As with many things in life, dog breeds seem to go in and out of fashion. Some, such as Labradors, golden retrievers and collies tend to stand the test of time, as well as this these breeds are useful working dogs, as guide dogs, gun dogs and sheep dogs.
The trends at the moment seem to lean towards the toy breeds, and some cross breeds that are not actually officially recognised by the Kennel Club, such as Cockerpoos (a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle).
Dachshunds, French Bulldogs and Pugs have all become extremely popular in the last few years, leading to raising concerns about these breeds being particularly vulnerable to puppy farming.
These concerns have escalated more amongst dog lovers and animal welfare organisations such as the Kennel Club and PDSA, as during the recent lockdown there has been a huge surge in demand for puppies. With many people at home with no work, school or holidays, it is being viewed as a great time to get a dog, or a distraction for children who are stuck at home.
Because of the rise in demand, this has seen many unscrupulous breeders and puppy farms increase their activity and put up prices to make more money from the situation. Many people do not know how to recognise a puppy farm or how to check that breeding has been done correctly and putting the health of the dogs first and foremost.
As well as the worry about the rise in puppy farms, there is also a huge concern that as the lockdown period ends and people start to drift back to normal life – work, school and holidays – the dog will no longer fit in with their lives and they will end up re-homing it. This is a concern for shelters and charities who have already suffered financially during the lockdown period and may be unable to accommodate large numbers of dogs in one go.
Due to these reasons, many people are being urged not to purchase a puppy during these uncertain times – purchasing something that you love and supporting a local business is a great idea, whether it is a bronze animal sculpture, a musical instrument or some cakes from a local bakers.