Please read the following carefully, regardless whether you consider adopting from us or someone else and be aware that in recent years the rising popularity of the Havanese breed in conjunction with unselective breeding, has created some problems in regards to health and quality of the breed. Ask your breeder questions before you buy, especially, but not only, if you consider a dumping price puppy. The going price range for pet Havanese is anywhere from $1000 to $5000 depending on the quality, warranty and origin of the puppy. A $4500 puppy from a pet store is no better than an $1000 puppy from a puppy mill simply because they both come from the same place and I will explain later why you can be absolutely certain about that.
This page contains information about:
- Deposit & Refund Policies
- Pick order
- Payment Methods
and takes a close look at fair pricing and the competition.
But let’s start with us: All our puppies are AKC champion lines, champion sired or grandsired.
Our pups are champion lines on both sides. Our breeding pairs have at least one AKC champion in their three generation pedigree. Our studs Marshall and Gatsby are AKC champions, with points towards their grandchampionship; Marshall is a triple crown champion (AKC, ACA and APR)
Our clients are pet owners who desire high quality in regards to the breed standard, temperament, upbringing and health as well as exhibitor/breeders who are looking for exquisite stock. We breed for quality, not quantity and our litters have generally between 2 and 4 puppies, rarely 5.
We cooperate and exchange stock with breeders who compete in the most prestigious exhibitions, including Westminster, the most prestigious of all. We have bloodlines that in the past have beat Westminster invitationalists multiple times in regional competitions.
All our pups come with customary shots and wormings, generally two full sets, AKC papers, first food supply and, maybe more importantly, with a lifelong support system that includes unlimited coaching as well as a rather unique lifelong (!) genetic warranty on all hereditary diseases and disorders, meaning that we will pay up to the purchase price of your puppy towards your vet bills for hereditary issues we could and should have prevented.
Our puppies leave paper-trained/partially housebroken and have been introduced to an open crate in which they sleep with their mom and their litter mates.
We are in good standing with the AKC and have been last inspected by the AKC in October of 2019. We pride ourselves to pass our AKC as well as our state inspections with flying colors. While the state inspections are stringent, unannounced and at least twice a year, the AKC has the courtesy to call ahead for an appointment (!) and shows up on average about every 4 years. If its not obvious enough yet, almost anybody can maintain good relations with the AKC, even puppy mills. State inspections on the other hand are generally avoided like the pest by unlicensed breeders and many breeders fly under the radar without a license as long as they can.
All our parents are health screened for eyes, hips, knees and ears, however, we go way beyond that and do not solely rely on health tests in the selection of our breeding pairs as you may have already found out on our Breeding Philosophy page because all commonly performed tests have serious limitations as they are not genetic tests as I explained in that section of this site which should however not serve as an excuse for some to completely dismiss testing altogether, but makes monitoring the lineages over generations that much more important.
In light of the confusion with our previous discount system for families and other preferred clients, our pricing for pups born after April 1st of 2021 has changed. We guarantee that you will not find comparable quality at a cheaper price. The only discounts given will be a 10% discount for returning clients.
Pricing effective April 2021 depending on payment form
for champion sired or grandsired pups with limited registration (no breeding rights) and a lifelong genetic warranty:
Accepted Payment forms: Cash, Personal Checks, CC, Paypal, Cryptocurrencies like BTC, LTC, ETH.
- Personal Check: $3500 based on paypal and other third party payment processors
- Cash or Cryptocurrencies: $3400
- Returning clients: 10% discount
For an additional $180 we travel as far as Harrisburg to meet you on the big day, in case you live along the Eastern seaboard. This covers our costs for tolls, gas and depreciation. Our time is free. In case of multiple deliveries, the fee will be split among all parties.
For unlimited registration options, please visit the Breeder section of this website.
You have probably read through my website and completely understand that for the above mentioned quote you are adopting a high quality AKC champion sired puppy with a lifelong genetic warranty.
