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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
i agree that $4800 seems too high, to clarify, I just don’t think that price is a very good indication of a quality Havanese or breeder. $4,000 is absolutely not unreasonable, though, and I wouldn’t eliminate a breeder based solely on a higher price. I think there will be other red flags with a breeder that is price gouging. In this particular case there are tons of other red flags, as well as a lot of forum experiences. The cost of living has risen so quickly that putting a specific price on a Havanese could change again in a year. It is hard for me to swallow considering it’s so much more than what we paid for our Havanese 4 years ago, but I’ve been in the market for a car for a while now so nothing would surprise me!
Thank you!!! I've heard looking for a car has been really hard these days as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
My husband I spoke with Lisa from Ohana yesterday and she was super helpful. She told me she doesn't have a wait list or take deposits and that once she knows her girl is pregnant she will then contact families who she has spoken to. We're hoping we made an impression on her as she encouraged me to follow up with her in a couple weeks and even email her if she doesn't tell me she got our puppy application. Keeping our fingers crossed. I really liked her!

Does anyone have any insight about havaneseinsocal?
 

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My husband I spoke with Lisa from Ohana yesterday and she was super helpful. She told me she doesn't have a wait list or take deposits and that once she knows her girl is pregnant she will then contact families who she has spoken to. We're hoping we made an impression on her as she encouraged me to follow up with her in a couple weeks and even email her if she doesn't tell me she got our puppy application. Keeping our fingers crossed. I really liked her!
This is indeed good news. Lisa and her husband Raul are good friends of mine. They are both friendly, affable, knowledgeable, and VERY likeable. They are good ambassadors for the Havanese breed and both are willing to help whether with one of their pups or anyone's pup. There are a number of "super exclusive' breeders including @krandall- High Jump Havanese and @Tom King - Starborn Havanese, both on this Forum. I also include Lisa - Ohana Havanese on that list. Super exclusive means to me that a breeder follows all the health protocols, starts training shortly after birth, and will always be there for you to give support and answer questions. If you are lucky enough to get an Ohana pup you will be getting the best of what the Havanese breed has to offer. I met three of her pups right before Christmas who were waiting to go to their furever homes. They were all gorgeous, self confident, and social butterflies. My wife had all three of them crawling all over her at one point (they had never met her before) and she exclaimed, "I want to take all three of them home with us!" 🙄

Lisa does not keep a waiting list, but she does keep an "interest list." In other words, it is NOT first come first served. She matches a pup's temperament to a prospective family. For example she would not place a pup that shows athletic prowess with an elderly couple who want a lap dog. It is very important you be very honest and detailed about what you are looking for YOUR lifestyle. Do you have small children or grandchildren? Do you travel a lot? Do you like to take daily long walks and want the company of a canine companion? Do you want to enter competitions with your dog? The list of possibilities is endless. NEVER specify a preference for a specific gender or color. Those criteria are unimportant. You want a dog that will fit into your family's personality whatever that might be!!! I am an active person and wanted a dog to match my interests and WOW! did I get that with my Ricky Ricardo! We are each others alter ego!

Lisa told me she rarely places a dog before the final week they are ready to be sent home (10 - 12 weeks old). In fact the three we met at Christmas time (2 were 10 weeks, 1 was 12 weeks - from two different litters) had yet to be placed! All three were show prospects and Lisa was waiting to make her personal selection for the one she was going to keep. She was also keeping an eye on them to see how the three would react to total strangers - my wife and I. They were all over us, playful, happy, not shy, and very energetic. Lisa said it was a tie among the three but that is helpful because each of the three showed they are very flexible in placing with a new family.

SO,,,it may be late spring or early summer before you learn whether you are selected to be an Ohana pup owner. In reality that is a very short time to do everything you need to do for preparation. Start be reading EVERY post here on a daily basis. Ask lots of questions. Start making a list of everything you need to acquire BEFORE bringing a pup home. Attend dog shows - there is going to be a huge show in Palm Springs this weekend (I think it is the second largest in the US) and you will see a hundred or more Havanese in competition. Lisa will be there in conformation competition. Unfortunately, Ricky and I will not be in attendance this year because this weekend is packed with other activities.

Does anyone have any insight about havaneseinsocal?
I would NEVER purchase a dog from that breeder. I don't want to get into specifics.

If you really want to impress Lisa, come to the Havanese regional specialty show the second weekend in March at the Pomona fairgrounds sponsored by us, the Havanese Club of Southern California. HUNDREDS OF HAVANESE. Lisa is the chairman of the event and will be very busy but I know she will be happy to spend some time with you for a face to face chat. Ricky and I will be there doing some assigned job but we will spend as much time with you as you like. In fact I will turn his leash over to you and you can take him for a test drive, He is like a Tesla on Autopilot - easy, easy, easy. I'm hoping to see a few other HF members there too.

