The question we receive the most frequently is, “How long will I need to wait to get my puppy from Crockett Doodles?” Other families ask, “What number am I on the deposit list?” Many traditional breeders have a very small deposit list (perhaps 3-4 families waiting for a pup). It is easy for a traditional breeder with a very short wait list to tell a family, “You’re #4 on our deposit list.” Some other breeders typically have far less client interest in their puppies, so they can make promises to families to put them at the top of the list. Several of the largest websites offering dogs do not even take a deposit ahead of time, they just list available pups and sell them to the first buyer.
Crockett Doodles is not a typical breeder, and we have a huge demand for our pups. We consistently receive more than one hundred applications a day. The high demand for our puppies, the flexibility that we offer our partner homes, and the flexibility that we offer families on our wait list all make it very difficult for us to give someone their precise wait time. Compared to other breeders, the question of wait time is not easily answered for families on the Crockett Doodles deposit list.
At Crockett Doodles, our desire is to under promise and over deliver. We want to give our deposit list families a realistic expectation of when you can expect to get a puppy. We do ourselves no favor by underestimating the wait time.
We know that some other breeders allow families to pay extra for “pick of the litter” or to be advanced to the front of the line. Through the years, we’ve often had families offer to pay us extra to get moved up on the deposit list, but we want to be clear that we do not provide this opportunity. It is important for us to try to be as fair as possible when making puppy announcements to families on our wait list. We believe that it is a wonderful “problem” to have—we continue to have FAR more families wanting to adopt our puppies than available puppies for them to adopt.
For the past many years, as we have tried to track the average wait time for our puppies, we have found that on average most families waited 2-4 months before getting their first litter announcement of Crockett Doodles pups from which they can choose. For various reasons some families pass on their first litter announcement and wait for a future one.
Many families received their pup in a month or two, but we felt that telling families 2-4 months on average was a very safe estimate. Of course the nature of an “average” is that some families receive their pups sooner and for other families it takes longer. An average is not a sure-fire guarantee that a family will receive puppy announcements within that time frame, but it has held true the vast majority of the time.
We know that some families apply in May wanting a December pup for Christmas, or they apply in January, not wanting a pup until summer vacation. Some of these families plan ahead and figure if they place their deposit soon enough, they will be at the top of the list when they are ready to get a pup. The wait time for these families can be considerably longer than 4 months, but that is by their choice. Other families are wanting something very specific in their puppy and so it ends up being a longer wait.
Like everyone else, we’ve had to make adjustments and have had to be quite flexible to meet the challenges Covid has created for us. We have had even higher than normal demand beginning in March of 2020 with the institution of nationwide quarantine restrictions. Due to the affect that Covid has had on our network of family breeders, the general wait time has been extended. Please check the Breed Wait Times chart for the most current ESTIMATED wait times for each breed/size from our family network of breeders. This chart is updated weekly.
It seems overly mechanical to refer to supply and demand. But because this is a basic economic principle, the supply and demand considerations will help clarify the variables of the puppy wait time.
Over the past eight years of Crockett Doodles, we’ve added dozens of Partner Homes annually to our network and now have more than one hundred and fifty guardian home families who work with us to raise quality litters. Nearly every week we have multiple requests from new families wanting us to give them a Doodle mom or dad to use in our partner program. We have been picky in the families that we choose to use, but the increasing number of Partner Homes allows us to have many puppies going to Forever Homes every single week.
Because the mother dogs in our Guardian Homes are first and foremost pets, we allow the Guardian Home to have complete control over the number (and timing of litters). For instance, if a mother dog could have a litter that turns eight weeks old in June or a litter ready to go home in December, we would prefer December, since so many families want December pups. But it may work better for the Guardian Home to raise a litter during the summer. A typical breeder with a barn full of dogs can choose the exact timing of when they’re going to have litters, but because dogs in our partner homes are pets, it makes it difficult for us to predict when litters are coming, because our Partner Homes have constantly changing schedules.
Additionally we do not dictate a required number of litters for mother dogs in our program. While we would hope that our Partner families would have three litters with a particular mother dog over the course of her life, we’ve had some Partner families who have raised one litter and then decided it was too much work. Frankly, raising a litter of puppies in your home for a couple months is a TON of work. We want each litter born to be planned for and wanted by their home.
