Back in August 2020 the Kennel Club released some fascinating findings from its new survey on the puppy-buying surge during the onset of Covid enforced lockdowns. The research showed a quarter of new owners admitted buying a puppy at that time with little research. Meanwhile two thirds agreed that their dog was a ‘lifeline in lockdown’. I don’t suppose any of us would argue with that last statement. Can you remember April and May 2020 when the sun seemed to shine forever? The grass grew emerald green, the vibrant cherry blossom was bursting with colour and we were all grounded, apart from that one blissful permitted piece of exercise per day. And who could blame anyone for seeking a friendly and amenable canine companion for the daily walk?

It was a desperately worrying time in terms of a global pandemic but out in the fields, and on the footpaths and ancient drover’s tracks, with my trusty canine companions, things didn’t see quite so bad.

But that’s besides the point – those of us who already owned dogs had already been through house training, chewing, whining, basic training and the juggling of dog care, family life and work. We knew the challenges and the benefits, and the fact we were still vacuuming dog hair on a daily basis demonstrated we were in it for the long term.

The problem the Kennel Club was clearly trying to get at was with impulse buyers, unscrupulous breeders and what would happen to those puppies when it didn’t work out. According to the survey nearly one in four pandemic puppy buyers admitted they could have inadvertently bought from a puppy farm, and a fifth didn’t know whether their dog would suit their lifestyle after lockdown – citing worries about behaviour, time and costs.

Read more in the new issue, click HERE to buy.