FAQs and Other Ramblings by Mary Anne

Please understand that when you get a Payasa Puppy, he/she will be mostly litter-trained.  When the puppy is in an area close to the litter box, he will go to the box to potty.  This is a big start on the road to house training.  It does not mean that the puppy will be housetrained in a couple of weeks.

Housetraining is the responsibility of the new owner. 

Housetraining takes time and effort.

Crate training is very helpful.  It means that when you cannot watch your puppy, he is in the crate, when you take him out of the crate, you CARRY him to his potty spot.  It does not mean that you leave the puppy in the crate for long periods of time so you don't have to deal with him.  He will be sleeping through the night within a week of the time he arrives at your home, but you cannot expect him to go another 8 hours without pottying.  An x-pen is very helpful during the first year of your puppy's life.

Before you bring a puppy home, you need to realize the long-term commitment you are making and the time you will have to spend housetraining and manners-training your puppy during the first year in order to have a wonderful companion for the next 12 to 15 years.  If you don't have time for the puppy, please do not get a puppy until you do have the time.

The biggest mistake most people make is giving the puppy way too much freedom in the house.  Then, after several months of frustration, the new owner asks for help; if you need help, please ask early!  If you will just devote some time in the first few months, life will be much better for the puppy and for the rest of the family. 

I personally would never call a puppy housetrained before he is six months old.  During the time period between when he arrives at your home and he is six months old, I expect YOU to be very aware of the puppy's needs and habits, and by using this knowledge, you will help your puppy become reliable by six months.

The following article was written by Madlyn Glazer of Queen Bee Bichons.  I found it very informative and asked her permission to share it with you.

New breeds have been developed throughout time, first to help us survive and then to make life easier.  Better hunting dogs, better herding dogs, etc.  Breeds were always improved upon by breeding healthy, sound, excellent dogs who exhibited the traits that were desired.  New breeds were developed by breeding 2 breeds together -- but not just any dogs from the 2 breeds, but again, excellent specimens, who exhibited the desired traits.

These new "designer" breeds are not developed by breeding a dog of let's say JR's quality with a terrific example of a Poodle -- but rather by breeding 2 run-of-the mill puppy mill dogs together (no pun intended).  Of course the rational (besides the profit motive) is that you have a bigger gene pool and less chance of bad genes matching up to create health problems.  So theoretically, you would leave behind the undesirable traits or health problems by breeding 2 different breeds together.  After all, aren't the average mutts supposedly healthier than our purebreds?

But the whole theory is negated by the fact that:
1) the dogs chosen are not good examples of their breed
2) most of these mixes involve 2 breeds with some of the same origins and health problems.
3) even when there are screening tests available for some of the genetic diseases, the breeders of these mixes are not the type of breeder who will use these tests or care about them or even know about them.

For example, if you take a mini poodle who may have a gene for PRA (progressive retinal atrophy -- these are several diseases that basically involve the predisposed genetically determined failure of the retina in middle aged dogs, always progressing to blindness with no known cure) and breed it to a Bichon (no real hisotry of this disease in a Bichon) the thought is that the ensuing puppies cannot possibly have this disease as they can get the gene from only one parent and therefore a puppy can only be a carrier and not have the disease.  But what happens in the second or third generation?  Well, now you have puppies being bred together that both may carry the gene and give it to the offspring and suddenly you have a designer breed with the same genetic health problem as one of the original breeds had.  Sound, healthy dogs come from responsible breeding practices, not from whims and profit motives.

Those dog people who know about all of this would never purposely do one of these breedings.  Those who do not know or do not really care would.  And unfortunately, the general public, just wanting to have something different, is deceived into thinking they are getting something "better" when they are really just being taken advantage of.

If each one of us educated just 2 or 3 others and they did the same, maybe we can make a difference.  There are too many inferior dogs being bred by the millers.  We do not need mixed breed mutts being passed off as "new" breeds.

