Things to Look for in a Reputable Breeder
SAVE YOURSELF THE HEADACHE ~ BUY FROM A REPUTABLE BREEDER
RED FLAGS TO LOOK FOR IN A BREEDER!
What questions should I ask the breeders?
We ask that you read this first before exposing any one breeder on the forum, if you are still unsure after reading this then feel free to ask.
We get many people who come here looking for answers to what everyone thinks or feels about one breeder or another. So we have compiled a list of things that may be red flags that you would see on a web site or here from the breeder that may be in question.
“Red Flags” to look for when looking for a breeder: And what a Reputable breeder should do:
* "Our Puppies come from champion lines" this is basically meaningless. I've seen this to mean everything from one great-great-great grandsire having his championship in an “oops” breeding to a handful of championed dogs in a pedigree. A breeder claiming champion lines does mean that you will have a better or more healthy dog.
* "My dogs are health tested" or "My vet has thoroughly checked them over".
but there is little or no health testing documented at offa.org
The dogs are probably not health tested. A lot of back yard breeders (BYB) love their dogs, but are usually not breeding to help better the breed, they typically do not complete health testing that is submitted into the OFA – http:www.offa.org they believe that health testing consist of taking their dogs to the vet for a routine checkup – this is not health testing!
* A reputable Havanese breeder will conduct (and can provide proof of) the following genetic health tests on their breeding animals and will require them of the sire (father) should they "hire" a stud dog for the litter:
CERF (eyes) yearly
OFA (for hip displasia & Elbows), a onetime deal done at or after age 2
Patella (Knees) done at or after age 1
Cardiac (Heart) done at or after age 1
Beware of breeders who scoff at genetic testing and say their particular breed/line is problem-free.
* Similarly to #2, "My dogs are health tested, but I couldn't afford to pay to have all the results posted on OFA's web site." The major expense is in getting the tests done! The fee to submit the results is pretty minimal. If the breeder could afford to do the health testing, there is no reason they couldn't shell out the nominal fee to have the results posted.
* Claims that there have never been any health issues in their lines, without qualification that the reality is that they could crop up and that this was in issue the breeder was actively conscious of.
* They won’t email you a copy of their standard puppy owner contract, even when asked for this several times.A reputable breeder provides a written contract with the sale of the pup. This will vary from breeder to breeder, but usually spells out the rights of the seller and buyer, health information, genetic health guarantees (should be at least 2 years), required altering and buy-back/return policy.
A reputable breeder requires that "pet-quality" animals be spayed or neutered and sells them on Limited Registration. Be wary of breeders who do not mention altering.
* A reputable breeder shows passion, love, and tremendous knowledge about the breed. He or she cares about placing puppies in excellent homes and will often interview potential buyers thoroughly, will make referrals to the local Havanese rescue group, ask for references and will refuse to sell a dog if the home is not appropriate for the breed or for a puppy.
A reputable breeder recommends the local Havanese rescue organization to potential homes. Explaining that these dogs make wonderful family pets and companions.
* Breeds more than one type/breed of dog. Be VERY careful of this. It is hard enough to properly raise and know all you need to know about one breed. The more breeds you have, the less quality they can produce.
* Has many litters available, more than 1-2 at a time. A breeder who has more than a couple of litters a year. Think about it by the number of puppies: 4 litters in this breed is often 15 or so puppies per year! That's a lot of dogs being brought into the world in a short time. Also, each breeding should be a masterwork of research and planning; it'd be hard to appropriately research and plan more an a handful a year
* The environment (typically a home) in which the breeder keeps the dogs should be clean and well-maintained. Do not agree to meet the breeder off site. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS ON THIS! A breeder that is not reputable Discourages or won’t allow you to come to their home for visits. And or won’t let you meet the parents or other dogs.
* Breeder's dogs don't live in their home. (This is a very social breed, they love and need to be with their human contacts, they do not and should not be living outside or in kennels)
* Doesn't stress puppy socialization.
* Have a backyard (or acreage) filled with kennels.
* A reputable breeder typically has a waiting list for the unborn puppies and does not advertise in the newspaper classifieds.
Be wary of breeders who Sells puppies online one commercial type web site like “Puppy Find” or Advertises in newspaper, flyers, etc.Most “Reputable Breeders” do not need to use sites like these, if you are looking for puppies on site like these, chances are the puppies are coming from puppy mills, brokers, and BYB.
