Our Commitment to Health and our Guarantee
At Mylad we breed because we love Havanese and have an intense interest in keeping this amazing breed of dogs healthy in both temperment and health.
We only breed health tested dogs, but even with that genetics is never a complete guarantee that something may go wrong. This is especially true in animals where research on dominant and recessive gene pairs is very incomplete. The mode of inheriteritance is also unknow in most areas and even in cases where it is thought to be know, opinions and test results vary greatly. What a breeder can do is ensure that they do not breed any dogs that have tested positive in genetic disorders, but also keep track of their owners and any indication of genetic health deficiencies are taken out of the breeding program. Havanese are generally healthy but there are some health concerns in this breed, as there are in all breeds.
Although we can no more absolutely guarantee that a problem could not arise, anymore than a Doctor could with human offspring, we do everything in our power to ensure that we breed the best we can and eliminate any signs of issues from our program. We strongly recommend health insurance on your pet, as vet service charges have gotten extremely pricey. As much as Doug and I would love to fully guarantee the health of your puppy, we are not an insurance company, things sometimes happen.
Our guarantee covers anything that is genetically caused and is life threatening or life debilitating. We feel extremely responsible for what we breed and support and guarantee what we breed. Although almost anything could be said to be genetic, this is not really the case, diet, exercise, toxicity, over exercise, falls, jumping, running before joints are developed, rough play etc. are often the cause of some health issues. Talk to us and go over our contract, we cover all major things that are clearly genetic, but again taking on a dog into your lives is a commitment. You need to commit to care and treat your dog as well. Health insurance is a great way to cover what your breeder may not.
Also it is important to note that most major genetic disorders can be detected at two years of age. As you are buying a puppy, which both parents are fully tested, it is of course possible that the puppy can develop a genetic disorder. Heart, hips, liver shunt, leg cathe perthes, knees and cataracts can all be genetically determined and tested at 2 years old or before. For example a dog that develops a heart condition at age five, is not brought on by genetics but diet, and periodontal disease is likely the cause. Talk to us about health testing your puppy and talk to your vet at your annual check ups on what should be looked at and evaluated.
Going the extra mile:
Most breeders guarantee your puppies health and 2 years is common, we guarantee for 5 years and are very flexible and easy to work with. Again we feel a tremendous responsibility for what we have bred and work with our owners when a health situation arises. It’s also pretty standard in many breeder contracts to offer to replace your puppy with another from the breeder. To Doug and I this is a cop out. I have not met an owner that wants to give their dog back to the breeder, and if they do, because of serious ongoing health issues requiring surgery, medication etc. most are not interested in welcoming a replacement into their home immediately. We guarantee a refund of up to the price of the dog (less deposit to cover reg fees etc) for medical expenses paid and the dog remains with the owner. In the case where a dog is returned the same condition applies, refund up to the price of the dog.
Havanese Fanciers of Canada Health Testing Policy
The requirements of any club member of the HFC in regards to Health Testing are the following;
Our current policy on health testing for voting and breeding members is that members do an annual CAER (formerly cerf – eyes) check on all their owned and co-owned breeding dogs and that they get a vet OFA signed form performed for Patella’s on all owned and co-owned breeding dogs. This policy does not change and is still a requirement for all existing and new members.
In 2018 the Havanese Fanciers of Canada voted to expand its health testing.
Existing members, and members in application, are require to health test all owned and co-owned dogs in their breeding program.
- Existing members, and members in application, are required to perform a minimum of four health tests on all owned and co-owned dogs in their breeding program
- Existing members, and members in application, are required to perform two mandatory tests
- CAER (formerly Cerf) – done in accordance with OFA guidelines and certified by a licenced practitioner qualified to do CAER exams. Microchip and tattoo must be confirmed. CAER continues throughout the breeding life of the dog.
- Patella – done in accordance with OFA guidelines and certified by a licenced practitioner qualified to do a Patella exam. This is only required to be done once, but strongly suggested that it be done before all breeding. Microchip and tattoo must be confirmed. Patella should continue throughout the breeding life of the dog.
