I am committed to producing structurally and temperamentally sound, healthy dogs. A championship title for a dog does not guarantee that a dog is healthy!
Although Havanese tend to be healthy, there are some issues that you should be aware of. Through December 2018, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that for Havanese tested and submitted into their database, the number one issue was dentition. Although the number of Havanese tested isn't high, there are many Havanese with missing teeth.
The Havanese Club of America determines which testing our breed should complete. All of my dogs are health tested for the minimum requirements (hips, patellas, eyes, hearing) plus additional testing. I test for eyes, hearing, patellas, heart, hips, elbows and Legg-Calve-Perthes. In addition I fun a full blood test and test for liver shunts. I will be adding dentition and thyroid to my testing. I test all puppies hearing and eyes prior to them going to their forever homes. Testing only show dogs doesn't give you a good picture of what a breeder produces overall.
When selecting a stud dog for my girls, I review all health results, review both my girls and the stud's structure to ensure I find a dog who compliments mine, and pick a nice temperament. I test my dogs eyes, hearing, patella's, hips and elbows, and cardiac. I will do additional testing as appropriate. All of my dogs health records are recorded with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and is available for anyone to review. I publish all results, whether or not there is a problem and I only breed those dogs whose health is top notch. This doesn't mean that health problems won't occur but it does mean that as a breeder, I take health seriously and am doing everything I can to produce healthy dogs.
Regardless of who you decide to adopt a puppy from, make sure that you only buy puppies that are from heath tested dogs with good results!
Genetic diversity is the range of different alleles in a sample (e.g. Havanese). The alleles can be for color, coat, health, etc.. Puppies inherit alleles from both parents. Research has shown that the greater the diversity in a population, the healthier the dog. In breeds where diversity has been lost due to a lot of inbreeding, health problems have resulted over time.
UC Davis Genetic Labs has been looking at a number of breeds, including Havanese. I do participate in this and my boys Baxter and Niño and my girl Sophie have been tested. It is difficult to find dogs that have had this testing as we are early on in the research but I am hoping my peers start the testing for this breed.
In addition to health testing, vaccinations are important. Did you know that the same amount of vaccines for a 1500 lb horse is given to small dogs? I was shocked when my vet told me that. These little dogs are sensitive to vaccines which means that they could have an adverse reaction from mild to life threatening.
Recent research indicates that vaccines may last longer than one year. I don't believe in over vaccinating and I highly recommend doing a vaccine antibody titer test to determine if your your pet will be protected from infectious disease. If they have enough antibodies, they will not require an additional vaccination. The cost is a little more but it is well worth it not to over vaccinate!