What is the Havana Silk Dog Assoc and Do They Have A New Breed?
The Havana Silk Dog, Native Breed of Cuba - Known Today as The Havanese
The breed known as the Havanese is the ONLY AKC recognized breed that originated from Cuba. Through history the Havanese has been known as the Havana Silk Dog and Spanish Silk Poodle. There are some trying to market the Havanese under one of the old names, the Havana Silk Dog. Those trying to use this marketing ploy are using the exact same dogs that the original and only Havanese breed are from.
DON'T BE FOOLED!
written by: Jan Smith
A new organization has recently surfaced. It is called The Havana Silk Dog Association of America (HSDAA). This group CLAIMS that dogs registered to the HSDAA are an "elite" registry of Havanese dogs who are appropriately health-screened, free of chondrodysplasia (a condition which causes bowing of the legs and is sometimes associated with other serious health issues), and who display "true Cuban breed type." The goal of this organization is to gain recognition for the "Havana Silk Dog" as a breed that is separate and distinct from the "American Havanese." I would like to help clear up any confusion which this new organization may have created for people new to the Havanese breed or those people who are considering buying their first Havanese puppy. Please understand that this organization's use of Havana Silk Dog to describe their "distinct breed" is very misleading. The term Havana Silk Dog is a historical name for the Havanese. The Havanese is the native dog of Cuba and today there are many reputable Havanese breeders here in the United States. We are talking about the same breed, not a new, distinct, or designer breed!
Unfortunately, the creation of the HSDAA is a political movement within our breed which has had a divisive impact on our long-established national breed organization, The Havanese Club of America (HCA). I am disappointed that some individuals have decided to segregate because I feel that it is in the best interests of the Havanese breed for reputable breeders to work together. There are many good breeders who are not members of HSDAA. They do the recommended health testing, the breed away from chondrodysplasia and the other prevalent health issues in our breed, and they also select dogs for their breeding programs that are true to the AKC breed standard. The pedigree lines which are registered to the HSDAA are not exclusive to the HSDAA registry since there are many non-HSDAA members who have the same lines. Also, there are breeders of dogs that are registered to the HSDAA who are not in agreement with the creation of this new registry.
I am not a member of the Havana Silk Dog Assoc of America and I view their objectives as being destructive to the common good of our breed. I will continue my association with the Red River Havanese Club, will continue to work with the HCA on their official publication, The Havanese Hotline, and will continue to follow my current practices of health testing for healthy eyes, hearing, hips, patella's, and heart. I only breed dogs with straight legs, therefore breeding away from chondrodysplasia. I work with other breeders who health test their dogs and have the same goals I have for breeding healthy puppies that exemplify the Havanese breed standard.
My caution to you is to not assume that you will be getting a healthier puppy, a better socialized puppy, or a puppy truer to the breed standard if you adopt a HSDAA puppy. The truth is that a puppy, whether called a Havanese or a Havana Silk Dog, is produced from the available gene pool. There are health issues in the Havanese breed just as there are in every breed. The conformation and health of a puppy is in part due to the skill of the breeder, but it is also dependent on the way genes come together when two dogs with a different set of genes are bred. It is not an exact science and genes do not line up according to membership in one club or another club. It is a fact that two straight-legged, non-CD dogs, bred together can produce a puppy with CD. This is due to the influence of hidden, recessive genes which are not expressed in the parents of the puppy. If you adopt a puppy and it develops a health issue, then you should expect the breeder to stand behind their health guarantee to you, irregardless of their club affiliation. DO NOT assume that membership in a club guarantees the integrity of a breeder or their skill in the ART of breeding. What it comes down to is that YOU must take responsibility for asking the right questions when selecting a breeder.
Finding a Reputable Havanese Breeder
The best advice to you, a person who may be seeking to adopt a new Havanese puppy, is to do your homework! Read about the breed and the health issues. Interview prospective breeders and ask to see proof of current health tests on their foundation dogs. Ask about how their puppies are socialized, about their health warranty, and go visit the breeder to see the environment where the puppies are raised. Beware of a breeder who has many unkempt, poorly socialized dogs. Under no circumstances should you consider buying a Havanese puppy from a pet store or a puppy broker. Your best source for healthy puppies is the hobby breeder who shows their dogs in conformation events, health tests their foundations stock, belongs to breed organizations, and works with other reputable breeders towards the goal of breeding healthy Havanese puppies bred to the AKC Havanese standard. Additionally, a reputable breeder will have a health warranty on their puppies which will tell you, the buyer, what they will do if your puppy develops a serious health issue. Good breeders do not want their puppies to end up in shelters and they require you to give them first option for taking a puppy back if you can no longer care for it. A good breeder's commitment to you to take a puppy back should be for the life of the dog?
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