So @ohweewee how bad do you want a quality, super exclusive Havanese? Are you ready to do the necessary things and make the commitment that will change your life forever? Only you can answer those questions.
 
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Hi. I was wondering where you ended up getting your puppy from. I have talked to Nevena as well after finding her on AKC marketplace, but I'm a bit weary after seeing the one review from someone else. It's hard to make a decision off just 1 review.
I got my Havi from Nevena. He's beautiful with a great temperament and in excellent health. My experience with her was positive. Though I thought her prices were a bit steep, I figured it to be an either pay now, or pay later, as they came with so many health clearances. Nevena informed us a couple months ago that she was getting out of Havanese breeding after nearly 20 years.
I'm very sorry to hear the bad reviews from five to 10 years ago. I got my puppy back in June of '21 and he was 10 weeks old when I got him. I was on a road trip down from Oregon with my elderly PomChi that passed away on the trip. I'll admit I was in a weak state when I got him, but he's been the best thing for me getting through the grief of my longtime beau of over 10 years, dying a few years prior, and then to lose little Schatzi (Pom-Chi) that my beau and I found in the middle of a two lane highway at 1:am about five years ago, I was a mess emotionally. I justified his cost of $4800 spread out over his potential lifetime of 15 years, as being less than therapy, divorce or a bad romance.
Nevena has been great responding to my emails with any concerns I might have. I'm so sorry, again, to those whom haven't had as positive of an experience. It's like night and day.
As for a long car ride...I did it in my Trail Blazer. I initially had him in a wire crate but he was miserable. I set up his elevated carseat next to me. He was so much happier riding "shotgun". Exposure to Parvo along the way home was my greatest concern, so I used diapers and puppy pads for his elimination needs. That way he wasn't exposed to diseases at dog pooping areas at rest stops.
My SUV was set up for me to overnight in and I placed him in a soft sided dog tote next to me in the back. I didn't want to stay at a motel that allowed dogs as there again was the risk of Parvo exposure. I was following the advice that Nevena had given me. She was reticent at first at the thought of a 900 mile drive home, but between my reassurances that I'd protect my investment and consider her advice keeping him safe from Parvo along the way. It was pretty much not allowing his paws to touch the ground until we arrived home. I enjoy road travel and remote camping, my puppy is my companion virtually everywhere. He charms just about everyone, is especially fond of children, gets on with cats, and most dogs, as long as they're not large, aggressive or act crazy. Of course we try to avoid such instances. He is socializing beautifully on our pack walks with a dog walking group we're members of. He's the littlest of the pack but has the biggest personality!
We wish you luck in finding your next sweet family member.
Warmest regards,
Orah
I understand what you're trying to say and thank you for that! This isn't our first dog, we had a rescue that passed about 2 years ago, but going through a breeder is new to us which is why I thought to sign up to this forum to learn more, which I am. Any further advice or comments is definitely welcome. This is why I am here. :)
 

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Read the story about @Orah 's little cutie on this thread: Esteban This is what makes Havanese Forum such a valuable resource, you will get a lot of information about different opinions and experiences. As a moderator with special tools, I was able to verify that this is a legitimate review of a particular breeder. We may not always agree and that is good because it allows each member to make their own, informed decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Read the story about @Orah 's little cutie on this thread: Esteban This is what makes Havanese Forum such a valuable resource, you will get a lot of information about different opinions and experiences. As a moderator with special tools, I was able to verify that this is a legitimate review of a particular breeder. We may not always agree and that is good because it allows each member to make their own, informed decisions.
I appreciate this forum so much and the differing opinion provided, especially the respect that I have observed from the differing opinions.

I have learned so much from here and speaking with several breeders as well. Vicky from Artwyrks Havanese was super helpful over the phone and I'm in contact with Amanda from La Brisas Havanese who is pretty close to Lisa. This is a good start for us and we're continuing to cross our fingers that we find a new puppy to add to our family who will fit right in. Hoping we can make it to one of these events mentioned by @DogFather.

Another question...how are havanese at flying in the passenger compartment?
 

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I appreciate this forum so much and the differing opinion provided, especially the respect that I have observed from the differing opinions.

I have learned so much from here and speaking with several breeders as well. Vicky from Artwyrks Havanese was super helpful over the phone and I'm in contact with Amanda from La Brisas Havanese who is pretty close to Lisa. This is a good start for us and we're continuing to cross our fingers that we find a new puppy to add to our family who will fit right in. Hoping we can make it to one of these events mentioned by @DogFather.

