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Thread: Crucial Health Warning! For buyers of Havanese puppies

  1. #1

    Exclamation Crucial Health Warning! For buyers of Havanese puppies

    I am not sure in which section of the forum to post this so I will just post it here and hope that many people will read it and find it helpful.
    I am not sure how to word this out especially because it could get me into a lot of trouble if I am not being very cautious. But I feel that people deserve to know the truth.

    So, I am the proud owner of two amazing Havanese dogs, named Hachi and Mochi, bought from Havanese breeders. One of them, Hachi has a very sad story. Hachi was sold to me with a lot of health issues, some of them quite bad and the breeder never informed me of these issues, not once and when told that I discovered them, I believe that they pretended not to know about them because I feel that the breeder knew of these problems but just wanted to get rid of Hachi. Of course, this is just my personal opinion and the breeder would never admit this. I have a lot of issues with this breeder.

    The story is super long. Furthermore, Hachi has had puppies while living with its breeder despite Hachi's health problems and those puppies were then sold to people. I believe that the puppies' owners have no idea that one of the puppies' parent, Hachi, has all these issues which I believe are genetic and inherited and that these puppies have a very high chance of having these issues as well.

    I have no way of knowing who bought those puppies and whether they have been told the truth or not, although I personally do not think that they know about the potential risk in their puppies. I have no way to contact them, sadly; only the breeder has their contact information and I cannot ask the breeder for this information and even if I did, the breeder would probably refuse anyway.

    Hachi's health problems are: left hip dysplasia; right elbow dysplasia and chondrodysplasia in both front legs, especially accentuated in its right front leg. I have seen different doctors and specialists and all have agreed that it is likely to be genetic and inherited and Hachi might have passed it on to its puppies. In time, Hachi's front legs problems might get worse and worse and lead to Hachi being put down. I cannot even begin to imagine the heartache if it comes down to that.

    Hachi's breeder was only concerned about money when told of these issues. The breeder wanted to make sure that I will never ask it for money for Hachi's treatments; furthermore, the breeder told me on the phone that if Hachi is in pain, Hachi should not be treated or operated on. The breeder believes that Hachi should just be put down if the symptoms progress, even if the treatments would work.

    If I had known about this breeder's overall attitude beforehand, I would have never ever bought from it. But I never imagined that a breeder could be so cold-hearted and money-obsessed.

    I am writing this as a general warning for all people dealing with breeders, just to be more careful and not trust easily just because they are breeders. When we, as buyers, have to deal with puppy mills and such, when we come across breeders we might think they truly love their animals and care about their well-being above money. But that is not always the case.

    I used to think highly of breeders, I used to think all of them without exception were huge animal lovers and I was wrong; whilst there are good breeders out there, there are also those who are not so ethical. So this is first a general warning for people to just be careful around and with any breeders because you never know who's hiding behind a friendly, polite smile.

    Also, for those interested in the Havanese breed, for those wanting to get a Havanese dog now or in the future, I personally would advise all of them to avoid this breeder where I bought Hachi from. However, as I cannot give the breeder's name on here, nor the name of the breeder's kennel nor other such details because of obvious reasons, I would advise potential dog-buyers to just be extra careful and look for the medical conditions I have mentioned in my post.

    Some of you might think I am being too harsh and maybe the breeder made a genuine mistake. I understand that kind of thinking. Yes, maybe the breeder did make a genuine mistake, but my main problem was and still is the breeder's overall attitude, cold, distant, uncaring, plain and simple horrible.

    Everyone's allowed to make mistakes and maybe the breeder truly didn't know that Hachi was so sick when the breeder sold it to me (though I doubt it), but upon being informed and presented with reports from doctors and specialists, the breeder's attitude remained a very cold, distant one, preoccupied only with money and with the issue of the breeder not paying for anything at all concerning Hachi. In my opinion, this is simply inexcusable. So that is why I feel the need to warn people about this because all of this is so so unfair.

    If I had been warned before buying a Havanese, I would have avoided this breeder – that is for sure. I am writing this because I personally would have liked if I had been warned beforehand and I am sure some people will think and feel the same.

