A Backyard Breeder

A Puppy Mill

A Reputable Breeder

 Their motive for breeding: It’s "fun", "good for kids to see how life cycles", "to make money". Does not screen buyers and seldom refuses to sell a puppy to anyone for any reason. Paperwork is usually incomplete.

Motivation is quantity, profit and money.  They are not concerned with providing paperwork or certifications.

There is a dedication to producing quality dogs. Has a lot of self- money invested in the dog.  Breeder struggles to break even with each litter.  Rarely makes a profit. They will have a lengthy application and sells pups only to approved buyers.

 Breeds the family pet to any convenient pet of the same breed or better yet, to any intact pet to create the “Designer Pet.”  Purebred pets are not a necessity to create cash flow. .Breeding takes place with no thought to genetics, pedigrees, or the breed improvements to the future litter.

Will breed the girls on every heat cycle to any available male.  Does not care what breeds to the female.  They sometimes allow multiple males to breed to the female, along with multiple breeds to create “Designer breeds”

 Breeder will be able to explain how planned breedings emphasize or minimize specific qualities for the future litter through line-breeding, outcrossing, or more rarely; inbreeding.

Though the pets (sire/dam of pups) may be possibly well loved, there is NO health testing performed on any of the parent dogs for the significant known breed health problems.

Ie. Juvenile Cataracts, Luxating Patellas, Cardiac Murmurs, Liver and Heart shunts and Hip Dysplasia. 

There is no health testing of the parents.

 They follow the Code of Ethics of the clubs that they belong to. They do not breed dogs younger than 2 years of age, nor over breed  They have all the proper health screenings done prior to breeding the dog and can prove the results by listing their performed screenings on the OFFA website.  They perform ALL of the health screenings recommended for the breeding parents  Depending  on how abnormal the result, spaying/neutering and pet placement will be considered.

 The health guarantee offered is very limited and usually does not go beyond proof of shots.  They are usually unqualified to give help or suggestions if problems develop.

There usually are health guarantees for replacement of the puppy.  Rarely is there advise available or support that is breed specific.

 There is usually a written contract committing to replace a dog with genetic faults, pay some assistance for correction or to help owner deal with problem with resources or suggestions.

The breeder has limited knowledge of the breed history, the national parent breed club (The Havanese Club of America), local breed clubs (Central Carolina Havanese Club), the local All-Breed club or of the AKC breed standard. Many times, they claim the standards do not really matter because it’s just a pet. 

They do not care about standards of the breed.  They are concerned with providing a cute lovable pet to someone willing to purchase the puppy.

 Fully loves and adores the breed.  They can talk at length about its background, uses, and ideal type, personality traits, training issues, health backgrounds and support resources available for the breed.

Pups are raised in temporary make-shift housing.  Sometimes their living quarters are unsanitary, piece-milled together with items around the house.  This could indicate a lack of long-term investment in breeding and lack of true care for the puppies and their well-being. Some could be housed in a basement all alone in cages, crates or expens.

Puppies are raised and bred in small dirty enclosures with wire bottoms, cold environments, with little exposure to human contact.

The breeder has invested in lots of dog equipment.  The puppies environment is sanitary, nurturing and loving and age appropriate.

 Even when selling "just pets", may produce AKC papers or "championship pedigrees" as proof of quality. Yet seller does not increase his own knowledge through participation in national, regional, or local breed clubs. Is not involved in showing their dogs to "prove" quality.

Many will provide AKC or other registry papers, such as CKC, ABRA, UKC, FCI, not worth the paper it was printed on.  Bloodlines genuine authenticity questionable.

The Breeder belongs to numerous dog clubs, including the breed specific clubs at the national, regional levels along with local All-Breed dog clubs, indicating a love for the sport of purebred dogs. Through competition, it allows for their dogs to be evaluated and measured for breed correct standards. 

The breeder may not be willing to allow parents to be met, or entire litters to be seen and observed.  They may not be willing to allow you to see where the puppies have been raised.  Will Claim they were raised with the family, although the litter was raised in the garage or outbuilding away from the family.

Will be willing to meet you off-site or in a meeting room.  They will show you multiple pictures to see which one you wish to meet, bringing them to you.  Many of the picture backgrounds will be the same for multiple dogs, multiple litters, multiple breeds.

