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Purchasing Your Puppy

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

What should you expect when you are paying for your RightPaw puppy? All RightPaw breeders are verified and responsible, but there is some variation in how each breeder goes about their deposit and payment process. Our handy guide to common payment practices can help you understand what is normal.

light coloured puppy upside down in woman's arms


Many breeders will ask puppy applicants to put down a deposit towards their puppy, ahead of the final payment. This deposit is usually taken when the puppy is a few weeks old, around the time the breeder is allocating specific puppies to specific families. Deposits help the breeder to know their applicants are serious and committed to this particular pup. Sales that fall through after this stage might disadvantage the puppy by causing a delay in finding the right home and might be unfair to other eager owners on the waiting list. Responsible breeders will only breed litters when they know they have a suitable demand for puppies, rather than breeding randomly and then struggling to secure homes.

Deposits may be refundable or non-refundable depending on the breeder. Raising puppies is expensive! Many breeders have even remodelled their homes to accommodate their dogs. Some breeders use their deposits to help cover immediate costs and assist with cash-flow in the weeks before the puppies go to their new homes. Many breeders have extensive waiting lists and may not be able to accommodate refunds, requiring absolute commitment at this stage. Breeders with smaller waiting lists or complicated transport arrangements may require this commitment so there is no risk of a puppy ending up suddenly without a home. Either way, the cost and the refund status of the deposit should be clearly stated to you, in writing, before you are required to pay it.

RightPaw tends to recommend against breeders taking deposits in advance of puppies being born or allocated to owners, to avoid disagreements or confusion if puppies are not available in the expected timeframe. If your breeder does ask for this, we recommend having a detailed conversation with them so you feel comfortable you understand why this process is their preference and that you know what will happen if circumstances change for either party.

RightPaw recommends paying all deposits securely via RightPaw Pay.

money notes in hands

Final Balance

The final balance for the puppy should be stated to you in writing. Many breeders will issue contracts that include details of the final balance. Please read any contract carefully as these are not standardised by RightPaw and are unique to your breeder. Deposit and final balance queries are a common source of confusion between owners and breeders. RightPaw recommends everyone read these details thoroughly and discuss any concerns you may have with your breeder. If requested, RightPaw can supply a written offer document to breeders and buyers, which clearly outlines the deposit and sale price as well as refund terms. The cost listed on a breeder’s RightPaw profile is a guide price only, and you should confirm the price of your dog directly with your breeder. The final balance is commonly taken 1-2 weeks prior to the pup leaving, or on the day of pick-up/transport.

RightPaw recommends paying all final balance payments securely via RightPaw Pay.

dark coloured puppy peering over person's arm

Bidding or silent auctions on puppies is an uncommon practice where owners are asked how much they are willing to pay for a puppy, in order to be prioritised compared to other potential candidates on the waiting list. This does not currently contravene the RightPaw Code of Ethics but should be used carefully and never in lieu of properly matching a puppy with a suitable family.

person typing on laptop

RightPaw Puppy Payments

We encourage all prospective puppy owners to pay for your puppy through RightPaw Pay - our secure online puppy payment system. This offers several advantages including:

  • You will be issued with a clearly written offer document, outlining the deposit, sale price and refund terms, inclusive of State requirements where applicable.

  • Access to our independent Dispute Resolution in the event of any issues with your puppy purchase.

  • The option to purchase and enrol in RightPaw’s Puppy Prep Program – a 2-month training series to help you give your pup the very best start in life.

You can read more about secure online payments with RightPaw here.


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