    I hope this might help someone.

    I refer to my dogs and the breeder as “it” instead of he/she in this post to avoid identifying the dogs and breeder involved.

    The purpose of this thread is not to “breeder bash” or to tarnish all breeders with the same brush. There are many good breeders out there, and many that go beyond what is necessary to help out the people that buy dogs from them and even those who have bought dogs from other breeders.
    Last edited by Lokimetis; 06-23-2013 at 01:43 PM. Reason: add to title, put some spaces in the paragraphs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    Was Hachi an ANKC pedigree? In which case she'd have a long name?

    According to the ANKC code of ethics, breeders are supposed to breed for the "betterment of the breed", so if you believe this not to be the case, you can write a letter to the state body which is part of the ANKC eg in NSW it's "Dogs NSW" Dogs NSW

    If you want to be particularily detailed - you can send the copy of your dog's pedigree - including the ancestry - and the letters from the vets stating the problems identified (eg HD etc), and get your vet(s) to submit that to LIDA
    LIDA Dogs - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    And if you're feeling slightly passive aggressive - send the details to each havanese breeder in Australia - tho I think I'd want to phone each one and ask them if they want it. Proof against defamation is the truth, and I'm pretty sure a pedigree with ancestry listed, plus several letters from vets stating diagnosis - is proof of the truth.

    If the dog is not ANKC - then you only have the consumer protection agency in your state, and maybe the RSPCA might be able to advise - because you paid for a healthy puppy - and you didn't get one. At this point you'd have to decide what you wanted. Because technically the breeder could say they will refund your money if you give the dog back to them. Do you want that? What do you want? RSPCA won't be able to fix it unless there is evidence of cruelty or neglect.

  3. #3


    Hyacinth, thank you for your reply.

    Yes, both my dogs have ANKC pedigrees.

    Hachi was bred by another breeder who then sold Hachi to this breeder. Then this breeder first let Hachi breed and have puppies, then sold Hachi to us, making us pay the price for a healthy dog which Hachi was not.

    I don't want to give Hachi back, I love Hachi dearly and I won't get rid of Hachi just because of its sicknesses, like I believe this breeder did. This breeder did offer to take Hachi back and give me the money back but I refused that.

    The breeder told me that if Hachi is in pain or needs medication or needs operations, I should not do either; the breeder wanted me to just put Hachi down because the breeder is dubious of conventional medicine. Instead, the breeder believes in naturopathic medicine that is not scientifically proven to help Hachi, given its conditions. Even if the treatments for Hachi would work, the breeder does not want me to do them. I suspect the real reason behind that is the one of money, so that I won't ask the breeder to pay somehow. Given all of this, I believe that if I returned Hachi to the breeder, the breeder might either put it down/kill it immediately or keep Hachi around for a while and as soon as Hachi's conditions would get worse, have Hachi killed! Because of Hachi's conditions, Hachi cannot have healthy puppies nor can it be show,n so basically it would be a useless dog and a sick one in the eyes of this breeder who would put Hachi down first chance it can. These are all assumptions made on what the breeder requested of me (i.e. not to treat Hachi but put it down as soon as it gets worse, even if the treatments would work). The breeder probably wouldn't say these things out in the open as it might be animal cruelty or something so the breeder is being evasive and sly about it but I think this is what it really meant. This is the second reason I do not want to return Hachi to the breeder.

    What infuriates me the most is not so much the money issues (even if the breeder would let Hachi stay with me and give me its full price in money back, it still wouldn't be enough to cover its medical expenses in time) as it is the breeder's overall attitude of utter lack of care towards Hachi and we're talking about a breeder here – not a puppy farm! It just screams injustice.

    Oh and about the contacting all other breeders part...It sounds like a good idea at a first glance, but in reality it is not. At least some of those breeders would have this breeder's back and side with this breeder. That is for sure.
    Last edited by Lokimetis; 06-23-2013 at 01:48 PM.

  4. #4

    Angry Is this normal?

