Kerris Havanese

Dealing with a Reputable Breeder


We pride ourselves at Kerris Havanese in always putting  the welfare of our Havanese above all else. We do all we can to ensure they are raised in a loving environment filled with mental and physical exercise, lots of attention and hands on touching. They are all health tested so we know all is well, or when all is not well. One cannot be a responsible Breeder if you don't know the good and the bad.

As a potential owner you want to know all there is to know about not only your potential new puppy, but their parents, the environment where the puppy grew up and how they were raised.

You may read and hear stories on the Internet about 'what the Breeder did' and as with all things, don't be too sure what you are hearing is truthful or factual. Often an hysterical view is permiated by an owner who wants the impossible, hears only what they want to hear or are an attention seeker and will say anything to get their 30 seconds of fame. Even when they have veterinary proof all is well, they still seek to cause mischief and mayhem.

Ask your potential Breeder to show you evidence of health testing; ask as many questions as you can, ask permission to speak to the Breeders Vet and previous puppy Buyers and if you still have doubts, purchase your puppy elsewhere.

The following was shared on Facebook with permission. It sums up why you should purchase only from a Responsible Breeder:

April 6, 2018

Please read......and then share!!!! This was posted on the ANKC registered Breeders Group by a 14 year old girl who did this as a class presentation. Well done Catriona Vickery and thank you for allowing me to share it.

"Thank you to everyone who gave me more information on why responsible dog breeders are important. Here is the speech I presented today and I couldn't have done it without you.
Have you ever wondered why responsible breeders are so important ? Well today is your lucky day. I’m going to be talking about the relevance of registered, ethical breeders of purebred dogs and their importance to not only a dog and its welfare, but why they are so vital to society and everyday life, their contribution to modern science, and their amazing work put into breed preservation. This matter hits very close to home for me as my Mum is a registered breeder of Rough Collies a breed of sheepdog originating from the picturesque highlands of Scotland. Whether you wish to believe it or not, ethical breeders, just like my Mum, affect everyone in this room. If you have a relative with a service dog, if you have seen a border security dog, if you know someone with special needs, or if you take for granted happy, healthy dogs, then it does actually have an impact on you! As the next generation of people, it is extremely important to me that I address the misconception that breeders are simply "useless".
First and foremost, the dog’s welfare! The most crucial part of breeding is prioritising that the dog will be happy and healthy. Show dogs and pets alike, it is about making sure our companions are safe by temperament, genetically sound, and have conformation that does not limit their ability, which is constantly seen in irresponsibly bred dogs, crosses, mixed, and unknown breeds. For example, brachycephalic, or short nosed breeds, when bred incorrectly or bred by people lacking knowledge, become unable to breathe properly. Or when two Merle dogs are bred together, puppies are born deaf and blind, and live to a grand total of a week or born dead purely because of the ignorance of an inattentive breeder. Or, when a poorly bred dog has bad front and rear angulation, they cannot move properly. This makes for a restrictive and poor quality of life. A breeder of German Shepherds recently reached out to me. She stated that "health testing of breeding stock is eliminating things like hip dysplasia." And it most certainly is along with other issues found in different breeds. This and many other physical and genetic factors contribute to a dog’s health. Crossing two breeds actually doesn’t make the offspring any healthier; instead, it actually puts them at risk of even more issues. And yet another significant misconception is that a bitch will benefit from having a litter before being desexed again this is an absolute myth. A bitch cannot and will not benefit from having a litter. But what covers the dog underneath can and does also pose as a huge issue to their welfare. Here is a quote from a breeder and former groomer, "as a former groomer, you will find they see horrific cross bred and inbred animals with deformities, skin issues, behavioural issues and the list goes on". That’s right, badly or incorrectly bred dogs are prone to many issues, but focusing on coat, the skin issues and coat deformities are the usual result of crossing two types of coat together. For example, a poodle and a Labrador. While your beloved poodle crosses are indeed very cute, they go through hell to carry that fluffy coat you all love. The way a dog looks on the outside to the standard is very important to long term health. Poor welfare to the dog only occurs when unethical breeders have a lack of knowledge. For this reason and many more, breeders push to produce animals where their welfare is paramount. Keeping the dog’s welfare as a top priority is the reason our best friends can be happy and healthy by temperament, genetics and conformation.