In short, we have an ever increasing supply of quality pups, but our flexibility with Partner Homes makes it hard to predict with precision how many litters of a certain breed we will have in a given year. Additionally, we do not know how many pups will be born in a given litter.
At Crockett Doodles, we offer great flexibility to families on our deposit list. We’re one of the only breeders who offers a refundable deposit. We never lock you in to a given litter (you can pass on a puppy announcement), and we allow your deposit to apply for multiple breeds. If someone has an application accepted, we also allow them to place a deposit far ahead of their desired adoption date. Some families place a deposit early in the year knowing they want a Christmas puppy. Although the flexibility is a wonderful benefit for those on our deposit list, it also makes it very difficult to identify a person’s position on our wait list.
For instance, you could be waiting for a Cavapoo (currently our longest waiting list), and there may be multiple families ahead of you who have a Cavapoo as one of their choices. However, one of the families might pass on a litter because they’re waiting for a Christmas pup. Another family passes on the Cavapoo litter because it’s a red litter, and they want a tri-color puppy. Another family might choose a mini Goldendoodle from a litter the same week (because they have mini Goldendoodle as one of their choices). Another family ahead of you decides they want their deposit refunded because of a change in family circumstances.
While those four families appeared to be ahead of you on the list, none of them took a Cavapoo from your litter because of the flexible choices they had. If we had a non-refundable deposit, locked families into a specific litter, and only allowed them to choose one breed, we could more easily predict your exact location in line, but you would have far less flexibility. The flexibility we allow the families on our deposit list is a great benefit, but comes with the drawback of less precision in predicting your wait time.
Most amusement parks let you know the approximate wait time for each ride. They typically have an app for your smart phone and electronic signs posted throughout the park letting you know that such-and-such ride has a 55 minute wait time. It works out really well, because it allows families to head to the rides with the shorter lines, which balances things nicely. Some families probably wonder why Crockett Doodles can’t give them a precise timetable. If Disney World, Dollywood, and Six Flags can determine the wait time for a ride, why can’t we give a precise wait time for a puppy?
Comparing an amusement park wait time to a puppy wait time in our flexible system is like comparing apples to oranges. It’s relatively easy for an amusement park to know wait time, because they know the exact length of time the ride takes, how many people can fit on the ride, and how many people are in line. It’s a fairly simple mathematical solution.
Imagine an amusement park where there was a single long line with split offs to a dozen different rides. A person might be in the line for one ride, or they might be in the line for any one of the 12 rides (we allow your deposit to apply to as many breeds as possible). Additionally some of the people would get right up to the ride, and then decide that it wasn’t the appropriate timing for them (people waiting for a pup in a particular time of year). Each ride was constantly changing the number of people allowed on it (litter size is constantly changing; a mom that has 3 pups one litter, might have 7 the next). At any time a person could decide they had waited too long, get their money back and leave the line (refundable puppy deposit). The rides were changing colors each time and some riders had a strong color preference, so they finally get to the line they’re waiting for, but decide they don’t want to ride it when it’s white because they would rather wait until the ride changes to the color red (we allow people to wait for their desired preference—color, size, gender).
Hopefully this analogy helps demonstrate that the number of variables involved in Crockett Doodles’ very flexible process makes it nearly impossible to mathematically predict with certainty your wait time or your position in line. It is not that we’re withholding information from you, but that we simply do not know what families with an earlier deposit date than you will decide to do.
Many parents have experienced the rather frustrating experience of driving on a vacation and having their children ask, “Are we there yet?” Ten minutes later, “Are we there yet?” Ten minutes later, “Are we there yet?” It is hard for the child to demonstrate the patience to wait, and it is difficult for the parent to convince them that the end is coming, but patience is required.
In all transparency, sometimes our team members feel like the parents in the car. Some families on the deposit list have a harder time waiting than others, and we’ve even had team members wonder if after a certain number of impatient emails, we should suggest to the impatient family that they ask for their refund and take them off the list. We know that waiting is just difficult. Patience is a virtue, and during these uncertain times, it is more important than ever. We seek to be entirely fair in the way that we send weekly puppy litter announcements to families on the deposit list, and we ask that you trust the process. If you’re willing and able to wait, we would love to help our deposit list families adopt a sweet puppy.