List of Questions to Ask a Breeder

  1. Are the adults' eyes checked every year?
    • Havanese are a breed susceptible to heritable cataracts. An annual eye exam is quite inexpensive.
  2. What is the health record for the puppy's ancestors?
    • With any breed or pedigree there are occasional problems just as there are in humans. Even if there has been a problem in the background of your puppy, your puppy could be just fine but you should be aware of any history.
  3. Can you see a contract before committing to a puppy?
    • Are the guarantees meaningful? A contract may say that a replacement puppy will be given in the event of a health problem. Is this a replacement or is it in addition to your present puppy. Are you really willing to give up your puppy if a genetic or health problem should occur?
  4. Does the breeder have a non-breeding clause in the contract?
    • Not having this clause may indicate that the breeder does not care what happens to the puppies after they leave the breeder's home.
  5. Can you meet the parents of the puppies?
    • Is the puppy's mother a good one - calm and appropriately concerned for her puppies. If the puppies are under 6 weeks of age the breeder may ask you to wait until they are a bit older so instead ask if you can meet some of the other dogs in the kennel.
  6. Has the breeder asked you questions and demanded to know that you can properly care for that puppy?
  7. Are the pedigree papers in order?
    • If the puppy is not properly registered then there is no guarantee that the puppy is actually a purebred no matter what it looks like. Registation costs are minimal although disreputable breeders will try to convince you that the costs of registration are exhorbitant.   ie) in 2009, the cost of registering an individual puppy within 4 months of birth is only $20 to $35.
  8. Are the puppies living in a home where they are handled and loved by people and what does the breeder do to ensure proper socialization?
  9. Ask yourself if you trust this breeder and if he/she is someone you can work with?
  10. Is the breeder supporting the placement...will he/she take responsibility if something happens and it doesn't work out.   Will they take a puppy or dog back if the placement does not work out?  Under what circumstances?
  11. Is the kennel area clean?
    • For the first little while you will want to feel free to call her for help especially if you have never owned a dog before?