You’ve selected a breeder, signed a contract and made a deposit on a puppy, so what should you expect until your new companion is ready for delivery? Once a litter arrives, the breeder will be busy ensuring the pups grow into happy and healthy companions. Havanese are very social, happy, loving companions with various degrees of personality and character. A big responsibility for the breeder is finding the right home for the right pup, which includes sorting out the ones with show potential. The puppies going to pet homes are usually evaluated and placed in the home most suitable for their personality between 9 and 12 weeks. It is important for breeders to keep or place the show pups with the most potential to enhance their future-breeding program. Therefore, show puppies typically stay with the breeder for a longer period to allow them more time to further evaluate their potential.

Being a good breeder includes taking responsibility for every life created and finding loving and responsible homes for each wonderful Havanese. Most breeders will want to establish a positive relationship with their Havanese owners and will remain engaged with them throughout the life of their Havanese. The primary objective of this relationship will be to monitor the health of the dog. The breeder needs to be aware of all health issues that may be genetic in nature so they can factor them into their future breeding program. Many include a genetic related health problem guarantee in the purchase contract. As well as a first right to purchase or take the Havanese back if for any reason you (the owner) cannot keep the Havanese. Refer to the NOEC Contract Issues section for more details. This is a good thing and indicates a commitment to the future of the breed. You should respect and honor the request of the breeder to keep them informed of how your Havanese progresses over the years. This includes abiding to the contract specifics such as getting your Havanese CERTIFIED annually and sharing the results with the breeder.

New owners should get periodic updates on the progress of available pups from their breeder. These updates may include info such as growth, health, personality, digital pictures via email and fun stories about your new bundle of joy. Be sure to give the breeder the call name you plan to use so the puppy can become familiar with it early on. Even though it is the obligation of breeders to answer inquiries about pups in a courteous and responsible manner, you should discuss what to expect in regard to updates on your potential new companion in advance. Some breeders may prefer email instead of telephone calls to allow them more flexibility to respond. Others may allow home visits after the pups are 4 weeks old. If so, please be respectful and make arrangements ahead of time and follow their ground rules.

This is an exciting time for the new owner and the interaction with the breeder during this period should be looked at as the beginning of a long-term relationship with at least one common denominator – the love, health and happiness of your Havanese companion. What should you do to prepare for the pup’s arrival?