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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wow! After reading Diane Klumb's book "The Havanese" and reading such statements as
1) one out os every 7 Havanese were reported to have ocular abnormalities
2) one out of 10 Havanese were reported to have either catatacts of any size or lens luxation
3)one out of every 42 Havanese were reported to have neurological disorders
4) etc. etc. etc.

...after having read the threads on health insurance etc. , I am beginning to wonder if the Havanese is a pretty unhealthy dog. I have had dogs for over 40 years and outside of their annual shots, can only recall less than a half dozen occasions when a trip to the vets was necessary. I really want a Havanese, but I don't want to have a dog which is so unhealthy that health insurance is a necessity. I wonder if getting an older Havanese instead of a puppy would help screen out unhealthy specimens.
All this reading and reseach has left me very apprehensive about health problems with Havanese and yet at the same time it has made me want one desperately because of their temperment and other wonderful qualities. I would appreciate your comments, hoping that you can help
me overcome my apprehension. One idea I had was to start a poll on the major health problems ( such as the potty trained poll) and see how many of you have had these problems with your Havanese....but alas, I don't know how to start such a poll. :confused:

David
 

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Samson & Delilah's Mom
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Hi David:

One thing to remember is the the Havanese breed has been "re-born" the number of dogs that have been used to re-establish the breed are very few. These breeders have been working with a very small gene pool. Most of the breeders are testing for everything to make sure the breed stays healthy. Because of the number of dogs tested, more health problems are reported. I think breeders are working very hard to keep these great little guys healthy. There are some really great breeders in Canada. Health & temperment is the most important thing. Without these you don't have a dog. Just my 2 cents:)
 

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Mom to Princess & Jewels
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That is why it is essential to get a dog from a reputable breeder that does all the health testing.

I completely agree with Debbie's statement.
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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David, I think a poll is a great idea! Some people on here have older Havs so we could see what the health is for those, as well as for pups. I believe that when you start a 'new thread' you have a choice about making it a poll. Not sure though....

I was a little concerned about some health issues while doing my research too. I did my homework on getting a dog for 1 1/2 yrs., then on getting a Havanese for several months. I am confident that because I chose a breeder that health tests her dogs/pups and that I'm doing the best I can to make sure Ricky has a good, healthy lifestyle, that there will be few problems. I couldn't help but notice that many other 'toy' breeds have as many, if not more health concerns so I'm not worried. :)
 

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Quincy's Mom-Vinnie too!
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David,
I did alot of research on toy breeds in general before deciding on a havanese.I don't believe the havanese has any more health issues then any other toy breed.Because of over-breeding in fact in some such as the shih-tzu,and pom more health issues have surfaced.Of course you need to do what is right for you and your family,but I think you just read that and it scared you off a little bit.Because the Havanese is not such a widely known breed,and the book is quite forthright,it would be a dis-service to not publish all the problems,dating back from the originals out of Cuba.The most important thing,and I think no one can stress this enough,is to find a reputable breeder.Those breeders health test their dogs,and rule out a good portion of the issues you mentioned.Beware however,that you will pay a premium price for a well bred havanese puppy.In the past year I have seen alot of breeders pop up,without the health testing,trying to turn a quick buck on this "expensive"breed.They are all trying to cash in on the pups and unfortunately could be circulating un-healthy specimens of the breed.Also know in advance,there are no miniature Havanese.I am confident in my healthy guy,I checked and double checked the testing and the people themselves.I am not buying health insurance on Quincy.Nothing against insurance,I think for some it is a good idea,where vet bills sky-rocket,but here the vet will work with you and I feel comfortable going without.Remember David,you must find a good reputable breeder,WITH health testing.That is the key to a good quality,healthy Havanese.
 

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Casper and Missy
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David,

I so gald you brought this up, I had my havanese puppy on order when I read this book. I wanted to cancel the puppy after reading this book.

I will probably be criticized for this but, I didn't care for the book at all, I don't like her spin on alot of the topics in the book.

I would recommend to you to do what I did and get another book on Havanese dogs and read it.

If you want a healthy dog, get a good breeder that health test the parent's of the puppy and come from a good line of healthy dogs. I think you will have a good chance of having a very healthy puppy that way.
 

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David - go to the Cerf website - you will see that what she is saying maybe true BUT - she is going by the testing and yes it is reported BUT the tresting on Havs will show mostly category D - iris to iris- this is NOT a problem - see link from CERF website....