By the way, labradoodles are a slightly different story.  Many people who need service dogs, are allergic to dogs.  Poodles, although a wonderful, smart breed, for the most part have too much energy to make good service dogs.  So the thought was to breed a hypoallergenic service dog.  But unfortunately, besides the fact that not all labradoodles are hypoallergenic until you get several generations down the road, the adult size of this mix is very hard to control.  So a lot get too big or stay too small and many months of puppy raising are lost in determining which dogs will actually be the right size for the taks at hand.  Unfortunately, due to their uniqueness and the ingenuity of some breeders, they became an "in" thing for prospective dog owners who just have nothing else to do with their money.  A lot are being imported from Australia and sell for $5000.  On the other hand, most of the Labradoodles available today are being produced by puppy millers and backyard breeders who are trying to cash in on a fad.

What Makes Payasa Puppies Special?

We are "Show Breeders".  That means we have AKC registered dogs and show them in AKC shows to earn their Champion title, proving that several judges agree the dog meets Breed Standard criteria.  We breed toward the AKC Havanese Standard; some pups have the right personality to enjoy being a show-off in the ring - these often become show dogs.  However, many times they are placed as pets because the most important thing for our puppies is that they are loved, enjoyed, and yes, spoiled.  Most of our puppies are placed as spayed/neutered pets (sold on a spay/neuter contract) and most of them could be Champions.  The difference between a show conformation and a pet is most often very slight; ear set, tail carriage, dental, length of muzzle, etc. 

When you purchase your Havanese Puppy from a good breeder, you are getting a puppy with the best possible start in life.  Being a "show kennel", we know many other good breeders across the country and are very happy to refer you to them when we do not have a puppy, or you need a good breeder who is closer to you than Indiana.  A good breeder selects the best possible dogs for mating, having done health screening and planning the breeding carefully.  A good breeder is there for you "after the sale" for any questions or guidance you may need.  You should take the time to get to know your breeder before you purchase a puppy from him/her.

Many of us have questionnaires / applications for a puppy.  This helps us get to know you and your preferences in a puppy.  A Breeder is not a pet store -- WE CARE about our puppies, where they will be living and how they will be treated.  If you are considering getting a puppy from Payasa, please call or e-mail often - we like that; we know you are sincerely interested.

Please check out our Health Screening by looking up our dogs on the www.offa.org web site.  We firmly believe in health screening our adults so we do not pass on known health problems.  No one can guarantee a totally healthy puppy, but many breeders make this a number one priority in their breeding program.  These are the breeders we work with and refer people to when we do not have a puppy for you.

In the rare case of a significant health issue, we will work with you to get the best veterinarian advice and/or treatment for your puppy.  We will help with costs of treatment up to the purchase price of the puppy.  If you check the "guarantees" from pet stores and many of the so-called breeders you find on the internet, you will discover that they truly mean nothing.

Our puppies are placed at 10 weeks of age to approved homes.  During their time at Payasa, they are "socialized" to various people, sounds, surfaces, textures and travel.  They have their first puppy shot and a vet-checkup, are micro-chipped for positive identification, have their own puppy book with AKC papers and helpful information, and are well on their way to being house-trained (please see "Soap Box on this page). 

We want our puppies to live a long, happy life in their new forever home, being LOVED and SPOILED as long as they live.

At Payasa, we strive to produce Top-Quality, Healthy Havanese


Carefully select the breed and breeder you want for that special pure-bred puppy, or purchase from an Animal Shelter.  Watch out for puppy mill pups (and remember that is where most pet shop puppies come from) and those from back-yard-breeders.  Also be aware of the "bogus" registration where you can get "papers" for just about any dog.  In the US, you should purchase AKC or UKC and in Canada, CKC registered puppies.  In the US, there is CKC, continental kennel club; USKC, us kennel club; APRI, America's pet registry, inc.

Good advice from a friend:
One of the reasons for the huge need for rescue organizations and animal control is that people make instant decisions about a subject that requires in-depth study; and in many cases can just "charge it" and then the puppy is gone from that buyer befor ethe credit card bill is paid off because of choosing the wrong breed or size or activity level of animal.  AKC has free information for people to study before making a choice for good reason.  And, there is absolutely nothing in the world wrong with finding the perfect dog at an animal shelter.  It will be less expensive and will have been health checked and evaluated for "issues".

by Judity Jones, Namaskar Havanese, Largo, FL
Bottom Line:  We recommend you study and carefully select the breed you want, then just as carefully select the breeder you want OR rescue a puppy from your local Humane Society or Shelter.
Some questions about CD

> I have a question. Should a dog that toes out absolutely not be bred?
Does the dog have an outstanding set of virtues that he/she can pass on if bred to a dog with a better front? if yes then maybe breed them. Are you willing to sell all the pups as pets if they do get the easty westy front. Are you willing to show any owners of intact dogs that front and trust them to pet out any affected dogs?  If it is an average dog then probably do not breed.

