I am progressing towards the final stages of placing a deposit on a prospective, 2018 litter for two, puppies with Lisa Shaw from Misty Hills Havanese in New York. If anyone has any information about this breeder, I would deeply appreciate your time and effort to provide any feedback or information.
Lisa seems extremely knowledgeable about the breed, has been patient to answer my questions, reports that her sires and dams are AKC and have health certifications, and has not treated me disrespectfully because I am seeking two chocolates from the same litter.
*I originally posted this in the "introduce yourself' forum as one of the two required posts to gain permission to post in other forums as a new member. I thought that possibly many members might not read the intro forum so I re-posted in this forum under the appropriate subject of "breeders." I will not double-post in the future and just did so for the above-stated reasons. Thank you for reading.
I don't know this breeder at all, but I notice that there is no talk about health testing on the website. That doesn't mean that she doesn't do it, but you will need to check that out carefully. Do NOT take a breeder's word for it. Check that the testing has actually been recorded on OFA or get (and check) the parents' CHIC numbers.
The second problem for me would be the contract. I would NEVER work with a breeder who demands a nonrefundable deposit. Good breeders have usually have a waiting list for puppies, and want the freedom to place the right puppy with the right family. They don't need a nonrefundable deposit, because putting the puppy in the RIGHT home (not the first available home) is most important to them.
Second, the "health guaranty" is essentially useless. There are only VERY few heritable problems in Havanese that will kill them outright in the first year. Those would be a SEVERE heart problem or a severe liver shunt. Many liver shunts can be repaired, but she won't pay any medical expenses. She'll only guarantee the puppy if it "expires" during the first year. ...And then she doesn't say she'll refund your money. The contract says nothing, but I'd BET she means that she will replace the puppy with another... If she has one. Otherwise you might be COMPLETELY out of luck.
Better breeders guarantee against all heritable conditions and will refund up to the purchase price of the puppy for medical expenses. Many will do this at any time for heritable conditions, not just for a short window of time (during which time, few of these problems will show up. There is a reason that dogs can't have their patellas checked before a year or final hip and elbow Xray's before 2 years. The reason is that it is VERY common for these problems not to show up before those ages. As a for instance, patellas are not life threatening in most cases, but are definitely debilitating, and are EXPENSIVE to repair. It is more common than not for a dog to need both patellas repaired at some point, if they need one done. Each surgery will be well over $1,000, and require months of confinement, nursing and rehab.
Another problem with this contract is that reputable breeders ALWAYS make provisions for if you can't keep the dog for some reason. Many will want the dog returned, but even if they don't specify that, they should specify that the dog cannot be placed in a shelter or rescue, and that the breeder needs to be involved in making the decision on where the dog is rehomed. Breeders typically recognize that owners may have a wonderful opportunity to place the dog with a friend or relative, but they want to be involved, and able to keep track of the dog's whereabouts. Reputable breeders are responsible for the dogs they produce for the life of that dog.
So I wouldn't purchase a dog from this breeder, just based on the contract. But I would CERTAINLY want to know about the health testing they do as well.