If you are not so sure about our pricing and you feel that you can find a cheaper puppy somewhere else, you are right; but you may want to read on and do some additional research before you make a decision. Regardless whether you intend to adopt from us or buy somewhere else, please educate yourself, invest the time and read the following carefully and it may prevent you from unexpected future expenses or the sad experiences of many of the clients that turn to us after a spontaneous, unresearched or bargain adoption.
Now, allow me to share some thoughts about good deals that turned bad.
I got a really great deal on a cordless power tool kit a while ago at a local flea market. What was I thinking??? The reciprocating saw never really worked and the batteries did not hold the charge. I bought somebody else’s problems. The great deal ended up in the garbage only a week or so later. You live and you learn; often the hard way. When a living creature is involved, gambling with a “great deal” can not only be costly but also be heartbreaking.Money well spend is money saved many times over in the future.
As I quoted Ben Franklin on our philosophy page:
THE BITTERNESS OF POOR QUALITY REMAINS LONG AFTER THE SWEETNESS OF A LOW PRICE IS FORGOTTEN
Many of my clients had a good deal on a puppy before. Or so they thought. They turn to us with their lesson learnt and initially may spend a little more and safe in the process on both, medical expenses and heartache. Very sadly, problems occurred within a short time, in some cases after a year, in some cases later. A friend of my daughter got a new puppy several years ago and spent $8000 on medical bills for their Maltese because the dad, a local business owner, did not want to spend $2000 on a puppy after spending probably $40000 on an inground pool. This little puppy was lucky that the family has the means to take care of it, but the frugal dad probably has some second thoughts now. I learn firsthand almost on a weekly basis, how expensive a “good deal” can get and how heartbroken some of the experiences have been. I have started to post some of the experiences I learn about on a new subpage.
Do not fall for a 1 year warranty. Any warranty under at least 2 years has to be regarded as a joke at best. Your dog matures around 8 months and not all but most genetic problems do not occur until your puppy is fully grown and probably between 1 and 2 years old. A one year warranty barely covers any risk at all. Put your breeder to the test and see how confident they really are.
I just came across a webpage where the breeder (supposedly a high end breeder) explains that (quote) “warranties are a deceiving oxymoron because no breeder can actually guarantee the health of a pup”. That may be so, but it is certainly not an argument to deny a buyer a money back guarantee. These guys are simply trying to smooth-talk away their warranty problems.
Apparently even some PDCA and HCA members take that stands. If this is the official point of view, it is no wonder that the HCA and PDCA represent only a tiny fraction of show breeders and have become largely defunct. Maybe the respective parents clubs need to take a close look at their members and hold them to the high standards they propagate. Just a thought….
Look, your car dealer can’t guarantee you the durability of your powertrain either, and yet by giving you a warranty they guarantee to take care of you, in the event. And just like a life insurance you hope that you will never need it and chances are, with a good breeder anyway, that you won’t. But if you do need it, it better be there. And a breeder who makes the case that a guarantee is an oxymoron and therefore they don’t give one, does not want to insure his pups. I wonder why.
Anybody who had to seek the help of an emergency vet or a specialist knows, those bills can easily reach several hundred dollars per visit and can make it an impossible expense for many families.
Of course, even good breeders cannot give a 100% guarantee because while technically possible in 2021 to de-cypher the genetic code for all breeds, it is not profitable and therefore not available. With a good breeder who selects his dogs carefully, your risks will be marginal and a good breeder will not let you out in the cold if unexpectedly something unforeseeable did occur. Breeders who are afraid of a REAL warranty may already know that there is a great chance that it will happen to at least some of their clients.
So what else makes the price of a puppy fair, besides of a good health prospect, the peace of mind it comes with, and excellent socialization?
Ever bought a generic product and felt completely satisfied with it? I have. But how many times have I bought one and thought afterwards: never again.
