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How Long Does It Take To Find A Puppy?

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

It often surprises new owners how long the process of finding a puppy actually takes. There is a lot to consider from the day you decide you are looking for a new family member, to the day that pup comes home. During 2020-2022, the average length of time households spent waiting for a puppy, after making an application, was 6-12 months. This wait time has reduced in 2023, and there are now more puppies available for immediate purchase. The wait time will vary widely between breeders, depending on how often they breed.

The Research

It is important to take your time over this decision. Buying a dog is a life-altering moment and certainly not one that should be taken lightly. RightPaw encourages new owners to do some research into what might be the right breed for you. Consider their personality traits and exercise requirements just as much as their physical appearance. You should compare available breeders; read their profiles to see who you feel comfortable with and whether they share your values around dog ownership. RightPaw breeders do not encourage impulse buying and they will do the same due diligence with prospective owners – they will take their time considering your application and deciding if they think your family would be a good fit for one of their puppies.

calendar open on a table

The Waiting List

Once you have selected a breeder you are interested in purchasing from, you can fill out an application form for their kennel. If this application is successful, you will usually be placed onto a breeder’s waiting list. Not all breeders will have puppies available at the time you apply. The number of litters a kennel produces per year will vary, depending on how many dogs they have, how big litters tend to be in that breed and whether they breed as a hobby or full-time. Each breeder will manage their waiting list differently – some will allocate you on a first-come-first-serve basis when puppies arrive, others will selectively match the right family to the right puppy based on their own criteria. It is not uncommon for a breeder to have a waiting list that lasts 12-18 months, especially if they do not breed often or if they are particularly popular. Not all wait lists will be this long, but you should be prepared for a minimum wait of 2-3 months, unless your timing is particularly lucky. Most breeders will wait until they have a minimum number of owners interested before they even mate their dogs, so the litter is rarely ready to go straight away. When a litter is born most breeders will send an update to everyone on their waiting list to confirm who is still interested and if anyone has dropped off or found a puppy from elsewhere. You are welcome to apply to several different breeders on RightPaw at the same time.

The Offer

When a breeder has a puppy lined up for you, they will issue you an official offer through RightPaw. This is usually done after the puppies have been born, but a few weeks before the puppy is ready to go home. Puppies don’t go to their new homes until they are a minimum of 8 weeks old, so there will usually be a 2-6 week gap between accepting your puppy offer and the day you can pick your puppy up.

woman holding up a puppy and kissing it

Your patience will be totally worth it for that beautiful bundle of fluff at the end! Whilst the process of finding a puppy is often a bit longer and more time consuming than people expect, it is worth the time and diligence to find a healthy, socialised, ethically sourced puppy. Buying a puppy through RightPaw is a safe, ethical way of buying a puppy online. You can have the peace of mind that you are supporting top quality breeders and helping to remove demand from unethical or even illegal breeders who capitalise on people’s desperation for a puppy right away. Your patience and commitment to ethical breeding is the key help improve standards for breeding dogs across Australia. Join us to help every puppy start off on the right paw!


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I'm looking for a breeder

the breed I'm after is a toy fox terrier black and white

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