Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Submit Photo: 5
Photo Submissions 18 Times in 12 Posts
An Open Letter to Breeders
Havanese are not perfect, but they are perfect for me. I love their goofy antics, their floppy hair in their faces, the cocked head as they try to understand my words. I am amused by their demands and adore the patience while they wait for me to wake up in the morning. My Havs don't look the same as each other nor the same as my friends' Havanese, but I still love their unique appearance.
Some people were a little surprised at my outspokenness yesterday and I'm going to attempt to explain a little bit of why I said what I did.
I have had many, many dog breeds in my home throughout my life. It took several years before my husband and I agreed on adding our first Havanese to our family.
I have Havanese because I love this breed. I love them for all their joys, quirks and funniness. I take them with their problems, too, even the potty-training difficulties. I try to be very particular about evaluating each dog I have against the Havanese standard to ensure that I can continue to produce Havanese that look (structure) and act (temperament) like Havanese. I do my best to monitor their health and drive quite a long distance to encompass all the health testing recommended by the Havanese Club of America (HCA) and a few others tests too.
So, when some of my friends, mentors and people that I respect decided to start their own breed with their own standard, I was sad and disappointed, but decided to "live and let live." I did not even consider leaving Havanese. It wasn't really an option for me. I have Havanese and am committed to the Havanese standard as it is posted on the HCA and AKC web sites.
AKC only recognizes the Havanese and there is only one standard for our breed.
A year has passed since the divide and there are several people who are claiming to have both Havanese and Havana Silk Dogs within the same body of a single dog, and yet there are different standards for each. Some try to use the concepts of a registry & standard as if they are separate, but they can't be. If you have Havanese, you must breed to the Havanese standard, not some other "breed" standard. If we all picked & chose which standard to use, eventually some Havanese would have Papillion ears, Old English Sheepdog tails or German Shepherd toplines. We breed to the Havanese standard because we are preserving and improving the Havanese breed.
Like I said in the other thread, I have no problem with people owning HSDs as their pets. They are all innocent in this and every dog deserves to be loved and cared for. I don't really even have a problem with those that left to join the HSDAA - that's their choice. If you don't agree with a standard or an organization, I think it is best that you leave if you feel you can't live with it. Kudos to them. My problem is with those that try to ride both sides of the fence while discrediting the Havanese breed, even if just in subtle undertones.
It's time to get off the fence. Make a decision and stick with it if you are a breeder. You need to breed to one standard and stick to your convictions whatever they are.
Kimberly Gattey-Wood, a member of the Havanese Club of America in good standing
P.S. I know that every dog that I'm responsible for bringing into the world isn't going to be perfect and I'm not always going to be a perfect breeder, but I'm sure going to try for both those as most of my Havanese breeder friends do.
Last edited by Havtahava; 08-05-2008 at 12:26 PM.