Pricing and the World Market
By David Reaver
Adlerhorst has been providing quality police service dogs and training to law enforcement agencies for over 40 years. During this period we have seen an industry grow from being a law enforcement tool that could not properly be defined by many agencies using them and, more importantly, the courts of law. As the use of service dogs flourished we have met these challenges and overcome many more.
Prior to 1975, the police dog population in the Western United states was quite sparse. In 1976 Adlerhorst introduced the following new concepts that established present day standards.
- Using a pre-trained dog to shorten the time needed to put a new handler and dog team into service. The type of dog and training was not available in any quantity in this country, so we began importing dogs from Europe with training titles that closely parallel functions we expect of our police dogs.
- The establishment of an internationally recognized performance standard far exceeding programs currently in place.
- We were instrumental in P.O.S.T. involvement in class certification, currently in place since 1984 as a re-certification class. But more importantly their acknowledgement that a police dog was now an integral part of law enforcement.
- This led to our next accomplishment, “Acceptance in the Courts”. Since we are one of the biggest and most influential K-9 academy, many of the court cases landed on our turf. The attempt by scurrilous attorneys to undermine our attempt to elevate the use of dogs in law enforcement was not at all successful, in fact it led to forcing the extremely liberal 9th circuit to issue a decision placing the police dog were it belonged in the continuum of force “Vera Cruz v Escondido and Reaver”! Since the late 1980’s 37 appellate cases have made it to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. We have been involved in 15 – all adjudicated in our favor. The one appellate case not ruled in our favor, Smith v Hemet, went to the 9th Circuit absent our participation.
- While these are all positive occurrences, the only down side of quality procurement and high performance expectations is the desire of the whole country and much of the world to virtually seek out dogs that are of the same caliber we are searching for. This coupled with a weakening of the working dog gene pool in Germany; a sellers market was created in Europe. Additionally, the Euro, which is the new currency of most of Europe, has increased in value in relation to our dollar by 50% since it’s introduction in 1999.
- Shipping is an integral part of our procurement process. Recently many airlines stopped accepting live cargo, while others have raised their shipping prices. These costs are in Euros as well.
- Currently we have the best training staff in the industry. Eight full time instructors are former police officers, dog handlers and supervisors, plus myself and sons Michael and Jack Reaver. Additionally, we have part time instructors still employed as police officers. Labor costs have increased, (workman’s comp insurance was increased by 40%). We will increase our monthly training fees by 10%. This does not reflect the true increase in our cost to provide the quality instruction to all our valued clients. Our services and facilities will still be available as often as necessary.
- Over the past 40years a $10,000- car has more then tripled in price, while our prices have increased from approximately $2500 in 1975 to $11,000-. This is a long story that simply means we will continue to provide the highest quality police service dogs and training for police service. But we have to raise our prices.
The other choice, which some of our competitors have chosen, is to purchase a lesser quality dog. This is not an option for us. In fact it works to our advantage. While we continue to purchase quality, we are competing with fewer people willing to pay the price for top dogs.
We look forward to serving all of our valued customers in the near future and many years to follow!
Dave & Pip Reaver
Michael & Veronique Reaver