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Goldie and Stogie
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I want to start a thread that hopefully people will read BEFORE they get a puppy. We get a lot of people on this site who are guests or find us on a search engine. I think the biggest problem with dogs being given away or given to rescue, is people dont understand what they are getting into.

I would like some Honest advice that all of you can give to someone starting out. I want this to be very educational. I do think some breeders sugar coat things to sell puppies, Not ALL, but they are out there. There are also breeders who after the sale dont have much if any contact with people afterwards. Its sad but true.

SO if someone is looking for a Havanese or a Breeder, what would you tell these people? And if you are looking, what questions do you have?

Maybe posts things you wished you would have known before hand.

Thanks!
 
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Do You Health Test?

Most important question to ask a breeder...

Do you health test?

For the puppy buyer, don't take their word for it...verify the results on the CERF, OFA and CHIC sites.
 

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long but important

Owning a dog should not be undertaken lightly. A dog is not a piece of furniture or a decoration to bring out and show off to company. A dog is, and should be treated as, a family member. You should plan for a new dog as you would plan for a new child in the family.
DO YOU HAVE THE TIME TO SPARE?
Adopting a new puppy, or even an adult dog, will make a huge demand on your time. It takes a lot of time to properly feed, train, play with and care for a new puppy. New puppies don't always sleep through the first few nights and you may find yourself getting out of bed several times to take the puppy out to potty. If the puppy is quite young, you may have to come home at noon from work and give the puppy it's lunch.
First thing in the morning you'll arise, take the puppy out to potty (and wait until it does and praise the heck out of it), fix it's breakfast, take care of any clean up needed and, hopefully, have a few spare minutes to play with the puppy before you leave for work. (Hey, if you don't work, so much the better!) At noon it's home again to give the puppy lunch, (let it out to potty if it's been crated) and another play time and clean up. Evenings it's the same routine except that now the puppy should be allowed to follow you around as you do your chores. More play time and loving, and hopefully the puppy will sleep next to you whether or not it's in a crate.
Puppies need a great deal of socialization. This means that you need to expose the puppy to all kinds of sights and sounds within it's home. It should meet children, men and other animals. Once a couple permanent vaccines are given, it's time to take the puppy out in the world and introduce it to all kinds of new Sights and sounds. Puppy kindergarten classes are wonderful first experiences for a puppy. Here the pup will learn basic obedience in a gentle, fun way. He will learn to interact and socialize with strangers, both human and canine. Your new puppy should accompany you as many places as possible.
If none of this seems like too much to fit into your schedule, then you're probably ready for a puppy.
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT FACILITIES?
A well-fenced yard is an absolute MUST for anyone who owns a dog. First and foremost this is for the safety of the dog. Dogs allowed to roam free, or contained by one of those underground 'electric' fences are in danger. Any stray without the proper receiving device on it's collar can enter the dog's territory. Loose dogs get hit by cars and can pack together and cause havoc in the neighborhood. Dogs who roam loose and get in trouble are not at fault. The owner is.
There should be some kind of shelter provided when the dog is left outdoors. Proper heating and cooling should be available depending on climate and season. The dog should first be a house and family dog.
If you don't have a large yard, or live in an apartment, can you take the time to provide proper exercise for the dog?
TAKE TIME TO RESEARCH THE BREED OF INTEREST
If you've decided that you're ready for a dog, you probably have a few breeds in mind. It is very important to learn about these breeds before you make a final decision. A breed that you find very appealing physically, may not be temperamentally suited to your personality or lifestyle. For instance, you probably wouldn't want to keep a Greyhound in an apartment or own a Rottweiler if you know nothing about guard dogs and training. It is often those people who buy on impulse, with no intimate knowledge of the breed, who later decide that the dog has to go. This is not fair to either the dog or the breeder from whom the dog was purchased.
