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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry if this has been asked and answered before, but I'm new here and am still trying to make my way around the site. I try to find answers to my questions before peppering people with the same dang questions, but I'm on puppy overload this weekend. :eek:/

Any other dog I've ever owned has either been gotten through a friend, a pet store (I know, I know...), and my two most recent were both rescues. I lost the love of my life in September after what we believe was likely cancer. My Maltese rescue is a senior and is ailing.

That said, I've never gone the breeder route before. We have researched and settled on the Havanese. They seem extremely similar to the Maltese, a breed I was raised with, but the one or two areas where the Maltese is weak, the Havanese is strong.

However, my head is reeling -- mostly from the HUGE difference in pricing of this dog. Also, since this would be a house pet, what are the benefits of buying from breeders with champion bloodlines versus buying from people who have a mated pair that are full-blood but not uber-pedigreed?

I've been reading about the different health ailments that can be hereditary in this breed, but does having pedigreed parents (thereby being able to show they don't carry the gene) offer a buyer more of a guarantee against these things? Is that even possible, or do I have it all wrong?

I've never thought about this stuff before, and I don't know if I'm putting too much into it. Does getting a $500 puppy guarantee that you could end up with a dud any more than getting a $2,000 puppy could guarantee you that you won't have genetic/hereditary issues? I'm on total overload here and I don't know how to present all this to my husband who has agreed that we can add a Havanese to our family but who is also cringing at a thousand-dollar pricetag (and we all know that they go up from there!).

Also, I live in Northern Virginia. In doing a Google search, I found this site as another member had asked for breeders in the same general vicinity I'm in. I've utilized that page and have been looking these breeders up, but I don't know that it's not confusing me further.

Any suggestions/ideas/words of wisdom? Thank you in advance. And sorry this is so long.
 

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First, "Champion bloodlines" as a much used statement by breeders means little or nothing of value, more so than once in a while when it does mean anything.

The only guarantee you get will be the one between you and the breeder, and it's worth what it appears to you, and how much you believe the breeder can stand behind it. However, with your homework done, your odds of getting what you want (including health) go up greatly, by choosing wisely.

No one can sell puppies for $500 and go down the correct road raising any kind of dog. Pet stores only sell puppies from puppy mills. No breeder who loves their dogs and does what is best for them will sell puppies though a pet store. Pet stores in NYC sell Havanese for $4,000 last I heard.

All our farm dogs have always been rescues. A couple lived to be 17. All others had various kinds of ailments, and a few suffered because of them. None of the dogs we have purposely agonized over breeding have.

You are welcome to look at our IRS Schedule C to see what health testing, and all other expenses there are in only doing what it best for the dogs and their offspring. We do sell ours for $2,000, and have waiting lists that may take upwards of a year. My wife is full time looking after our dogs and planning for future generations. If it was a full time job, compensated as any other normal full time job would be, (I figured a while back), we should be selling puppies for $5,500.

I know $2,000 sounds like a lot for a dog, when you can find dogs for free, or little more, but there is a lot more going on behind the scenes sometimes than meets the eye. Consider that the breeder selling puppies for this price typically might have between 5 and 15 puppies at most in a year.

I see a lot of people breeding dogs trying to make money. I don't know of anyone breeding these dogs, and selling them for $2,000 that actually makes a profit. Mostly, it's just a passion.
 

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welcome to the forum and good for you learning and researching before getting your puppy! The good news is that there seem to be several good breeders in your area! I would recommend finding several and go visit! NOT for a puppy right now, but to get to know the breed and to see for yourself how different breeders raise thier puppies. I have NO idea where you have seen a hav for $500, BUT I challenge you to GO to that place and SEE where those pups are raised. and then, go to the $2,000 breeeder and see how those pups are raised.
I also wanted 'just a pet' but was very concerned with genetics and SOCIALIZATION!! by the time we got our pup at 14 weeks ('old') one of the biggest socialization windows was closing. THANKFULLY Tillie's breeder did a wonderful job socializing the pups, getting them used to grooming, car rides, other dogs, kids, loud noises, different textures, etc, etc.... and she has been a fantastic addition to our family!! On the other hand, if you get a pup from someone who doesn't take the time to raise these babies right, you can get a VERY, fearful, timid, even aggressive pup, simply because they haven't been handled in the right way, or even at all. so sad. :(

My best advice to you would be to be PATIENT, save your pennies and do this the RIGHT way!
 

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When I started my quest for a Havanese, I also just wanted a nice, well-bred pet. I looked quite a bit and was quite surprised at the prices. I found that pet puppies and show puppies from reputable breeders were priced almost the same. I figured if I was paying a premium price I might as well get a show puppy. We had a blast showing our puppy and she became a champion at a little over a year old. We just added our second puppy and plan to show her as well. Good luck in your search and you will get a lot of good advice from people on this forum. They really helped me.
 