* A reputable breeder will not typically breed dogs under the age of 2.
* A reputable breeder will hold on to puppies as long as it takes to place them in the right homes and will continue to recommend rescue even though they have puppies available.
* A reputable breeder is willing to provide answers to questions you may have and is willing to provide names of others who have purchased pups from them.
* A reputable breeder will allow you to meet the puppies parents if available and, if the father isn't available, they will show you pictures and provide you with the information on how to contact the owner of the sire(father).
* A reputable breeder follows up on puppies. He or she is interested in how the pups develop physically and mentally, difficulties in the owner/dog relationship and health problems.
* Most reputable breeders will not let puppies leave their home prior to 10 weeks of age and often not until 12 weeks of age.
* Reputable breeders have American Kennel Club (AKC) or Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) registered parents and pups. Be careful of the breeders that don’t
* Tells you that you have to PAY EXTRA for registration.
* Claims championships that are not from AKC or CKC.
* Doesn't offer a no questions asked return policy. (ie. a breeder should require you to return the puppy to them if you can no longer care for it)
* Offers to ship your puppy - not always a huge red flag, but I really don't like this. There are several ways to get your puppy without it having to go into the cargo hold of a plane.
* Doesn't promptly return phone calls and emails. (doesn't necessarily mean a bad breeder, but if you're a new puppy owner you are going to have questions and the breeder should be there for you to give you answers)
* Charges too little. (IMO, under $1500 - just remember, an expensive Hav doesn't mean it comes from a GOOD breeder, but usually reputable breeders are on the pricier side) In other words finding a bargain may not turn out to be the bargain you thought it would be.
* Watch out for the Breeder claiming to have "rare" colors or "teacup or toy sized" Havanese
* Breeder does not show their dogs. A reputable breeder is actively involved in the dog fancy, including showing and/or breed clubs. While there are exceptions--a retired individual who has shown dogs for 20 years--a person who is not involved with others in the breed can be suspect.
* Any breeder who thinks everything they have ever produced is Show Quality! Sometimes you might luck out and get a whole litter of show quality puppies, but more often than not, you get one or two if you're lucky. Sometimes you don't get any. I guarantee you no one has ever produced all show quality dogs - they are just not being honest (to you or more likely, to themselves!) about what they have.
REMEMBER: A "back yard breeder" might only breed one litter per year, raise it with love in their kitchen, and try to find a good home for each pup. But they don't do any or enough health testing; they don't have a solid knowledge of trying to preserve or improve the breed; they don't have that strong sense of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for the breed and for each individual!
REMEMBER: Pet stores know people know about puppy mills. I've seen lots of well meaning people buy from pet store because the pet store said, "Don't worry, we buy from breeders." But I assure you, no GOOD breeder sells a puppy anywhere without knowing exactly where and to whom it is going, and they if something goes wrong they will get it back!
* A bitch that is bred after age 6 or so (depending on her health, how many litters she's had in the past, a year or two later might be ok).
* A bitch that is bred every heat cycle (2x a year) for more than one year on, one year off. NOT ACCEPTABLE!
* A good breeder will interview you right back! If they are happy to toss a pup in your car or on a plane because you wanted one, seemed nice, and could pay, it's a red flag. If they ask you about your life style, hours you work, members of the household, what your expectations and plans for the dog are... great! Don't be offended by this. They are trying to decide if you have a realistic expectation and ideas about owning a dog, if this breed is a good match, and what personality will best suit you. Of course, they shouldn't be rude to you, but you should get the idea that they really, really care about where their puppies are going.
* A breeder who not only loves their dogs and cares about their puppies and where they end up, but feels they are a guardian of their breed. They bear a massive amount of personal responsibility to preserve and improve the look and function of their breed, to ensure each dog they bring into this world has the best possible temperament, the least possible likelihood of developing genetic disorders, and goes to the best possible home. You just can't do that in high volume.
* A reputable breeder is always available to answer your questions and to help you out with problems that you may have. The breeders involvement with you and the puppy should not end with the exchange of monies.
A good Breeder should be a resource for you forever.
1.WHAT HEALTH TESTS DO YOU PERFORM ON YOUR BREEDING DOGS?
BELOW YOU WILL FIND A LIST OF QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT WANT TO ASK OF A BREEDER YOU CONTACT. DO YOUR HOMEWORK ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL BREED WHETHER YOU ARE WANTING A PET OR A SHOW HAVANESE.
