two Pembroke breeders with similar experi- ences. “Interestingly enough, our buyers demographic [is] either 60-plus profession- als who appear to be slowing down and have time for dogs now...or we have many Gen- X and less than 30,” reports one breeder who noted that older buyers often arrive with grown children who are home from or going away to college. Younger buyers, he reported, are more generally infatuated with a purpose-bred dog’s heritage. “I find our buyers to have done their research and are willing to wait a bit of time,” he added. The other breeder of Pembrokes agreed. “Me, too,” she wrote in response. “Most of my last litter went to people who have gotten dogs from me before. One buyer, who came looking for me because I bred the father of her last dog, drove 1,000+ miles to come and get that baby.” This breeder claimed to have few “new” puppy buyers since she pre- fers to “pick and choose” who her pups go home with. Breeders of the Miscellaneous and FSS breeds, however, typically welcome interest from “newbies.” For example, a breeder of Dutch Shepherds described the diverse age range for buyers of her versatile breed. “I just raised a litter (10-weeks-old yesterday),” she shared. “I sold six puppies and kept one for myself. My puppy buy- ers ranged in age from mid-20s to late 60s. This is a very active breed that needs quite a bit of physical and mental stimulation. That’s what attracted the younger buyers. The older end of the spectrum has a work- ing ranch and the dog will be in training to help move the cattle.” Perhaps this “Mis- cellaneous” story best exemplifies the true value of preservation breeders: Providing purpose-bred dogs for a purposeful life. The idea is truly ageless!
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