Another question...how are havanese at flying in the passenger compartment?
Absolutely fine. I've flown two of mine home and it has been no problem at all. And dogs from La Brisas will also be quality dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I got my Havi from Nevena. He's beautiful with a great temperament and in excellent health. My experience with her was positive. Though I thought her prices were a bit steep, I figured it to be an either pay now, or pay later, as they came with so many health clearances. Nevena informed us a couple months ago that she was getting out of Havanese breeding after nearly 20 years.
I'm very sorry to hear the bad reviews from five to 10 years ago. I got my puppy back in June of '21 and he was 10 weeks old when I got him. I was on a road trip down from Oregon with my elderly PomChi that passed away on the trip. I'll admit I was in a weak state when I got him, but he's been the best thing for me getting through the grief of my longtime beau of over 10 years, dying a few years prior, and then to lose little Schatzi (Pom-Chi) that my beau and I found in the middle of a two lane highway at 1:am about five years ago, I was a mess emotionally. I justified his cost of $4800 spread out over his potential lifetime of 15 years, as being less than therapy, divorce or a bad romance.
Nevena has been great responding to my emails with any concerns I might have. I'm so sorry, again, to those whom haven't had as positive of an experience. It's like night and day.
As for a long car ride...I did it in my Trail Blazer. I initially had him in a wire crate but he was miserable. I set up his elevated carseat next to me. He was so much happier riding "shotgun". Exposure to Parvo along the way home was my greatest concern, so I used diapers and puppy pads for his elimination needs. That way he wasn't exposed to diseases at dog pooping areas at rest stops.
My SUV was set up for me to overnight in and I placed him in a soft sided dog tote next to me in the back. I didn't want to stay at a motel that allowed dogs as there again was the risk of Parvo exposure. I was following the advice that Nevena had given me. She was reticent at first at the thought of a 900 mile drive home, but between my reassurances that I'd protect my investment and consider her advice keeping him safe from Parvo along the way. It was pretty much not allowing his paws to touch the ground until we arrived home. I enjoy road travel and remote camping, my puppy is my companion virtually everywhere. He charms just about everyone, is especially fond of children, gets on with cats, and most dogs, as long as they're not large, aggressive or act crazy. Of course we try to avoid such instances. He is socializing beautifully on our pack walks with a dog walking group we're members of. He's the littlest of the pack but has the biggest personality!
We wish you luck in finding your next sweet family member.
Warmest regards,
Orah
Thank you for this review. Some of the others who purchased from Nevena had older puppies and so I wonder if because they spent more time with her, the conditions were less ideal. It's great to hear that your Esteban is doing so well and sounds like he is a perfect match for you!

Out of principle though, I think that I will pass from Nevena. I feel a bit weary that she has so many puppies available and even older dogs. Their situation doesn't feel right, and she wouldn't allow us to meet the puppies before choosing. I appreciate that she will match the puppies with us, but at least meeting them beforehand seems to be the more appropriate etiquette. I truly appreciate that you had a very positive experience with her. It's good to hear her puppies are at least going to nice families.
 

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Not sure this is relevant here but did it come up at one point that there was more than one Nevena? It could have been a similar name I’m confusing, because I didn’t think it was a west coast breeder.
 

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Another question...how are havanese at flying in the passenger compartment?
When we picked up Ricky, we drove for two days there and two days back because I was too intimidated as a novice dog owner to take him on an airplane. Car travel with a puppy is a whole 'nother discussion.

Today, Ricky is an experienced air traveler. He has at least a dozen flights under his belt and enjoys them so much, the whole experience. We have a casa in Los Cabos, Baja California and we take a direct flight from LAX to SJD. I have a Sherpa 'Airline Approved' carrier. At 15 pounds, it is a snug fit for Ricky but still workable. Dogs are supposed to be kept in the carrier for the entire flight and under the seat in front of you. However, we take Alaska Airlines and we know most of the flight crew. They don't know my name but they sure know Ricky's name! "Oh boy, Ricky Ricardo is aboard, better lock up the snacks!" 😄 Many of the flight crew are dog lovers including the pilots. They tell me to keep him in his carry-on under the seat until we are in the air and the seatbelt light turns off. Then they say to take him out of his carrier and he can sit on my lap until it is time to land. The flight crew checks on him several times during the flight to see how he is doing. They hold out their hand and say, "Ricky give me five" and he dutifully does. They always bring us extra bags of snacks just for Ricky and I select carefully. They ask if they can bring Ricky a cup of water and he always takes a drink to be polite. One time when disembarking, the woman in front of me stood up and looked around. She said, "Oh my gosh, I had no idea there was a dog behind me, why didn't you tell me, I have a Havanese at home!" When leaving the plane, the crew stands at the exit and bids us goodbye. I say, "Ricky if you enjoyed the flight and the flight crew, give me a fist bump!" and he does and that brings the house down, even the people behind us in line.

