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Breeder survey reveals why we do it!


Petplan recently surveyed a total of 181 UK dog breeders, who provided answers on a range of topics, including why they breed, their dogs, owner information and pet welfare. This report highlights the lead facts and statistics.

Report highlights showed that
• Breeders consider the job far more a labour of love than an income generator
• The majority of bitches breed a single litter of puppies each year
• On average, each litter contains six puppies, but some breeds produce more
• The demand for breeds in general has remained relatively constant. However, demand for specific breeds change as more owners want unusual breeds
• Media coverage of particular breeds also plays a big role in demand
• New owners are willing to travel quite a distance to collect a puppy
• The average puppy sells for around £650, but can cost more than £950
• The vast majority of breeders have heard of the Animal Welfare Act and understand its implications

It would seem that the average breeder has more than 20 years experience. They tend to work with a single breed and are all registered with The Kennel Club. Specialist magazines are very popular with breeders - and they read around one each.
Of the 40 leading breeds, the five most popular are Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd and Boxer. The Rottweiler and Yorkshire Terrier also appear in the top 10.

The majority of breeders consider the job far more a labour of love than an income generator. Two-thirds (69%) love the breed, half (52%) love showing the dogs, and only 9% say they do the job for the money.

Single litters

The majority of breeders have 1-2 dogs and 1-2 bitches, with the vast majority of individual bitches breeding a single litter of puppies each year. Less than 10% manage two or more. On average, each litter contains six puppies, but some breeds, such as the Akita, Irish Setter and Bloodhound, produce 10 or more. The majority of puppies are homed before they are born, and all are with their new owners before they are three months old.

The demand for breeds in general has remained relatively constant. However, demand for specific breeds changes as more owners want unusual breeds. Media coverage of particular breeds also plays a big role in demand, including negative and positive press.

Showdogs

The most common show breeds are Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Boxer, and 81% of owners have entered their dogs in shows such as Crufts and the Petplan Junior Stakes Qualifier.
New owners tend to be adults in their late 30s, and the majority have children. They have had the breed before and the puppy is likely to be a replacement pet. New owners are willing to travel quite a distance to collect a puppy. In fact, 70% of breeders say that some new owners have travelled over 250 miles. The average puppy sells for about £650. The most expensive breeds, such as Newfoundland and Bulldog, cost more than £950, whilst the least expensive breed is the unregistered Dorgi (£101-£200).

Puppies are in biggest demand during the first quarter of the year. Winter is a particularly lean time for breeders.

More than half (54%) of breeders have had puppies returned. For the vast majority, the reason lays with owner, not the puppy itself, with the top two reasons being illness of the owners or a new baby.

The majority of breeders tend to advertise their puppies through The Kennel Club and a breed society, but the internet is making an impact.

Information helps

The majority of breeders provide new owners with a lot of pet care information, with dietary information topping the list. Almost all breeders believe that insurance is a good idea and the majority issue insurance cover notes or vouchers.

Almost all (97%) of breeders have heard of the Animal Welfare Act and the vast majority (86%) understand its implications.

The vast majority (83%) of breeders believe that fireworks should be banned from sale. However, 33% would be happy if just the loud ones were banned.

Breeders do not agree on whether dog owners should be licensed, with 43% for it and 35% against it and only half (51%) of breeders say that Britain lives up to its reputation of animal lovers.

Petplan is the largest provider of animal health insurance in the world. Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more details of the survey click here.