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Australia People paying oodles for designer puppies during coronavirus pandemic as demand surges

02:31  30 september  2020
02:31  30 september  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Golden retriever-poodle-mix puppies at Adelaide Hills Groodles in Meadows. (Supplied) © Provided by ABC Business Golden retriever-poodle-mix puppies at Adelaide Hills Groodles in Meadows. (Supplied)

Poodle-mix crossbreeds known as "oodles" are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after dogs in Australia.

Increased demand for "designer dogs" during the coronavirus pandemic has seen puppy prices soar, with some breeders asking as much as $15,000 for a groodle or a cavoodle, which are poodles bred with golden retrievers and cavalier king charles spaniels, respectively.

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Prices rose, as people feared shortages, and demand went up. It is well documented that home alcohol consumption rose during the pandemic as stressed out parents worried about their employment status and the added responsibility of home-schooling their children as they tried to work.

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Adelaide Hills groodle breeder Amanda Wilkinson has been inundated with puppy enquiries this year.

She has 100 people waiting for a litter of just 10, which has forced her to close the waitlist.

She said because "oodle" dogs had become so popular, many breeders had doubled their prices.

"We have seen the prices go from $3,500, which is standard, to $7,500, to the $15,000 mark," she said.

"Whilst breeders are at fault for charging those prices, so are the consumers for paying it — if people weren't paying $7,000 for a dog, they wouldn't be charging it."

She said the reason poodle crossbreeds — which began with the first labradoodle in 1989 — had become so popular was because they did not shed hair and had a loveable nature.

"You can't fault their personality — I have never met a bad groodle," Ms Wilkinson said.

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"They are a beautiful breed of dog and, yes, money was always going to be a part of it, but the breed and the families that the puppy is going to should override this ridiculous price that people are asking."

Melina Beckett from Melbourne's Prestige Puppies has also closed her waitlist as her business cannot keep up with the demand.

"We have had lots of experiences with people even offering us more money to jump the queue, however we don't feel that that's right — we like to honour the people that are on our list," she said.

"I have heard some people are asking over $15,000 for a groodle puppy and in my opinion that is ripping someone off."

Border closures overcome for puppy love

Karen de los Reyes had been counting down the days until her miniature groodle Lola arrived in Adelaide.

Lola travelled from Gippsland in Victoria on a plane from Melbourne to Adelaide, but unlike humans she did not have to quarantine.

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"It means the world to us that we were able to get her now and complete our home and our family," Ms de los Reyes said.

"Just today we received an email from a breeder who we were still on a waitlist for and it was $10,000.

"It's pretty crazy, the prices are through the roof at the moment."

New "fur mum" Ella McMahon also had to overcome border closures before meeting her puppy Bailey.

She was not able to drive to NSW to pick up the pup and instead had to use an animal transport company to bring him over the border.

"Our original plans were to take holidays and then just drive over to NSW and get him but COVID made that not possible — we would have had to quarantine when we got back," Miss McMahon said.

"We did see the price and were a little bit shocked, but what can you do? He's so worth it."

The new owner was grateful she was able to secure a pandemic puppy without paying "oodles" for it.

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