http://www.vmdb.org/dx1.html

Olliesmom
 

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Hi
I had a german shorthair and he had a lot of health issues . This is a breed that is not too popular because of their independence and high energy .I think a lot of his issues were due to certain immunizations given far too early and also the breeder .
We could never find out much about him . He was a gift to my son . it was a very nice dog and we got through it all and he lived aa good life .
My friend has a female Havanese and she had to have surgery on both of her legs . She supposedly came from a reputable breeder who did all the right things and tests . Tulip is fine today - a sweet dog 6 years old a great companion dog .
One thing about getting an older dog is you do not have the puppy training and some other behaviour issues but you also have to retrain them to your home and lifestyle . There is a period of adjustment and they need extra TLC .
I think you should read the Havanese book by Dorothy Goodale - thank goodness it was the only book avaialble when I got Asta .It did not deter me .
Some of the books tell you more about elephants than you really want to know . Maybe better to skip certain chapters . I never read about breeding as I did not want to breed . Others have different motivation and need for certain information as they want to show and breed ..
Not one day was I sorry that I got this breed - Asta was an incredible dog .
I have my two new ones and they are wonderful as well . Different personalities for sure but they sure are cute and smart too ..
I agree it all depends on the breeder .
I went on line and I could not believe some of the stuff I saw . It just broke my heart . Breeders sacrificing their Havanese at discount prices because they decided to stick to breeding large dogs ..
Some are not breeding for the integrity of the breed but purely for monetary reasons:(
 

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Kimberly
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It is good to be informed, so you can know how to avoid the problems. Granted, there are no guarantees in life, but you might as well work with a breeder who has done all they can to eliminate the possibilities of creating a dog with genetic problems.

Some are not breeding for the integrity of the breed but purely for monetary reasons
Cosmosmom is so right! That is why I always encourage anyone who comes to me asking questions and steer them to only consider buying a puppy from a breeder who does ALL the health testing. You can verify the health testing online, and when you do that, you can also check the other relatives to see if they have been free of health issues. You wouldn't want to buy a puppy that has several instances of eye problems in their immediate family because chances would be higher for that puppy to develop eye problems as it gets older.

By the same token, I'd avoid any breeder that wasn't willing to do the four basic health tests (BAER, CERF, patella, OFA hips) on their dogs before breeding them. The four basic recommended tests by the HCA should be a MINIMUM amount of testing done prior to breeding.

The Havanese don't have any more or less health problems than the other breeds, but by being aware of them, you can make informed decisions.

Also, in regard to the potty training, all toy breeds take longer to potty train.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for some very good advice. It seems to boil down to three things; good breeding, health testing, and the luck of the draw...with good breeding being the main point.

David PS...for fun I will try to post a health poll
 

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Bugsy's Mom
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David - I agree with all the previous posters, do your homework before you settle on the breeder. If you go with the one who shows his/her dogs, does all the health testing, and breeders to better the breed, your chances of getting a happy, healthy puppy are excellent. All pure breeds have health issues, each and every one....period. They just very from breed to breed. If I didn't love my purebreds so much, I would go with a mut. lol A friend that I walk my dogs with has a 12 1/2 (at least) year old husky mix who never sees a vet aside from yearly check-ups. My other friend just lost her 16 year old huge mutt (not sure what he had in him), who just died of old age. Maybe it's the larger gene pool of a mutt....

I have to agree with Lynn, I didn't care for Diane Klumb's book "The Havanese", but have been told that The Joyous Havanese by Kathryn Braund is really good. A friend is suppose to bring it by for me to read.
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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Yes, Kathryn Braund's book "The Joyous Havanese" is a good one. It was the first one I bought, and then bought "The Havanese" by D. Klumb. Kitty's book does go into breeding quite a bit, so there is a portion of the book that may not interest many, but for me it opened my eyes to what a good breeder has to consider before even attempting to mate their female.

I enjoyed both books, although there is always a part here and there that doesn't really 'click' with me... hence the necessity for groups such as this one and many others in Yahoo or MSN that you can compare notes with and gather loads of info.

Good luck, David!
 

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David, I also really liked the Dorothy Goodale book "The Havanese: a complete and reliable guide." She is the woman responsible for bringing the breed "back to life." I know all the problems listed in the dianne klumb book but everything I read have said the havanese is generally in good health. breeder is key.
 

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0, out of a few hundred and 5 generations, health or mechanical problems have come out of our house. All of our breeding dogs now go back tail female for up to 5 generations to our Twinkle. We feel pretty safe with that line now but still do all the health testing. I doubt we will ever breed another female line.

The breed was getting a good handle on the eye problems just before we went under the AKC banner. Then when so many more people saw them, the puppy mills started breeding them and the numbers have skyrocketed as have the health problems.

There is still a small band of dedicated breeders breeding good dogs. There were 4,038 Havanese registered last year. Only a small fraction of this number was bred by people who have been doing it for any length of time. I doubt these four thousand dogs will help our health ratings as a breed overall. I imagine that the only reason there weren't more than 4,000 is because it wasn't physically possible to breed more. We were 38th in purebred registrations for 2006 and I'll bet we'll be noticeably higher in 07.

The vast majority of puppy buyers are simply uneducated on what matters.

If you look at the health numbers for most of the other breeds they are actually a lot worse.

Reliable statistics can be found here:
http://www.offa.org/stats.html
 

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Tom said it well and he is a breeder and knows. I just know that I looked at other toy breeds which had much greater problems. You have to just get a good breeder and ask all the right questions. If you feel it is not right run like hell but please don't be discouraged.

Oh they do like to eat things that is why we talk about health insurance. A few used it for other purposes but mainly it was that they ate something they shouldn't. Binkies, ear plugs, etc. In fact, many don't have health insurance. When I was looking at another toy breed they strongly recommended health insurance. In fact, on the forum they told me you need to get it.
 
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