Havanese Club of America - choosing a breeder - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
Ask A Breeder Have questions about a breeder or what a breeder should do? Questions about what to look for in a breeder? This is a great area to ask.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Havanese Club of America - choosing a breeder

Our beloved Coco passed away at age 11 and one half in May of lymphoma. He was full of personality and very handsome. He was tall and long and was trim at 21lbs. Everyone including his Vet was smitten with him. We would not have traded him for anything but he had these health problems: Atypical Addison's, bladder stones and crooked legs. He looked like a small Portuguese Water dog although his parents were both Havanese show standard. We liked his size but wonder if the oversize had something to do with his health problems?

We are now trying to figure out where to buy a Havanese that will be healthy. We just want a healthy pet and will not show or breed.

We are now trying to research breeders. There are only 3 breeders in Florida in the Havanese Club of America. I am thinking of evaluating just these 3 breeders as my starting place? Why are only 3 breeders in Florida in this Club? Is there another way to start this evaluation?
Thank you for the help.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 12:31 PM
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I'm sorry about your sweet Coco. Losing a beloved pet is very difficult. Glad to see you are getting back on the horse and looking for another. Life is too short to live without a loyal canine companion. IMO

The answer to why there aren't many FL breeders listed on the HCA directory is not a short one. But don't be discouraged there are good breeders out there, you just have to do your research and dig a little. Also, don't rule out going outside Florida. Its worth any inconvenience to find a healthy, well-adjusted puppy. Be picky! And be patient!

Private message me if you want to have a phone conversation to discuss details. I'm happy to help you.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Karen Collins View Post
I'm sorry about your sweet Coco. Losing a beloved pet is very difficult. Glad to see you are getting back on the horse and looking for another. Life is too short to live without a loyal canine companion. IMO

The answer to why there aren't many FL breeders listed on the HCA directory is not a short one. But don't be discouraged there are good breeders out there, you just have to do your research and dig a little. Also, don't rule out going outside Florida. Its worth any inconvenience to find a healthy, well-adjusted puppy. Be picky! And be patient!

Private message me if you want to have a phone conversation to discuss details. I'm happy to help you.
I'll second that you should consider widening your search if you can't find the breeder for you locally. I live in Ma, and my dog is from NC. I'd do it again in a minute, with absolutely NO regrets!!!


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. We will look outside of Florida and will travel to interview the breeder first. It is very important for us to get a healthy puppy this time. We have been through a lot with our handsome guy. We like the bigger Havanese like Coco was, but do you think that is inviting more health problems?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 11:51 AM
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Thank you. We will look outside of Florida and will travel to interview the breeder first. It is very important for us to get a healthy puppy this time. We have been through a lot with our handsome guy. We like the bigger Havanese like Coco was, but do you think that is inviting more health problems?
I don't think larger size has anything to do with health problems (though very small sizes can). But reputable breeders are going to be breeding for the middle of the size range (10-12 lbs) so that fewer puppies end up outside the acceptable hight range for the breed. (8 1/2" to 11 1/2") there is no stated weight range for the breed, but to give you an example, my Kodi is EXACTLY 11 1/2", and weighs 17 lbs. That is all muscle, no fat, and he is nicely conformed, even if he is larger than the "preferred" size range. (the preferred size range is narrower than the allowed size range) He is the largest dog that my breeders have ever had come from their breeding program.

Now, there are Havs that are no taller than Kodi but have shorter legs and a heavier body, who might weigh more than him (without being overweight) and still be within standard height. But it gives you an idea of the top end of the acceptable size range. Havanese do occasionally surprise their breeders and end up bigger, of course, but no good breeder does that on purpose.

I think your best bet is to find a good breeder with a good track record on health. One way you can gauge this is to look at their health guarantee. A breeder who feels very comfortable about the health of their lines will usually not stop at a "one year replacement" type guarantee. (How many people will REALLY give their beloved pet back after a year? Breeders count on that!) Top breeders will offer to cover medical expenses for any genetic or congenital problem that shows up, up to the purchase price of the dog. IMO, that is a MUCH more useful type of guarantee. And in my mind, a breeder who makes such a guarantee really believes in the health of their animals. Otherwise, they couldn't afford to do it!

Then, when you find the breeder you feel comfortable working with, tell them that your preference is for a larger puppy. You may not end up with a "super size" one like Coco, but most experienced breeders will have a good idea which pups in a litter will be smaller or larger than average.

When I got Kodi, my breeder warned me that he would be on the larger side (though she didn't guess how much!!! ). But I didn't care. I was looking for a well conformed, athletic puppy for sports, not a conformation show prospect.
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