Love AKC Havanese

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Unethical Breeders

Ethics and Breeding:   I feel it's necessary for me to bring to the light some practices found common among some dog breeders.  Some of these traits might permanently damage the dog.  Traits a dog has normally change drastically when they have been abused.  It's important to be aware of these practices when you are thinking of buying a dog.  The degree of importance that every person will put on these areas, is up to them. They may not see them as a problem or may see them as I do.  No one is perfect, but some of these things show a side of the people that is not the most ethical. If I could have avoided dealing with people that I knew had no high moral standing and were willing to do whatever to make a dollar, then I would have avoided those people.  Most of us try to do good. We don't go out of our way to hurt people and then wait for them to retaliate.  We try to mind our own business and live our lives.  Unforatunely, there are those, that thrive on taking from those of us who work hard for what we have, no matter what the consequences ie. health and safety of puppy.

Financial Gain over the well being of the puppy - I believe that everyone has the right to earn a fair dollar for whatever the work they perform or in exchange for a tangible item. I truly believe that everyone the business even of breeding dogs, even as a hobby, needs to be careful not to put the financial gain over the well being of the pet.  It is unfortunate that so many people are only concerned with the financial gain that breeding these beautiful dogs can earn them without caring as much to the proper care and overall well being of the pet. 


1.  One thing I find offensive is that some breeders will set the price for the area so that they can get a higher dollar return for their pet. They do this by offering tor to Stud their dog out and then enforce the Dam's owner to set the price at the higher/top range.  The average AKC registered Havanese is normally priced anywhere from about $1,000-$2,500.  They don't allow the puppies from that litter to be sold at the mid or lower ranges so they can keep the prices set at higher so they can ensure that the puppies from their own litters command those higher prices.  By doing this, they often end up keeping the puppy for a longer time because they don't sell as quickly at those higher prices. They would rather refuse to lower the price at all and end up keeping the puppy for a long time in their home. Here the puppy is ready to go to an adoptive home beginning around the 10th week on and they end up staying a considerable longer time becuase the owner refuses to reduce the puppy to make the sell.  By the time the puppy sells, then it is difficult for the puppy to become accustomed to their new surroundings and adoptive owner's home.  It's just a selfish way to be and by no means in the best interest of the dog. Those highest priced dogs are warranted if they are are themselves a Champion either actively attending the dog show circuit or in the past and holding titles from some of these major Dog Shows.


Another thing to be aware if you are a pet lover as I am, is that some breeders often trade their dogs out. That means, that they have no problem getting a dog, keeping it for a period of time and then selling it. I know a breeder who often does this. She may keep a dog for anywhere from a year to 5-6 years and then sell that dog when it is no longer breedable or not up to will obtain a dog to breed and keep that dog for a period of time and then some breeders will keep a dog for 5 years or more and then offer the pet for sale.  This person acquired a female about 1+ years ago and has decided to sell her because supposedly her legs are too short and hair is too course. She has other adult dogs that she has had for years currently for sale. We find this to be in cruel and in extremely poor taste. Something that we don't condone. These are your animals for life and if you don't love this animal enough to keep it for life (other than a personal or medical crisis that can't be foreseen when you get the puppy) then you should not be breeding this beautiful animal.


We purchased an AKC registered dog that ended up not being the most excellent example of the breed. He didn't have the best hair, eyes, and legs. He has some genetic problems that we felt might pass on some problems with this breed so we decided that we would not breed him. We nuetered him at an early age and we've had him now for 5 years, since the age ofa puppy. We would never think to sell him just because we can't breed him. That is not even an option. He is our friend and companion and just because he isn't the best of the breed, doesn't make him anyless valuable to us. They are not disposable. I can't imagine the damage it would cause him if I choose to get rid of him after all these years. As I stated, we totally understand situations arise where you can no longer take care of a pet and then the most responsible thing is to find the pet a new home but it's not acceptable to forsee this and for a finacial gain over and over again, you do this. You may see the signs of this when a breeder has older dogs advertised for sale. They may give you a story but it's likely just a story. Like saying, “It's a friends dog” or something else.