As well as this, there is yet another reason registered breeders are so significant to everyday life. For those who are visually impaired, to those who are protecting our country, for the rescuers, the therapists, the companions intelligent, well-bred dogs are required. And of course, they don’t come from just anywhere! Labrador Retriever breeder Pauline Gill had this to say; "I prioritise health, ability to retrieve, temperament and drive equally as conformation. These dogs need sound conformation to do their job." Pauline Gill has been a member of Dogs New South Wales since 1986, and has been a breeder with Dogs New South Wales for 27 years. Over this time, she has bred service, drug detection, diabetes alert, autism support, post traumatic stress disorder support, truffle hunting, stress disorder and obedience dogs. Service dogs are the dogs that you see walking and guiding those with disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. The dogs are trained for 1 to 2 years and with the completion of their training, are able to lead and guide people in public, detect diabetic spikes and drops, and support a panic attack, a product of mental disorders like anxiety. Drug detection or "sniffer dogs", as you may call them, are trained for an astonishing 2 to 3 months! These dogs have been bred with such an ideal genetic and conformational background that they are able to be trained in a tiny amount of time. After the initial training, dogs are then qualified to protect our country! They can smell drugs and other dangerous goods and alert their handler simply by sitting when a scent is identified. These amazing canines are the ones you see at airports and police stations, and are absolutely essential for the stability and safety of our country. These dogs are the reason you can sleep at night. Without people like Pauline Gill, and her properly bred Labradors, people could and would die, and our country would be at a constant risk. It is important to not merely dismiss registered, ethical breeders who breed intelligent, sound dogs for this reason.
Furthermore, registered, ethical breeders have, in fact, contributed to modern science. Karen Galbraith, a breeder of Japanese Spitz, told me more: "The Border Collie breeders in Australia spent 20 years and tens of thousands of dollars having a DNA test developed to eliminate Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, which is the same as Batten’s disease in children, and the research done in Border Collies has, in turn, contributed to the study of the disease in children." So first - what is Batten’s disease? It is a fatal disease which is an inherited disorder of the nervous system. Battens disease is inherited from a recessive gene that must be carried by both parents. The fatal result is a child of both genes combined, a child with Ceroid Lipofuscinosis. The breeders in Australia had to hand any dog they bred with the mortal illness to scientists. It was here that, over a span of many years, a DNA test was evolved to detect the gene in both parents, and now we have the ability to prevent the disease. As well as this, those who cared for the special needs dogs also made some findings in the way that the disease could be managed, and they found that physical therapy actually helped to lessen the amount of and severity of seizures caused by the disease. Along with this disease, the overall part of breeding and genetics has harboured a favourable amount of information for modern science and the way that genetics affect dogs and how they can be dangerous. Breeders did indeed help in the prevention, diagnosis and management of the disease, as well as gather vital information that we use everyday.