    Further to my first thread, I would like to post some additional details to pose the question: “Is this normal?” I will try to keep as short and clear as possible:

    I bought my dog Hachi from this said breeder, paying the full price for a healthy dog; however, I soon found out that Hachi is far, far away from a healthy dog.

    The first day I brought Hachi home, I saw Hachi limp. Hachi continued limping so I took Hachi to our vet who touched Hachi’s legs to see if there was any pain response, but at that point in time, there wasn’t. Hachi continued limping on and off for a few more days until I decided that Hachi should have X-rays done. So I did Hachi's X-rays with our vet who is a wonderful, wonderful vet.

    The X-rays showed three major problems: left hip dysplasia, right elbow dysplasia and chondrodysplasia in both of Hachi’s front legs – especially bad in Hachi’s right front leg. My vet saw all of these but just to make sure the diagnosis was correct, my vet sent the results to a specialist (a canine orthopaedic surgeon) without telling the specialist anything and the specialist found the same exact problems. I subsequently went with Hachi to see my vet many times to try and rectify Hachi’s problems and then I even made an appointment for Hachi to see the specialist who explained everything and confirmed once again the results.

    When I told the said breeder about Hachi's health issues, the breeder said it had no idea and that Hachi never limped at the breeder's house and so on and so forth. I believe that this means one of two things: either the breeder is lying through its teeth and knew about the limping or the breeder is so inattentive as a breeder that it cannot even see the health issues in its own dogs.

    Also, the breeder kept talking about money, on and on, making me agree that I will not ask the breeder for any money whatsoever for Hachi's treatments. The breeder kept mentioning money so often in the same discussion that I could only think that the breeder was obsessed about it and concerned only about money and not about Hachi. The breeder did not even ask once how Hachi was feeling or anything – the breeder only kept insisting about the money issues.

    Also, the breeder asked me to agree that if Hachi ever needs medical attention, I should never give it to Hachi – I should simply put Hachi down. Even if the medicines or operations would work for Hachi, the breeder still wanted me to kill Hachi! Why, you might ask? Because, apparently, the breeder has doubts about conventional medicine; the breeder believes in naturopathic medicines and thinks that conventional medicines such as annual vaccines for dogs are harmful. The breeder also believes similarly about operations and pain medications and other such things. So even if treatments would work wonders for Hachi and Hachi could live happily for many more years, the breeder is strongly against them and would rather I kill Hachi than help Hachi in those ways. In my opinion, the reason behind this is money. The breeder is afraid that if I do decide to ever treat Hachi, I might ask the breeder for money for Hachi's treatments so that's why I believe that the breeder wants me to kill Hachi in such a situation.

    When I told my vet this, my vet was speechless and appalled and firmly said one simple word: "No." “No”, as in I won't put Hachi down like that.

    Then the breeder told me that Hachi had had hip X-rays done, but never front X-rays done. Even though the breeder bred from Hachi, Hachi was not fully health tested. The breeder also claimed that the breeding was "accidental", which, if true, only goes to show the breeder's lack of competence and professionalism.

    Anyway, the breeder requested/ordered me to send to its own vet the X-rays of Hachi I paid for so its vet can look at them. Furthermore, the breeder said it will contact its own specialist who will look at Hachi's X-rays. All good, right? Wrong.

    I sent the X-rays. The breeder's vet had a telephone discussion with our vet, asking for details of my vet’s diagnosis. My vet then conversely asked the breeder's vet for Hachi's medical records. The breeder's vet claimed it had no records of Hachi whatsoever. My vet asked the breeder's vet if it had ever seen Hachi and the breeder’s vet said, yes, but that they simply didn't have any records of Hachi. My vet then kindly asked the breeder's vet for Hachi's hip X-rays so that my vet could compare those with the new ones for any progression in Hachi’s conditions. Again, the breeder's vet said it could no longer find those X-rays and it doesn't know what had happened to them. My vet then told the breeder’s vet to call back when they find the X-rays. The breeder's vet never called back, so after a while my vet called again asking if they had found the X-rays and they said that they did not find them. My vet then asked the breeder’s vet if the X-rays were ever done in the first place and they said yes.