“Lifetime Guarantees” can be another area that some breeders use to get people to buy their dogs but in fact, the value of what they are offering is really not as much as is implied. They offer to “replace the puppy” if the dog gets a genetic disorder. This is rarely done and that is why is is offered. They rely on the likelihood that the puppy's owner will simply keep the dog and cover the medical expenses over returning the dog that they are know attached to. These breeders know that the likelihood that you will return a dog once you have nurtured and loved them for a period of time, is pretty minimal. I know a breeder who says that she has not had this happen in 8 years so she continues to drum up business by offering this worthless guarantee. Another problem is that the breeder may not have any puppies. At some point, the breeder may go out of business and then there is not a puppy available. They will probably be out of business way before the “lifetime guarantee” expires so the offer is just fluff. We try to offer what is available and reasonable. For specific genetic disorders which we have taken from a list of some of the more major dog disorders, we offer a 2 year guarantee, when the conditions are met. In this case, we offer to replace the puppy if requested or or actually help with medical costs, matching dollar for dollar, up to 1,000.


We actually haven't seen anyone offering a guarantee with help with any amount of medical costs. Another trick worth mentioning, is when a “High Volume Breeder” by AKC definations, tries to appear as a lesser volume breeder to avoid oversight and inspection from the AKC. The AKC has a committee that focuses on these High Volume Breeders to ensure that they are in compliance with the regulations AKC mandates. “According to AKC policy, anyone who breeds 7 or more litters a year is subject to an inspection of their records and dog identification, and the care and condition of their dogs and facilities. A wide variety of breeders produce 7 or more litters a year. They range from hobbyists, performance and hunting dog breeders to commercial breeders, with a decided majority being commercial.” There are sanctions and penalties that the AKC can impose for those High Volume Breeders that have violated the regulations that they fall under. The AKC takes a greater interest in these High Volume Breeders because they realize that a majority of the animal abuse cases fall under these type of breeders. Some of these “High Volume Breeders” are better known as “Puppy Mills”. Of course, not all High Volume Breeders are bad or non-compliant. The AKC requires that these “High Volume Breeders” to maintain meticulous records and allow and pass home or business inspections performed by the AKC. AKC attempts to inspect each facility on the High Volume Breeder list at least one time every 2 years. Some people resent this oversight of their business by the AKC organization, who is merely trying to ensure the safety of the dog and the continuation of the pedigree bred. To avoid being monitored and investigated by the AKC, then some of the breeders simply assign some of their puppies or litters to a friend, relative or co-worker. In this case, they will reduce the number of puppies that they offer and in turn, will not be categorized as a “High Volume Breeder.” A sign indicating that the breeder may be avoiding recognized as a high volume breeder is when you see them selling the puppies themselves but they have it listed in someone else's name. Perhaps they have some litters that they are advertising on their site, but they say that those puppies belong to someone else. Either of these scenarios, could indicate that they may be trying to avoid this title so they do not have to abide by the regulations AKC has imposed. Just be aware of this, because in some cases, you have to assume that they avoid this monitoring because they are not following the minimal guidelines.


To avoid inspection, some “HVB” have simply went to other Pedigree registrees. AKC works with the breeders in non-compliance and when breeder seeks help they are there to help them fix their shortcomings. Rather than complying or changing their everyday functions, some breeders would rather turn to an eaiser registry. There are some eager dog registrees out there. Suspended AKC breeders, sometimes hurry and transfer to these other registry organizations. “Regardless of the seriousness of the violation, other registries reissue papers. This is a relatively new challenge for AKC and it is bad for all purebred dogs. The AKC is a Non Profit, open registry. Another method is for some HVB, to use the AKC studbook to reissue names in their own name.”” Unfortunately, the public is not that aware that the different registrees exist and the standards of each are so varied. Many in the public, may believe that the registation papers are all the same and opt for the cheapest, which is likely not close to the same quality.


There has been a reduction in the pets bred in the U.S. and increase in those transported in from other countries. What is sad about this is that the animals being shipped in are not the same quality and specimen of those generally bred in the U.S. Some of these forgein suppliers are simply about financial gain and they are not interested in ensuring that the pups arrive without any disease or are free of genetic defects. Many of these pets are sold to the commerical breeders for stock and resale.


