COVID 19 updates:
Covid lockdown update June 2020: nationally there have been 100's of enquiries, so many that the PWD club of Great Britain last month announced they had closed their list after 400 enquiries or twice the number of puppies born annually. They suggest the wait could be around two years. Many breeders have had over 200 enquiries to be put on their lists and with 1 litter per year and average litter sizes of 7 that's enough to fill an individual breeder's waiting list for 28 years.
COVID July update: we have had enquiries every day of lockdown and now have over 400 enquiries. I keep joking with the family that today is the day that we won't get a phone call or email - and every day I am proved wrong. The COVID demand seems to be continuing. If you are after a PWD puppy you are going to have to be very patient. We have so many conversations where people say they want one in the next month or two. It just shows that they haven't done their research.
It is also clear during many conversations that people have fallen in love with google photos and videos and love the idea of a PWD - but again they haven't done an appropriate amount of research and haven't considered how they will be able to meet the needs of a dog - especially if they work full time or don't have space for a dog. Please make sure you read the information below.
COVID August update: Overall we have been blown away by the level of passion & interest in the breed. We now have 600+ enquires by email or by phone in 120 days (compared to the usual 100 a year), lots or returned questionnaires, and vast numbers of people who want to visit. With litter sizes of 7 to 10, breeders could (in theory) fill their lists for the next 60 years!!
The first visits are now taking place from people who initially enquired last year (2019) or in the months before lockdown. Other visits for those who enquired during lockdown will slowly take place over the next 12 months. Wendy is having to squeeze them in on her precious days off at the weekends.
Enquiries not just from all over the UK but from USA, South Africa, Ireland, Switzerland, France Portugal, Singapore & Israel. With current UK demand and with all of the extra legal & medical requirements this is something Wendy rarely considers unless for exceptional reasons.
Most enquiries are lovely and genuine who have clearly have done their research on the breed, temperament, behaviour, energy, grooming required etc. We still have enquiries from people who haven't done any research and believe they will get a puppy next month. You can easily pick out those who have no interest in health & welfare and want a puppy and want it now. We still have enquiries from people who have been turned down by rehoming charities because they can't adequately meet the needs of a dog (work full time, live in a home which can't accommodate a large working breed, live in a flat). Their circumstances haven't changed but because they are paying they think that breeders will overlook any welfare concerns.
It is interesting that people read the puppy page but it is noticeable that very few read the health page. Over one very short period, 700 hits on the puppy page and at the same time only 30 on the health page. If you are interested in a PWD then please take the time to understand the health issues as it will help you find a responsible breeder and healthy puppy.
Interesting to note that some breeders are currently charging £3000 for a puppy. My response is that breeders should be free to charge a fair rate for their PWD which truly reflects their knowledge, experience and commitment to the long-term health of the breed. Don't get me wrong - charging more doesn't necessarily make them either a good or bad breeder but with the previous going rate of £1500 reflecting a high breeding commitment, you really have to ask yourself what a breeder currently does above and beyond to possibly justify doubling the charge. Some say it is COVID profiteering and the latest euphemism being used by some is "Greeders" as apposed to breeders.
Added to this I feel PWD should go to owners who care, just as passionately as good breeders, about the health and welfare of the bitch and puppies and the continued long-term health of this rare breed. This care about health & welfare is not always proved by what a breeder charges nor by what owners are able to pay. An inflated price does not mean better breeding, welfare & health or even a better-behaved dog. The fair price should still allow PWD ownership to be experienced by good dog owners and not just those who can afford exorbitant prices. Lets spread the message of responsible breeding hand-in-hand with responsible ownership.