Take time to read books on your breeds of interest, 'chat' with knowledgeable breeders/owners on the on-line services and the Internet, seek out and talk to breeders of each breed. Attend a few dog shows and ask lots of questions. (The first question to ask is if the person has time to talk. Often exhibitors are about to go into the ring, have a dog in the ring at the moment, or are just plain too wound up to talk to you. Talk to them later when they have time or get their phone number and call them). Visit the breeders and spend time around the adult dogs of the breed. Often the puppy is charming but the adult is not at all what you had envisioned.
CAN YOU AFFORD A DOG?
Be sure you're aware of what costs are involved with the particular breed you want. I remember one person on the Great Dane bulletin board who had four Great Danes and kept complaining about how expensive the top quality foods (which is a must for a healthy Dane) cost. All they did was bitch and moan about this food's price and that food's price. It was difficult for me to restrain myself from asking why they had so many dogs if they couldn't afford to feed them properly! This is a valid point and one you need to consider. Some breeds, the Great Dane for one, have a lot of health problems. Many are preventable by the way we feed but others are emergencies which can cost a few thousand dollars. Danes are prone to gastric torsion and the corrective surgery usually costs about $2,000.00. If you can't afford this, you shouldn't own this breed.
What about special grooming needs? It's not fair to the dog to allow it's coat to become dirty and matted because then it's the DOG who suffers when grooming time comes. If you can't afford a weekly or bimonthly session at the groomers, you might reconsider your desired breed.
RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE BREEDER OF YOUR DOG
Conscientious breeders have worked for many years to produce the puppy you're about to take home and love. Such breeders don't lose interest in you and the puppy once they cash your check. They are always available to you at any time to answer questions and reassure you when you're worried about the dog. Most breeders will provide a contract which contains health and temperament guarantees. However, the best bred dog in the world will never attain it's full potential if the owner doesn't live up to his responsibilities, too.
If you have purchased your puppy as a pet, you owe it to both the puppy and the breeder to follow all care and health instructions. You must be sure that your puppy has his health checks, vaccines and any needed wormings on schedule. You must properly socialize the puppy and attend obedience classes so that your puppy grows into a happy, outgoing and treasured family member who is a pleasure to have around.
If your puppy has been purchased as a show potential puppy, you need to do all of the above and then some. Your puppy will never become a champion if he's not prepared for the show ring. This means taking him to handling classes, puppy matches and training him how to stand for examination and gait properly in the ring. If you are not going to be doing the handling, or if you are not good enough at it to be competitive, then you'll need to hire a professional handler. This can be expensive and you need to know what you're getting into before you commit to a show dog. It means making a reasonable effort to finish his championship if he is of championship quality. Nothing is more disappointing to a breeder than to sell a promising show prospect to a home that then doesn't follow through! If you've purchased this pup as a show dog, you owe the breeder the effort.
RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOUR DOG IN HIS OLD AGE
If you're lucky enough to have a dog that lives into old age, the chances are that you will be faced, one day, with having to make the decision to end his life. This is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do. You must be able to think of what is best for the dog, not what hurts you the least. I hate having to make this decision. It hurts so much to hold your dearest friend in your arms and see him leave you. But it's selfish and wrong to allow the same dear friend to suffer if there's nothing more to be done to make his life pleasant. If you cannot bring yourself to be present, then at least make sure that there's someone who will help ease his end in the kindest way.
 

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Watch out for these registrations

Melissa,

I came across these info to watch out for which may lead to believe it is a puppy mill. I know we have a lot of excellent breeders on our forum. I would appreciate their input. I think this is something we should have in the link we talked about to help new buyers.

Please remember I am not an expert so I would appreciate people's inputs and I would gladly edit.

