Thursday, May 19, 2022

We need to talk about the dogs

While people have been focusing on the rapidly increasing cost of things like fuel, food, fertiliser and a cup of coffee, they’ve completely lost sight of what’s been happening in the dog market. This is where the real inflation is going on.

Steve Wyn-Harris believes he has found another rising cost as a result of the covid pandemic, and it comes in the form of furry companions.

While people have been focusing on the rapidly increasing cost of things like fuel, food, fertiliser and a cup of coffee, they’ve completely lost sight of what’s been happening in the dog market. This is where the real inflation is going on.

Let’s start with house dogs, or whatever the name is of the ones that hang around the home.

Puppies of breeds like spoodles, retrievers, dash hounds, and the wonderfully named Shih Tzu have been selling like hot cakes and going for astronomical prices.

Only a few years ago they would sell for several hundred dollars but now fetching up to $6000.

I’ve just had a look online and could snap up eight-week-old Hungarian Vizslas from Dunedin for the bargain price of $5000. The blurb tells me that Hungarian nobles bred them to be excellent family dogs, great hunters, and the clincher, the least smelly of dogs.

What attracted my eye to this sale is the litter has 13 in it and there are only five left.

That’s 65k for a litter of pups! I just rechecked my calculator and it was right the first time.

Do these sellers pay tax?

What on earth am I doing dagging and drenching sheep?

I think I’ll look for something cheaper.

Here’s one, a made-up breed from West Auckland called a Westiepoo, which it says is the product of someone’s terrier getting it on with a poodle.

These are $4500 and a more modest litter of half a dozen to choose from.

Labradors are more familiar to most of us and these pups are fetching a more reasonable $2000.

It seems that covid is driving these crazy prices. People working from home and unable to travel overseas are falling over themselves to pay this sort of money so it’s the demand that is driving things.

One would think that the supply would quickly catch up. After all, most bitches can have two litters a year, with an average across breeds of half a dozen pups each litter.

You might imagine that folk buying those Vizslas would be thinking that to recoup that outlay I might have a little dabble at breeding myself and an exponential increase in Hungarian hunting dogs would see them filling every available kennel and dog box.

I had intended to write this column about farm working dog prices but as you can see, I became distracted quickly.

The prices paid for these fancy pants breeds makes some of the recent soaring prices paid for Heading and Huntaway dogs look relatively reasonable now.

There have been sale reports of trained dogs selling up to $10,000. Many trained farm dogs with good genetic backgrounds have been selling for $5000 or more.

Apparently, a shortage of good dogs available and time-poor cockies now often prefer to buy a trained dog, rather than the task at the end of a long working day of training the young pup.

I must be honest here.

I haven’t spent much money on dogs myself in my nearly 40-year farming career.

Dino, my first bitch, a beardie pup cost me $10, from Dan and Wag was ten times that of Max, but I did buy the young student a pup last year for $400, which brought tears to my eyes.

All the rest have been products of accidental pregnancies and of course I found Ditch dumped in the water table a number of years ago.

None of them have been useless, but none of them have been brilliant either. You do get what you pay for in life.

I do marvel at other farmers’ dogs and sometimes think if I hadn’t been so busy for so long and spent a decent amount of time on training good genetics just what I could have had.

We will never know.

Total
0
Shares
More articles on this topic