Frequently Asked Questions - Registration Matters

Why a CKC registered puppy? Or What unscrupulous breeds won’t tell you. Havanese puppies are expensive and you “just” want a pet, so, can you get an unregistered puppy to save money? For many potential puppy buyers it is an innocent question from an uninformed person. So the key is education.

Here we will try to tell you about some of the fallacies and myths about registration and pure bred puppies and pets.

We are delighted to hear that. All Havanese, whether showing or breeding dogs, or performance stars or anything else, all deserve to be first and foremost beloved companions ie) pets. All these other events are just a very small proportion of the entire time of a dogs’ life. The majority of their life is spent as a pet being loved and being part of their family. So, quite honestly every Havanese deserves to be a “Pet” in the true sense of the word.

Some people say “Just a pet” meaning that it won’t be a show dog. And that’s Ok, but by saying “just” a pet seems to imply that a pet dog is somehow less worthy than a show dog, or less important or that its OK for it to be substandard? Nothing could be further from the truth. True, for a show or breeding dog, breeders choose and keep the best examples of the breed however they do not breed “Show dogs” or Pet dogs” In any well bred litter, there are some of both. They are all equal but just like children; some have different potentials and aptitudes.


Both companion puppies and show potential puppies are born in the same litter, and are equally bred; it only makes sense that they be treated the same in registration matters too.

A CKC Registered Dog equals a Pure Bred Dog - This is TRUE; In Canada, the definition of a pure bred dog is a dog of pure proven lineage that is registered by an approved registry. For the Havanese breed in Canada, that is the Canadian Kennel Club. If it is not registered, there is no proof that it is purebred. If a dog is offered for sale as a purebred, it must be entitled to registration papers. If the dog is not or cannot be registered, then it may not be advertised as a purebred.


Under the "Animal Pedigree Act" ( 1985, c. 8 (4th Supp.) ), any dog sold as a purebred animal in Canada MUST be registered with an acceptable registry.  In the case of the Havanese, this registry is the CKC, Canadian Kennel Club.  Paperwork from the CKC is completed and signed by the seller and buyer at the time of sale and the Certificate of Registration from the CKC must be supplied to the buyer within 6 months of purchase of the puppy.  This is a requirement under Canadian Federal Law. 

As well, any responsible breeder should be a member of the CKC and these requirements are also included in the club's Code of Ethics along with a requirement to provide this paperwork at no additional cost to the buyer of this dog/puppy.

All registries are equal - FALSE 

Armed with the knowledge you have now, the word “registered” puppy seems to make sense and that is a tool you now use for screening. But, not so fast! Even then, be careful about "registered Puppies". While one assumes that “registered” means registered with the Canadian Kennel Club, this is not always so. Commercial breeders count on people who do not ask questions. They don’t want informed buyers as they know they won’t stand up to scrutiny. If a Havanese puppy is being advertised as “registered”, make sure the registry is the Canadian Kennel Club. There are also a number of other "registries" that register dogs that are meaningless, including ckc, ACA, UKCI, UABR and APRI. Continental Kennel Club for instance happens to have the same letters as the Canadian Kennel Club. ( ckc). Dogs from these registries are ineligible for registration with the Canadian Kennel Club. Unethical breeders bandy about the words 'registered" and hide under these other registries in an attempt to create an illusion of reputability. If potential owners do not ask, they will not tell. Be informed and ask questions. Ideally you want a Havanese puppy that is registered/registerable with the Canadian Kennel Club.
Nb: Puppies with AKC (American Kennel Club) papers and a few other approved registries may be dual registered in Canada. Those may apply if you are buying your puppy from the USA or Europe.


