Below are questions from the Havanese Club of America’s website that buyers should ask a prospective breeder.
A puppy’s heredity and early days are important. We discourage buying puppies from pet stores, and from commercial brokers through web sites for many reasons.
These questions are intended to show a few of them.
- Are you a member of the Havanese Club of America, the AKC parent club of the Havanese breed?
- Are you a member of a local Havanese club? Which one? (This indicates the breeders commitment to the breed; to ensuring good principles are adhered to and to advance the good health and temperaments of the Havanese breed.)
- Are you a member of an AKC licensed all-breed club? Which one(s)? (Again, this indicates the breeders willingness to work with fellow breeders in improving the Havanese breed.)
- Do your dogs compete in AKC events? ***Conformation ***Agility ***Rally-O ***Obedience ***What are the titles they have earned? (This indicates how much time a breeder is willing to take to work with their dogs, socialize them, train them and test how they stand up to other Havanese.)
- Are the sire and dam of your puppies AKC Champions and will you provide a three- generation pedigree for the puppy? (An AKC Championship is not critical to a healthy, well-balanced and socialized puppy but it does indicate that the puppy’s conformation and structure is close to what is recommended by the experts.)
- Are you able to tell me what approximate size and weight my puppy will be as an adult?
- Do you do any Health testing? The four recommended by the HCA are: BAER, CERF, OFA Patellas and Hips (Ok this is a biggie! Health testing is critical. Expensive too! So breeders who are in this solely for the money often to not take this extra step.)
- Have the above tests been done on the sire and dam of the litter?• If yes, are the sire and dam listed on the OFA/CERF sites? (You should be able to look on the University of Pennsylvania’s website, www.ofa.org, and see the parents of your puppy listed. If they are not listed you should be provided with the certificates that prove the sire and dam have completed their health testing.)
- Do you socialize your puppies? What methods do you use? (Puppies that spend their entire time in a crate without contact with humans and other dogs, without external forms of stimulation, and without lots of time to run and play, do not make good pets. They are often timid, have separation issues and lack confidence. All these things add extra challenges to raising your puppy.)
- If a buyer is not nearby how will they get a puppy? Do you ship puppies? Do you provide a written contract? (NEVER buy from a breeder who ships their puppies!!! And always ask for a copy of the written contract before you even put down a deposit. Our contract is on this website!)
- If the buyer cannot keep a puppy or dog purchased from you will you take back the puppy or dog under all conditions and will you be available to mentor a new owner for the life of the dog? (Good breeders continue to be concerned for their puppy’s welfare long after they leave for their “forever” home. Things happen that can make it difficult for a family to keep a puppy. Good breeders never want to see their puppies in a shelter and will INSIST that the puppy be returned to them! Yes, it is extra work. But good breeders are willing to go that extra mile.)