There are many puppy matchmakers that will guarantee you the best service, helping you find the dog of your dreams. How do you evaluate which one to choose? What are the differences? And which one’s right for you?
Most importantly, can any of them deliver on their puppy matchmaking promise? Let’s talk about it!
What is a puppy matchmaker / puppy concierge?
Let’s start with the word concierge. According to Miriam-Webster, it’s a word with French language origins meaning “a person or service that provides assistance with personal business.” If you’re looking to get into the business of the loveable cuddliness of the four-legged variety, then you could use the assistance of a puppy concierge.
A concierge in a hotel or a hospital might assist you with something as simple as a restaurant reservation, or something as complex as a complete travel itinerary. Think of them as lifestyle coaches in this very specific instance of your life.
As far as a puppy concierge is concerned, they also help with a very specific time in your life. You’re considering inviting a new member into your family. With all of the options and places to adopt or purchase a new puppy from, a puppy concierge can clear up a lot of the confusion and help you decide on the best course of action for you and your family.
You might not be able to support the special needs of a large or standard-sized dog, much less the fact that they might eat you out of house and home. A smaller dog, however, could be too vocal or require too much energy from their parent. A puppy concierge service can help you decide the breed that best fits your lifestyle. A puppy concierge walks the client through everything they need to know about what could be the next steps in their lives.
And, it doesn’t always stop there. A concierge could help with pet insurance, boarding a pup while you’re on vacation or a number of other services, but this is usually only a local concierge service.
What is a puppy consultant and how can they help match you with the right dog?
We’ve all had consultations at some time in our lives for a variety of topics-- our child’s grades or a medical appointment or just a fun makeover. Let's think of it as a relaxed meeting of the minds to make sure everyone is on the same page.
A puppy consultant isn’t much different. They will use a series of questions to decide on the right dog for your home. Some could make house calls while others choose to operate online. The latter, for most prospective buyers, is preferable because they can telecommute or meet over Zoom from the comfort of their own homes.
These specialists should not be confused with those that assist with behavioral issues that you could experience with a new dog. These particular puppy consultants are focusing on placement.
They’ll recommend the breed and size that you should consider and their services might even include advice on how to set up your home before your new little bundle of joy (and fur) arrives on your doorstep.
Is there a difference between a puppy concierge and a puppy consultant?
There can be differences between the two. A concierge could be required to find a specific dog of a very specific set of criteria as set forth by their clients.
A consultant will more than likely require a questionnaire before they get started as they’re trying to find the perfect dog based on what they see as their clients' needs.
It’s a simple want versus a need. You want this type of puppy so we’ll find it for you versus this is what type of dog you need. Both options can be highly personalized.
How does a puppy matchmaker work?
Here at Jenna Lee’s Designer Doodles, we offer a third category of assistance for finding the next member of your forever family - our Exclusive Matchmaking Process.
We don’t just ask questions to see what you want but try to discern what you actually need. And it doesn’t stop there. We also consider the wants and needs of your new puppy pal.
But what makes this different from picking a dog in a pound? Makenzie, a member of the JLDD team, put it beautifully:
“Instead of having families choose their new family member for the next 13+ years based on a photo, we ask them to invest in our process by realizing there is much more to a puppy than the way it looks. This is going to be a member of their family, and while we understand color and gender preferences and will try to look for that in a new match, our main focus, first and foremost, is based on testing.
"Our team believes it’s about matching, not for today, but for tomorrow. While you might like the look of a puppy, it’s more than just the superficial that will allow the two of you – or your family for that matter – to cohabitate for the rest of your lives.”
Makenzie also shares that, “We have always used matchmaking, temperament and personality testing, as part of our program, but we made the commitment to find the absolutely best fit for each puppy…”
What questions will a puppy concierge / consultant / matchmaker have for you?
Most quizzes and questions online resemble each other. “Are you active?” or “How long are you away at work each day?” or maybe, “Do you have children?” All are very important questions.
If you’re a couch potato, that’s okay. Your dog should be calmer and enjoy down-time.. If you enjoy hiking for miles, that’s great as well, but you’ll want an active puppy that can match you step for step without running out of breath. Similarly, it’s important to consider whether your kids need a dog that can tussle or a pup that will be pleased just lounging around.
Most importantly, it’s not as much about the questions that you’re being asked but rather how they’re considered by those assisting you.
Let's review JLDD's matchmaking process:
1. Educating the future puppy owner
Just by reading this you’ve started your journey. Our FAQ page will answer most outstanding inquiries that come to mind. Make sure that getting a puppy is right for you and yours. You’re not just buying a duvet. You’re starting a new part of your life with a puppy that will move into your home and into your heart.
The questions we talked through above, along with many others, will play into each step of the process. It’ll allow our highly experienced team to discern which member of our family will become a member of yours. It’s not about our needs, it’s all about yours.
3. Phone Interview
You’ve finished the application. Now, we want to talk with you one on one. We’ll reach out within the next 48 hours to see if we can make your dreams come true. If the stars align and all of our questions and your questions are answered, then it’s just a matter of time before your puppy is ready..
But even waiting can be fun. Day and night, there are plenty of pictures to scroll through of the most adorable fur babies. (Just a heads up, during this step, we do require a $500 non-refundable deposit. Learn more about the importance of puppy deposits here.)
4. Heads Up!
Each of the newest additions will be earmarked for who we think will best suit their family’s needs. Once this step has been completed, we’ll set up a second conference call with you to see if everything is shaping up as expected.
5. Puppy Matchmaking
We have an incredible team who watches over the first weeks of our puppies' lives as their personalities begin to form.
We know that days feel like years during this time, but the waiting will definitely pay dividends in kisses and cuddles.
6. Gotcha Day!
It’s the best day of the year when parents and brothers and sisters get to meet their new family member. Whether you can join onsite here in Charleston, SC, or are only able to have your puppy sent by ground or air, today will literally be the first day of your new life with your perfect pooch.
7. You’re a Paw-rent Now
But things don’t just stop there. We’ll be in touch to see how things are going, making sure that smiles far outnumber the frowns. And who knows… one day in the near future you could want to start the process all over again.
Now that you’re an expert on the differences between puppy matchmaking services, you’re ready to move forward & ask yourself what you’re looking for in a best friend.
Where does that start? Right here. As the Chinese proverb says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Let’s review a few similar questions (not unlike the above) that will help you start your journey with your future canine chum.
• Do you have young children?
• Are you an outdoors / active type of person?
• What type of home / living space do you have?
• How big is your yard?
• Do you want an independent dog ok with being alone?
• Do you want your dog to often seek your attention?
Jenna and the JLDD Team