- Two additional Tests need to be selected and performed on all owned and co-owed dogs in breeding program. Breeding dogs 7 years and older are exempt from the additional testing.
- The two additional tests, not including CAER and Patella, can be selected from the following list of tests. (Multiple polls to finalize the list concluded on March 25, 2019)
Approved Tests – not including CAER and Patella
- OFA Cardiac, or any other OFA certified cardiac exam such as echo etc.
- OFA Hip, or HIP/LCP combined
- OFA Penn Hip
- OFA Elbows
- OFA Thyroid
- Biles and other Liver testing BAC etc.
Note: With the onset of COVID, members could not access many of the services necessary to do proper health testing as facilities were closed to testing in most provinces. As of Sept 2022 this is no longer a factor and the requirements for existing and new members is once again in place. Talk to your HFC breeder if there is a gap in their health testing between 2020 and 2022.
Health Issues in Havanese:
In this section I will outline some of the common health issues with Havanese. In addition we will go over the US Orthopedic Foundation Health Requirements for Havanese. I will also cover the requirements for breeders of any members of the Havanese Fanciers of Canada – the National Club protecting and supporting Havanese.
There is no Canadian body that suggests and certifies health testing so responsible breeders use the US requirements of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals as a starting point.
Recommended Tests/CHIC Program Requirements
The OFA, working with the breed’s parent club, recommends the following basic health screening tests for all breeding stock. Dogs meeting these basic health screening requirements will be issued Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) numbers. For CHIC certification, all results do not need to be normal, but they must all be in the public domain so that responsible breeders can make more informed breeding decisions. For potential puppy buyers, CHIC certification is a good indicator that the breeder responsibly factors good health into their selection criteria. The breed-specific list below represents the basic health screening recommendations. It is not all-encompassing. There may be other health screening tests appropriate for this breed. And, there may be other health concerns for which there is no commonly accepted screening protocol available.
|One of the following:
|ACVO Eye Exam
|Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist
Known and prevalent issues in the Havanese breed are juvenile cataracts, Patella issues (knees) and hip-related issues, dysplasia and leg cathe perthes. This information on breeds changes as the breed becomes more prolific and as the Havanese Fanciers of Canada – National Breed Club president and past Health committee chair we have begun to see changes in health in the breed. Juvenile cataracts is much less common due to breed club strict requirements on breeders to test annually for this. Parents are weeded out of the breeding program and this is a much less common issue. We also see an increase in cardiac issues, as well as liver issues. Patellas have always been an issue in all toy breeds and although not life threatening surgery to correct is expensive. It is very important to be aware that Patellas can be environmentally induced as often as genetic, so again talk to your breeder about how to avoid environmental knee injury. Hip Dysplasia is fairly rare in Havanese but we are starting to see an increase in leg cathe perthes, This is generally apparent around the 6 month age of your Havanese.
One of the most expensive vet bills, and also appears to be a bit of a fad amongst vets is dental. I strongly recommend you talk to your breeder about dental when purchasing a puppy. Havanese have the same amount of teeth as a Great Dane has, with of course a much smaller mouth. Regular dental care is a requirement, but also Havanese are known to retain baby teeth and many vets, unfamiliar with toy breeds often recommend dental surgery far ahead of when this is necessary. You need to have a good relationship with your breeder if surgery is recommended prior to 8 months of age.
Havanese Fanciers of Canada
Havanese Fanciers of Canada is a CKC regulated group of breeders that undergoes strict adherence to by-laws and policies sanctioned by the Canadian Kennel Association, They are the only group that is responsible for the Havanese Standard and protection of the breed. They are also responsible to Industry Canada and the National Breed Club itself. I am not suggesting that all breeders have to be a member of the National Club to provide good service, health testing, and care of owners, but I am saying that National Breed Club members are REQUIRED to provide extensive care in breeding and buyer care and protection.