> Is a dog that toes out considered a dog with a crooked front (CD)?
No.  CD is a medical condition related to dwarfism. A "fiddle front is more of a description of CD, rather knock kneed.  People toe out all the time but are not CD; it is relative to long bone structure rather than just toes and foot placement.

> Does it toe out strictly due to premature growth plate closure or can it have to do with a narrow chest and elbows that are not tight to the chest or some other reason that is not as serious as CD?
It can be a genetic cause not necessarily CD, since we cannot rule out genetic, you must assume it is . And breed accordingly.

If you want to rule out C/D then you need to have his front x-rayed, preferably by an orthopedic veterinarian.

Some Comments from another breeder about the "Havana Silk Dog" split from the true Havanese and the Havanese Club of America

I am a little confused because I own a 100% "Bichon Havanese."  Her parents were both born in Cuba, but each had been sent from Cuba to another country and bred there.  She looks very much like her grandfather, who is pictured in the front of Zoila Portuondo Guerra's book "Bichon Havanese."  She does not have a silky coat, and her undercoat is very "fleecy" (Zoila's word) and grows much worse mats than do any of my other just plain old "Havanese."  She has a wide front, large ribcage, and a narrow "knock-kneed" rear end that hop-skips.  Her eyes are beautiful, but they do look a little round to me.  However, sure enough, she does drop in the croup.  I have been thinking that was a "bad thing" because her topline does not rise from withers to rump as pictured in "The Havanese: An Illustrated Study of the AKC Breed Standard."  She is an odd little thing, sort of ditzy now and then, but very affectionate, and I love her to pieces. 
I sat down with my little gang this morning and explained that, alas, Chica was not really "one of them."  They jumped to their little back feet and pawed at the air in dismay.  (Chica just watched, because she has never been able to do that.)  After they had all returned to earth, they agreed that to think Chica wasn't really a Havanese was just crazy!  Sure, she will never win ribbons in the show ring, she won't be winning any sports trophies, she occasionally barks in Spanish, and doesn't look very 'balanced,' but we don't care.  Once in a while, she marches to her own drummer, but overall, she plays well with others and has never, ever stepped on her sisters' toes. 
Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I am not really confused.  My girls may each have their own special qualities (depending on who is judging them), and some are black, some are brown, some are cream, and some are red, but when you get right down to it, they are, indeed, all HAVANESE .... past, present, and future.....a very special breed!

Havana Silk Dog - Announced in June 2007

A few people who own and breed Havanese have decided to create their own breed, calling them the Havana Silk Dog.  The huge majority of Havanese breeders do not agree with them and their tactics.  They have very good spokespeople so it is easy for them to confuse/convince people.  If you run across them, keep an open mind.  Many statements on their web site are designed to make others look bad.

I still recommend the book by Diane Klumb and Joanne Baldwin, DVM, but I DO NOT agree with their claim to the "correct dog - the Havana Silk Dog".  After all, it only takes a little common sense to understand that suddenly a group of 30 dogs is the "true and correct" dog as opposed to the thousands of Havanese that are owned all over the world. 

On their site, they complain about the AKC / HCA Breed Standard for the Havanese.  No mention is made that the above-mentioned two people had major input into that Standard in 2001.  There is a lot of ugly politics involved in this "split".  I am sure you are not interested.  I just want you to know there is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on at their web site.

Those breeding the "Havana Silk Dog" (by the way, that name has been interchangeable with Havanese for many years) are good breeders, breeding to the best of their ability.  Neither they nor their dogs are "better" than the majority of Havanese being bred to the AKC/HCA Standard and also being highly health tested.

Mary Anne
Foods to Avoid or Restrict

Garlic:  beneficial in doses up to 1 small clove per 20 pounds of body weight, but can cause anemia if given in larger quantities.

