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I am getting ready to put a $1000 deposit down with Lisa Curry from Shape of My Heart Havanese. I did my research with the American Kennel Club. She is a listed breeder with a Champion line. Any feedback about this breeder for me would be appreciated
 

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I am getting ready to put a $1000 deposit down with Lisa Curry from Shape of My Heart Havanese. I did my research with the American Kennel Club. She is a listed breeder with a Champion line. Any feedback about this breeder for me would be appreciated
Not sure how you could do any research on them. I couldn't even find a website. AKC Marketplace is a paid classified ad space. Anyone who has AKC registered dogs can advertise their dogs there. It means very little. Neither does "Champion lines". PARENTS that are champions, (and whose PARENTS are champions) AND parents and grandparents that are fully health tested, plus puppies that are well raised... THOSE are the things you want to know about. I am not saying this breeder is good or bad. I do not know. But I wasn't able to find anything, easily, on the internet that gave me any good information about them.
 

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I am getting ready to put a $1000 deposit down with Lisa Curry from Shape of My Heart Havanese. I did my research with the American Kennel Club. She is a listed breeder with a Champion line. Any feedback about this breeder for me would be appreciated
Is the deposit refundable for any reason? How did you contact her? There is very little information about her on the Web. As @krandal says, her ad on AKC is a paid advertisement,. AKC is not necessarily recommending her. But I did see, she says she uses Ashleigh Rutzel to show her dogs. If that is trrue, Ashleigh is a very successful professional dog handler. For some related information, read this thread: Good breeders in Central NJ. Willing to travel to get a...
 
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Is the deposit refundable for any reason? How did you contact her? There is very little information about her on the Web. As @krandal says, her ad on AKC is a paid advertisement,. AKC is not necessarily recommending her. But I did see, she says she uses Ashleigh Rutzel to show her dogs. If that is trrue, Ashleigh is a very successful professional dog handler. For some related information, read this thread: Good breeders in Central NJ. Willing to travel to get a...
Well, I thought I could trust AKC Market place since it is park of American Kennel Club. She is supposed to send me puppy contract and documents for me to review before I put deposit down. I do see she is listed as a laywer on line has her own firm. She has wrote articles on Law For Dogs, although the site has not been updated since 2008. She is also listed on Linked as a lawyer. I agree it is hard to find information on her. I'm not sure what to do now, everything seemed legitimate. She asked me many questions over the phone which a good breeder does. She is charging $3700 for the puppy. More than I initially wanted to spend, but the puppies look just like my Havanese Angel who passed in November due to heart disease at age 14. Has anyone on this forum dealt with Shape of My Heart Havanese Lisa Curry
 

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Does she live near you? It would be great if you were are to visit the breeder and puppy before making a decision.
Even if it means a long drive, it is money and time well spent before plunking down 1000 large.
 

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Does she live near you? It would be great if you were are to visit the breeder and puppy before making a decision.
She is about 3 hr ride. I did ask to visit. She said she is not doing that because of covid. O did find out she is a lawer, i found her Bar number. I have her address and she is the homeowner. I did put deposit down i do feel she is legitimate. She sent me a professional contract like a lawyer would write and about 10 pages of how to take care of pup and what to buy. We are supposed to pick her up May 17. I will fill you all in then
 

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She is about 3 hr ride. I did ask to visit. She said she is not doing that because of covid. O did find out she is a lawer, i found her Bar number. I have her address and she is the homeowner. I did put deposit down i do feel she is legitimate. She sent me a professional contract like a lawyer would write and about 10 pages of how to take care of pup and what to buy. We are supposed to pick her up May 17. I will fill you all in then
Do you get to refuse the puppy and get your refund back if you are not happy with things I hope?
 
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Well, I thought I could trust AKC Market place since it is park of American Kennel Club. She is supposed to send me puppy contract and documents for me to review before I put deposit down. I do see she is listed as a laywer on line has her own firm. She has wrote articles on Law For Dogs, although the site has not been updated since 2008. She is also listed on Linked as a lawyer. I agree it is hard to find information on her. I'm not sure what to do now, everything seemed legitimate. She asked me many questions over the phone which a good breeder does. She is charging $3700 for the puppy. More than I initially wanted to spend, but the puppies look just like my Havanese Angel who passed in November due to heart disease at age 14. Has anyone on this forum dealt with Shape of My Heart Havanese Lisa Curry
I don’t know this breeder, but I’m very glad you are getting the contract in advance! I requested that from my breeder, never received it and had to ask for a copy weeks after my husband and daughter traveled 12 hours to pick up our precious puppy. The contract was absurd and I would have negotiated some of the terms if I had read it before receiving our puppy. People in this forum were suspicious of my breeder as well (who also advertised on AKC Marketplace, which I also took as an endorsement of quality and trustworthiness.
Since no one appears to know this breeder I would ask her for the following things; contact j formation for people who have gotten their puppies from her in the past couple of years (get multiple names), name and number of her vet (for checking up on the health of her dogs).
We love our little Felix to pieces, but he did come to us with intestinal parasites on board and now he has a UTI. We paid $3500 plus tax (which seemed insanely high, but we fell in love with a photo...and you know love can be blinding to reason 😉

