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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.. Have a question about the 'look' of a Havanese dog.

While I was searching for a breeder and looking at prospect puppies, I came across some that did not quite look like what a havanese 'should' look like. Not sure if I'm saying this properly? lol..

Anyhow, in that case, if the puppies face (head) does not look perfect(shape, eyes, nose..etc..) then would this puppy not be considerd a good specimen of the breed?

For example, i'll use 2 puppies's you see quite often on this forum. Bugsy and Houston - to me, these 2 Hav's look perfect. I've seen some that do not have the head shape correct or have high forheads etc..

So my question is, would one not want to spend $$ on a Hav that may not fit into the 'standard' of appearance? If the puppies exterior is not perfect, then could that be a warning sign that the 'interior' might have problems to?

I know, kind of a weird topic...

Thanks all!
 

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Samson & Delilah's Mom
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I don't think that this is a weird topic, I think it is a very good question. Conformation is very important, but I don't think it would automaticlly mean the pup wasn't healthy. :confused: This is a very interesting question.
 

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Oreo's Mom
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I personally don't think it has anything to do with health, but if the pups are from a reputable breeder they should not be too far from conformation. Now, I am not a breeder and do not know all the details, but from what I understand, not all pups - although sired and dammed (sp?) by confromation champions - in a litter do conform to the standard. So not all are "show" potential. At least that is my 2 cents. If you are looking for a "show" quality dog then I would be concerned about how they "look" in terms of their conformation. But as for a pet, I would personally be more concerned about the lineage and the testing results of each member of that family tree. Even then, I am sure it does not guarantee anything, but atleast the odds are in your favour :)

But you did peak my interest with this thread ;)
 

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This is quite true. And speaking of Champions, that really comes under the same heading. There are lots of Champions without all the Critical Elements of Breed Type-many with short muzzles, round eyes, level toplines, bushy coats, curly coats, long and low,square,....on and on. We are still too new in the ring for even the majority of judges to understand the breed yet. And there are many breeders who can't evaluate their dogs but will put anything that they like in the ring.

This includes the Best of Breed ring at last years National Specialty. I had a good seat. There were even dogs in there with long upper arms and reverse toplines.

There are a lot of people involved in Havanese that believe that what they have is the way they should look. Breed standard changes in the '80s didn't help. There were changes made then to the standard to suit dogs that people writing the standard had. For instance "double coat" was first seen in 1988.

A lot of people think that the standard that Dorothy Goodale wrote was the original standard and will argue it until blue in the face. There were FCI (international standards) Standards in 1935 and 1963 and the FCI standard is still used in other parts of the world. Havana Silk dogs were in some of the first dog shows in the 1800s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hav 'look'/head

I'm not really even talking about the body, just more the face/head shape. When breeders have shown be pics of the litters, some look exactly as a Hav should look, and some look kind of off, almost like a different breed all together. I just hope my future puppy looks like a hav should..
 

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Hi Freeway1976: I think as Tom said there are many different looks that do fit the breed standard. Once they get older and grow their coats it pretty much evens out and they all look like Hav's. But the two adorable hav's you mentioned are puppies-so if your future puppy does not meet your expectations you should keep looking.

I know I have been told there is a difference between Hav's with Cuban lineage- they are a little stockier with less delicate features and their tails are not as tight to their backs. I'm not a breeder, just sharing what I have been told.
 

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Quincy's Mom-Vinnie too!
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Freeway,
I think alot of what you are seeing in the different looking havanese,is coats.Some puppies have a more "fluffy" look,some have a wavy type hair,some straight and more close to the face.In puppies it varies alot due to age and coat types.Also as the hav changes from puppy to young adult they look different too.Remember too,that as a owner you can keep a puppy coat,a show coat,and everything in between.Some shave them all off and they resemble poodles!In this forum alone,you can see all varieties,and they still are all havanese and great pets.If you are looking for a show dog,that fits all the standards to a T ,then your breeder would help you pick the correct puppy,or one they think will be close.
 

