When Claire Briant bought Arlo, a cavoodle, right at the start of the lockdown in March, he cost $3500.
Today, she says the same breeder is offering the same type of dog for up to $6000.
Prices have nearly doubled in six months as people have sought canine company in the COVID epidemic.
The surge in demand is for the cute "designer dogs" which mix two breeds, often a poodle.
- The going rate for a groodle (golden retriever and poodle) is $9000.
- A clumberdoodle (clumber spaniel and a poodle) $8500.
- The asking price for a toy ruby cavadoodle (cavalier spaniel and poodle) is $8000.
- A labradoodle (labrador and poodle) goes for $7000.
- A frug (French bulldog and pug) is $5500.
- Sheepadoodles (Old English sheepdog and poodle) go for $5000.
Claire Briant has two young children so the family in Woden wanted a dog which was friendly and which didn't shed hair because one member of the family is asthmatic.
Above all, the family wanted the companionship of a dog.
Since the epidemic, lots more families have, too.
Before the lockdown, potential owners may have held off buying out of worry about leaving pets at home.
But now demand has let rip. Prices have doubled, according to breeders.
Paula Brooks of Superior Cavaliers said, "Small dogs have gone up in price more than large dogs."
At the start of the lockdown, a dog of that sort would cost about $4000. Now, it's more like $7000.
The next litter is expected at the end of November and there's a lot of interest.
The sales pitch is for a family-friendly dog: "Your fur baby is our fur baby, they follow us around and get lots of cuddles and one-on-one attention day and night."
You can tell the change in demand by the types of dogs being insured since the epidemic started.
According to insurers PetSure, the ultra-cute cavoodle remains the most popular for two years in a row, but fierce-looking Staffordshire bull terriers and Alsatians have become less popular compared with the same, pre-COVID period last year.
Since the beginning of March, the cavoodle has been the ACT's most popular dog. There have been 218 registered with the ACT government compared with 138 in the same period last year.
Last year's top dog was the Staffordshire Bull Terrier but that has dropped right down the list.
Queanbeyan breeder Peta Jones has also noticed a surge in demand since the lockdown. She now gets 10 calls a day from people wanting to buy a dog.
"I'm now starting to get people offering to pay an extra $2000 if they can go to the top of the waiting list," she said.
"I think earlier in the lockdown it was because people were stuck at home and they felt that they had to have something to entertain them."
She is worried that as people start going back to work in the office, the dogs will be left and discarded.
Where the lockdown lingered, demand remains high. "People are screaming for puppies in Victoria," she said.
That presents the problem of how to deliver. The breeder said there are companies that will transport dogs to the NSW-Victoria border to be picked up and then delivered to Melbourne by a second courier on the Victorian side.
"I've got a gentleman in Melbourne and the puppies are due there in three weeks," the breeder of German shepherd dogs said.
"We are saying 'How do we get them there?' We'll probably have to book a flight."
Because of the hike in prices, Peta Jones is now aware that her dogs are valuable and might be targeted by thieves.
"You just don't know if you are being sussed out by someone who wants to steal," she said.
But she warns any potential thief: "Try it here and you'll get eaten."
Canberra's top dogs
Registered dogs, March 1 to October 26
- Cavoodle: 218 (138 in the same period last year)
- Kelpie: 150 (73 last year)
- Border Collie: 136 (113 last year)
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier: 104 (last year)