When waiting for departure in the lounge at the terminal, Ricky is a celebrity. There is always a crowd around him from toddlers to adults. Ricky loves the attention and all the petting, "She is so soft!" "Yes he is but 'she' is a 'he'." I have Ricky do some of his tricks and he loves to lick ice cream off the little kids faces. People are just mesmerized by him. Ricky enjoys himself thoroughly. One thing Ricky doesn't like about airport terminals is the dirty, disgusting, nasty dog stations. He refuses to go in; he will just hold it for the flight. I do the same. Ricky prefers a nice clean real grass lawn for his needs. I prefer something a little more private!

Something to realize is that some airlines no longer allow dogs in the passenger compartment (other than service dogs) because of aggressive dogs and have ruined it for all of us. So be sure and check before you book a flight. I WOULD NEVER SEND MY DOG AS FREIGHT! MY SON-IN-LAW IS AN AIR FREIGHT MANAGER FOR A MAJOR AIRLINE AND TOO MANY THINGS HAVE GONE WRONG WHEN SENDING ANIMALS AS FREIGHT AND SOME HAVE DIED IN FLIGHT AS A RESULT!
 
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Thank you for this review. Some of the others who purchased from Nevena had older puppies and so I wonder if because they spent more time with her, the conditions were less ideal. It's great to hear that your Esteban is doing so well and sounds like he is a perfect match for you!

Out of principle though, I think that I will pass from Nevena. I feel a bit weary that she has so many puppies available and even older dogs. Their situation doesn't feel right, and she wouldn't allow us to meet the puppies before choosing. I appreciate that she will match the puppies with us, but at least meeting them beforehand seems to be the more appropriate etiquette. I truly appreciate that you had a very positive experience with her. It's good to hear her puppies are at least going to nice families.
Like I mentioned, she notified those of us who had gotten puppies through her, that she was retiring after nearly 20 years in the Havi bizz. So getting one from her now, isn't likely to happen anyway. I've connected with a couple others who have obtained their Havis from her and say they're worth every penny.
I'm sure there are other breeders with a passion for developing exemplary lines. Many times a breeder will ask for a non refundable deposit of around $300 that will go towards your puppy's cost when they're ready to go home with you. Depending on supply and demand, your wait time for a puppy can be over a year or more. I just happened to be extremely lucky that she had puppies ready to go and had one available for me. It was providence, how it happened. The pics are of our traveling home and about a week later, settled in in his new life.

Dog Sky Cloud Carnivore Dog breed


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Thank you for this review. Some of the others who purchased from Nevena had older puppies and so I wonder if because they spent more time with her, the conditions were less ideal. It's great to hear that your Esteban is doing so well and sounds like he is a perfect match for you!

Out of principle though, I think that I will pass from Nevena. I feel a bit weary that she has so many puppies available and even older dogs. Their situation doesn't feel right, and she wouldn't allow us to meet the puppies before choosing. I appreciate that she will match the puppies with us, but at least meeting them beforehand seems to be the more appropriate etiquette. I truly appreciate that you had a very positive experience with her. It's good to hear her puppies are at least going to nice families.
Just a comment in general, not directly about this breeder. As a breeder myself, I do not allow buyers to "choose" puppies, that is my decision, though I do consider the desires of the buyer in terms of what they are looking for in terms of personality. (NOT color, gender only depending on what MIGHT be available). HOWEVER, I would ALSO never send a puppy home without the puppy and family having met, and made SURE they were compatible. The family should ALWAYS have the final say on declining a specific puppy if the fit does not feel right. Good breeders have lots of people who want their puppies, and will not have problems placing a good puppy if one buyer falls through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Just a comment in general, not directly about this breeder. As a breeder myself, I do not allow buyers to "choose" puppies, that is my decision, though I do consider the desires of the buyer in terms of what they are looking for in terms of personality. (NOT color, gender only depending on what MIGHT be available). HOWEVER, I would ALSO never send a puppy home without the puppy and family having met, and made SURE they were compatible. The family should ALWAYS have the final say on declining a specific puppy if the fit does not feel right. Good breeders have lots of people who want their puppies, and will not have problems placing a good puppy if one buyer falls through.
Yes this exactly! I understand and can appreciate that breeders get to choose who their puppies go to and which puppy goes to who, but I agree that you must be able to confirm that they are compatible with each other first.
 

