Ancestral Dogs in a Pedigree

How important are the dogs in a puppy's pedigree history? I'm working on a chart that shows the linkage between 7 Affected Dogs and their Ancestors. The initial results are startling so stay tuned.

In the meantime.....

Puppy buyers, ask if there are any Carrier Dogs in the pedigree of a puppy you are interested in buying.


Carrier Dogs are

the dam and sire of a dog that has expressed a disease like Sebaceous Adenites, Extreme Allergies or Autoimmune Thyroid Disease.

These are all Autoimmune Diseases.

Carrier Dogs can also produce puppies with Orthopaedic Diseases like Legge Calve Perthes, Hip Dysplasia or Luxating Patella when their recessive disease gene is matched with that of another Carrier. Littermates of a puppy can also be Carrier Dogs.

Some Ancestral Dogs are also Carriers Dogs. These are the dogs further back in the pedigree like Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Great Grandfathers and Grandmothers etc. The recessive disease gene they carry, in the case of an Orthopaedic Disease, or the haplotype in the case of an Autoimmune Disease, when matched with a same gene or haplotype can result in a disease being expressed or revealed in a puppy. These genes/haplotypes can lie dormant for many generations, so don't just look at the Dam and the Sire.

Go all the way back to the Founding Dog in the kennel. An Ancestral Dog may have sired or whelped a puppy or two or even three with a genetic disease many years ago.

An Ethical Breeder keeps track of these problems in their line and breeds away from the disease or, in the case of the Sire, retires it and replaces it with a clear boy of excellent quality. (Please read "Reputable or Ethical Breeder" on

A Heart Condition that has precluded a Sire or a Dam from continuing to breed is another issue of concern. Ask if this has happened to any of the Ancestors in your potential puppy's pedigree. Known other issues like Seizures in a line should also be disclosed.

Behavioural Issues like expressed Anxiety Disorder is one more thing you want to stear clear of. Dogs should be bred for balanced temperament. Separation Anxiety and other Anxiety Disorders can be found in the Havanese.

So before you buy, ask the question: "Are there any Carrier Dogs in my puppy's history?" If the Breeder says "No", write that question on your contract and have the Breeder write their answer below your question and then sign the document where he or she has written that answer. If your puppy expresses a genetic disease, particularly one that can be tracked to the kennel's breeding stock, you will be protected under Consumer Protection because the Breeder will have engaged in a "deceptive and unconscionable business practice".

It may even be that the Breeder of your diseased puppy has advertised, for example, your puppy's Sire for breeding on the internet, without disclosing that he is a Carrier Dog. If you see that this has occurred, save that advertisement. It is your golden ticket in Court.

In British Columbia, the Director, Policy and Legislation Corporate Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General indicates that there currently are two avenues available to animal consumers should they find that they have purchased a dog that has a confirmed genetic/other disease:

"Although British Columbia does not have such laws similar to those found in the United States, there are other legal avenues that are currently available to consumers. For example, the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act prohibits deceptive and unconscionable business practices. In addition, consumers have the choice to initiate civil court action against a specific breeder."

There are similar Consumer Laws in all other Provinces and Territories in Canada.

The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act is far more reaching and penalizing to the Breeder who engages in deceptive acts than Small Claims Court, however, and the onus is on the Breeder to prove they have not done so, so save your energy. The Consumer Law also gives you a much longer period of time to start a Court Action if you choose to go that way.

This post is not designed to scare Purebred Havanese Puppy Buyers. It is designed to tell you that you have protection under the law AND to advise you to be proactive when you are making that very important decision to add a key member to your family - Your Forever Dog.

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