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Old 01-23-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
vls2
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Question about Breeder & Responses

Hi - My family is looking to purchase our first "furry" family member. After researching various breeds, we feel like a Havanese would be a good fit for our family. MY FIL has had two and we have enjoyed both of them.

After reading a lot of information of what to look for in a breeder, expected price, etc., I have a question about a breeder's response.

I asked about testing and she said although her dogs are from championship lines, she does not show them and some of the testing (hip, cardiac) is very expensive and she has not had it done. She does complete CERF and patella testing. She also said that the parents of her dogs have all their testing up to date and there have been no issues in their lines.

I couldn't find costs on-line to know if this is accurate. So, I was curious should I feel concerned? She has offered to FaceTime to show me her home, where the puppies sleep, play, etc. and of course, the parents are on-site.

I have read conflicting information on some of the testing so I am just trying to determine if all the tests are necessary, etc.

We have no intention to show or breed. This is simply a family pet.

Thanks so much for input and advice!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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Here in Ca the average for OFA hip xrays is about $100 and I think it's about $25 to send it in to OFA. I think Catarac is a bit less expensive. It averages about $500 per dog to have health testing done (patellas, hips, BAER hearing and CERF). Small price to pay to do what you can as a breeder to breed healthy dogs. And yes, I think its necessary to have the health testing done on the parents. Of course this can't guarantee that something wont pop up on the puppies, but its a much better start than just taking someones word "my dogs are healthy and I haven't had problems"-
Just my .02~!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:46 AM   #3
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CERF for the eyes is the only test that has to be repeated. All the other tests are a once in a lifetime deal. If a breeder can't "afford" to do the testing, how will they be able to back any kind of guarantee?
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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I would never by a puppy that wasn't from fully health tested parents, and where the puppy wasn't BAER tested. These tests have nothing to do with whether you want to show the dog or not. They are to (greatly) increase the chances that you will get a healthy, long lived PET, that you are not spending lots of money patching up.

I suppose Facetime is better than nothing in terms of seeing the breeder's home, but this doesn't give you the opportunity to interact with the parents and see their true personalities. It also means you miss out on extremely valuable learning time with the breeder if they ARE a good breeder. My breeder showed me how to bathe the puppy, groom him, clip his nails... and we had a chance for a good long conversation so that we both felt very comfortable with each other going forward.

"Championship lines" doesn't mean much. There are lots of BYB dogs (and some puppy mill dogs as well) that can claim that. If the breeder isn't committed to showing their own dogs, they probably don't care much about breeding to the standard either.

One thing that really worries me about this type of breeder is that there is no one (other than the breeder) assessing the temperaments of these dogs. All puppies are cute, but we are seeing more and more shy, snappy Havanese. That's not what this breed is about, and a GOOD one should be outgoing and friendly. But when breeders don't hold themselves to high standards, and simply breed to produce cute puppies, that is what happens. We've seen it in many other breeds.

Tom and Katie are speaking as reputable breeders, I am speaking as a puppy buyer/owner. Don't take the easy/quick/cheap way out now, and regret your decision for the next 15 years.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Vls, move one, find a new breeder. There are many breeders out there who do the health testing and are awesome breeders.
Keep looking Honey, don't settle for easy.

Good luck and keep us posted on your search!
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom King View Post
CERF for the eyes is the only test that has to be repeated. All the other tests are a once in a lifetime deal. If a breeder can't "afford" to do the testing, how will they be able to back any kind of guarantee?
I'm just curious about the eye test. Ive been hearing so many other problems with Havanese and health and I haven't heard much about eye problems? why every year? I got Zoeys tested and forgot to mail it in. She is past due for her second one. Her breeder didn't do it as a baby. So she is a bit over two and has only had one done. But she passed!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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sounds like a big "red flag". If she isn't willing to let you into her home to see where the puppies are raised then she definitley has something to hide. Facetime is not the same and lots that can be hidden.

