So…you’re wanting to purchase a pointing lab puppy! That is awesome! It is truly a rewarding experience and one that our kennel staff is here to help you through. In this post, I thought I would take an opportunity to discuss some of the ins and outs of availability.
Availability you say? What the heck does that mean?
In this context, I am referring to the availability of the different color and sex combinations of dogs we produce. As one could expect each color and sex has its own level of customer demand. Strangely enough, it is also VERY seasonal.
Most Popular Color and Sex Combination:
Year in and year out, chocolate female and yellow female pups are the most popular color and sex we produce. The demand for these two combinations is constant, steady, and never seems to waver. There have been times throughout the history of our organization where we have had more than 17 people on the waiting list for yellow female pups. It is not unusual for folks to have to spend 3 months to a year or more on this list.
Why do you ask? — Truly I am not sure. The reasons people give us for the color and sex combination they want very greatly although in this instance the most common reason we hear is “if I get a dog, this is the color and sex my wife said we have to have”
Do the color phases of yellow make a difference in their availability?
YES! Absolutely! This is another strange phenomenon we notice.
For those of you who are unaware yellow Labrador retrievers come in many shades of yellow. AKC considers them all yellow labs, and the different shades are referred to as color “phases”. These phases run from “fox red” to “white”.
The extreme color phases of yellow are much more “in demand” than the standard yellow coloration. Again you might ask why. This phenomenon I am certain is both customer driven and market driven. From a market perspective, the extreme ends of the yellow color phase are not as readily available as your simple medium yellow color. Therefore there are fewer for sale – and in more demand. Also, the yellow coloration will follow trends. One year its fox red that’s popular, two years later the white labs are popular. All just depends on the public’s preference at that point in time.
So what is the order of popularity? (In order of most popular to LEAST popular)
So here they are in order at OUR kennel. I can only speak to my kennel with any accuracy but I can’t imagine it is much different at other folk’s places.
1. Chocolate and Yellow Females
2. Black Females & Chocolate Males
3. Yellow Males
4. Black Males
Seasonality affects availability quite dramatically
The most popular time to buy a puppy (again speaking just for our kennel) is in the spring. March-May. This is the time of year when our family dog/hunting companion folks are all looking to take home a new puppy.
The thought process here appears to be twofold (1) for many folks it is much easier to potty train a new puppy when the weather is warmer (because, really, potty training in snow is not fun) and (2) people are figuring if they get a puppy in March it will be ready to take to the field for the first time that next fall.
Lastly, many families with small children want to take Fido home in the late spring – right after school gets out. We notice this trend in families where one of the spouses is a teacher.
The second most popular time to take a puppy home is right before hunting season. Late August through Thanksgiving. During this period we get folks coming home from summer vacations or coming out to Iowa on hunting trips. Once everyone gets into the routine of the school year or the excitement of hunting season – a puppy just seems like a natural fit.
Puppy Buying Tips
Here are some tips that will help you increase the chances of getting the color and sex combination you want.
1. IF you want a puppy during the springtime – ESPECIALLY a chocolate or yellow female make sure and get a deposit down in mid-winter of the following year. For example, if you wanted to purchase a chocolate female during the spring of 2018 most folks were putting down deposits in Nov/Dec of 2017.
2. If you want a puppy during the late August through Thanksgiving timeframe think about having your deposit down with us by late spring to July. This will move you up on the waiting list.
3. Consider taking home a puppy during January or during August. These are our two lowest demand period and often time we have good availability during this time frame.
4. Check back with us often through the busy season. It is not unusual to have cancellations that will lead to availability on our end.