Many puppy buyers are under the impression that registered puppies are more expensive and that registration costs are very high - This is untrue. Registration costs are not nearly the exorbitant expense that some allude to.  Reputable breeders will never charge more for papers. A pure bred dog is a registered dog: Registration and associated costs are the responsibility of the breeder. Registration costs truly are nominal. In 2009, the cost of registering a litter is just over $20. Once the litter is registered, the breeder can apply for individual papers for each of the puppies. This is the registration certificate that belongs to the puppy and goes to the new owners. The individual registration cost less than $ 20 per puppy if applied for within 4 months of birth. If a breeder delays or if a breeder is not a CKC member, the costs do go up slightly but remain inexpensive. With the costs of registration being so low, there really is no reason for a registered puppy to cost more than an unregistered one. Just as important, is that it is illegal to charge extra for registration and registration costs are the responsibility of the breeder not the buyer. 


Breeders who offer to sell registered puppies for $$$ more than unregistered dogs are simply out for more money, and breeders who tell you that unregistered dogs are so much cheaper are not telling you everything. Charging more for papers is one way that disreputable breeders give an air of respectability. They know that few people will want to pay "extra". They sell more dogs as the lower price makes it sound like you are getting a "deal".   The truth is that their dogs may not even be registerable in the first place. If you pay more for the promised papers, you may never get them.

That paper may matter a lot more than you think. When buying a puppy in Canada, the word “purebred” is reserved for dogs of pure ancestry that are registered with an approved dog registry. For the Havanese, this is the Canadian Kennel Club. Furthermore, the Canadian Animal Pedigree Act states quite clearly that “a buyer of an animal represented as purebred is entitled to its registration certificate”. It is against the Canadian Livestock Act to sell a purebred dog without the papers therefore doing so is an illegal act and the persons that do this could be asking for problems if they are caught.

If you have no registration, and the unethical breeder you get your puppy from has more than one breed, you may not be getting what you think you are. Even at a perceived discounted price for an unregistered puppy, you could be paying a huge amount for a crossbred or mixed breed and not a Havanese at all. DNA testing is available, and many of the reputable breeders have their stud dogs DNA profiled so if there is ever any question, parentage can be positively established. This is unlikley to happen with an unethical breeder.  In their eyes, you wanted a puppy and you got a puppy. End of story.

Under the "Animal Pedigree Act" ( 1985, c. 8 (4th Supp.) ), any dog sold as a purebred animal in Canada MUST be registered with an acceptable registry. In the case of the Havanese, this registry is the CKC, Canadian Kennel Club. Paperwork from the CKC is completed and signed by the seller and buyer at the time of sale and the Certificate of Registration from the CKC must be supplied to the buyer within 6 months of purchase of the puppy. This is a requirement under Canadian Federal Law. As well, any responsible breeder should be a member of the CKC and these requirements are also included in the club's Code of Ethics along with a requirement to provide this paperwork at no additional cost to the buyer of this dog/puppy.

A breed standard is basically a blue print for the breed. Good breeders strive to breed dogs as closely as possible to this blueprint. This is what keeps a Havanese a Havanese and by breeding only the best to the best, the breed improves for the future. There is no perfect dog but perfection is what we strive for. Dogs designated for showing or breeding are ones that conform most closely to the breed standard and in this way can help to further and improve the breed in subsequent generations.

All dogs of all breeds have faults, some minor, some major. Within a litter, some puppies may be closer to the standard than others. In a well bred litter, the differences may be very subtle, perhaps something as minor as an ear a little too long or a nose a little too short. The puppy is just as well bred, from the same parents, from the same careful breeding program, raised with the same care and attention. A too tightly curled tail in no way impacts the quality or potential for being a wonderful family companion but it may be detrimental to a show career, so such a puppy may be placed into a companion home.

While an asking price may appear to be higher from a reputable breeder, in part this may be a reflection of all of the testing has been done on their dogs and they guarantee the health of their pups. Breeding ethically and properly can be expensive.


The unethical and commercial breeders often charge exactly the same price, but, without the testing and careful breeding and raising, the puppy will end up being more expensive in the long run.  Pet store puppies often cost significantly more than a registrered purbred from a reputable breeder. In many cases, cross-bred and mixed breed puppies are also sold for huge amounts. Puppy brokers have middle men, their puppies go through several hands before getting to their new owners. Each middle man takes a cut and each one adds a hefty profit on top of expenses.  The cost just goes up and up.