APR - American Pet Registry
American Canine Association, Inc.
American Purebred Registry
America's Pet Registry Inc
CKC - Continental Kennel Club - mimics the legit Canadian Kennel Club
Canine Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America
FIC - Federation of International Canines - mimics the legit FCI--
Federation of Rare Breeds
Krystle Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
National Pet Breeders Association
North American Purebred Dog Registry
Purebred Canine International Registry Service
United All Breed Registry
Universal Kennel Club - mimics the legit United Kennel Club
US Breeder's Registry
United American Kennel Club
United Kennel Club International
US Kennel Club
World Wide Kennel Club
 

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Mom to Princess & Jewels
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398 Posts
When we had our golden's, it amazed me how many people tried to pass off the APR as the same thing as AKC.

Thankfully we knew better, but I wonder how many people don't and get suckered into that.
 

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Melissa,

I came across these info to watch out for which may lead to believe it is a puppy mill. I know we have a lot of excellent breeders on our forum. I would appreciate their input. I think this is something we should have in the link we talked about to help new buyers.

Please remember I am not an expert so I would appreciate people's inputs and I would gladly edit.

APR - American Pet Registry
American Canine Association, Inc.
American Purebred Registry
America's Pet Registry Inc
CKC - Continental Kennel Club - mimics the legit Canadian Kennel Club
Canine Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America
FIC - Federation of International Canines - mimics the legit FCI--
Federation of Rare Breeds
Krystle Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
National Pet Breeders Association
North American Purebred Dog Registry
Purebred Canine International Registry Service
United All Breed Registry
Universal Kennel Club - mimics the legit United Kennel Club
US Breeder's Registry
United American Kennel Club
United Kennel Club International
US Kennel Club
World Wide Kennel Club
I'm currently reading through the information on this forum to come up with a check list of sorts that I can use when looking at websites to find a good breeder. I have a question about the list above - if I see references to these organizations on a breeders website, is it a serious red flag? Does it mean I should simply not waste my time with them and move on to the next breeder or would you say "just be cautious" and continue checking them out?

I have to say that I really appreciate all of the input and advice that happens on this forum.

Thanks!

Patty
 

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Kimberly
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Well, Patty, if you want a purebred dog, the only registry in the U.S. that you would want to consider would be the AKC, the American Kennel Club.

Other registries (to my knowledge) allow some fudging of records, or allow someone to just send in a photo of their dog and say that it is of a certain breed. If you don't care if you have a purebred, there are many other places to get dogs - like shelters.
 

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Well, Patty, if you want a purebred dog, the only registry in the U.S. that you would want to consider would be the AKC, the American Kennel Club.

Other registries (to my knowledge) allow some fudging of records, or allow someone to just send in a photo of their dog and say that it is of a certain breed. If you don't care if you have a purebred, there are many other places to get dogs - like shelters.
Thanks Kimberly. I didn't know that. I've never had a purebred dog before.
 

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Kimberly
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10,275 Posts
You're welcome. Saying that your dog has papers (from a registry) gives it a certain look of credibility, which is why people do that. APR/APRI seems to be the most common.
 

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A few of the things I think important in considering adopting a Havanese would be to:

1. Not let your heart rule your head. Don't go to breeder websites and fall in love with that adorable puppy for sale.

2. Don't buy from a pet shop. You know nothing about the dog's lineage and predisposition to disease or defect. They can be awfully cute, but . . .

3. If you're in contact with a breeder and there is something that doesn't feel right in the answers to your questions or your concerns, run . . . don't walk in the opposite direction.

4. Sites that have no information about the breeders and/or the puppy's parents raise a red flag. Many of these sites offer "full AKC registration." That isn't the way responsible breeders sell. Much as you might want the option to do whatever you want, consider it a warning.

5. If the "breeder" is seller at a significant discount to the going rate, there's probably a good reason. Consider it a warning.

There are no guarantees when you buy a puppy that it won't develop problems down the road. Just don't go looking for trouble. Know what you're getting.
 

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LINDA
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I would also add, make sure you know what you're getting into. Read some puppy books and be prepared. Know that the first couple months are very hard and make a promise to stick it out. Know what temperament pup will fit best into the family.

DON"T BUY MINI'S or from backyard breeders who don't show and test the parents. They need to show you proof of testing on the OFFA website.
 