If you are not too familiar with the breed, you may not recognize a well-bred Havanese until you meet one and compare it to yours. Maybe you don’t care for conformity, but then again, why even buy a purebred if you don’t care much about great looks and a typical Havanese appearance or disposition?
So why champion lines?
In the wild, species maintain their health through natural selection. Domesticated animals on the other hand can survive, if nurtured by their caregivers, with a vast variety of genetic defects and disorders. Any breeder therefore has to take on the responsibility of maintaining a genetically sound species and replace natural selection and evolution with careful selection of his breeding stock. Not all backyard breeders are in for the money, but most of them are not involved enough to understand the importance of this process of careful selection. Veterinary care, proper socialization and responsible placement are not necessarily neglected by all backyard breeders. The maintenance of the breed standard and a dedication to the overall improvement of the breed, a specific long term breeding program, careful selection of the breeding pairs in respect to standard and health, basic testing, striving for excellence and occasional comparing of your results to evaluate your efforts are part of the process that separates the wheat from the chaff.
We all pretty much start out as amateurs, backyard breeders if you will, until we elevate ourselves through our involvement and experience, our work, track record and success, our lineages and our practices, above that level. The intention to not be one of thousands of backyard breeders is certainly a prerequisite to move beyond that stage, but intention alone is not enough.
Champion lineages have a long tradition of selective breeding from breeders with pride who breed for conformity, health and disposition, (with the exception of those who excessively practice line breeding) and therefore the dogs they produce act like a Havanese and they look like a real Havanese and not like some kind of accidental copy of one. And they have stood the test of time, over generations, with a documented and traceable health history. Of course, this comes at a price and a breeder who buys well-bred dogs from reputable breeders with unlimited registration will spend $5000-$6000 on a dog and in some cases even more.
There may be some excellent specimen without any champion lineage in some backyards, and if I came across one, I would consider an excellent dog without champion lineage for breeding IF there is a proven and documented health history, however, those cases are rare because they are usually accidental and not the result of selective breeding over many generations.
As I said, if you are new to the breed you may not notice the horrendous differences between a really good Havanese and a backyard sproutlet. But you will, after a while, and when you are proudly walking your dog with your head up, you will appreciate the extra couple of dollars you spent on the real deal. Even if you don’t have a vein bone in your body you will pad yourself on the shoulder when you hear about someone’s bad fortune and a $2500 surgery bill or worse for the repair of a knee, or even the loss of their dog.
With our preference on health, by far not all our puppies are show quality because that is not what we primarily strive for and it is near impossible to produce litter after litter with all show quality puppies. It does not happen, in fact, most advertisements that announce a litter of 5 or 6 and all puppies are show quality are false and are either deliberately deceiving or are posted by backyard breeders who do not recognize show quality but they think that their puppies are so cute, they ought to be shown. RIGHT! Check out how specific and DETAILED the breed standard is. You will be amazed, even though the parent club succumbed to political pressure from influential breeders and removed the weight restrictions from the breed standard.
That said we will give you a puppy that looks like a pure bred Havanese or Pug and acts like one. And, maybe initially more importantly to you: you have built your future dog ownership on solid ground and have done everything you can to prevent your family from having to deal with expensive, debilitating and possibly even fatal health problems of your new family member.
Of course, if you are a risk taker and you are looking for a Havanese because you kinda like that they are a small breed and they are cute and fun and you have heard nice things about them… you may be happy with a bargain as my wife is with a fake Gucci or Armani purse. (Although I would not wear a fake Anything myself, needless to say that I consider myself very lucky) But then again: why even pure breed? Check your local shelter. The difference between a fake purse and a living animal is that the fake purse may do for the money. Most cheap dogs on the other hand are not only flawed in regards to their looks but may also have severe hidden physical or mental issues.
Breeders who do not breed to standard, or don’t have to (such as “designer dog” breeders) probably do not waste any time or money (for the search and expense for a dog from a good lineage) and do not look into the health history of their parents and grandparents as they should. They probably bought a dog for a couple of hundred dollars from someone who carelessly did not restrict breeding rights and they then breed a dog that was never deemed to be breeding quality. And they don’t waste a lot of time on socialization of the puppies either.
