You are investing in a long term companion and family member. Make sure that you get a puppy that has had the best possible start in life. Only buy a puppy if you are convinced it has been raised with the necessary care and attention, and that its parents are beloved family pets and not just a means to making money.
'Unregistered' status usually rings alarm bells with me as a buyer, even if I am looking for 'just' a pet. It usually means that Kennel Club welfare rules have not been followed, in any of the following scenarios:
So, you have decided to get a Havanese puppy, and have started looking for the best place to source your new family member from.
Maybe we should start by thinking about the many places you should NOT buy from. There are many terms to describe these establishments- backyard breeders, farmyard breeders, puppy farms, puppy traders, puppy importers etc.
These terms are not necessarily helpful- what matters is the welfare and health of their breeding dogs and the quality of their puppies, both physical and psychological.
The Havanese is a companion dog- the breed has been developed solely for the purpose of providing company to humans. They crave and NEED human company, we have made them that way. Keeping these dog separate from humans, be it in kennel buildings or indoor kennel facilities, is simply cruel and inhumane. Treating them as live stock with the sole purpose of breeding and selling puppies is unethical and almost certainly detrimental to their wellbeing and welfare. Reputable breeders will not just treat them as a commodity or a 'product', but will recognise that these dogs are sentient beings that need human contact and loving care.
You may also have come across websites or social media pages where puppies are advertised for sale, often at far below the average UK breeder price. Many ads will suggest that the puppies are cheaper because they do not have registration papers. Don't be fooled by that statement- it only costs £15 to register a puppy with the Kennel Club, so there is no way the seller can offer a £500 saving on the price of the puppy just by not providing the buyer with registration papers.
-The mum may have been bred too young, still a puppy herself, or too old. The Kennel Club will not register the litter if the Dam was under one year of age at the time of the mating. Just like in humans, just because a female physically CAN get pregnant, doesn't mean that she should. She may not have the physical and psychological maturity yet to cope with the birth process and provide proper care for the puppies. Older mums have more pregnancy and whelping complications. Many mums and puppies perish because of this reason.
-The mum may have been bred too many times. In many breeding establishments dogs are treated as breeding machines, churning out litter after litter. The Kennel Club sets the limit at four litters, any litter beyond that will not be registered.
-The puppy may have been born abroad and taken away from its mum at a very young age to be transported to the UK for resale. Many of these puppies make this journey in squalid conditions, and there is a high death rate on these transports. Often they are imported illegally, with false documents and an inadequate vaccination record. Aside from the risk of importing rabies and other diseases, it is damaging to the puppy's psychological development to leave its mother barely weaned.
-Worryingly, some puppies sold with papers on these sites also come from abroad, or were born and brought up in uncaring, exploitative settings. There is usually a very good (or should I say bad) reason for a 'cheap' puppy. If it sounds too good to be true.......