The annual John Lewis Christmas advert, which this year features ‘Buster’ the Boxer, has sent searches for Boxer dog puppies to record highs in the run up to Christmas, leading the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, to remind people about the importance of choosing a dog carefully to prevent dogs needlessly ending up in rescue.
Figures released by the Kennel Club show that searches for Boxer puppies on its Find A Puppy website, rose by 160 per cent in the day following the release of the advert.
The interest continued in the following days, with searches up a total of 169 per cent in the five days since the advert’s release and by 151 percent on the same period in 2015. Searches for all breeds of dog were only up four percent and eight percent respectively, in the same time period.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We have seen unprecedented levels of interest in the Boxer dog breed since the John Lewis advert was aired, whereas interest in other breeds during the same time has stayed relatively static. The Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy service is a tool for people to use when looking for a dog breeder with a litter of puppies, so people are already actively seeking Boxer pups as a result of the advert.
“When there is a sudden and enormous spike in people searching for puppies within a breed that is in the media spotlight, we all too often see the same breed overflowing from rescue centres a few months later. It is understandable that adverts, films and other media will feature and celebrate dogs given that we are a nation of dog lovers, but the Boxer breed could be in real trouble if people let impulsiveness take over and rush out to buy one without knowing much about the breed.
“While the John Lewis advert perfectly depicts the Boxer’s playful and endearing nature, no advert can give a fully rounded picture of what any dog breed is like, so it is essential that people do their research if they are looking to get a dog. We would strongly urge anyone who is serious about getting a Boxer to go to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder or consider a rescue dog.
Betty Hoad of the Southern Boxer Rescue Service, has voiced concern about seeing an influx of Boxers through their doors in the New Year. She said: “Boxers are absolutely wonderful characters but we fear being inundated next year, after the interest the John Lewis advert has generated in the breed. We saw lots of Boxers called George coming into us after the Colman’s Mustard ad featuring a Boxer, so we know it happens.
“Boxers drool, they are messy eaters, and whilst they are fun and playful it means that they also need a lot of exercise and stimulation. They are bouncy, do not look where they are going and blunder about, so people need to be aware of this, particularly if they have children. Neither do they like being left alone, so if you are out working all day, it is not the dog for you.”
To educate people on Boxers following their tremendous boost in popularity, the Kennel Club has launched a ‘Living with Buster’ page on its website, to show people more about the reality of living with the Boxer breed.
The Kennel Club is also inviting people to come and meet Boxers at the Discover Dogs zone at Crufts on 9-12 March 2017, at the NEC in Birmingham, where people can find out more about the breed, and other breeds of dog, and whether they are right for their lifestyle.
To find out more about Boxer dogs and whether it could potentially be the right breed for you, click here.