Our Breeding Guidelines for Show Homes
Recently I was reading through an excellent book, The Joyous Havanese, written by our friend, Kitty Braund. In it, Kitty reviews what she considers those things that a good and responsible Breeder does and, with her permission, I'm going to share those things with you here and add my own comments in italics.
1. Puppies purchased and/or chosen to be future brood bitches or stud dogs should show potential in both structure and temperament. (We would only breed if our bitch exemplified both).
2. A quality diet should be a standard requirement for a potential breeding dog, beginning with the puppy. (We currently feed all our dogs Fromm's enhanced by those things we cook each day and add to their dry food).
3. Socialization of the puppy to people and environment must be an on-going, everyday endeavor. (Those that know us and have been following our lifestyle know that we not only frequently visit our "dog" friends but quite regularly have them over to visit us both to visit or to stay for a few days or a few weeks. We are very strong on socialization, helped out not only by the various dogs and puppy's that come to visit or vice versa but also by one of our son's remaining at home and our oldest daughter and two grand daughters when they come to visit).
4. Good mannering obedience classes are essential for the future brood bitch or stud dog; also handling classes teaching you how to present your dog in dog shows are desirable. (All our dogs are graduates of obedience school. We have six Canadian Champion Havanese in our home. Any new puppies that stay with us to become a part of our breeding program will take their turn both in Obedience classes and the Conformation Show Ring, getting their own championship in their turn. We also have two that are pets. They will all live with us forever, equally loved and treasured). In 2010 we will be breeding Wasabi, Abigail and Fiona. The year after we will be retiring Wasabi and breeding our youngest addition, Treasure, along with Fiona and Abigail. We look forward to every moment.
5. You should join a local or national breed club. (We belong to the local to us Markham Kennel Club, the Ontario Havanese club, Nathan is Ontario Director of the Havanese Fanciers of Canada which is the national Havanese breed club, and of course we both belong to the Canadian Kennel Club. All our dogs are purebred and registered with the CKC).
6. You must complete health testing (CERF, BAER, OFA for hips, patellas, front legs). (We not only do all such tests but also heart, lungs, legs, calves, perthes, etc. but will continue to do them throughout the life of our dogs so that we help establish a medical history of the breed. This is something we take very seriously indeed).
7. You need to exhibit the dog at dog shows under qualified Judges to ascertain quality and obtain the dog's championship before entering the dog in a breeding program. (As mentioned above, the dogs that we breed are Canadian champions).
8. Peruse books on genetics, canine structure and temperament; acquaint yourself with the various performance events. Note: Havanese excel in obedience, agility and tracking. (My wife and I have read just about every book we can get our hands on about dogs in general and Havanese specifically. We also communicate regularly with experienced and responsible Breeders from all over Canada and the United States. By the way, every Havanese we have ever taken to Obedience class has finished at or near the top of his or her class. Havanese are very intelligent and very agile).
9. Conduct research into the pedigrees of your puppy's background and conduct a thorough investigation of the pedigree of the stud dog you intend to have your bitch mate with. The stud you choose should help you breed away from your bitch's faults. If you own a male, the same studies should be conducted on bitches you choose to have him mate with. (For example, we did background research for months before deciding on the sire for Wasabi. And when we chose Rockhurst's Buster is wasn't so much because he was an American and Canadian champion but because he was such an excellent match for Wasabi in terms of producing a litter of puppies that might excel even over their beautiful parents). The next time we bred Wasabi we used our own male, Kat, who can be found in many of the videos playing with the pups and jumping in our pool. We might even have a photo of him winning the Toy Group (from the classes) somewhere on this site.
10. Follow through with necessary veterinarian care. (We do it all and we will insist that anyone that gets a puppy from us continue to do so because it is the right thing to do on so many levels).
11. Be able to travel with your bitch to the stud's residence and/or work with a reproduction Veterinarian if chilled or frozen semen is going to be used for mating. If you own a stud dog, be sure you have the ability to house and care for the bitch for the length of her estrus and be able to supervise the mating. (We traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, a 15 hour drive, so that our Risa could mate with Wincroft's Buster). If it's the right dog or bitch then the distance doesn't matter. Kat was the boy we kept out of that mating and we couldn't love him more or be prouder of his achievements.
Some of the content quoted above was from Kitty Braund of Our Joyous Havanese fame. If you don't have this book, get it now. She used to also do a must have magazine called 'Our Havanese'. Then, at 89 years young, she was forced to conclude she couldn't keep it going any longer, which was unfortunate for the greater Havanese community.
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