Hi, I'm Jeff Tilt, founder of FindYourBestDog.com. I wanted to take a minute and explain how FindYourBestDog.com came to be. If you read my personal about page, you know a little bit about the interest I have in the natural world and you know this led me to buy a pet shop that specialized in dogs.
The big problem with that decision, as you may know, is that pet shops normally get their dogs from commercial breeders. Many times these are large scale breeders that care little about their breeding stock or the quality of the dogs they produced, ie puppy mills. I was determined not to contribute to the problems this system creates. But I didn't have a plan on how to convert a pet shop from using commercial breeders to one that did not... until one day shortly after I bought the shop, a woman walked in the door and asked a question that would significantly change the way I did business. Here's what happened.
As soon as Jamie walked in the door our eyes met. Without ever breaking eye contact she walked right by all the merchandise displayed in the shop and the dozen or so puppies I had available. She walked up to me and asked if I would find a Chihuahua with a very specific and unusual trait for her boyfriend's birthday. I didn't know if I could find the dog at all let alone find it by her boyfriend's birthday. But we worked out an agreement that made it worth my time to try.
To make a long story short, I was able to find the puppy Jamie wanted. After doing so, I noticed she seemed much happier than our usual customer who just purchased a puppy. In fact, she was so happy she invited me to the restaurant she managed to eat at no charge... whenever I wanted to. Now, this wasn't a typical franchise fast-casual place. The restaurant she managed was an independent restaurant with tongue-beat-your-brains-out delicious food. And when I was there, I always got service like I was the only guest there, even when the place was packed. Clearly, Jamie was much, much happier than any other customer I sold a puppy to. If you're wondering how all this resulted in this web site, read on just a little further and you'll see how this event resulted in the development of my pet shop's secret weapon and how you can use that secret weapon for yourself.
All of a sudden I saw the way to eliminate working with large scale breeders that could very well be puppy mills the former owner had used. Rather than buying puppies and having them shipped halfway across the country to have on the sales floor (and being under pressure to sell them before they lost the "cute puppy look") I could do custom searches using local boutique breeders to finding exactly the dog my customer wanted.
But there was a problem- actually, a couple of problems. First, unlike Jamie, who only wanted one significant trait in her dog and knew exactly what it was, many, perhaps most people don't know what traits they really want. And second, was how to quickly work with several different amounts of 15 or 20 traits for 150-200 dog breeds which quickly results in 10,000 or more combinations for each dog breed.
The answer to both of these questions was to put all the information in a spreadsheet and sort the spreadsheet by each trait someone wanted. Instantly you could produce a list of dog breeds that had any combination of traits you want. This spreadsheet became my pet shop's secret weapon and competitive advantage. It let me find a complete list of dog breeds that matched the exact amount of each trait any customer wanted. The ideas in that spreadsheet went on to form the basis of the software that is available through this web site. The biggest difference is the software is much easier to use than a spreadsheet. I'd consider it an honor if you'd let me show how you too can find your best dog using this secret weapon.