Buying A Havanese Puppy
Buying a Havanese Puppy is definitely an exciting idea, but as with any breed, you need to give this a serious thought. Buying a Havanese dog or any other is a commitment. You will be feeding, grooming, and caring for your dog for several years to come. So, lets jump right into the meat and potatoes of the story.
Choose the Breed that Best Fits Your Lifestyle and Goals
Considering that you and your four-legged friend will be together for a lifetime, it is important to think about the type of breed that best fits your lifestyle. There are thousands of puppy breeds, and some are more suitable for certain lifestyles than others.
For example, Labradors and Retrievers are great dogs for families but may be too big and energetic for a housebound senior. A small lap dog like a Shih-Tzu may be more appropriate in the latter situation. Before shopping for a puppy, take some time to read about the different breeds available and choose the one that will fit your lifestyle, personality, and temperament.
Cost of Puppy Ownership
Like most things in life, the cost of a puppy can range in price from several hundreds to several thousand dollars. Pedigree is the primary driver behind how much a breeder will charge for a dog. The more rare and/or coveted a breed is, the more money you can expect to pay for it.
During the first year of ownership, you can expect to pay up to $1,000 for supplies, vet bills, training, registration, and related costs. Over the dog’s lifetime, you can expect to pay up to $13,000. There are several things you can do to reduce the cost of dog ownership. Smaller dogs tend to be less expensive than big dogs, mostly because they don’t eat as much and tend to have fewer health problems.
Ask The Right Questions
What To Look For In A Havanese Breeder
Assuming that you have chosen your breed and it is a Havanese, we want to give you some guidance on what to look for, what to look out for, and some general tips.
It is important to take as much time selecting a breeder as you do choosing the type of dog you want to buy. There are some great breeders in the industry that love dogs and work hard to match puppies with good owners.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are disreputable breeders who are only interested in making a buck. Here are a few things to look for that can help you find one and avoid the other. Inspect the Kennel – The kennel or home where the dogs are housed should be clean and safe, and the dogs should be treated well.
It’s a red flag if the person doesn’t want you to see the conditions of the dog’s home and insists on meeting you in an alternate location. The person may be running a puppy mill or neglecting the animal’s welfare.
The best way to determine if a breeder is not running a puppy mill and is treating the dogs well is to inspect their living space. If the breeder refuses to allow you to visit the living space or insists on meeting you someplace else, do not buy a puppy from that breeder. The dog has no marking or identifiers – Reputable breeders mark the dogs with clear identifiers that separate them from each other.
If the dogs are not clearly marked, it is too easy for the breeder to perform a bait and switch; show you one puppy but give you another when you come back to get him or her. One female surrounded by multiple males – Male dogs are built to know when a female is in heat, and it is long before a human realizes it.
If multiple male dogs have unrestricted access to the female, the puppy’s parentage will always be under question. Chances are pretty good that you are buying a dog because you want to be certain of its pedigree, so this should be a deal breaker for you.
Ask to See the Parents of the Puppy
One of the ways you can make sure you are getting a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder is to ask to see the puppy’s parents. This is particularly important if you are purchasing a purebred puppy for competitions. Like potential spouses, there is a lot you can learn about your dog just by meeting his or her parents. The puppy’s parents should be healthy and well adjusted.
This indicates the breeder takes good care of the pets under his or her care. Play with the parents to get a sense of their temperaments because you can expect your own dog to display the same attitude. Other things you should consider is their fur and how much they shed (especially if you have allergies), their playfulness, energy levels, their teeth, and their overall appearance.
If the breeder makes multiple excuses for why you can’t meet the parents, walk away. Often times this is sign that they are hiding something
Ask for Registration Papers From Your Breeder
If you are buying a purebred puppy, then it should be registered. Pedigreed Animal Documentation (or dog papers) is a certificate that details the animal’s breed, ancestry, and identifying marks. This paperwork is necessary if you want to compete in dog shows, sell the dog at a later date, or breed the dog. It can also come in handy if the dog is ever lost or stolen and you need to prove you are the owner.
Before you pick up your puppy, call the breeder and ask if he or she has the dog’s registration papers ready. Picking up the papers at the same time you get your dog will save you the headache of trying to retrieve them at a later date.
