Do any of you charge MORE for teacup/pint sized pooches?

asked 2015-08-29 19:31:05 -0500

I can see a future problem with one sector of clients, and wanted some objective advice.

One of my current clients has two teeny, tiny Pomeranians (like less than 10lbs). They are the smallest of my boarders; the next biggest is probably 12ish lbs. However, most of my boarders are medium to large dogs (mostly in the 40-50lb range, but with a few 20 pounders). I'm open to boarding all sizes, and have done a few 60+lb dogs too. I'm not comfortable double booking a teacup sized doing with anything much bigger than 20lbs, but since much of my clientle is bigger than that, I loose money booking a teacup because it severely limits my chances of double booking.

I think there are two sides to the issue: 1) I don't have many teacups, therefore I need to charge them more to recoup some of my loses because I can't double book. 2) I don't have many teacups, but I don't need to charge them more because my percentage of teacup bookings is relatively low. So, yes, I'm losing revenue on them, but I'm not losing very much, very often.

Make sense? Any thoughts?

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6 Answers

answered 2015-08-29 21:19:04 -0500

My concerns for who to house together is really more temperament driven than size driven. I don't hesitate to book small dogs with my larger clients so long as everyone is more or less on the same page. My own smaller dog is only 18ish lbs (which, granted, is significantly larger than 10 lbs) but my larger regular clients are in the 70-90 lb range and I've hosted dogs over 100 lbs. I have zero concerns provided everyone is social and respectful. I regularly bring my guests with me to my friend's house, where there's a 5 lb chihuahua. The bigger dogs are very mindful of where the tiny dog is, and honestly I feel like I'm more at risk of injuring her by accidentally stepping on her or kicking her than the other dogs are.

If I were you, I might leave it up to my clients, and let them either book at the normal rate and run the chance that they could be housed with another dog, or let them opt to pay more to buy their privacy; that way you don't have to explain that you charge more for small dogs, but any of your clients could pay a premium rate to ensure their dog gets special attention.

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Love this pic! How did you ever get them all to look the same direction (almost)? Well done!

Carmen C.'s profile imageCarmen C. ( 2015-08-29 21:31:34 -0500 )edit

This group is all pretty used to it. The two herders are mine, the two yellow dogs are my friend's, and the big guy is my most frequent guest--he's been with me about 2 of the past 9 months. They're all used to my friend and I posing them. They understand that the quicker they give in to our weird requests, the quicker they can go back to what they want to do.

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2015-08-29 21:43:44 -0500 )edit

As for your specific question, the two dogs looking to the left are looking at another dog playing across the field. The other three are looking at my friend, who is keeping everyone situated while I take the pics.

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2015-08-29 21:58:52 -0500 )edit
answered 2015-09-24 10:56:20 -0500

I watch everything from teacups to Great Danes. I've never considered keeping them separate. Unless puppies, most big dogs are actually very mindful of littles and know to be gentle.

My favorite LOVE STORY was when I had 120 lb Great Dane and a 5 lb rescue chihuahua regular. He had always tolerated other dogs here--i have up to 6 at times--but was definitely more a people person. Or at least he was until he met the Great dane. He fell in love with her. Followed her everywhere. He was not a crated dog, but insisted on sleeping in her crate. Seriously proved a theory that chichis are BIG DOGS in little bodies. Heh!

I have also noticed in my clientele of only super socialized pups? The littles are usually the alphas. they set their boundaries early and the big dogs figure it out. So I charge the same price for all sized. The only difference I make is puppy charge and I extend that to 2 years or younger because by far the most chewing, potty accidents and damage occur when pups are teenagers between 9 months and 18 months in my experience.

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answered 2015-08-29 22:42:16 -0500

I charge more for the bigger dogs because they do require longer walks. I agree with Carmen C with the small and teacups staying up high and love to cuddle.

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answered 2015-08-30 00:37:21 -0500

I agree with Laura. From my perspective, I have a pitbull mix that could easily tear apart many of the dogs that we board, but he has no interest in doing so, so I'm not worried about him being around other dogs, no matter the size. Also, since we never leave the dogs unattended, I'm confident that I would be able to prevent any negative interactions from occurring. I love the idea of having a premium rate in general, and I may begin implementing that for anybody who wants to board with us.

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answered 2015-08-31 01:51:33 -0500

I am like Carmen in that I only board one dog at a time, or dogs from the same family, and I've found that the smaller dogs do take less work. In your case, since you do accept multiple clients, you might want to tell the owners of the smaller size dogs that you would be willing to have them as your only clients for a higher rate. Word it to come across that you will be able to give their dogs more love and attention and there will be less danger of negative interaction with larger dogs. Give them the option, and if they choose to go that route, then by all means charge a higher rate since you will be losing ability to board multiples.

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answered 2015-08-29 20:48:28 -0500

I'm not the person you want to answer this question, but here it is:

I have two old dogs of my own and only board one guest at a time.

Teacup-sized dogs are my favorites because they make their thrones at the top of my furniture and stay up and out of the line of traffic. I would not charge more for them because they are less work - shorter walks, less intense play, staying mostly inside - and they are mostly a pleasure to host. And cuddly, to boot.

A vote for no extra charge from me.

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