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Tiny Tootsies Havanese
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201 Posts
I have this on my web site and also advertise it on Puppyfind.com:
(boy did that tick some people off!)
I decided to write this because of all the Puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders popping up with Havanese. It’s important that you are informed so you that you don’t make a mistake in buying a puppy that will either drain your bank account because it’s unhealthy or drain you and your family emotionally because the puppy dies an untimely death. Those breeders don’t care about the life of the dogs and puppies only the cash in their pockets. They breed unhealthy or poor quality animals that produce puppies with devastating effects. Some with crooked legs that need surgery, if it’s reparable, some with organ defects like heart, kidney or liver problems that may not even live out the first year of their life. Some breeders are offering “Tiny” or “Teacup” or “Extra Tiny” Havanese, well, don’t be fooled. They are runts for a reason and breeding runts to runts to get them even smaller. Runts are generally not healthy and certainly not what you would want to use as breeding stock or to purposely produce. And on top of that they are charging more for them?! Don’t take my word for any of the statements I make here. Please take them and ask your Vet, check online etc…DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Buying a puppy is an exciting and fun time but it’s important that you do your homework and know what to look for in a breeder and a puppy. There are many places on the internet you go to get information about the breed and breeders. I will list some links below for you. I think it’s important to do your own homework and make an educated decision yourself. Listen to everyone then check it out and make your own mind up.
When looking for a puppy it’s easy to fall in love with the first fuzzy face you see but don’t. Don’t even go look at a puppy with your check book. Leave it at home! Before you even visit the puppy or think about buying it you should make sure it’s a reputable breeder and quality puppy. To do this there are some guidelines to fallow that will help you.
First, make sure the puppies are AKC (American Kennel Club) registered. This ensures you are getting a purebred Havanese. You will be paying a lot of money for this puppy and you should get what you are paying for. There are a lot of dog registries that will give you papers and don’t care if it’s really a purebred or not. AKC is the only reputable registry in my opinion.
Second, make sure the parents are health screened. Eyes should be CERF’D yearly. Once is not good enough. Hearts, hips, patellas should all be cleared as well. Some breeders pay to register the results with OFA if they don’t you can check with their Vet to find out their results. But it is important to make sure this is done by a licensed, respected Vet. You can verify the results online with OFA or call their Vet. You must do this! If you will be calling the Vet because they don’t register with OFA then make sure the breeder gives the Vet permission to discuss whatever you want with him.
Third, call their vet. You will be able to verify if this person is legitimate and ask questions about what kind of care these dogs get and can also verify their address and much more.
Fourth, if they have a lot of dogs or a lot of puppies or puppies all the time or more than one or two breeds, this should be a warning. There is no way to properly care for all those dogs and give the puppy’s proper socialization in an environment like that. You don’t want to end up with a neurotic or unhealthy puppy.
Fifth, what is the breeder’s contract and guarantee? Make sure your able to agree to the terms of the contract and that the breeder offers more than a 10 day health guarantee. Normally a year health guarantee is standard. If there is none or only a 10 day….RUN!
Sixth, if everything pans out and all looks good, visit the home to see first hand the environment before placing a deposit. All your questions should be answered and you should be ready to place a deposit before visiting the puppy. If that is not possible try to figure out another alternative like paying someone from a local vet’s office to visit and inspect the facilities for you. Maybe offer them a hundred bucks to take their lunch hour to stop in. It’s a small price to pay in consideration of the cost of your puppy now and in the long run. Let them know in advance what you want them to look for. How many dogs does she have, where does she keep them, make sure you or the person actually sees it all and it’s not hidden or allowed to be viewed. What condition are they kept in are how well are they cared for.
Don’t buy any puppies from pet stores. Regardless of what they tell you, all those puppies come from Puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders which is exactly what you want to avoid.
Lastly, if the breeder is offended by any of your questions or requests then don’t do business with them, they may be hiding something or at the very least is this the kind of person you want to have as your breeder?
This page is still under construction I will edit it from time to time.
 