The breeder will show the entire litter, allowing for introduction to the mother possibly the father, in a sanitary environment. Much time is spent with helping you select the best puppy for your purposes and goals for pet ownership.  They explain the difference between "show prospects" versus "pet quality".

Prices are substantially lower, helping draw possible buyers to their puppies along with helping  move pups quickly. They typically advertise in the local newspaper or classifieds. Better yet, they post signs around town, targeting specific people in areas that are dog friendly, such as a dog training club, pet stores, etc.  Sometimes their prices end in $.99 or .95 and include free shipping to any location.  They will even agree to sell and place the puppy before 8 weeks of age…. BIG no, no.

Prices are rock bottom.  Maybe possibly around $400-$800.

The prices will be at the high end of  the spectrum. Price will not reflect all that has been invested in the puppies.  A reputable breeder only hopes to break even with each litter. They do not advertise in the newspaper, on a website owned by a puppy broker, or in the classifieds. They usually will have their own website maintained and managed by themselves.  Their websites will give LOTs of information regarding the breed.  Has an established waiting list for the puppies.  Meaning puppies are usually sold prior to being born.  They will also provide references from past puppy buyers.  Typically will not place puppies before 8 weeks of age, some waiting even as long as 10-12 weeks of age.

They do not care what happens to the puppy or the breed as a whole. They usually give full registration with little regard as to the implications of creating future puppies that are substandard to the breed.  They usually do not sell a puppy with a spay/neuter contract to guard against the breeding sub-standard puppies. They usually do not require proof of spay/neuter of the animal.   If you cannot keep your puppy for whatever reason, they usually tell the owner  to take it to a dog pound or to place/sell it themselves.  There is no regard for the puppy’s well-being beyond the sell date.

They do not want the puppy back, nor do they offer any support or suggestions if a puppy is sick or dies.  Most likely will tell you to pick out another one and give it to you in it’s place, not  asking for the other one back. 

After purchase, the concerned breeder will help you with grooming or training problems. They insist on taking the puppy back, or assisting you with re-homing.  If you cannot keep the puppy rather than seeing it taken to the pound, taxing an already over-crowded environment that could end in the puppy being disposed of horrifically.  They sell pets with spay/neuter contract and provide an AKC limited registration.  Full registrations are given sparingly, usually with a co-ownership to make sure of the buyers true intentions and the well-being of the puppy.  Mentoring is available to those wishing to show and breed their puppy.

They may use the club logos as “links” or “other useful sites” to make you think they are members of the organization.

They will not have any club logos or affiliations noted on their sites.

They might use the club logos and club names because they are members in good standing.

May have multiple breeds 1-6, with no way of securing zones to separate purebred breeds during heat cycles, insuring lineage of bloodlines. Helping create the “Designer puppy”

They have multiple breeds 10-15 along with multiple breeding facility runs, making use of a kennels and outdoor buildings near their home.

Usually have 1-2 breeds with zones to ensure purebred bloodlines during female heat cycles.  They are very concerned with which male dog is offering their sperm and continuing their lineage of bloodlines.


DISCLAIMER: The Central Carolina Havanese Club provides breeder referral information as a service to members as well as to those interested in adding a Havanese to their family. We make no representations with respect to the breeders or breedings listed. We do not warrant the health or fitness of any puppy, nor does the club act in any way as the agent of any breeder.

The purchase of a Havanese puppy is a transaction between a buyer and seller. We recommend that buyers educate themselves regarding the breed, the heath issues that have been associated with the breed, and any testing that is appropriate as a screening tool for health risks.

The Havanee club of America has issued a
Code of Ethics, which the Central Carolina Havanese Club endorses and supports. The Central Carolina Havanese Club does not undertake to evaluate compliance of breedings or breeders listed on its website with the Code of Ethics and therefore cannot warrant such compliance.

AKC provides a list of questions to ask breeders to help you think through the process of purchasing a puppy.

Breeder Questions

Central Carolina Havanese Club
How to select a Breeder that is right for your family.

What kind of Breeder are you dealing with?

A Puppy Mill, A Back-Yard Breeder or a Reputable Breeder?
Below is a tool to help you screen through the noise. 

Hopefully some of these tips will assist you in knowing what kind of breeder your puppy comes from.
Whether you buy a puppy from one of our club members, or not, our desire is that you make the best informed decision possible for your family.