A description of our dogs:
1. COMPANIONS- Since they are bred to be companions, they LOVE their families and live to make them happy. They are always happiest when they are with their people!! Which is why they are often referred to as the 'Velcro' dog, they love following you around all day.
2. TRAINING - They are very good at obedience, agility, rally, and other competitive sports. Some have even been known to enjoy dock jumping and swimming. They also enjoy a good boat ride!
3. ALLERGIES - They tend to be a good choice for allergy sufferers and are generally considered to be hypoallergenic. They do not shed, but will loose some of their hair (just like humans) that needs to be brushed out. If an allergic reaction occurs, it is more likely due to the grooming products used or the food that is being fed. Once these are changed, the allergic reaction is usually significantly decreased if not totally alleviated.
4, THERAPY - These dogs tend to be excellent therapy dogs, since they are quite easily trained and love people. They are therapeutic to the owner also!!
5. GROOMING - While keeping your dog in a full length coat will take some extra grooming time (comb 1-3 times per week) and baths every 1-2 weeks, many people choose to keep their dog in a puppy clip which is easier to maintain and still looks adorable.
The Havanese is the National dog of Cuba and it's only native breed. It is also known as the Bichon Havanais, toy Havanese, and Havana Silk Dog. While the exact history appears to be lost in antiquity, it is thought the Havanese is a direct descendant of the ancient Banquito de la Cubano, meaning 'white cuban', and was a small white silky coated dog of the aristocracy. What has never changed is the description of a delightful little dog from Cuba that has long, silky hair and comes in a large variety of colors. In Cuba they were the lap dogs of the aristocratic elite. During the Cuban revolution many of these families had to leave their beloved pets behind as they fled to other countries. During this time the breed nearly saw extinction. In the late 1960's Dorothy Goodale learned about the breed and became enamored with their charm and began a process of finding dogs who had immigrated to America to begin a formal breeding program to re-establish the breed. She used the 1963 FCI standard as the 'road map' to this endeavor. She was able to acquire 11 dogs which became the foundation of the Havanese breed in America and to a large extent Europe, as many dogs were exported to Europe as they learned about this delightful breed.
The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family, all consisting of small lap dogs with delightful personalities and making wonderful companions. Each developed in their own country of origin, according to the preferences of their native people. The relatives of the Havanese include the Bichon Frise, Maltese, Bolognese, Lowchen, Coton de Tulear, and Bolonka.
The Havanese was recognized by UKC in 1991 and AKC in 1999. The Havanese is bred under many standards including the UKC and AKC in the US, the CKC in Canada and FCI in Europe. There are some differences in the standard, but regardless of which standard or country the Havanese is bred under, they should all represent the beauty of the Havanese. Breeders each have their interpretation and preferences, however, always the original FCI 1963 standard should be referred to if in doubt, as that is the foundation for every other standard and all changes that have occurred were added to or subtracted from that original standard.
Key elements for the Havanese Breed:
- Small dog, 8.5-11.5 inches at the shoulder, weight in accordance to height 7-13lb.
- Lean boned but a sturdy, little dog, neither fragile nor course/stocky.
- Long, silky hair that flows with movement, but is not so profuse as to obstruct the outline.
- Slight rise in topline from shoulder to rump.
- Rectangular outline, slightly longer than tall.
- Length of leg floor to elbow equal to distance elbow to top of shoulder.
- Soft, gentle, intelligent expression with large, very dark, almond eyes.
- Tail carried over the back (allowed to drop when standing still).
- Head held high with distinction.
- A playful demeanor and faithful companion.