"championship lines" mean nothing. My dog has "championship lines" and I bought her on a "pet only contract". she is not "show quality", only one out of her litter was and the breeder kept that one for herself and sold the others as pets. Both parents were champions.

There are no excuses to cut corners in regards to health testing. The havanese was once a rare breed which means there isn't a diverse gene pool which means genetic disease is not uncommon. That means it is really important to be rigorous with genetic testing.

If you are paying top dollar for a breeder for a quality dog then you should expect to get these things (healthy testing, home raised dogs, socialized dogs, dogs that have begun housebreaking when you get them, being able to meeting the pups and the parents before you take them home, etc). That is what you are paying for when you pay top dollar for a purebred dog from a reputable breeder. Otherwise you are better off taking that money and supporting a rescue organization!
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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I'm just curious about the eye test. Ive been hearing so many other problems with Havanese and health and I haven't heard much about eye problems? why every year? I got Zoeys tested and forgot to mail it in. She is past due for her second one. Her breeder didn't do it as a baby. So she is a bit over two and has only had one done. But she passed!

I don't think eye problems have been much of an issue since the 1990's. Then there were a number of Juvenile Catact problems, with some dogs going blind before they were a year old. It, quite frankly, scared all breeders back then, and that's when we started doing CERF testing.

Breeders back then removed the problem producers from the gene pool by not continuing to breed them. These days, with the increased popularity of the breed, we've seen Havanese increasingly produced by puppy mills and backyard breeders. The majority of puppies produced now come from people who are simply motivated by profit. Those of us who want to take every oppourtunity possible to better the odds of producing healthy puppies continue to health test.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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I don't think eye problems have been much of an issue since the 1990's. Then there were a number of Juvenile Catact problems, with some dogs going blind before they were a year old. It, quite frankly, scared all breeders back then, and that's when we started doing CERF testing.

Breeders back then removed the problem producers from the gene pool by not continuing to breed them. These days, with the increased popularity of the breed, we've seen Havanese increasingly produced by puppy mills and backyard breeders. The majority of puppies produced now come from people who are simply motivated by profit. Those of us who want to take every oppourtunity possible to better the odds of producing healthy puppies continue to health test.
I think what Tom has written here is the whole point. GOOD breeders stay on top of possible problems in a breed, test for them and breed away from them. The puppy mills and backyard breeders don't care... They are in it for a quick dollar and don't care about the long-term health of the breed. Some of the backyard breeders I think really delude themselves into thinking it doesn't matter... they play the odds, hoping that THEIR puppies will be OK.

Unfortunately, there are always people who will buy these puppies, just because it's cheap or quick. And then the breed gets a bad name for either health problems or temperament problems. This isn't just Havanese... it has happened to amny breeds!
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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I think what Tom has written here is the whole point. GOOD breeders stay on top of possible problems in a breed, test for them and breed away from them. The puppy mills and backyard breeders don't care... They are in it for a quick dollar and don't care about the long-term health of the breed. Some of the backyard breeders I think really delude themselves into thinking it doesn't matter... they play the odds, hoping that THEIR puppies will be OK.

Unfortunately, there are always people who will buy these puppies, just because it's cheap or quick. And then the breed gets a bad name for either health problems or temperament problems. This isn't just Havanese... it has happened to amny breeds!
Unfortunately this is the trend for "rare" breeds that suddenly become trendy. About 15 years removed it used to be easier to adopt a child than to buy a Bernese Mountain dog. At that point you could only get them from show breeders. Over time the dogs inevitably get into the wrong hands. It is a slippery slope. Now, over the summer I saw an example of the decline of the breed: a rescued female BMD, pigeon toed and who else knows, eight years old (that's about how old they get, they are short-lived) and bred 12 times. She was completely unaccustomed to anything and probably passed by now. To get to the point of her leading such a sad life, the dogs had to have gotten into people that "don't show but their dogs are champion lined and don't do all the health testings because their dogs come from healthy lines and the tests are too expensive anyways." Best to buy dogs from people who actually care about the breed.
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