I am new here and would love to learn more about the Havanese breed. I've seen too many sad stories about bad breeders and would like to help make a small change! My biggest motivation came after a horrifying experience working at a pet shop. I was lied to and made to believe that the puppies were from reputable breeders. I got my dog from that store and found out a year later that she came from one of the worst puppy mills in Missouri. I quit that day but not before I did some research on the puppies in store. 1 out of 15 was from a puppy mill. That was TOO much for me. I decided that day that I will never be a tool in helping puppy mills stay in business.
I am looking for a mentor who has experience with the Havanese breed. I want to learn as much as I can. Body structure, health, genetics and breeding show dogs. I want to do it correctly. I want to help enhance the breed. I don't intend to start on my own for at least 7-10 years and believe that this is the perfect time for me to learn.
I live in NYC and would love to hear back from experienced show breeders who can use an extra hand from time to time. I am intelligent and eager to learn. I am a pre-vet major as well so I do have knowledge about dogs both medically and behaviorally.
I'd be really surprised if only 1 in 15 pet store dogs came from a mill. Reputable breeders NEVER sell puppies to pet stores.
I think the best way for you to start to learn is to participate here on the forum, and read LOTS of back posts in the breeding, puppy and health sections.
Hopefully, a breeder in your area will contact you, but I don't know of any NY area breeders who post here with any frequency. And it seems to me that when people have posted here looking for puppies in the NYC area, there have been warnings about the breeders who are close. People have had to go farther afield to find reputable breeders. I do know there are good breeders in CT, RI, MA and NJ.
I also strongly urge you to go to some shows and get to know the Havanese people there. Watch the classes and ask questions. Some face-to-face time, and getting to know you personally by seeing you around is probably a better way to find a mentor than just asking for someone to step up out of the blue on a forum.
In any case, welcome to the forum, and please feel free to participate! Is the dog you have now a Havanese or another breed? If it's another breed, how did you get interested in Havs? Oh, and one forum "rule" is that you "have" to post pictures!