You can consider it a red flag if the breeder does not have the papers ready. This may be a sign of disorganization on their part or a problem with the dog’s registration. In either event, it is best to wait to buy the dog until the breeders has the papers available.
Dog Papers Explained
(I know this is Australian, but it is still relevant)
Take a Friend
Most marketers will tell you that people make purchasing decisions with their emotions and use their logic to justify those purchases. This is no less true when it comes to buying a puppy. They are so cute and pull so hard at the heartstrings that many people buy dogs on impulse without really thinking about all of the ramifications of their decisions.
To help you maintain perspective, take a friend with you when you go shopping for a puppy. In addition to helping you avoid making an impulse buy that you will later regret, a neutral party can provide valuable feedback about the dog under review. He or she may bring up questions and concerns that otherwise would have been overlooked if you were shopping alone.
The key to the success of this tactic is to trust your friend. If the person indicates you should look elsewhere for a dog, be willing to walk away from the purchase long enough to evaluate the facts. Taking time to make a smart decision will ensure both you and the dog are happy.
Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away
The general goal of any dog purchase is to buy a healthy pet. It can be difficult, sometimes, to stay focused on this goal when you have a pair of big brown eyes begging you to make the dog part of your family. The reality is, though, you must be willing to walk away from the sale if there is a problem. While you may fall in love with the dog the moment you lay eyes on him or her, there is a practical element that must be considered at the same time.
A dog requires long-term care, and you need to know what you are getting into before you make the investment of love, effort, and money. A disreputable breeder that doesn’t disclose that the dog has a congenital defect can cost you a lot of money and heartache down the road.
It is better for you and the dog if you simply walk away from the purchase if you feel the breeder is not being honest with you about the dog, the dog’s living conditions indicate he or she may have come from a puppy mill, or any other red flags pop up.
Finally - Get a Vet Checkup ASAP
Dogs are a lot like cars. Buying a brand new one off the lot does not guarantee you won’t have any problems. Just like you should have a new car checked out by a mechanic, you should have your new puppy checked out by a veterinarian. Beyond the initial birth and puppy shots, most breeders don’t take puppies in for vet check ups, especially if they are expecting to sell them quickly.
Once you have the dog, you should take him or her in to get checked for kennel diseases, congenital defects, and to get the last round of shots. You also want your vet and your puppy to get to know each other because they will seeing each other a lot during that first year of ownership. Additionally, having the puppy evaluated by a vet right after you purchase him or her protects you.
If you find out the dog has a medical condition that was not disclosed to you by the breeder, you will be in a better position to get your money back and you’ll be more willing to return the dog because you won’t have gotten too attached yet.
Avoid buying a Havanese Puppy from a Pet Shop
A long time ago this would have been a safe bet. In recent decades, however, buying from a pet store can be riskier than purchasing a puppy from an unknown breeder.
The major controversy surrounding pet shops is that many of the dogs found there are purchased from puppy mills. In a puppy mill, dogs are treated like livestock. There are large numbers of them (sometimes hundreds), locked in cages and bred nonstop to meet the supply demand.
Although there are a few puppy mills that operate within the law, the vast majority of them abuse and neglect the animals. The puppies that come from these mills often suffer from heartbreaking physical or mental illnesses. These illnesses can cost you a lot of money to treat over the course of the dog’s lifetime. Sometimes the puppies don’t even make it to their first birthday.
If you want to be sure you get a healthy dog that will be your companion for life, buy your puppy from a reputable breeder or adopt one from a local animal shelter.
Don’t Buy Puppies Around the Holidays
Although demand varies over the course of a year, more puppies are sold during Christmas and Easter. There is something about these two holidays that puts people in the mood to add dogs to their homes. The major problem with purchasing a dog around these popular holidays is that supply will be depleted.
A number of problems can arise from too much demand and limited supply. In addition to promoting higher prices, the reduced supply can lead to buying a dog from a less reputable breeder or even a puppy mill, which may cost you more in the long run. The best time to buy a puppy is in spring (sans Easter) and fall.
The supply will be healthy enough that you will have a wide selection of breeds to choose from. You will also save money because the prices will be lower. The kids will be in school which will give the puppy time to acclimate to its new home without being stalked by excited children.
We hope that this in depth guide will help you on your path to finding your new havanese dog or whatever other breed you may choose. Let us know in the comments about your puppy buying experience.