September update: It simply hasn't let up and halfway through this month we have now had over 700 enquiries and as I type we have had 4 email / phone enquiries today. With the current levels of demand, it is such a shame that we can't arrange any more vists this year - the sad thing is that there are so many people who would potentially make excellent Portie owners. When people call we are having to be very honest about the current levels of demand and the length of time they will have to wait. When talking to people on the phone we are having to establish with them what is more important to them: Do want a dog in their lives (and it would be nice if it was a PWD) or do they only want a PWD? Many people like the idea of a PWD but not the wait and if that is the case they may well have to consider a rescue dog or more readily available breed. And there is nothing wrong in that as all dogs deserve a good loving home. Some do decide that a PWD is the only breed for them - and if so we are happy to help them in their search. We have already been receiving calls from people asking us to take them off our list because they have found a dog to join their family - all of them so far have found a completely different breed. It goes to show that for them the most important thing was to find a dog.
November update: Due to the overwhelming levels of demand we have stopped taking any new enquiries
End of Year update: December 2020
Well, as the year ended we had 1113 email enquiries and we have lost count of all the telephone calls. As a result we stopped taking any more new enquiries at the end of November.
We still receive the typical email: "Have you got any puppies? How much?" - needless to say such enquiries will not get very far. As the saying goes: you get further with honey than you do with vinegar. Pleasant emails & phone calls are far more effective. It is far more personable, and effective, to talk on the phone and discuss whether a PWD would be right for you and whether you can meet their needs and understand their challenges.
Of the 1000 enquiries, many followed it up by asking for and returning our questionnaire. From this, it was clear that some people hadn't really considered how they could meet the needs of a dog both in terms of the time they require and the space they need. One issue really seamed the number who considered a dog only because of the COVID lockdown. On the other hand, there are many wonderful people we spoke to who would be fantastic PWD owners - it is just a shame that they are enquiring at such challenging times.
We have been contacting people to check whether they are still actively looking for a PWD - many have got another breed with a few who have been fortunate to welcome a PWD to their family. One thing we have noticed is the number of people who returned the questionnaire but have never bothered to remain in contact. This is such a shame as, over the last few months, we have managed to pass them on to other breeders who used Rafferty as a stud dog. Many happily report that they now have a PWD puppy.
Unfortunately, there are still reports from people contacting us, of breeders charging £3000. Even reports of breeders stating to people on their list that the cost would be £1500 and when the puppy is born or even when they turn up to collect the charge is suddenly £3000.
There have also been alarming reports of scams - puppies available for £4000 advertised on the internet asking for a deposit but there are no puppies! You must do your research - No good breeder ever needs to advertise on any website - there is already an overwhelming demand for good breeders' waiting lists. If people need to advertsie their litters you should be cautious.
YOU MUST SEE
health tests of both parents - ask for the results - all good breeders will be happy to show the results and explain them.
Kennel Club registration for both parents and check that the puppies will be eligible to be registered as pedigree (some people are breeding dogs that are not eligible as pedigree)
inter-breeding coefficient. The breeder should know this but all you need are the formal Kennel Names of both parents to check yourself on the KC website.
always visit the breeder before you commit to the puppy and never pay a deposit until you chose your puppy at 5 weeks.
By law the mother must be seen with puppies - this is difficult with COVID - so insist on a video call
If you do choose a puppy at 5 weeks - ask (inisit?) to see the contract - preferably before the visit and before you pay the deposit.
Remember you can never do enough research - be careful of scams and poor breeders and ask around as the PWD club of GB and all good breeders will offer you lots of good advice.
Phone up and check with other reputable breeders on the KC Assured Breeders website and the PWD Club of GB webpage. They will know of all other PWD breeders. If they are not on either of these lists then I would suggest you walk away or do lots of research.
Already 18 requests between Boxing Day and the 4th January.
We are in the process of culling our 2020 list - removing people who no longer want a PWD and all those who have simply not remained in contact. The intention is that as of mid-January we may be able to start taking enquiries potentially for 2022 or to pass suitable enquiries on to other good breeders.
Biggest tip we can give is get the initial email right or better still - if you really are serious about a PWD - ring!
February 2021 - we are open to potential enquiries for 2022/23
1st April 2021: Since taking enquiries in 22021 we have already had around 90 enquiries. Many don't read the puppy page or the pdf and still ask "Have you got any puppies? How much?" The best advice we can give is read the pdf and website and then give us an initial phonecall.