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Oreo's Mom
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Freeway, I see what you are saying. I have seen that some do look different but the key in this area is to do your research. Find out about the puppy's lineage and take a look at the parents. Not all breeders, at least those that call themselves breeders, are reputable. Some are there to make a quick buck, and perhaps in the lineage there are other bichons, and all not being Havanese that conform to the standard. Now, within the standard there is a range in height at the withers that they must fall into. I don't know that info but I am sure that accounts for some of the variance in how minute some facial features are. But really it should not be "different". I have seen some websites that say they breed havanese and they look more like coton du Tulears or even Maltese, so we as buyers have to be watchful. Now, I don't have anything against those breeds, they are wonderful too. But research and your best effort is really the key. Follow your gut and if at any time you feel that something is off, runlikehell in the other direction. I hope you do get your puppy and he/she is happy, healthy and vibrant. :)
 

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Freeway. Thanks for saying Houston looks perfect. He thinks he is a show dog trotting on his leash. I won't tell him he's not.;)
 

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Bugsy's Mom
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Freeway - thanks for the compliment, I will tell Bugsy what you said. ;)

If the puppy isn't what you want or expect to find in your Havanese, wait and the right puppy will come along. When I first looked at Bugsy's picture, I knew he was the one for me.
 

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Freeway: I totally understand what you are feeling, you have been waiting, and waiting and you want this little perfect Havanese. I remember feeling that way when I was waiting for Cash (who was shipped to us and I had only seen a picture) when he got here, I thought he looked like a skunk. He was really low to the ground and he waddled and his tail dragged and it did not curl go up (jasper had been a perfect miniature when we got him.) If I had seen him in person- I may not have taken him. Now five weeks later, he does look like a Hav- albeit- not a perfect HAV- his tail still looks more like black golden retriever's tail. And I still have moments when I wish his tail would go up---- but I love him and he is a great pal for JAS.

(those of you who show or are breeders - is there anything I can do to encourage his tail to curl up over his back? know they pin some breeds ears --- can you do that with a tail--- and if so is he too old (4.5 months)

Anyway, I agree if when you see your pup and there is anything you don't like-wait for your perfect pal. But you will have to have a strong will- becasue they all have those cute little puppy eyes...it's hard not to fall in love. with which ever one is in front of you
 

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Freeway,
If you are willing to wait for the dog of your dreams, then don't settle. If you are planning to show or breed, then you can not settle.

I saw pictures of Shelby that the breeder emailed me, and she was adorable (they all are). When I picked her up, I immediately saw that she was different than Kodi - she had shorter legs, a bigger head, and her lower jaw juts out a little bit. But, when you brush her hair out of her eyes, she has the cutest face. She is the one who kisses everyone and who loves to sleep cuddled up next to you.

Wat I am saying is, to make sure you get the puppy "look" you want, research the breeder thoroughly. If it is a reputable breeder, it is more likely that the puppy's look will be what you desire.

Good luck.
 

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Mom to Bacci and Isabella
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IRNFIT

You mentioned researching a breeder, how do you go about doing this?

I fell in love with the Havanese while researching for a dog that would suit our lifestyle. Once I found the Havanese there was no changing my mind, I was in love & had to have one. I had been looking for a responsible breeder in my area but ended up working with an out of state breeder. She doesn't have any puppies available at this time, but will soon.
 

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Find out if the breeder does all necessary health testing on their dogs. If you find a puppy, you can ask for the pedigree of the puppy. With that info, you can go on line and research the lineage to check if all dogs were health tested.

There are threads on this forum that will help you in learning just what questions to ask the breeder. There are people on this forum who can give you the information you need. Go to Havanese Club of America website. There is info there on selecting a breeder as well as a local club listing. On the local club listing, there is sometimes a beeder referral list.

All of this will help you to find the right puppy for you.
 

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Mom to Bacci and Isabella
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IRNFIT

Thank you for all the helpful information. I did get a breeder from one of the Havanese Clubs, but I have not researched the Dam & Sire, I will get right on this now. Thanks again.
 
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