So how exactly does PuppySpot work? Although the company’s proprietary process has more than 25 steps, everything begins with great breeders. PuppySpot employs a comprehensive screening process to find responsible, caring breeders across the United States. “We examine their breeding practices, review their facilities, and ensure they meet or exceed our industry-leading health and safety standards before we consider inviting them into our exclusive network,” discloses Green. “For us to build a trusted brand, we need to always be sure that we're providing an honest, transparent, high-quality service for our customers.” Last year, less than 10% of the breeders PuppySpot reviewed were ultimately invited to join its exclusive community.
As for the puppies themselves, they tend to be less than 16 weeks old. PuppySpot has, on average, a few thousand available for placement in forever homes at any given moment. Each comes with information on both parents. “We know the general behavior and attributes of each breed,” says Green. “But we also stay in contact with breeders and monitor their placements through our network, so we have a better sense of how breeders raise their puppies, which is something that can be hard to reliably find anywhere else.” If at any time during the process a prospective owner needs help, he or she can talk with a “puppy concierge” or member of the company’s Customer Advocate team for assistance. “We provide ongoing training for our core team members so they can be as knowledgeable as possible,” says Green. “That way, they can make recommendations to customers that match their needs.”
Breed details can indeed come in very handy. For example, the company’s CEO, Greg Liberman, has a daughter with dog allergies who desperately wanted to have a dog. Knowing that poodles are hypoallergenic, the family decided to search for a poodle. That search resulted in the family falling for Lucy, a poodle that Liberman’s 8-year-old daughter found on the website. A few weeks later, Lucy traveled from Missouri to join the Liberman family.
As for customers, PuppySpot screens them as well. “Many people focus on our breeder screening, but that is just the start of what we do. Our focus is our puppies, which means we not only do our best to make sure they are healthy but also that prospective puppy parents can provide happy, forever homes for our puppies,” says Green.
Once a person chooses a puppy, PuppySpot’s team of travel agents jumps in to coordinate travel — most often by air — to get a puppy from the breeder to the customer. In the meantime, the breeder must comply with PuppySpot’s vaccination and health protocols, which culminate in the breeder taking the canine to a licensed vet for PuppySpot’s proprietary nose-to-tail health exam. The results of that exam are submitted to PuppySpot and reviewed by PuppySpot’s internal health team, which must clear every puppy for travel before a puppy is allowed to leave its breeder. After customers get their pup, they then visit another licensed vet for a post-travel checkup, which automatically triggers PuppySpot’s industry-leading health guarantee. In addition, PuppySpot checks in periodically with the customer to follow up and make sure both the dog and owner are doing well.