AFTER ALL, YOU WANT A HEALTHY HAVANESE TO SPEND MANY WONDERFUL YEARS WITH.
Ask for CERF and OFA/CHIC numbers, or ask for the Sire and Dam's AKC number so you can look up the Health testing yourself at: WWW.OFFA.ORG.
2. WILL YOU DO THE INITIAL WORMING AND VACCINATIONS OF THE PUPPIES? HOW MANY?
3. WHAT ARE YOUR REQUIREMENTS REGARDING SPAYING AND NEUTERING?
4. WHAT CHOICES DO I HAVE REGARDING SEX AND COLOR?
5. DO YOU HAVE BOTH PARENTS ON SITE? IF ONLY HAVE THE DAM, DO YOU HAVE INFORMATION AND PICTURES OF THE SIRE?
NOTE: IF NEITHER PARENT IS ON SITE, RUN FAST, AND DON'T ASK ANY MORE QUESTIONS!
6. AT WHAT AGE COULD I BRING MY PUPPY HOME?
Puppies should stay with their mothers and siblings until at least 10 weeks old
7. WHAT DO YOU CHARGE FOR SHOW OR PET?
The typical cost of a Havanese from a reputable is anywhere from $1500.00 - $2500.00 There may be some exceptions, but go with your instinct, If it sounds to good to be true - chances are it is.
8. ARE THE PARENTS AND PUPPIES AKC REGISTERED? IF NOT, WHY?
9. WILL YOU PROVIDE ME WITH A COPY OF THE PUPPIES PEDIGREE?
10. WILL YOU PROVIDE WITH LIMITED REGISTRATION ON MY PUPPY?
NOTE: BREEDERS SHOULD NOT BE CHARGING MORE FOR
PAPERS, THIS IS AGAINST AKC'S RULES.
11. DO YOU SHOW YOUR DOGS IN CONFORMATION OR AGILITY?
12. WHAT TITLES DO YOUR DOGS HAVE?
I.E. AKC CHAMPIONSHIPS, AGILITY, CANINE GOOD CITIZEN (CGC),
THERAPY DOG, OBEDIENCE.
13. DO YOU HAVE A HEALTH GUARANTEE? FOR HOW LONG? AND WHAT DOES YOUR HEALTH GUARANTEE COVER?
14. DO YOU REQUIRE CO-OWNERSHIP? IF SO, WHY AND FOR HOW LONG?
15. DO YOU HAVE A WAITING LIST IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PUPPY AVAILABLE NOW?
16. ARE YOU A MEMBER OF ANY HAVANESE CLUBS OR ALL BREED KENNEL CLUBS?
17. HOW MANY LITTER'S DO YOU HAVE IN A YEAR?
18. WILL YOU PROVIDE ME WITH A COPY OF YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE I COME TO GET MY PUPPY?
19. HAVE ANY OF YOUR DOGS OR THEIR OFFSPRING HAD ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS?
20. WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS ARE YOU AWARE OF IN YOUR LINES?
NOTE: IF A BREEDER TELLS YOU THERE ARE NO HEALTH ISSUES, WALK AWAY! EVERY LINE HAS SOME SORT OF
HEALTH ISSUES, THEY JUST MAY HAVE NOT SHOWN UP, BUT YOU SHOULD BE INFORMED OF ANY POSSIBILITIES
THAT COULD CROP UP.
21. WHERE DO YOU KEEP THE PUPPIES FROM BIRTH UNTIL THEY GO TO THEIR NEW HOMES?
22. AM I ABLE TO COME VISIT AND SEE THE PUPPIES AND THEIR PARENTS?
Be cautious of breeders that won;t allow you to come and see where the dogs are kept and raise. A reputable breeder should encourage you come see the puppies and their other dogs.
23. WILL YOU SHIP YOUR PUPPIES?
Again, mostreputable breeders will not ship their puppies, there are many different ways to get the puppy to you, then in the belly of a plane. Again you need to use your best judgement and instinct on this.
24. DO YOU MICROCHIP THE PUPPY BEFORE IT GOES HOME?
25. IF FOR SOME REASON I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO KEEP OR
CARE FOR MY PUPPY/DOG, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE BACK
A reputable breeder will always take a dog back no questions asked. Or they will help you to find the perfect home in the event you are no longer able to care for your dog.
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