One last thing is that most breeders do not allow the dogs they sell to be bred. In itself, that is not a bad thing but it should be properly advertised. Unfortunately, I have read many dog ads that do not properly state this exclusion or merely use breeder terminology like “Pet only” or “AKC limited” so that the buyer doesn’t really understand what it means. “Pet” only has a different meaning to a normal person than it does in the breeding world. The buyer may think, well ok, I am in fact buying this puppy as a “Pet” so that is no big deal. It might be a big deal if the buyer is intending to breed the dog because this essentially means that the dog can't be bred. “AKC Limited” also has a different meaning. AKC limited registration means that although the puppy is an AKC registered dog, derived from from 2 AKC registered parents, any off spring will not be recognized by the AKC. If they go against the contract and are bred to have puppies, then they are not recognized by the AKC organization. AKC limited registered dogs shall be ineligible to be entered in a breed competition in a licensed or member dog show. It is eligible, however, to be entered in any other licensed or member event. These events include: Obedience, Tracking, Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Herding, Lure Coursing, Agility and Earthdog. If you are shopping around for an AKC registered puppy, please specifically ask the other breeder if the puppy is being sold as a “Pet” only with a “Limited AKC registration. While it is often quite normal for Breeders not to offer puppies that are eligible to be breed, this should be advertised and explained in detail prior to purchase. Normally, a breeder will either not offer full AKC registered puppies or offer them at a substantially higher price. We don’t offer Full AKC registration at all. We agreed with the stud owner to only offer puppies with Limited AKC registration. Many other breeders when addressed about this issue will give you a number of reasons why they do this but It is mainly because they don’t want their puppies to be bred abundantly and cause a great deal of competition against themselves. We also openly post a copy of our contract on the site. Please familiarize yourself with this as we will ask that a potential buyer sign this in writing at the time of purchase.


We price our pups, in the average price range for a good breed of dog.  I believe that a puppy priced in the higher range is only worth that if they have an excellent pedigree and are actively or have in their lifetime won titles from some reputable dog shows.  Some breeders do try to exagerate their dog's pedigree or bloodline so that they can command more money. Some dogs pedigree definitely warrant this extra charge but other's do not. Merely have a Champion Bloodline does not constitue the highest priced dogs. They want you to beleive that the dogs priced in the higher ranges, are of better quality but that just isn't always the case.  If they advertise the dog as an actual Champion and not merely Champion Bloodline then, ask what titles the dog holds and what shows and place the dog placed in. It could be a title from a local show where only 2 dogs competed in the category.  Don't be riped off.  Be smart and dilegent and enforce these people to a higher standard for the be better of the breed and fairness of the deal.  I actually know a local person who does all these things


This often leaves the buyer feeling ripped off when they realize that the puppy they just purchased for a great deal of money, is not eligible to be bred or some in some cases, shown in some of the major dog shows. I believe that this should be openly disclosed and explained so that the buyer understands what they are purchasing but it is often not. Some more shady Breeders will not openly disclose this or just put sold as “Pet” only in their advertisment. Unfortunately, “Pet” often has a different meaning the buyer who doesn't know the meaning according to the Breeding world. These dogs are sold as a “Pet” only. A dog advertised as "Pet" only means that the dog is not eligible to be breed. “Pet” only dogs are only eligible for a "Limited" AKC registration.

On the average, full bred dogs from a responsible breeder/person will range in price over the $1,000 - $2,500.  Ensure you know as much about the pedigree/history of the dog and the owners, as possible.  This will increase the likelihood that you will get a quality pet without many of the possible negative traits.  This is a long term investment and when taking into account the number of years that the dog will be with your family, as well as the quality of the dog, then our adoption price is very reasonable.  You can find cheaper puppies out there, but then you know the old saying "You get what you pay for."  You might adopt a dog that has been abused or neglected and then you and your family, will have to work harder to deal with the dog's problems for many years to come.  This could be very disruptive to you and your family's lives.

I do hope that some of this information helps you when you are looking for a puppy. I know that many people are just as concerned as we are, that the breeders are properly caring for the animals that so many of us appreciate and love. I wanted everyone to be aware of some of the shading dealings that I was aware of so that they could ensure that they purchased from a reputable breeder with high ethics.


Reference: High Volume Breeders Committee -