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I found a breeder that did all the health testings, which was great. That is important, however, I agree with Tammy, socialization is also key. If I decide to go the breeder route again, I would have to take that into heavy consideration. It's not that she didn't socialize Momo, to a degree. She did. However, she didn't have an opportunity to have children around and Momo is fearful of them because of that lack of opportunity. (I got Momo when she was about 5 months old). She's getting a little better, but, it's been a gradual process.
 

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I think you will find a lot of good information on this site even if it takes a while to browse through it all :)

As a fellow Northern Virginian, I would suggest reframing your scope of finding a good breeder to "the east coast". There are some wonderful breeders along the east coast (up and down) and there is also the Delaware Havanese club group (I am not sure of their exact name) that can also help you. Having said that, it is not uncommon for a person to travel far to find the right pup.

Good luck to you and welcome to the forum. I am new to dog ownership myslf, even though my Dionna just turned two, and have found the havanese owners and breeders to be very helpful and generous in their help and guidance. I am mainly a lurker but I lurk daily LOL!! :)
 

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Another option to consider [as you have already rescued dogs] are Havanese rescues who would be most grateful to come live with you. There are a couple of Havanese rescue groups from which you may wish to adopt a dog in need.

Havanese Rescue currently has 11 Havs available for adoption plus others pending. There is an adorable 9 month old boy named Diesel being fostered in Pennsylvania. You can find information about him [and other dogs] at http://havaneserescue.com/our-rescue-dogs/available-for-adoption

There are another 8 dogs in foster care being evaluated prior to listing them as available for adoption.

The other Hav rescue organization is HALO [Havanese Angel League Organization] which is based in the Midwest [in Livonia, MI], but they have fosters in many other areas. including Maryland. [There is an 8 month old named Dylan who is being fosterd in MD.] They currently have 10 Havs available for adoption. Their website is http://www.rescuedhavanese.org/Adopt-Me.html.

You can also find these dogs and more at www.Petfinder.com. There are other groups in the Midwest that save dogs from puppymills or pull them out of shelters. Some of the dogs are pregnant or have just given birth, so there often are puppies.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, everybody, for your great input. I must be on the right path, because I found Diesel's profile online this weekend and have visited HALO online (thanks, StarrLhasa), and I am definitely looking outside my area along the east coast (thanks, andra). Actually, some folks I've spoken to are in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Delaware. I'd prefer not to have one shipped to me and would willingly drive to go get him.

The puppy I mentioned for $500 is, by the looks of it, the result of a home-bred pair of parents -- though I have no idea OR guarantee that both parents are Havanese (no photos provided). I'm sure they come with no guarantee of any sort (though no matter what, I would NEVER buy a pet from a breeder without at LEAST a written guarantee to return a dog that doesn't vet check). I've seen videos of the puppies (assuming she's on the up-and-up) and they APPEAR to be raised in her home and part of the family.

That said, I'm no sucker. Her price is SO cheap, and once I started looking out there, that cheap price does alarm me a bit more than it entices me. WHY is she so cheap? The other thing I didn't like was giving her a deposit to reserve one of the puppies and then going to claim it. Unless she was a well-known and respected breeder, I would be concerned about doing that. How do I know that is the right puppy for me? Many of the "professional" breeders seem to help you find the right dog for your family -- so even though you will pay a deposit for A puppy, many help you in selecting the right fit, even if you're placing a deposit sight unseen. Though I have never bought a living being for my home without meeting it first, if that was the route I would HAVE to go, I would trust a real breeder over some woman mating dogs.

I certainly am very open to adopting since the two I had were true blessings, and the girl I lost in September (some type of golden retriever mix) never forgot what we did for her (she was a throwaway left to die in the woods). The male I have (a papered, full-blood Maltese) was also a basketcase when we got him -- by 16 months, we were his fourth home. By all accounts, he had been with two women who worked all day and kept him crated to the point that he had no bottom incisors as he ground them down trying to get out of his confines. His third home was his foster mom. He, too, has come a long way -- and to see that really makes me love them more. There's that part of me that feels that (for me personally) to buy a dog is a slap in their faces. I always said I didn't think I could do it any other way.

Anyway, I will take some time to research this further and see what my best options are. I'm glad to know that all my hair-pulling research the last week or two had me on the right path. Thanks again, everyone. I really appreciate your time and input.

And for what it's worth, the thought of getting one and really showing it is rather intriguing, though that's an idea for another time. :)
 

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Hi and :welcome: to the forum,

My husband about fell out of his chair when I told him how much the puppy I wanted would cost, lol, but she's worth every penny :) I paid around 1600.