A look at the expenses
Our puppies may not be cheap. Then again, in comparison with some pet store puppy for and even above $4,000 (depending on where you live at and before up to an additional $1000 in fees and charges for useless supplies and different fees) that was purchased wholesale at a puppy mill or even at auction for $500-800, we don’t look so bad. The latest trend now is puppy mills are opening their own stores in back alley locations and selling puppies at a -for a pet store, seemingly reasonable price. What they represent is just a store front for a mill, thereby avoiding any customer traffic on their breeding premises. I have heard some established pet store owners call that FOUL PLAY, but in a sense that is a fair practice, as all other pet stores buy from mills anyway and the mills are just eliminating the middle man.
Let’s compare the mills, backyard breeders and pet stores with our operation and allow me to point out that our price is very reasonable, considering the average expense for food and vitamins, medication and vaccines, veterinarian care, taxes (yes, the IRS gets its share too), travel expenses, registration fees, other pet supplies, etc. in excess of $6,000 per year per litter and breeding pair.
We do not cut any corners to increase our profit.
If you are a number cruncher, consider a litter to be worth $12000 on average. (Based on a healthy average litter size of 3.5, not the 8 or 10 pups per litter some mindless idiots produce) Subtract average expenses for food and upkeep, vet, cleaning, registration, heating, cooling, health tests, taxes, travel, apportioned purchase price of the parents, phone, advertising, C-sections, supplies, webhosting, kennel building maintenance and depreciation (on a base price of about 65k) and so on and so on of $6000 for each year/litter. Leaves a profit of $6000. Nice. Now divide that by the time that goes into breeding, whelping and raising the pups and keeping the parents as well as extensive communication with hundreds of potential clients, Havanese lovers and previous clients, about 350 hours for the year, shooting low and not even including any playtime our family spends with the pups (admittedly for our own pleasure) and your number is: 15.70 Dollars per hour. The actual figure is probably even less, but for arguments’ sake let’s say I earn $17 an hour, before taxes. Maybe now you see why puppy mills whose average litter of 5 may only be worth $5000-6000 wholesale and with buildings to depreciate and staff to pay have no choice other than cutting every corner they can cut. And of course they have to pick females who produce 6 or 8 or even 10 pups while neglecting the real important selection criteria such as health history. Otherwise, they would not stay in business at all. I don’t know how they do it; their revenue does not even cover my costs. Minimal expenses (for care, food, vet, testing, upbringing, etc.), volume and quick turnover is everything in that situation. Scares me.
We understand that there are breeders across the country who sell their dogs at a lower price, some at a higher price than ours. We strongly recommend to check out your “breeder” before you buy a puppy that will hopefully be your healthy companion for the next 12-15 years.
Pet Store Puppies
Please do not consider buying from pet stores as you almost certainly get a minor quality puppy at an outrageous price that does n o t reflect the puppies background. What it does reflect, is the hefty mark-up of a retailer who most likely purchased your puppy from a puppy mill or the farm auction in Ohio where the mills get rid of their “overstock” for $500 or even less. The counties around Cleveland, OH and Lancaster county in PA (ever fewer in the latter thanks to a new dog law that is among the toughest in the country) are home to most of and the largest puppy mills in the Eastern United States, some housing several hundred dogs like chicken in cages or barns.
Pet stores often advertise that their pups are from local, reputable breeders only. BUH LO NY as we say here in Pittsburgh. Ask for the breeder’s address and go there! Good breeders have wait lists and will not sell a pup to a pet store for $800 so they can sell it for $4000 and up. THINK! Your “local” breeder is in 50% of all cases a mill in Missouri and in the other 50% a mill in another state. Ask to see the papers. I tell you now why I am so sure:
A reputable breeder who sells to pet stores becomes a commercial breeder requiring a commercial kennel license or even a broker and needs a broker’s license in most states. So either they operate illegally or they are not who they say they are. More importantly: a “reputable” breeder turned broker or commercial breeder will NEVER be able to buy any good breeding stock from ANY really reputable breeder ever again!!! So what does he breed with? Whatever he gets his hands on and there goes quality and reputation.