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Another question...how are havanese at flying in the passenger compartment?
We flew to Ottawa Canada to pick up Scout from his Breeder. She warned us upon leaving to watch for drooling because we had a 30 minute car ride to the airport. He had breakfast at 5 AM and we left at 10 AM. It only took a few minutes before he vomited. Thankfully we were prepared! Our breeder offered to escort us to the airport, but DH said he knew the way! 🙄 We missed our direct flight to San Francisco! Two hours later we were on our way to New York and then a connecting flight to SF arriving around midnight. 😴 Scout was a little trooper flying in his carrier under the seat...not one whimper.
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We flew to Ottawa Canada to pick up Scout from his Breeder. She warned us upon leaving to watch for drooling because we had a 30 minute car ride to the airport. He had breakfast at 5 AM and we left at 10 AM. It only took a few minutes before he vomited. Thankfully we were prepared! Our breeder offered to escort us to the airport, but DH said he knew the way! 🙄 We missed our direct flight to San Francisco! Two hours later we were on our way to New York and then a connecting flight to SF arriving around midnight. 😴 Scout was a little trooper flying in his carrier under the seat...not one whimper.
View attachment 176660
Oh, I remember you writing about that whole ordeal! 💗 :eek:
 

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Hi. I was wondering where you ended up getting your puppy from. I have talked to Nevena as well after finding her on AKC marketplace, but I'm a bit weary after seeing the one review from someone else. It's hard to make a decision off just 1 review.
Hi! I didn’t read through the whole message thread but it sounds like you ultimately decided not to go with Nevena. I wanted to briefly share my experience in case other members are considering buying from her. We got our puppy from Nevena this past spring and although our dog is perfect (she does have a noticeable underbite but we find it adorable! Wonderful personality, great travel companion, very adaptable and friendly, healthy, easy to potty train), Nevena was a bit of a nightmare to deal with. Many red flags and I had a bad gut feeling right up through the day we got our puppy. We joke that she is our $5000 rescue because it felt like we were saving her from a bad situation. I prefer not to post all the details here but am happy to share privately with anyone who is interested. While I would choose my dog a million times over, I would not recommend Nevena to others (especially first time Havanese owners who need more information/guidance).

Regarding current prices, I actually feel $4-5k is reasonable in high COL areas such as SoCal or NorCal. Where I live, that amount (PRE taxes) would cover one month’s rent in a modest home. As much as they love their work, breeders still deserve to earn a solid income after covering overhead. And (this one may be controversial!) a purebred puppy is a luxury and there are plenty of amazing dogs who can be adopted or re-homed for low/no fees.

OP- best of luck finding the right breeder/puppy! It sounds like you have at least one promising option!
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Hi! I didn’t read through the whole message thread but it sounds like you ultimately decided not to go with Nevena. I wanted to briefly share my experience in case other members are considering buying from her. We got our puppy from Nevena this past spring and although our dog is perfect (she does have a noticeable underbite but we find it adorable! Wonderful personality, great travel companion, very adaptable and friendly, healthy, easy to potty train), Nevena was a bit of a nightmare to deal with. Many red flags and I had a bad gut feeling right up through the day we got our puppy. We joke that she is our $5000 rescue because it felt like we were saving her from a bad situation. I prefer not to post all the details here but am happy to share privately with anyone who is interested. While I would choose my dog a million times over, I would not recommend Nevena to others (especially first time Havanese owners who need more information/guidance).

Regarding current prices, I actually feel $4-5k is reasonable in high COL areas such as SoCal or NorCal. Where I live, that amount (PRE taxes) would cover one month’s rent in a modest home. As much as they love their work, breeders still deserve to earn a solid income after covering overhead. And (this one may be controversial!) a purebred puppy is a luxury and there are plenty of amazing dogs who can be adopted or re-homed for low/no fees.

OP- best of luck finding the right breeder/puppy! It sounds like you have at least one promising option!
Thank you for the input! It is almost tempting to go with Nevena to just "rescue" her pups!

We're prepared to pay $5K or more for a puppy if needed, just as long as we know exactly what we're getting. I was just curious what the norm was as to not feel like we are getting taken advantaged of.

I have no promises from any breeders yet, but looking forward to continue to speak with the good ones to see if we have a chance with one of their puppies. All the good ones don't take deposits. We're feeling a bit hopeless somedays and don't know if we'll ever get a havanese puppy. Crossing our fingers though.
 
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