The rise and fall of the puppy market….

Some say it is old news but at the height of the pandemic the puppy market was booming. At Tricymoedd never had we seen such a demand, and that demand not only saw a significant increase in puppies being bred, but also a significant increase in the prices being charge for them.

I am sure you have read articles on the unethical and irresponsible breeding practices that took place during the pandemic, there are plenty of stories of ill-educated pet owners and the immoral deciding to make a few quid from their pet dog and cashing in. But what is the position now?

Well, as a wise man once said: “What goes up, must come down!” Here we are today and the demand for puppies has dropped. There are thousands of unwanted, poorly socialised dogs in rescue, canine victims of the pandemic. They were sold at a premium to families who were unable to properly socialise their puppies due to lockdown, and as a result these dogs missed out on vital life skills. They did not get the training opportunities that all dogs need to live happily in our human world. Often, they display behaviours that are difficult to live with, and as trainers we are seeing many behaviours that are difficult to manage and correct. These dogs are no longer babies, but the lasting effects of their upbringing are clear to see today.

We have endless conversations with clients who are struggling with behaviours they find difficult to live with, their dogs sadly, they now fallen victim to our “click and collect” society, with shortened attention spans and a lack of responsibility, they often face rescue… the options for these dogs are limited. It is simply heart breaking, and for those in the “front line” at rescues centers and charities it must seem endless.

The fall in demand for puppies that we saw in 2023 will inevitably quell the numbers of puppies being bred. Breeders are reporting less enquiries and less sales, and in some cases, they are finding themselves left with puppies that they cannot sell. Whilst this will create an immediate smaller ripple of unwanted puppies, these reports will shoot a warning across the bows of the unethical and irresponsible who jumped on the band wagon to cash in during the pandemic. They will of course promptly jump off the wagon and go and sniff out their fortune elsewhere.

The rescues, already heaving, will pick up the pieces of the broken dogs and puppies, doing their best to rehome as many dogs as they can.

As breeder educator at Pupstarts Breeders and breeders and trainers ourselves at Tricymoedd Labradors we are seeing large numbers of quality established breeders reducing how many puppies they are planning, despite waiting lists and good reputations. They are reacting to the market in the best way possible. Many of these breeders did not breed throughout the pandemic, in fear of an uncertain future for their puppies. The shame of this is if that any puppies are being bred, they should be from these breeders. The well-bred, well raised, health tested puppies are exactly the type of breeding that should be happening if any and exactly the type of breeding we practice here.

We will be having a select number of litters, born to health tested and temperament tested parents, raised to be resilient and robust, everything those pandemic puppy breeders cannot claim!

Blog written by Rebecca Walters @Tricymoedd Labradors Ltd & Pupstarts Breeders Ltd
For information on availability of our Fox Red Labradors email us at or visit the website

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