Good luck with your puppy search/pending purchase, just please read the contract and talk to others who have puppies from this breeder and ask them about the health of their sweet puppies!
-andrea
 

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I don’t know this breeder, but I’m very glad you are getting the contract in advance! I requested that from my breeder, never received it and had to ask for a copy weeks after my husband and daughter traveled 12 hours to pick up our precious puppy. The contract was absurd and I would have negotiated some of the terms if I had read it before receiving our puppy. People in this forum were suspicious of my breeder as well (who also advertised on AKC Marketplace, which I also took as an endorsement of quality and trustworthiness.
Since no one appears to know this breeder I would ask her for the following things; contact j formation for people who have gotten their puppies from her in the past couple of years (get multiple names), name and number of her vet (for checking up on the health of her dogs).
We love our little Felix to pieces, but he did come to us with intestinal parasites on board and now he has a UTI. We paid $3500 plus tax (which seemed insanely high, but we fell in love with a photo...and you know love can be blinding to reason 😉

Good luck with your puppy search/pending purchase, just please read the contract and talk to others who have puppies from this breeder and ask them about the health of their sweet puppies!
-andrea
I think it is very important to check out a breeder thoroughly before agreeing to purchase a puppy, and that includes MEETING the breeder in person, AND meeting the puppy and at least the dam, preferably before she gives birth, although that is not always possible. That said, I do NOT think, as a breeder, that I would be willing to give out the names of previous puppy buyers. First, for every person who actually buys a puppy from you, there are 10 “tire kickers”. It is just not fair to your puppy buyers to have to be part of your marketing process. Second, you don’t know these people from adam, there is a certain risk involved for the breeder too. It is a risk the breeder has to take as part of the process. It is NOT fair to expect past puppy buyers to expect to ALSO take on that risk. There are crazy people in the world these days! Lastly? Whet do you really think that is going to prove? Of course the breeder isn’t going to give you the contact of anyone who is NOT happy with the puppy they got from them! So you are not likely to get an even appraisal of the experience anyway.

checking the the breeder’s vet MIGHT work... I don’t know what the vet is likely to say. My GUESS is that this is privileged information, and that the most you are likely to hear is that yes, so and so is a client here, and yes, they take proper care of their dogs. I GUESS that tells you something? I could probably tell as much by walking into someone’s house and seeing the condition of the dogs and SMELLING whether the home was clean! But I have no problem if you want to TRY that one... I would certainly give you my vet’s name and number if you asked for it! ;)

I would say that if you want references, the people to talk to would be other breeders who know and can vouch for this breeder. THOSE are people who know what the person is doing, know the quality of the dogs they are producing, probably TALK with them several times a week, see their puppies as they grow... we don’t do this in a vacuum if we are good breeders. We are always talking to each other... either to share or delights and successes or to ask for advice when we run into difficulties.

And, as for AKC marketplace... we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. ALL it is is a classified ad service for ANYONE who registers dogs with AKC. That is ALL it means. That the dogs are registered... a VERY low bar indeed.

And always, always, ALWAYS get your contract, READ it, and talk to your breeder about anything you don’t understand ahead of time. If there is anything you don’t agree with, ask about it ahead of time. Maybe it is non-negotiable, but you you will know that THEN and be able to back out of the deal. Other times, a breeder can be flexible, if it is on something like a spay/neuter deadline or pick-up date.

Quite honestly, I don’t understand why anyone would go into any business deal where over $3,000 changes hands without reading the contract first and having it signed by both parties. That is not an insignificant amount of money in my life. And you don’t want to take chances on the ground rules with the precious bundle you are bringing into your life either! KNOW THE RULES! READ YOUR CONTRACT!!!
 
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I would definitely want to meet the breeder/ dog before signing a contract - though I also understand not wanting to do that with prospective buyers because of COVID. Perhaps you can ask if she would do a zoom call and walk you around the area where she keeps the dogs / meet the prospective mom... I know a person can stage a house, but I think if she has multiple dogs at home, you would be able to tell in a zoom walk around?

