Your Criteria for keeping puppies - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Your Criteria for keeping puppies

When you have a litter of puppies, what is your "criterea" for keeping a possible breeding/show puppy.

Do you a) have a set of "standards" as in there are a maximum number of Hav standard "variations" the puppy can have(a max number of faults), b) do you look for certian traits you like/need in your program or c) "go with your gut" that is, keep who you "feel" would work best for your program. All of these include deciding not to keep a puppy at all/keeping multiple puppies/just one.

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 10:56 PM
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Good questions. I evaluate to the standard first and foremost. However, by the time a puppy is 8 weeks old, "my eye" is already giving me a pretty good idea of who might be considered a show potential puppy as I have been holding them, playing with them, watching them and so on since birth. I am not one that thinks that most puppies in a litter are show potential puppies. I want more of the whole package to continue moving forward in my breeding program. I don't want to loose any of the good I already have.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 11:13 PM
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I take a good, hard look at 8 weeks of age and try to get some other breeders that I respect to look at them at that age also (without telling them what I see).

My first evaluation is at 7 weeks age - and that is where I evaluate for temperament. A poor temperament immediately disqualifies any dog from staying.

Next, I start off with Pat Hastings' method of evaluation for overall balance. She is really good in teaching generic canine structure. Then I go to the Havanese Standard for specifics. There are many faults, but I weigh some heavier than others. I will not keep a dog with a bad front, because a bad front is dominant (genetically) and you can fight that for generations without getting your correct front back. And, I will not keep a dog with a bad bite. Dentition (number of teeth) is different from the bite. Weak pigment is something I look down on also. Head shape is very important to me. I highly value a good head. If the head doesn't look like a Havanese, then the dog is automatically off my list for keeping also.

Strangely enough, I was just talking with Hedy about this today. Since my goal is to always be improving the breed, I do not want to keep a puppy that is not better than his/her parents. Likewise, if I have a dog that can't produce better than him/herself, then I don't want to keep that adult in my breeding program either.

It is very important to learn to recognize the strength of each dog. Anyone can recognize faults. (Give someone a standard and a little information and they can sit ringside and pick out the faults in an hour.) But, it is much harder to identify the strengths of your dog. If you can learn to identify strengths and be willing to create a heirarchy of faults that you won't tolerate, you'll get a great start.

Unless you are going to collect dogs, you have to be hard core at evaluating critically so that you are able to scrutinize your own puppies without emotion. It is hard to step back and be objective, so that is why it is important to have others who will tell you the good and the bad without hurting your feelings too.

It is so important to grow in knowledge. Seek out experts in dogs and in your breed and learn from them. I sign up for every seminar that I can and read a lot of books that are touted to be "experts" in the canine world. Sometimes I learn more about canines in general and it is amazing how much a general dog structure (or genetics, nutrition, breeding, etc.) seminar will teach you. I have a long way to go, but I intend to keep learning every day I can.

Last edited by Havtahava; 10-30-2008 at 11:16 PM.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 11:22 PM
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Fascinating. As someone who never plans to go into breeding dogs but respects those of you awesome breeders who post here this is really interesting to read.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 07:10 AM
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Okay, why I am not/shouldn't be a breeder, my first thought- it is a puppy of course you keep it!!! <BG>

I think Kathy and Kimberly have given you some great advice though and I really second temperament as I have seen a lot of Havanese recently with questionable temperament so don't forget that part of the testing. Do you have some people who can access your puppy without being biased and be honest with you? I think that would be the hardest part especially when you are the breeder.

P.S. you can always send the puppies to me and if they are perfect, I will send them back

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havtahava View Post
Strangely enough, I was just talking with Hedy about this today. Since my goal is to always be improving the breed, I do not want to keep a puppy that is not better than his/her parents. Likewise, if I have a dog that can't produce better than him/herself, then I don't want to keep that adult in my breeding program either.
Kimberly~ I worked very closely for many years with a teacher who is one of the top breeders of Exotic Shorthair cats and this is exactly how she determines which kittens will stay and which will go. Excellent advice!

~Leslie

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 10:11 AM
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I could never be a breeder but it is interesting to watch and learn from breeders.

I'll be happy to take any puppy rejects off your hands.......I'll put a crate with comfy blankies by my front door so you guys can drop off the babies, no questions asked. It'll be the "Safe Haven" law for puppies.

Susan

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 10:17 AM
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I learn so much from the breeders on this site.

Kimberly I want to thank you for always taking the time to answer my questions about this delightful breed. I appreciate it.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 10:19 AM
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I agree with Amanda...they are puppies I would keep all of them. Now that is why I am not breeding. I would be the crazy dog lady....wait they already say that I am. I think you got some really good advice. I think it is soo awesome to be able to learn all I can even though I am not breeding. I would love to but I just don't know if I could.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 10:21 AM
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I will leave a crate by my door as well....we need to station ourselves around the different states!!!

~~Mommy"s Little Angel~~
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