Health Testing and Issues
If you are truly interested in Havanese, this book should be on your "must buy" list.
Written by Diane Klumb with Joanne Baldwin, DVM
NOT your standard "fill in the dog breed" book.  Excellent all-around information, but based on Havanese.
To verify Health Testing, go to the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals web site and choose "Search OFA Records", select the breed in the drop-down box and key in at least part of the name.  You may practice on my kennel by putting "Payasa" in the name and you will find most of my dogs listed.  (A few do not have the name "Payasa" and you can look them up individually.
Health.  One point I would like to quickly make is that I have heard people are concerned about getting un-healthy dogs if they get a Havanese.  This feeling seems to have come about because many, if not most, Havanese sites go into great detail about health\  Yes, Havanese breeders are very vocal about health because, as a group, we are doing or best to eliminate problems before they become big issues.  If you search the internet for lists of breed-specific health issues, you find that Havanese enjoy one of the smaller lists of problems.  Our other breed is German Shepherds, and their list if at least 30 (yes, thirty) times longer than that of the Havanese. 

You definitely want to get a puppy with the best possible start in life, including good health.  Nothing is guaranteed; all living, breathing creatures have problems to one extent or another.  But with proper breeding management, your chances of getting a healthy, long-living Havanese is much better than with the casual breeder who does not study pedigree characteristics of the dogs they are mating.

Caution:  We are now hearing about breeders of "TINY" Havanese.  Please know that reputable breeders are NOT breeding for tiny, undersized Havanese.  If you have already made this choice, please check out you dog for liver shunts, as well as  liver or kidney displasia.  If you are thinking of getting one of them, make sure you get proof of health clearances of the parents.

Payasa Havanese is proud of the health screening we do with all of our adults.  Each dog has health screening listed in their "Stats" on their page.  We also encourage you to look up our dogs on the OFFA web site where you can see a record of each test done.  If someone tells you they health test their dogs, be sure to verify that information on the OFFA site.
Wincroft Kennels
Wincroft Havanese in St. Charles, Missouri. 
Breeders: Michele and Barbara Johannes. 
Excellent breeders with health as their first priority in all breeding.
Susane McKay created the Havanese ABCs site and it is my absolute favorite site for all kinds of information and enjoyment.
The following is in response to the PETA announcement that they want USA Network  to stop broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club Show on TV:

Vet speaks out on PETA and Westminster ...
    Posted by: "" northtwin
    Date: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:50 am ((PST))

Thank you Libbye Miller, DVM, for leaving this message on the
Comments section of the recent LA Times article ...

"Adorable mixed breeds" get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart disease, and orthopedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every day in my veterinary practice but mixed breed dogs aren't tracked like the purebreds so they have a reputation as "healthier" that is actually undeserved in many cases.

It is so sad that a lot of folks, including  young veterinarians these days, buy into the "hybrid vigor" baloney. The vet  schools have been Infiltrated by the Animal Rights Extremists, who are  teaching them this junk science in order to push their agenda.

All  animals have a certain amount of genetic load, which is to say there is  absolutely no animal without some genetic problem of some sort or another.  Know anyone who wears glasses? Has allergies? Thyroid Problems? Weak knees?  Flat feet? A skin condition? Arthritis? A gap between their front teeth?  These are all genetic imperfections.

No human is genetically "clean."  Neither is any individual of any species on earth. So this idea that dogs  should not be bred because they might have a genetic problem, and that  breeders are somehow "evil"
For breeding them, is ridiculous. Every single  individual of every single species has at least a few genetic  conditions.

To use PETA's logic, all breeding of all kinds (including  having human babies) should halt immediately. And to be honest, Ingrid  Newkirk (the woman who founded PETA) does believe exactly that. She thinks  that
Humans should become extinct, along with dogs, cats, etc. This ridiculous scenario is precisely what she would like to see  happen.                    ®®®­­­

So folks, if that is what you want ... if you agree with  Ingrid Newkirk's whacky views, send your hard earned money to PETA. They will help to ensure you are not able to own a dog or cat or hamster or any  other pet in the future. They will see to it that you can't eat meat or fish or eggs or any type of animal-based nutrition. They will work to shut down places like Sea World, the zoos, etc. so you cannot observe the many wonderful animals on the Earth. Eventually, once they accomplish these things, they may turn their efforts to making it illegal for humans to procreate.

If you don't agree with their extremist views, wise up and start  supporting those who truly do love, care for and enjoy interaction with other species here on our little blue planet.

The fanciers of the  breeds, those you see exhibiting their dogs at Westminster and other dog  shows, work very hard to eliminate serious genetic conditions. They screen  their breeding stock with every available test. They research pedigrees  before breeding into other lines, to check for similar clearances in those  animals. They contribute money to research organizations to further the work  being done to track down genetic problems. They contribute blood, cell  samples, etc. from their own animals to help with DNA and genome  studies. They have made great progress so far, and they continue to work  hard at it.

Are there unethical breeders? Certainly, there are. Just as  in any group of humans, you will find the good and the bad. United States VP Elect Joe Biden, for example, managed to find a not so good one when he got his new German Shepherd puppy. I don't know who did his research for  him, but they obviously didn't do their homework if they were looking for a  responsible breeder. Joe has the right to get his dog from whomever he  wishes, but if he was trying to set an example of purchasing from a  responsible hobby breeder he went off the track this time. That's too bad,  but it was his choice.

Unfortunately, breeders like that may be a lot  easier to find because of their high volume and high profile. If you are  looking for a nice family pet from a breeder who will be there for you  forever, you need to do due diligence. You won't get that from a pet store.  You won't get that from the guy selling dogs out of his pickup truck in the  WalMart parking lot. You won't get that support from a high-volume breeder,  either. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort to find someone who really cares and does all the work to breed the healthiest, happiest puppies possible and then stands behind those puppies.

This is a  living being that will be part of your family, hopefully, for many years.  Isn't it worth a bit of effort to find a breeder who will be there for you  and that puppy forever? 

And guess what? Shows like Westminster are a very  valuable resource for finding breeders who do care and who use the best  possible practices, as well as for learning more about the various  breeds.

Bravo to USA Network for broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club  show all these years. May they enjoy continued success through the ongoing inclusion of such programs. I will be eagerly watching this year's