And last but not least, one of the most overlooked reasons breeders are important, is for the preservation of breeds. Without these breeders, some beloved breeds would no longer exist. But why is breed preservation important? Well without some breeds, we wouldn’t have dogs to help herd livestock on our farms. Without some breeds, we wouldn’t have dogs to protect our homes. To rescue and guide people. To protect our country. To be our companions. For these reasons and so many more, breed preservation is a very real and relevant aspect of dog breeding from registered, ethical breeders. You may not know that the Maltese is an almost extinct breed... yet we see millions of Maltese crosses and mixes the typical result of backyard breeding - irresponsible breeding of animals from those who have little to no knowledge about genetics and health in the likes of the welfare of the dog. At a Maltese specialty show in Melbourne, a striking total of nine dogs showed up. Nine. In the whole of Melbourne and its surrounds. Without breeders, the Maltese would truly be an extinct breed. Here is what Tracey Bassett, a Great Pyrenees breeder, had to say; "You may want to mention that some breeds are rarer than the Panda (for example the Skye Terrier or Otterhound). Good breeders are essential for their existence. And Tracey Bassett is absolutely right. These breeds have survived for hundreds if not thousands of years, yet they cannot survive modern humanity, down to the selfishness of careless, immoral people who breed for "cute" and/or for money. And one thing registered, ethical breeders certainly do not do, is make money from breeding. So due to the nonsensical minds of self-absorbed people, breeds have and are being destroyed and lost. With the absence of proper breeders, your best friend may not have existed.
Ultimately, the ethical breeding of purebred pedigree dogs are extremely vital. We want our best friends to be happy and healthy, and that is taken care of by the responsible registered breeders. With the dogs produced by our breeders, lives are saved, and our country is protected. Diseases are prevented and managed, and scientific findings are paramount in the use of modern science. And of course, they keep breeds alive. These reasons are just a small piece of so many other reasons which render the purebred ethical breeders in our society a necessity for everyday life".



The Havanese Fanciers Canadian website has some wonderful information on all things Havanese. One of the articles on the below link talks about what to look for when searching for a Havanese Breeder. I recommend reading prior to making your choice of where you will purchase your special puppy.


Below is another good article which I found on the website of the Varieties of Bichon Related Breeds Club of Vic. Inc., of which we are a Member, and have simply included here for your advice.


Dealing with a reputable breeder 

When you go to inspect or buy a puppy remember you may prevented from touching  puppies that are less than 4 weeks old. (Kerris Havanese puppies are 7 weeks old before they can be touched)

This is ok, and is simply the breeder trying to eliminate any chance of illness in the puppies

While many dogs bought from newspaper ads and yard signs are healthy and happy, far too many are ill, poorly socialized, genetically flawed dog-catastrophes waiting to happen.


Suggested questions you should ask your breeder

When is he/she old enough to go home?

If you are purchasing a purebred puppy from a breeder, you should purchase a puppy that is between eight and twelve weeks old. A puppy should not be separated from its mother before eight weeks of age.

Is this breed right for me and my lifestyle?

Check to make sure that the breed is compatible with your life and your needs before you make that purchase. Verify that the dog you are looking at is healthy.

Look for someone with some experience with the breed you are interested in. If they are new to your breed, do they have experience with a similar breed?

You probably want to avoid anyone who has "switched" breeds every couple of years, from popular breed to popular breed. Also, be very wary of people who have many  dog breeds. It is not uncommon to find people breeding more than one kind of dog (for example, quite a few Cavalier breeders are also interested in Havanese), but a breeder producing litters of many different breeds of dog is not going to be your best source, and probably should be suspected as a puppy-mill or disreputable breeder.

What kind of congenital defects are present in this breed? What steps are you as a breeder taking to decrease these defects? What is the breed club doing re this problem if anything?

Avoid anyone who says "none", or "not in my dogs!". There are genetic problems in  some small and some not-so-small dogs - some problem is present in almost every breed. Do some research here, and make sure you know what kind of answer you should be getting from the breeder.

A reputable breeder should be able to tell you what kinds of problems might be present in the particular breed (for example, hip dysplasia, patella luxation, thyroid problems,  etc) and what kind of testing is available to find it. It goes without saying that the breeder should be doing those tests on their breeding stock. Any dogs that have any of the more problematic of these problems should not be bred -- avoid anyone who is breeding dogs known to have serious genetic problems, and who is not testing their dogs and bitches.

Do you have the parents here? Can I see them?

This is kind of a trick question - most times breeders will not own both dogs. They will own the mother (and you should be able to see her (Kerris Havanese state but not before the pups are 7 weeks). The best match for that bitch probably belongs to someone else. You should be able to see the mother and any other dogs on site when you visit. If the breeder hesitates, you should wonder why - are the dogs kept in clean, healthy conditions? Are they too aggressive to let loose? You should be very comfortable with any reason not to see the dogs.

