Things to know about buying a Havanese

Are you considering bringing a Havanese into your home? They are a truly wonderful breed! Here are a few things you should know;

  • Despite its growing popularity, numerically the Havanese remains a rare breed. What that means in practical terms is that you can expect to travel,. Unlike more populous breeds there won’t be a reputable breeder in every town, or even every state.

  • The vast majority of reputable breeders will not ship a puppy by airfreight lest it suffer irreversible trauma in the hold of an airliner. If air travel is involved most will require you to fly the puppy home in the passenger compartment. Others hire students to fly with the puppies to the airport nearest you. One breeder that I know of is a flight attendant and uses her travel benefits to hand-deliver her puppies.

  • Patience helps. If you wanted a Golden Retriever chances are you could buy one this weekend within a 30 minute drive. Not so with the Havanese. In addition to traveling, you may have to spend time on a waiting list.

  • Havanese breeders are selective about who they sell puppies to. They will work to ascertain whether your home is suitable for this breed. They will want to know that there puppy will be welcomed into a home where it will be safe, loved, and integrated into daily life-not left all day to fend for itself, and definitely not chained on the front porch. You are entitled to ask a breeder about their bona fides, but expect to speak to yours.

  • If the first question that you ask is how much does a puppy cost, I know a number of breeders that will disqualify you immediately. It is not that they are greedy or intend to hold you up, but they know that the breed requires higher maintenance than many (grooming in particular) and sensitivity to purchase price may reflect in sensitivity to the cost of maintenance.

  • Your Hav will need to be brushed daily and properly groomed at least once every six weeks. Grooming costs vary but $75 is a safe estimate. Nine visits annually works out to $675 per year. You can however learn to do this yourself and save the money.

  • Having the pick of the litter may not result in you getting the best dog for you. There are a number of published guides to handpicking the best puppy out of a litter but that pits your layperson powers of observation over a 30 minute period against the breeders near constant observation over a period of 8 to 12 weeks. Tell the breeder your home situation in detail and what you are looking for in a companion dog and trust the breeder’s ability to match you with the best pup for your needs.

  • The experience you have with a Havanese breeder may be very different than what you may have had with another breed.

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