Gucci has only dealt with the routine vet visits, no major problems, no allergies to foods or issues so far, she's turning 5 in a few weeks. I live in Virginia but ended up getting her from a breeder in Michigan, although, the breed has gotten so popular over the last few years I think its probably easier to find a good breeder closer

I have friends , on the other hand who got 4 silks from a breeder in Florida (who is on the high range $ price wise) and they have spent lots of time at the vet for all sorts of things and they have 'champion' bloodlines, so that in itself is no guarantee, so $2000 doesn't guarantee a healthier dog.

As far as price, I look at it this way, if they live their average 15 years, I'm paying approx. $100 a year, and she is a family member, travels with us, goes to work with us at our office, she's been a joy and brought me many of smiles.

You are in the right place for help picking a breeder, though. don't rush and put yourself into overload, follow your instinct and listen to the voice in your head and/or the red flags that will come up as you search.

Kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, Kara, and I guess that's what I needed to hear -- that higher dollars doesn't mean a heckuva lot -- though TOO cheap COULD (that's my addition).

By the way, I just submitted an application on Diesel. I had been looking at him anyway. :)

About a month ago, my mom showed me a link on petfinder.com to a Havanese/Maltese mix. That's what got me started. From his puppy pics (maybe 4 months old or so), he looked full Havanese -- though I know that can happen. My mom had a West Highland Terrier/Maltese mix that somebody gave her that looked 100 percent Westie. AND he lived to be over 21 years old. :jaw:

I think if I can find a Hav rescue baby, it will fill both my desires -- a Hav AND a baby I can rescue and give a great life. :)
 

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Did you see Tula in MO on the Rescue site? Oh, my heart melted! She is 13, but sounds like she is "young". If I didn't already have two, I would be heading to MO:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I didn't, but probably for two reasons -- I can't go that far to get her, and she's really older than I want to do. I just lost my first dog in September, and I haven't been the same since. I believe it takes extra special people to provide for senior dogs (my mom is one of them). I just don't think I have the intestinal fortitude to do that. :(

But now I'm going to go look at her. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My new baby!!

My new baby has found me! We drove from Northern Virginia to New York yesterday to get him. He was 10 weeks old yesterday. He's a chocolate, the parents are fully DNAed, and the breeders did all the testing -- BAER, eyes, hip dysplasia, patella, and cardiac. Daddy was an AKC champion, and they gave me a chart with a couple generations' worth of his ancestors, and there are eight total champions. Not that I care as he will only be a pet. Health guarantee, state certified in NY, and instead of listing herself as a hobby breeder which has virtually no oversight and breeders can do whatever they want, she goes the next step and has herself listed in such a way that they have a rep come out every year to check them out. Their females are only bred once a year, and the babies are all home-raised and acclimated to people. The price was better than it should be but primarily because the lady who was supposed to buy him was buying a boy and a girl and then changed her mind on the boy right before pick-up. I can't tell you how gorgeous he is. This is Bobby (hubby named him Bob :suspicious:, but I just can't do Bob), our new loverboy. I can't tell you how much I love him and how much I appreciate the help y'all gave me. :)
 

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Flynn of Sir Winston fame
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Congratulations, so happy you found your little Bobby!!! Keep the photos coming...
 

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He is really quite adorable!! :D and if you think you are smitten now, just wait a few months and let us know how crazy in love you are then (if you aren't pulling your hair out over housebreaking! :pound:) Not the easiest breed to housebreak, but well worth the extra bit of persistence and oversight!

Super super cute and that's great the parents have the necessary health testing.

Your post got me wondering how supply/demand has effected the price of havanese over the last few years and boom of popularity, I wonder..

love the pics!

Kara
 

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Congrats on Bobby and thanks for the picture....but we of course what MORE!!!!! That is only a teaser after reading about your search!!!!! He looks to be a doll, oh and details...we never get enough!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Magpie, I'm SO in love! I'm doing all I can to make sure my senior Maltese is not feeling too put out. But everything Bobby does is beyond cute. He hops around as Havs do, and he's -- OMG, he's just SO CUTE!! The CUTEST face, the CUTEST personality... he never woke me once last night even though it was his first night away from his family. It's like he's never looked back. He's completely fearless and people-friendly. I almost wish I had small children because he was raised in a home with a young boy, and he really perked up around some kids last night at Petco. He is a lover boy, and hitting your lap is like a triptophan coma. He immediately collapses and zonks. I'm so in love, and he even has my mean ol' husband (lol) making baby talk gibberish. That should tell you something. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thumper, I've read good and bad about Havs and housebreaking. Of course, the same is often said of Maltese, and the ones we had growing up weren't a problem, though Casey (my Maltese) was a tad bit of a problem at first because he was 16 months and not trained in ANYthing when I got him via rescue. But having another dog in the house, I believe, helped him to learn. That's another reason we chose to get Bobby early -- so Casey can help train him.
 
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