What are the good and bad points of the parents? What title do they have?

Some breeders will start to gush at this point and enumerate all the wonderful qualities of their dogs - and the best I've talked to also will point out their flaws. What you're looking for here is temperament, possible aggression, how they deal with people, how they're not "perfect".

As for titles, reputable breeders show their dogs, and they should be carrying points towards a championship, if not champions already. This is important - while there are many wonderful dogs out there that haven't seen the inside of a show ring, if the breeder is truly trying to improve the breed, they will be comparing their dogs to other breeders and trying to breed dogs that match the standard. The only way to do that is to show their dogs.

Many breeders compete in obedience as well, and will have Companion Dog (CD) or other obedience titles or agility passes for the parents. Often, this is a good benchmark for temperament and behaviour.

Can you ask your breeder to explain the puppy's pedigree?

Yes a good breeder should be able to tell you something about dogs on your puppy's pedigree. Have them explain the often cryptic letters and titles awarded, and get a good feel that they know the lines they are breeding from. At the very least, they should be able to provide you with a 4 generation pedigree and be able to tell you about the dogs.

You might see the same dogs listed a few times on the pedigree - the breeder should be able to point out any linebreeding and inbreeding and explain the benefits and dangers of both.

Where were the puppies raised? How have you socialized them?

What you're looking for here is an indication of what kind of socialization the puppies have had. Ideally, you want the breeder to have raised the puppies in the house, around the normal daily activities of a household so they are used to the noises and activity of humans, and hopefully they may have been taken out for a drive to get them used to travel.

A breeder who says "in the garage" or "in the kennels" can also have well socialized puppies, but you need to be more careful. Most toy breeds are raised in the home and are able to enjoy the home environment - if not have they spent enough time with the puppies? Some puppies are moved outside during the day to get used to other noises and such. Socialization is so important to getting a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog. Puppies should have been exposed to people, other dogs, new situations, normal household sounds and activities in order to learn. A puppy raised without this important social interaction can be shy, fearful, aggressive, or have other problems as they get older. Dogs need to know how to play, how to handle new situations, how to relate to people.

How many litters do you have most years?

Definitely avoid anyone who "always has puppies", or who is breeding their bitch every year or a very young bitch who has already had puppies. If someone has three litters (especially if they note that it was "unexpected") on the ground at the same time, they are certainly not planning these puppies! All puppies should be "expected" and well planned.

What guarantees do you have for this puppy? And what paper work will I get with him/her.

At the very least, the breeder should guarantee the puppy against any debillitating genetic problems, and ensure that the puppy is in good health. You should get the registration papers that they receive from the controlling body in that State. It may be on Limited Register! If it is a pet to be de-sexed, this means this puppy is not for breeding.

A breeder should be prepared to take any dog back for any reason - part of being an ethical breeder  is making sure that the puppies have a good home and that it stays that way.

Grooming and Care

Havanese need regular grooming. Many pets  are kept in a "puppy clip" which means they are not too short as the dogs need some cover to help protect them from skin cancers. These breeds do not shed their coats as much as many other breeds and this makes them a popular choice for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.

Ask how much grooming will I have to do and how much may that cost me?

What can you expect from the breeder?

You would expect:

That the breeder provides a list of health tests that have been done on the parents and others in the lines of the puppy.

That the breeder provides full vaccination and any microchip records.

That the puppy is healthy and should be free from internal and external parasites.

That the breeder provides you with written information on the care, feeding and training of your new puppy.

That the breeder provides a sample of the food the puppy is used to eating.

Find out if  the breeder has a policy to undertake to take the puppy back for re-homing if you are unable to keep it in the future.

That the breeder will offer advice about the best age to get your puppy de-sexed.


Contact Details

Kerry Wyburd
Central West near Dubbo, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0416279377 - NO txt messages please
Email : [email protected]