I wanted to start this thread after a few threads of people purchasing dogs from not good breeders and pet stores.
I will start off by sharing my story of my Dora. I hope those of you who have stories will share too.
I got Belle from a good breeder and wanted another dog that was calmer and would help release some energy from Belle. We found a breeder of Cotons in our area who had Havanese as well. There were two havanese puppies left who were 5 months old. We went and we met them, the one I wanted was a boy so we ended up getting Dora cause we wanted a girl. We went to the breeders home and there was Dora. She was absolutely adorable and she was calm and easy going (everything Belle wasn't and the behaviorist said we should get for Belle). We didn't make a rushed decision but a week later decided to get her. I did go to the breeders home and see where she was raised, she was a nice older woman who was a hobby breeder. Dora's parents weren't health tested but I didn't know about that back then. Dora was pretty shy right when we met her. She was in a xpen with a pygmy goat (something else the breeder bred another red flag- many animals). At the time I thought it was so cute of Dora, she was running around with the goat but rewatching that video, I now realize Dora was just unsocialized and was scared of us. She was probably saying take the goat don't take me.
We get Dora home and she is extremely submissive. She adores Belle and wants to be with her but really doesn't want to interact with us. When we take her for walks, she is 10 feet behind us while Belle is 20 feet ahead. She also had issues with submissive urination. You would stand over her and she would lay down. She also didn't really want you petting her but she would lay there scared. She did bond with me first and didn't like my husband for a month or two. She slept in a cage fine, never a peep out of her. Probably what she was used to and it was her time to be alone from us. I was having trouble walking them by myself cause of the leash thing so I decided to enroll Dora in a puppy class. Dora started doing way better at home, peeing less, she would wag her tail more when I approached. She even started walking closer to me on our daily walks. Dora was voted the most improved puppy in our class and she graduated. She loved going there and I think she just liked being with a bunch of her own kind.
Well speed up- I kept Dora in many classes and spent a lot of money (way more than the price of a good Neezer from a great breeder) and my time training her to become a more balanced dog. Dora had titles in obedience, agility, rally, she is a canine good citizen, she has a therapy dog certificate. Dora will be 4 next month. I have beyond submerged her in socialization. Dora is a wonderful dog in our home and she will always be here. I absolutely regret getting her from a backyard breeder. I supported this person and because of me purchasing her there, I know more dogs were probably produced and may not have been as lucky to get the training and love Dora has. They very well may have gone to a shelter or if lucky into Havanese Rescue.
As from the many photos and videos I have shared, Dora is a good dog and a happy dog. She truly lives in the moment like many dogs do. However to this day, Dora will be thrilled when people come over and then when they pet her she shys back and runs to one of us. If I take her to a place by herself, she often gets overwhelmed and scared and her tail is down. She happens to be way too cute and gets tons of attention. She does way better with Belle and Dash cause they are busy jumping on the people taking the attention away.
I also have to say so far we have been blessed in the health regard and I hope it continues that way. Dora doesn't come from any health tested family members but she hasn't needed expensive vet care. I hope it continues that way but if not, she has a family that loves her and made the commitment to her.
I just wanted to share about my little girl and why I absolutely stress how important a good breeder is and early socialization is something you can't get back and it's worth waiting for. I hope those of you who read this share your stories too.
Amanda & Dora