Our Havanese Journey
Our Havanese Journey began in 2002 with the addition of Molly to our family. She has been nothing but a love. From there we have grown to adore the breed and become dedicated to preserving it. Along the way we have had to make many difficult breeding decisions. We have chosen to spay an entire line due to learning about some health issues in some related dogs, even though our dogs were health tested, healthy and so were their puppies, we just couldn't take the risk once we knew. Thus... we had to start over. This time we looked for lines that had generations of health testing behind them. Despite good intentions sometimes things just don't turn out like you planned. Because we take breeding seriously, we chose to neuter and place a male we had purchased as a stud because his conformation did not turn out as we had hoped. We continued to grow our breeding program and welcomed our newest generation of dogs, whom we are really thrilled with. We believe you should breed only healthy dogs and sound dogs with good temperaments. We believe in breeding to the standard, but within each standard there is room for personal preference. Our goal is to produce dogs/puppies which are as close to the original dogs from Cuba as possible. In our dogs, we prefer a smaller dog of 8-10 pounds with a lean build, slightly longer than tall with beautifully balanced straight legs and an easy care silky coat. We believe in genetic diversity and attempt as much as possible within the small Havanese gene pool to breed unrelated dogs that are of similar type and size. We are excited to see our next generation!
What to look for in a breeder:
When looking for your new puppy it is important that you look carefully for a breeder who health tests and posts the results on OFA. Ask the breeder about their dogs, their breeding program, health issues, temperament etc. Look at their dogs and determine if the style of dog you desire is what they have since each breeder has a distinct style they breed for within the standard. Ask about structure and ask for soaped photos so you can see if the parents have straight legs. Ask about what type of coat their dogs have, how easy they are to maintain since some dogs matt easier than others. I have found the cottony coats tend to get matted more easily which is why I prefer the silkier coat because it is much easier for me to maintain. You will also find some breeders prefer a dog with more or less leg, heavier or leaner bone, longer or shorter neck or back. All these things can be breeder preferences that fall within the standard.
It is important for potential puppy buyers to understand that getting AKC papers does not guarantee you a beautiful or healthy dog. The AKC is a pure bred pedigree registry, that is it, they guarantee the dog is from a purebred line. This is the reason why you see 20 pound Yorkies and curly coated Maltese, these breeders are not breeding to the standard. Not all breeders are created equal and it is up to the puppy buyer to discern the differences. Unfortunately there are puppy mill breeders even in Havanese. It is likely in order to get a puppy from a reputable breeder who health tests you will pay more than one who does not. It is not enough to get a vet checkup or to say the dogs are health tested, you should require verification of the health testing. It can easily be looked up on OFA by typing in the dogs registered name.
Do your homework, learn about the breed, check health testing, interview the breeder asking questions about the breed, health, their dogs and their breeding program. If there is anything you are not comfortable with, look for another breeder. You need to work with someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. Check references. Go for a visit, all reputable breeders will welcome you.
Red Flags (things to be concerned about)
-doesn't do health testing
-their lines don't have health problems
-doesn't know the breed standard
-litters are not raised in the home
-dogs do not live in the home
-health testing isn't listed on OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)
-offer to meet you with the puppy, not to visit at their home
-are not able to meet the parents
-ship puppies as cargo
-breed more than two breeds
-do not interview you before taking a deposit on a puppy
-website doesn't give information about the adult/parent dogs or the family
-give full registration papers without guidelines, detailed interviews, detailed contract
Beware of online puppy brokers: These are websites designed to sell puppies. You purchase the puppy from the website and they send you your puppy. You do not meet the 'breeder', see pictures of their adult dogs etc. Despite the fact some of these websites state the puppies are health tested, guaranteed, etc. no reputable breeder would ever sell their puppies on such a site. The parents health testing is not documented on OFA and their definition of 'health testing' is likely meaning a simple vet exam. Reputable breeders will always require to talk with you personally or meet with you in person before agreeing to sell you a puppy and will require you to pick the puppy up at their house.
Examples of online puppy brokers: Puppy Find, Next Day Pets, Oodle, Terrific Pets, Puppy Trader, Dogsnow, Animaroo, Purebred Breeders, Lancaster Puppies etc. but I am certain there are dozens of other online brokers who are filling the gap for puppies quick and easy. Don't fall for the cute puppy trap!
Because we love and cherish each and every puppy born at our home, at Selah you will be required to fill out a puppy application and provide references. We will also happily provide references. We will talk personally over the phone and meet in person if possible so you can come to our home to meet us, our dogs and see where the puppies are raised. Later you will need to come pick your puppy up at our home. We will not ship puppies, we want to meet you personally, have you meet our dogs and let the mama's say goodbye to their puppies in a natural home environment. It is stressful enough when their puppies leave, they deserve to say goodbye and meet the family also.