Potatoes (not sweet potatoes), tomatoes, peppers (all kinds) and eggplant may aggravate arthritis pain, but are otherwise fine to fee.  Grains and starchy veggies may also aggravate arthritis and other forms of inflammation.

While most food safe for people are also safe for dogs, there are a few notable exceptions.  Do NOT feed your dog:

Onions:  can cause a form of anemia.  Reaction is do3se-dependent and can build up over time.  Small amounts are not harmful, but there's no reason to feed them.

Macadamia nuts:  toxic to dogs, even in very small amounts.

Chocolate and caffeine:  toxic to dogs.

Xylitol, a natural sweetener, is toxic to dogs

Grapes and raisins:  can cause kidney failure in a few dogs for unknown reasons if fed in large amounts; 3 to 6 ounces per 20 lbs of body weight is the lowest amount known to have caused toxicity.  Many dog owners use grapes and raisins - in small amounts - as a training treat or snack and have seen no ill effects; others feel the potential for danger exceeds the value of feeding grapes or raisins.  Most important:  Do not leave bunches of grapes or boxes of raisins anywhere you dog might be able to get them.  Most cases of grape toxicity occurred when a dog  "stole" a large ration.
From the AKC Web Site:
Havanese Did You Know?

The Havanese is AKC's 142nd breed.

The Havanese is the National Dog of Cuba and the country's only native breed (Havana = Havanese).

Despite its being a new breed to the AKC, the Havanese is an old breed, descending from breeds brought over from Spain to Cuba.

The Havanese was once called the Havana Silk Dog or the Spanish Silk Poodle.

The coat of the Havanese is deceptively warm-looking; in reality, it is an insulation and barrier from the sun and overheating.

The Havanese descends from the same ancestor as the entire Bichon family, the Tenerife.

By the mid-eighteenth century, the Havanese was so popular that it was owned by such celebrities as Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. It became known as the dog of the aristocratic class of sugar barons of Cuba.

A recent e-mail exchange between good Havanese breeders about "Hybrid" or "Designer" Dogs aka Mixed Breeds that you may find enlightening

The least we can do, whenever presented with an opportunity, is to educate as best we can. Once I got over my initial revulsion at the existence of such a place/mill, education is what occurred to me. I would use any such contact as an opportunity to educate someone who obviously doesnít have the information he or she needs to make an informed decision. Sigh. We all get those calls and itís only going to get worse as the word gets out on how wonderful Havanese are as a breed. The slime balls will crawl out from under every rock, make their fast buck and disappear. It is easy to calmly point out the differences between any such a place and a reputable Breeder.

I totally agree about the education potential with each contact, not only to educate about a responsible breeder, but also about the commitment and challenge it is to raise a puppy, with their popularity, people are wanting a Havanese for all of the wrong reasons as often as not; which leads to disappointment and dumped dogs when reality hits.  Unfortunately the word is out already about the wonderful Havanese, the number of casual/cash motivated breeders of "pure bred"  Havanese and designer cross breeds is staggering. 

Having been raising these little angels for 18 years, and having seen them go from an unknown breed that the only people looking for one were those who had met one or had done some intensive research to find one, to a breed that is trendy and a status symbol with hundreds of "breeders" listed on the internet... we've come a long way and where we are now is not always a pretty place for the dogs.

Instincts - Something to Think About by Jan Stark

I often bemoan the fact that the instincts of so many dogs, if not breeds, have been diminished to the extent that they would be unable to perform the tasks for which they were designed.  Yet long ago, a Welch terrier that provided years of joy and laughter to my life (which is why I bought him after my husband's death) did something that startled me.  Romping gingerly across the lawn with something in his mouth, he proudly brought a baby rabbit to me.  I screamed at him, giving serious thought to changing his black and red body to black and blue -- when I stopped short, realizing that this marvelous dog was doing exactly what he was bred to do.  While I felt tremendous guilt about all of the sweet little bunnies he would (and DID) nab, I appreciated his need -- which satisfied MY need to see a dog's instincts surface so beautifully.  He was a clown whose serious side was seen only on his rabbit hunts.
Starkette Havanese

Part I

An e-mail regarding a Westminster Story:  I think it was very nice to educate the general public about the history of the WKC and show how vital a role in history it has been for the dog enthusiasts.  I also thought it was of major importance to include the big picture of the cost and the over all picture of just how much money that is spent and sent flooding into the economy yearly on the ownership of pets.  It is a huge financial market including health insurance.  When people are not spending their money they are still willing to do so on their pets and their needs.  It was briefly mentioned a breeder can make $1,800 to $2,500 on the pups that they do not keep after having a litter.  The focus was pulled off breeding quickly.