I myself joined this group 15+ years ago to protect this breed.
CKC has no policies or requirements on breeding testing, they do have a code of conduct for breeders but the Havanese Fanciers of Canada has a stricter code.
Our breeding members must conform to additional policies on, contracts, codes of conduct, bylaws and health testing regulations. Because our members are solely involved in breeding the best Havanese they can, our health knowledge and testing requirements are further advanced from OFA requirements.
For more information on the Havanese Fanciers of Canada’s policies and testing requirements visit havanesefanciers.com.
In addition, the HFC also has recourse for issues that may occur from their breeding members. As stated all members of the National Breed Club must comply with strict ethics, code of conduct, contracts with owners and health testing. If these requirements are not met, or in the case of a dispute with an HFC breeder there is a discipline committee within the club to address these issues
Cost of Havanese from a Reputable Breeder
The cost of a purebred dog is substantial. To be honest a reputable breeder is never going to get wealthy on puppy sales. Health checks, Vet bills, Guarantees, as well as C sections, senior care, show fees, grooming, Championships, etc. are hefty costs.
That said, sad to say their are some breeders that price puppies well above what the majority of breeders charge. Whatever the market bears seems to be part of some breeders philosophy. At Mylad it has never been about monetary gain, in fact it has been primarily about breaking even and keeping this amazing breed healthy. We did not raise prices during Covid, even though we could not keep up with requests. We price our puppies at one of the lowest National rates that are out there.
Vet costs have undeniably gone up, more than double for spays, neuters, puppy checks, C- sections, dental etc.
BEWARE: Please beware of the breeder that tells you that their puppies are supierour because of this test or that test that they do, testing is a part of what a breeder must do, but the guarantee and care of the owner is the most important part. I also would strongly advise to stay clear of breeders who’s prices are a sliding scale based on sex and colour. Breeders should be breeding healthy happy havanese to the standard and sex and colour have nothing to do with price. A breeder who sells girls higher than boys, or reds higher than blacks is pandering to a market and demand and I’m sorry this is not what breeding is about. I have seen breeders who advertise short hair as a “rare” type. In fact it is a recessive gene that does not meet the standard and should by no means be a premium. I have also seen breeders advertise blue’s or green eyed chocolates as rare, and again both are not part of the standard. Do NOT, please Do NOT purchase a puppy at a premium price because it is well marketed or appeals to your eye. I have also seen Havanese merle puppies advertised as rare and special, and they are not even possible in a pure bred.
One Last Note on unethical breeding pandering to market demand. Tea cup, small, purse size Havanese are NOT a thing. Some breeders intentionally breed dogs below the actual standard size because owners want small havanese. Havanese are a study toy dog, they are at the top of the toy group standard. They are not tea cup, they are not purse dogs. Please don’t encourage the practice of asking your breeder for a Havanese that is below standard size. Breeding small Havanese has opened up a wealth of health problems, heart issues and liver shunt. It is not a good practice and ultimately will impact the general health of the breed. If you require a smaller dog than the breed standard talk to your breeder about what breeds might work better for you.
Responsible breeders breed to protect the health and standards of our Havanese. They are delightful, they are perfect companion dogs and they need to be what they are. Breeders can not breed outside of the standard without risking health, temperament and breed type. I could go on and on about how unethical breeding practices, often driven by what wins in the ring, have ruined certain breeds, e.g German shepherds that are so downward slopping now they have major hip issues, Pugs, bulldogs etc that can no longer breed naturally due to show preferences of head size. Havanese with toplines so intense eventually they will have movement and hip issues. Havanese have been protected for many years by the National Breed Club Standards but demands from the public and from breeders who cater to that market as well as those who want to win in the ring are always a threat to what breeders breed. Don’t be a part of the issue, if you desire a Havanese, know you breed type and the standard, do not try to make the breed into something it is not healthy to be.
For information on the Havanese Standard visit the Havanese Fanciers of Canada website. Havanese standard. havanesefanciers.com.