About the "championship lines" - Karen and others can speak more to this - but from reading Karen's process, it looked like you wanted the parents, at least, to have gotten to a certain level in confirmation. So I would ask for that information, and information on the testing results (again, Karen and others can be more specific what) - of the parents - copies of the results / pictures of their soaped legs/ etc.? I know that I've seen some breeder websites put those things right on the website, so I would think it would be something the breeder should be willing to share.
 

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I would definitely want to meet the breeder/ dog before signing a contract - though I also understand not wanting to do that with prospective buyers because of COVID. Perhaps you can ask if she would do a zoom call and walk you around the area where she keeps the dogs / meet the prospective mom... I know a person can stage a house, but I think if she has multiple dogs at home, you would be able to tell in a zoom walk around?
At the height of Covid, this was more difficult, of course. And video chat was certainly an option. Now, with vaccines widely available, and everyone masked for extra precaution if that is felt to be necessary, I would think things should be easier. CERTAINLY, now that weather is nicer, you should be able to at least do outdoor meetings with the breeder and adult dogs at people’s homes. I was doing that with prospective puppy buyers in March on nice days.

About the "championship lines" - Karen and others can speak more to this - but from reading Karen's process, it looked like you wanted the parents, at least, to have gotten to a certain level in confirmation. So I would ask for that information, and information on the testing results (again, Karen and others can be more specific what) - of the parents - copies of the results / pictures of their soaped legs/ etc.? I know that I've seen some breeder websites put those things right on the website, so I would think it would be something the breeder should be willing to share.
”Championship lines” mean NOTHING. It is hard to find Havanese lines that DON’T have champions in them somewhere. Now, there ARE reasons that one, or even both parents might not have achieved their championships (and/or significant working titles... I am fine with that too) but I’d want to know WHY. Maybe this is an older breeder who has done the show circuit for YEARS, REALLY understands Havanese conformation, can assess her own stock well, and has just gotten to the point where she no longer wants to do that. If she has years and years of show champions behind her stock, apcna EXPLAIN to you what good conformation is, can discuss the good and less good points of her dogs (and ALL dogs have less good points too ;), that might be a reason to give a pass on conformation showing. But just “we don’t believe in it”. That’s a cop-out used by back yard breeders whodon’t want their stock assessed by others.

There can also be a dog who has a flaw that keeps it from being a show dog, but should NOT keep it from being a good breeding dog. For instance, a former forum member had a lovely young bitch who was one major short of her championship, had an intestinal illness that put her in the hospital. The hospital staff (I have NO idea what they were thinking!!) vet wrapped her tail to keep diarrhea off it, but wrapped it much too tightly. As a result, her tail needed to be amputated. End of her show career, but obviously she was still a lovely bitch who produced many lovely puppies! Certainly no fault of the breeder that she wasn’t finished!

Not all breeders soap. And it’s not easy to do soaped pictures well. A breeder who doesn’t soap is not necessarily a bad breeder. It IS, however, much easier to show an inexperienced person straight vs. crooked legs on a soaped dog than it is to try to have an inexperienced person try to feel for it under a lot of hair. Even an 8-12 week old Havanese puppy has plenty of hair to hide very crooked legs. I guess I would ASK a breeder if she soaps, and if she would be willing to either go over my potential soaped puppy with me, (rither in person or on video, or if she would send me photos. I would couch it in terms of wanting to understand structure better. I would NOT throw out a breeder who refused, however, simply because there are so many breeders who don’t do it, don’t know HOW to do it, and are absolutely right that if you do it badly, they are pretty useless. If a breeder DOESN’T soap, I think your next best alternative is to specifically ASK the breeder if the puppy has straight legs. She may say ”Yes, at this point, but puppies can change as they grow, and we cannot guarantee for that.“ fair enough. But then the puppy should HAVE straight legs now, and when you take your puppy to your vet for his first well puppy check up, ask the VET to examine the puppy for any gross abnormalities. Remember, we are NOT looking for a puppy that is slighty cow hocked or a bit turned out here... those are things that will not at all affect the puppy’s health or soundness. But you DO want to know about dramatically twisted front legs like poor Perry has. It is one thing to rescue a dog like that. It is quite another to pay $3,000 for the same dog.

If your vet finds that a puppy that is sold as being straight as significantly crooked legs, this is something you may want to discuss with the breeder. It might even be something you want to negotiate writing into the contact up-front if you can.

Finally, “copies” of health testing are not acceptable. The ONLY acceptable health testing is that which is registered, on line, with OFA. It is just WAY too easy to forge health testing documents with a little white-out if you just ask to see copies. ONLY accept. Online OFA results. Health testing is expensive. Registering it with OFA is pretty cheap.
 