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house training

I agree with all the info that has become before- the thing that helped me the most with my two was completely understanding-- that a lot of Havanese take a bit to a lot longer to house train.

I have heard a lot of frustration with new puppy owners and I think if you know going in it alleviates a lot of the fear that it will never happen. Most big dogs are house trained easier. But the only Hav I knew before I got my boys was not reliably house trained-- so we prepared to be vigilant and were 100% committed to making it work- and we did.

I think in other threads it has been said that our pups were not completely reliable til 10-months to a year. Now that doesn't mean peeing everywhere for that long. But that there may be a relapse or an accident here and there. But re-upping the watching at those times will make for a reliably trained dog.

It's a couple of months investment for years of enjoyment with this little creatures.
 

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Kimberly
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Brandy, I'm finding more and more vets that will not give out any information by phone for privacy reasons. A friend of mine even co-owns a puppy with one of her buyers and the vet wouldn't give her info because he didnt' have proof that she was the co-owner nor a release from their client (the puppy owner) to give out info. I use four different veterinarians for different things (one is just for my hip testing) and I know that two of them will not answer any calls on inquiries about me. One will say that I'm a client and they have nothing bad to say, but that is the most they will disclose.

By the way, I don't agree with breeders that don't send in the results to OFA. It hardly costs a thing and if you have done the tests, then send them in. If OFA doesn't have test results on a particular dog, I have to wonder why. Was the testing not done or was there something in the results that they don't want people to see? Most every breeder has something crop up in their dogs. That's just bound to happen in time.
 

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I agree with all the info that has become before- the thing that helped me the most with my two was completely understanding-- that a lot of Havanese take a bit to a lot longer to house train.

I have heard a lot of frustration with new puppy owners and I think if you know going in it alleviates a lot of the fear that it will never happen. Most big dogs are house trained easier. But the only Hav I knew before I got my boys was not reliably house trained-- so we prepared to be vigilant and were 100% committed to making it work- and we did.

I think in other threads it has been said that our pups were not completely reliable til 10-months to a year. Now that doesn't mean peeing everywhere for that long. But that there may be a relapse or an accident here and there. But re-upping the watching at those times will make for a reliably trained dog.

It's a couple of months investment for years of enjoyment with this little creatures.
I agree Missy, I had read where toy dogs generally take a year to housetrain. I had always had big dog and they would be trained by 4 months. So, I told myself I had to work really hard, and all three have been reliable at 8 months, they were good, with a few accidents after 6 months. I would of thought that I was a failure it that had been a big dog, but I thought 8 months was pretty good for a small one.
 

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I have a question- what do you think about adopting a hav from a havanese rescue organization? I know that obviously there are no papers, but if one is looking for a hav as a pet, what is the down side?
(Yes, I have MHS and am exploring the options!)
 

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Oh, by the way, Parker was purchased from a breeder who turned out to not be commmitted to her puppies. She has not replied to my attempts to communicate with her since I sent her the neuter papers. I learnedthe hard way about breeders. But I love Parker!
 

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Personally I think adopting from a havanese rescue group is worthwhile and I'd have no problem doing it. If you can give the gift of a better life to one of these sweet loving souls, it can only benefit everyone.
 

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Kimberly
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10,275 Posts
I have a question- what do you think about adopting a hav from a havanese rescue organization? I know that obviously there are no papers, but if one is looking for a hav as a pet, what is the down side?
(Yes, I have MHS and am exploring the options!)
The downside can be the wait. If you are considering it, fill out the application first and stay involved in the process when one becomes available. You can always say no, but you can't even say yes to a dog if you don't have an application completed. Havanese Rescue does a lot of work in screening the dogs and making sure they are even adoptable in the first place. It isn't a fast process and there are not a lot of dogs coming through the system, so it could take a long time, but would be worthwhile when the right one needs you in his/her life.

Amanda & Kathy both know a lot more about the details.
 
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