The next point of interest was seeing-eye dogs, therapy dogs, etc.  I think the WKC ran a really well thought through and organized over view and kept the campaigning and advertising costs low enough not to focus or frighten away potential people to the sports as well as show the enormity of the of the amount of money that is being spent in a failing economy on pets.  The jobs they bring in and the desire and lengths people go through to own and campaign them.
When I wrote to my rep in Nashville I focused on think of what would happen if the pet industry shut down tomorrow?  Think about all of the lost jobs, the pets abandoned in the streets and pounds, the medical research lost as a result, the emotional distress put on the already fragile condition of stress and fear on the population.  Antidepressants and suicide are on the rise over the economy now, can they even imagine how people would handle the loss of the only unconditional love and joy they can count on if anti domestic ownership groups have their own way and cause people to be forced out of showing, breeding and owning pets period.

Part II

Controlling animals running at large and the usual ignorance of people that would do anything to make a buck is one thing.  Education and in many cases avenues to possibly enforce that the breeding of animals that are not recognized as a purebred for the sole purpose of profit, that these animals when brought into a Vet for their shots (Rabies is required by law) have to be sterilized by law. Animals that are running at large that are neglected and have not run away from homes or lost and animals that are surrendered to the shelters because of other dynamics at home are 2 entirely different situations. Too many unreasonable laws have challenged people to go under ground and harvest pets for profit and those of ethics and morals who are willing to give their animals quality food and medical care before their own, and breed and sell on spay and neuter contracts and search for the best homes are the ones that are being punished.  The people that have taken advantage of breeding or could care less what happens to the animals they produce once they have cash in hand or those who believe all animals belong outside free and running or those that own them and cannot afford to feed their families and do not feed their pets either, who remain ignorant and could care less, who do not spay or neuter, who cannot even pronounce those words and do not really know the meaning of them, are the ones that need to be targets.


The Humane Society of the United States and PETA are behind these legislative attacks.
Do NOT confuse your local Humane Society - which does a LOT of GOOD with the Humane Society of the United States which has no facility for any animals and only collects money, doing very little, if any, good for animals.
Both of these organizations rake in tons of money from an unsuspecting public and are very good at creating publicity.  You should hear some of the behind-the-scenes stories of Katrina volunteers who were unable to rescue dogs and cats because of HSUS!

Part III

Collateral damage is a horrible form of punishment to the rest of us citizens that remain stead fast to the sport of animals.  Those of us who strive to eliminate health problems and spend our hard earned pennies everyday doing so and we are the ones that help keep cash flowing into the failing economic markets everyday.  An est. 41 million dollars a year is spent on purebred animals in this country and their needs and care.  Just think about all of those jobs and all of that money if the rug were to be pulled out from under the feet of us that keep this business thriving legitimately?  Most of us raise these animals in our homes, under our feet, as pampered members of our families and most of us have never put an animal in a shelter, as a matter of fact most of us shelter unwanted animals at our costs and have adopted mixed breed animals and have had them spayed and neutered.  Most of us are trying to educate and reach those that do not have a clue and most of us do not get paid a dime to do so.  Please think about this and try to focus on what it really is that gets anti animal groups up at arms?  Most of us feel they are as radical as the terrorists and gangs and most of us are ready and willing to point out that they are not good for our economy or way of life.  As GOD made women for MAN as a companion and HELPMATE HE CREATED THE ANIMALS FOR THE SAME PURPOSES FIRST>!!!!!
Sandy Barnes
Mischief Havanese
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animcal and
The Humane Society of the United States

PETA and The Humane Society of the United States have similar goals.
They are excellent at raising money which is used to lobby our
government to eliminate pets.

The following is a link to an ABC, Atlanta news spot
on U-tube.

Click Here