Now, you may get lucky and your mill puppy at the pet store is actually healthy and has healthy parents who are most likely all cheap imports from Russia with questionable papers. He is sitting in his cage, looking all sad and he has been sitting there for a while as he just turned 16 weeks old. Between the time he left mom (at probably no more than 7 or 8 weeks, often earlier as some states still allow a minimum age of 6 weeks) and the time you meet him or her, what kind of socialization and care did the little fellow get? Handed around from stranger to stranger.
Don’t EVER buy a pup like that out of the kindness of your heart to “safe” a little puppy. You are likely to regret it and you did nothing to better the world: yes, you may have helped this particular little guy, but you encouraged this type of operation as he will be quickly replaced. I mention that explicitly here because I had just that type of conversation many, many times. Buying from pet stores means bringing business to puppy mills and ultimately increasing the number of rescues in shelters because many owners can’t keep up with the medical bills.
You may suspect that I am only bashing the mills and pet stores to sell my own pups. Two things I can say: ask the Department Of Agriculture, the ASPCA, the Humane Society, the AKC and some more reputable breeders what their opinion is and second: I have a wait list extending 4-8 months into the future at pretty much any given time. Additional advertisement or promotion only increases the time I spent responding emails and answering phone calls, not selling any overstock.
I just recently went through 80 pages on puppyfind in search of a stud, only to realize that the crowd has changed over the last years and the company we are in, is often questionable, to say the least. None but one of the breeders that I knew two years ago seems to be left and the quality shown as well as the knowledge revealed and the housing situations and conditions under which the puppies are raised, was horrifying.
If our price does not meet your budget, please consider your options carefully. If the price is not the issue, but we have no puppies available to meet your schedule, we would be glad to check our contacts and forward them to you. Their prices range from $3000 to $3500 for pet quality (limited registration) with similar backgrounds and pedigrees, health testing and socialization.
Well, if you were naive enough to buy from a mill, you would not have read all the way down to here anyway, so I won’t even make a case, besides, I think I covered it pretty much already. But how do you spot them? Go there! If you see 50, 100, or even 500+ dogs of 5, 10 or 50 different breeds, guess what!If a “smaller breeder” has a less suspicious number of 20, 30 dogs but 3, 4 or 5 different breeds and is frequently changing or has changed some of those breeds over the past years to jump onto current market trends, guess what…!
Deposit & refund
While we accept a limited number of applications for our waiting lists, your placement will not be locked in until a commitment has been made and picks among similar puppies will be made in the same order as the deposits were received. We are accepting deposits of $500 to hold your puppy and/or place you on our waiting list. $100 of the deposit is non-refundable; if you have a change of hearts after the puppy is born and before your puppy is 8 weeks old, we will refund $300, until the 10th week, we will refund $200. After the 10th week no refunds can be made.
Checks as well as payment via PayPal are accepted.
If for whatever reason you were not completely thrilled with your puppy, we will refund your deposit according to our policies or place you in first place for the following litter. It has rarely happened, but we are prepared to refund your deposit if the wait for the next litter is too long. Of course if you are looking for quality, you will have to get on a list somewhere else and you will start at the bottom there as well.
If you were to prefer a certain puppy over your pick, we will try to negotiate with the other party and so far we have always been able to accommodate all preferences.
We can also deliver up to a 250 miles radius for a reasonable fee. Fees range between $50 and $200 depending on the location and can be split among the parties in case of multiple deliveries to the same meeting location. Please ask for our detailed fee schedule.
For full registration pricing (including breeding rights), please see the Breeder section of this webpage.