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Does anyone know where the thread is on how to find a good breeder?

I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but just because someone is an educated, law abiding citizen, and it’s unlikely to be a scam, doesn’t mean this is the right (or wrong) breeder for you. Honestly I’d be a little more concerned that if you decide you don’t agree with the breeder’s practices you have a contract and money paid and the breeder has legally put you in a position of not being able to walk away without losing time and money. I’m not saying this is a bad breeder at all, but before you pick up the puppy please speak to the breeder and ask lots of questions. It’s not an interrogation, but you’re getting to know someone who will have an impact on your life for the next 15 years.

Basic ethics and health testing are important, but the relationship and alignment of basic philosophies with the breeder are especially important. Adding a puppy to your family the right way is a process. It takes time, and the breeder is the person walking you through it. Even without covid you can do this in many ways, but one or two phone calls are not enough. Video call, visit, pictures, or some kind of regular communication from the breeder should be happening so that the person isn’t a stranger and you are comfortable asking questions about vaccination, health testing, potty training, and you have insight into how and where the puppies are raised. I knew the minute I talked to the breeder I liked her as a person and could trust her recommendations, and my biggest regret is that I didn’t ask questions I should have asked and talk to her more, because I think she would have been really responsive and it could have really helped when we first brought our puppy home.

There is really no other experience to compare this process to that I can think of. It’s not even like buying a car or a house, which can also be time consuming and expensive purchases. You’re buying the expertise of the breeder, the experience you will have as you are waiting for your puppy and first bring the puppy home, and you’re investing in the future health of your dog, all in addition to buying a Havanese who will be part of your family for many years.
 

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What @krandall said!!!!!!!

I don't know about other States, but in California all deposits are refundable and all contracts are cancelable within a certain number of days after acceptance of goods/services. Even simple 'buyer's remorse' is sufficient to get all your money back within a certain number of days. I used to own a retail business. I sold a product to a client and after 6 months they said they no longer liked it and asked for their money back (it was not a dog). I said no but I said I would take it back in exchange for a store credit. They said no, they wanted cash, and they sued me in California Court. The client brought the item to Court. The judged smelled the item and it smelled to high heavens! As he was inspecting it, cat turds fell out of it! Judge said case dismissed and ruled in my favor. In California, you can return a puppy within a few days (I think it is 2 weeks from taking the puppy home, but not sure) and receive 100% of your money back. Best to check the Statutes in your State.
 

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Does anyone know where the thread is on how to find a good breeder?

I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but just because someone is an educated, law abiding citizen, and it’s unlikely to be a scam, doesn’t mean this is the right (or wrong) breeder for you. Honestly I’d be a little more concerned that if you decide you don’t agree with the breeder’s practices you have a contract and money paid and the breeder has legally put you in a position of not being able to walk away without losing time and money. I’m not saying this is a bad breeder at all, but before you pick up the puppy please speak to the breeder and ask lots of questions. It’s not an interrogation, but you’re getting to know someone who will have an impact on your life for the next 15 years.

Basic ethics and health testing are important, but the relationship and alignment of basic philosophies with the breeder are especially important. Adding a puppy to your family the right way is a process. It takes time, and the breeder is the person walking you through it. Even without covid you can do this in many ways, but one or two phone calls are not enough. Video call, visit, pictures, or some kind of regular communication from the breeder should be happening so that the person isn’t a stranger and you are comfortable asking questions about vaccination, health testing, potty training, and you have insight into how and where the puppies are raised. I knew the minute I talked to the breeder I liked her as a person and could trust her recommendations, and my biggest regret is that I didn’t ask questions I should have asked and talk to her more, because I think she would have been really responsive and it could have really helped when we first brought our puppy home.

There is really no other experience to compare this process to that I can think of. It’s not even like buying a car or a house, which can also be time consuming and expensive purchases. You’re buying the expertise of the breeder, the experience you will have as you are waiting for your puppy and first bring the puppy home, and you’re investing in the future health of your dog, all in addition to buying a Havanese who will be part of your family for many years.
I can’t agree with this enough. I had one of my puppy families at my house today. I had talked to them earlier, of course. But they are from out of state, and are now all vaccinated, so could ALL travel to meet me and the puppies. We had a WONDERFUL visit, talking to them, seeing how delighted and sweet the entire family was, not only with the puppies, but with Panda and even Kodi and Pixel, hereing their stories about their old Havanese who passed away earlier this year... made me even more sure that I was making a good deciscion placing one of my puppies in their home.

I really hope that ALL my puppy families will become long term relationships, not a simple “transactions”.
 
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