As well, commercial breeders and puppy mills sometimes have puppies that did not sell for assorted reasons, and so discount them to make them more saleable. This is simply a discounted “sale” price to attract potential unsuspecting owners to buy such a puppy. Discounted puppies may have health issues, or may have developped behaviour problems and be lacking in skills that they would have learned when placed into a home at an earlier stage of life. A "sale" may cost more than you bargained for.

FALSE – but that sure is what the pet stores want you to see. Of course the puppies are lonely. They are locked in a cage with a window looking out at people smiling and cooing at them through the glass. Any puppy locked up in a cage would rather be out there where the action is and lapping up all the attention it can get. Puppies sold in pet stores are offered for sale at exactly the time that they are their cutest and most beguiling. That sells puppies and that generates profits for those where money is the bottom line.


I would never buy a puppy from a puppy mill!

Good for you! However, puppy mills are not always what they seem. People in general think of a Puppy Mill as a mass production breeding operation with deplorable conditions as seen in the newspaper and television when a Mill is “busted”. Of course no one wants to support such operations, but many unsuspecting puppy buyers may be doing just that. These Mills you hear about are the worst of the worst. But you also need to know that there are other breeding operations that are just as poor. Any breeder who breeds for quantity and profits rather than quality is a poor breeder. Someone who breeds just a few times by accident or by design is sometimes called a backyard breeder.
A commercial breeder is one who breeds as a business for profit. They may have just one breed or many breeds of many dogs. While the dogs may be reasonably housed and cared for and do not live in the deplorable conditions of a “Puppy Mill” there may be no genetic testing done and no care or attention in breeding practices, just the production of lots of puppies. The more that people buy dogs from these sources, the more such puppies will be produced. It’s a vicious cycle. Backyard breeders, commercial breeders and puppy mills are the source of the majority of Pet Store dogs. Well bred puppies simply are not sold in Pet stores.

A breeder that will sell their dogs without papers is often a back yard breeder or commercial breeder who does not do any genetic testing and for a lower cost you could end up with a puppy that has luxating patella's, leg perthies disease, cataracts or perhaps something worse like a liver shunt or heart defect. To fix these things could be very costly. Overbreeding, poor breeding, breeding dogs that should not be bred and breeding without genetic testing produces masses of puppies which can then be sold cheaper. But then, such breeders are producing quantity not quality. The fall out is that unsuspecting families are left with a poorly bred dog that may have an assortment of health and other problems down the line. What is saved initially is often paid out later in Vet bills and heartache.


"Without papers" is a term used in regards to unregistered dogs

"With papers" is an every day term for a registration certificate

Anyone who has bred a litter of puppies is by definition a "breeder".  That is not an endorsement of quality or care. All breeders are definitley NOT the same.


Pure Bred = Well Bred  - FALSE -  All purebred registered puppies are not equal.  Papers and proof of pure bred status does not necessarily mean a quality puppy. While choosing a breeder who sells Canadian Kennel Club Registered puppies is certainly a good start, not all of these are as well bred as others.


See our section on How to Choose A Breeder to help you further.

We do understand that. Once you have made the decision to add a puppy to your family, it is difficult to wait. And that’s another ploy used by unethical breeders. They tout themselves as having the colour, sex, breed etc of puppy you want when ever “you” want it. From all you have read here, we hope you will see that purchasing a puppy in haste or on impulse may well be a decision you will regret in the future. When you consider that the addition of a Havanese to your family is a 12-15+ year commitment, researching thoroughly and waiting a few months for the puppy that is truly ideal for your family is perhaps not such a bad thing.


Reputable, ethical breeders do not do shortcuts when breeding. Please see our other sections for further tips on How to Choose a Good Breeder and How to Spot a bad one.