    Basically, I paid for both front and back X-rays for Hachi, which were hundreds of dollars in cost, and I then sent them to the breeder's vet who refused to send anything to our vet claiming that they lost it or had no records in the first place. To me, it appears that the breeder and the breeder’s vet are working hand-in-hand to hide any incriminating evidence. Even my vet was frustrated and annoyed that the breeder's vet refused to send anything about Hachi; especially since my vet was forthright with the breeder’s vet’s requests for information.

    Furthermore, when I bought Hachi, the breeder seemed only too happy to get rid of Hachi and the whole thing happened very fast, I think it took under one hour. Plus, the breeder didn't even register Hachi with the local council at all! Oh, and at home, Hachi didn't miss the breeder at all. Hachi was happy to be with me, ate and drank normally, played happily, ran around happily and showed no signs of missing the breeder at all, which goes to say a lot, in my opinion.

    In the meantime, I haven't heard anything back from the breeder or its vet or its specialist and that was ages ago! I should have heard something from the breeder's specialist by now, but I haven't – not a word.

    I also talked with people from different countries and someone from the USA who has a dog from the same breed and with similar problems to Hachi's, told me that her dog's breeder was very understanding and caring and supportive about everything and is now helping with money for the medical expenses for that dog even though the owner never asked the breeder to do so – the breeder simply offered to pay for the dog's medical expenses. The owner's dog and that breeder are now close friends, fighting together for that dog's life and supporting each other kindly. So no, it's not just about money, it's also about being kind and compassionate and supportive and having a great attitude. It's about truly caring about your animals, ultimately.

    I feel sad and disappointed about this all. I feel furious and angry and disgusted, but I also love Hachi dearly and I will fight for Hachi’s life and happiness.

    Is this normal? Did this happen to anyone else? What do you think?
    Last edited by Lokimetis; 06-23-2013 at 01:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Brisbane, Qld


    What breed is he? He sounds like a big dog (I'm not sure why, maybe it's the hip thing?).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Toowoomba, QLD


    Sorry to hear about Hachi. Is Hachi a boy or a girl? Not used to hearing a dog referred to as 'it'...

  7. #7


    I am reluctant to disclose my dogs' genders and such so I am referring to them as "it". I don't want to be sued or attacked or who knows what else for trying to get the truth out there and warn people.

  8. #8


    Both my dogs are Havanese

  9. #9


    Oh and I forgot to add something very important.

    If Hachi's puppies have indeed inherited Hachi's diseases, according to the canine orthopaedic surgeon I consulted, those diseases could be cured/corrected while they are still puppies, so under the age of 12 months old. My surgeon also said that Hachi's conditions could have been cured if they had been discovered when Hachi was under 12 months old, which either never happened or happened but the breeder ignored it.

    Either way, if owners of Havanese puppies are on this forum, maybe amongst them there will also be Hachi's puppies' owners and knowing this from me might actually save and make their puppies' lives longer and less painful.
    Last edited by Lokimetis; 06-23-2013 at 01:49 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    I can understand the Havanese breeding community is probably a small one where everybody knows everybody.

    But you have your dog's pedigree and ancestry and the information from your vets and specialists.

    So informing the other breeders isn't about taking sides - it's about helping to better the breed. Maybe ring one up that isn't either Hachi's breeder or the person who sold you Hachi - and ask them what they'd do and would they like the info.

    Ideally the breeders would use the info to avoid that combination of genes in the future and hopefully (but not guaranteed) - reduce the number of problems in the puppies.

    You can also look up the ANKC judges qualified for toy breeds in NSW and ask one (or more) of them for advice. What would they do with information like you have (don't ring the first one on the list - she's only there cos of her name). Go at it - not from the point of view of punishing the breeders - but from the point of view of improving the breed. Ie don't blame anyone or say anything bad about the breeders involved - just ask whether the other breeders should be informed and how you would best go about doing that.

    The ANKC site itself recommends passing info like yours to the LIDA database. And I think if you were planning to breed - you could ask them to check your proposed pairing for potential problems - and given your information - they could provide a more informed advice to any other breeders.

    Breed Judges Australian National Kennel Council

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