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What attracted you to your breed?
We had been breeding Bloodhounds for Search and Rescue with the top Bloodhound in the
Country, but with 9 surgeries and some new medical problems, I couldn't do a working breed anymore. My husband wanted a
Havanese; he wanted to get a smaller dog for our new little girl, and he went out and got one. After my husband had bought
our first female, I decided I needed to get another one and "Lil Misty" came to be our foundation female for MistyTrails
How many years have you been breeding and exhibiting?
Thirty Years in total, Sixteen years with our Havanese. I still
consider myself a young new breeder with lots to learn. During these years a small group of dedicated Havanese breeders
from around the globe have come together to share experience and knowledge. Some bringing in their knowledge learned over
the years with other breeds and then applying it to this breed. We have learned together; because we have shared all issues
including health issues, we have been able to increase our collective knowledge and memory, as well what lines have
benefitted the breed and those that did not. The group dynamics have changed as some members have come and gone, but
the principles have
remained the same. I have learned through the years that many people combining what they have learned
through trial and error has proved so beneficial to all. Working together on improving the breed has been very rewarding.
MistyTrails and the Elite Havanese group breeding and exhibiting, has thrived from the combined knowledge of many.
What are your accomplishments in your breed?
Our biggest accomplishment next to having won a very competitive Best of Breed at Westminster Breeder/Owner/Handled,
would be having acquired the type of Havanese we love with healthy lines, which has led to MistyTrails in the last 5
years consistently producing top dogs in our Country. In 2009 we had the #1 Havanese in Canada and the #1 female Havanese
in Canada. GCh. MBIS MistyTrails Dancing The Tango and Ch. MBIS MistyTrails Cruise Control. In 2010, we had GCh.
MistyTrails Dancing the Tango who was #1 Havanese in Canada, and Ch. MistyTrails Double Stuff’d Oreo CGN who was #2
Havanese and #1 Female. In 2011, Ch MistyTrails Double Stuff'd Oreo CGN was the #1 female Havanese in Canada, who
also went to Westminster in February 2012, and received top honors being awarded Best of Breed with my 16 year old
daughter as Owner/Breeder/Handler, after also winning Best Female Havanese at Eukanuba Show in Florida. In 2012,
MistyTrails had a very exciting year MBIS GChEx Eddie Murphy At MistyTrails CGN was the #2 Male Havanese in Canada,
he was awarded 5 BIS, he also was our first Havanese to get his Grand Champion Excellent. This boy went to Hawaii to
show in 2013, and Became Top Havanese in Hawaii for 2013. In 2012 we had the #1 & #2 Havanese puppies in Canada, with
our youngsters Ch.MistyTrails Bopcha’s Girl Jo.E and MistyTrails Keopah Godiva ‘lshus. Here we are in 2013, for the past
6 years we have had either the #1 male and or #1 female in Canada. We proudly have obtained and exceeded our goals for
this year GCh. MistyTrails Diego De La Vega is the# 1 Havanese in Canada, and currently #5 in the Toy Group. BIS GCh.
MistyTrails N’ Bopcha’s Pandamon is the #1 Female Havanese in Canada, and the #1 Havanese Puppy and the #2 Toy Puppy in
Canada. Panda, at 6 months old is the youngest Havanese to have earned a Grand Championship. As well she is a Best in
Did you have a mentor in your Breed?
No, as this was a relatively new breed when I began there really was no one. I found
myself asking top breeders of other breeds for advise and I worked closely with a few Vets. I also found working in a
group and combining experiences worked to the breeds benefit. I found a few others in this breed around the world, that
closely shared my goals, and we combined and shared what we had learned and became mentors for each other and very good
Do you believe Judges have a good understanding of your breed?
It is nice to say... that for the most part yes; through
the years, they have also learned about the breed, as we all had to. I find that if we go back ten years ago, the Havanese
entering the ring then looked like a mix of different breeds. It is heartwarming to watch the breed ring in 2013, to see
type and soundness coming together we now have the pleasure of such nice lineups of dogs in North America. It has taken
years of studying the standard, visually seeing and quite simply gaining experience by seeing numbers in the breed for
both the Judges and the Breeders of the Havanese.
In as few words as possible describe the essence of your Breed?
The nature of this breed is a companion dog. The most
important quality is the temperament. They are a true loving companion to people of all ages, the features that also
attract people to this breed besides the core nature of the breed is the non- allergic and non- shedding features.
What are the medical problems in your breed?
I would love to say none and that being a fairly new breed they are
not affected by many health issues, but this is not true. Every breed is prone to health problems, and the Havanese breed
is no exception. There are several inherited health issues in the breed that we have worked hard to breed away from. Over
the last 15 years, we have bought and altered several Havanese that have had health issues. These include luxating
patella's (slipping kneecaps) and cardiac problems, liver disease and liver shunts, eye problems including cataracts,
chrondodysplasia, cherry Eye, hip dysplasia, legg-calve-perthes, seizures, skin and gastro issues. We are very proud
of the health of our Havanese our Vet files are open. We rarely have any issues with our Havanese and our vet visits are
mostly limited to annual wellness exams, as well to get the various health tests, which are to be annually certified. We
have steered our lines in a positive direction away from many of the medical problems affecting this breed. By openly
sharing what pops up in our lines, and by
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altering all dogs or lines affected we have been able to have a positive impact
overall health of our Havanese. Unfortunately our vets tell us that we are of the rare group of breeders, and that
many still breed.
Fault wise, currently what needs the most improvement in your breed?
I feel most breeders are doing very well
to breed away from our listed faults, but a big fault is not disclosing health problems openly and still breeding affected
dogs. Structurally it would be the fronts, Movement I see a lot of improvement over the last couple of years. A dog that
is structurally correct will also move correctly. Breeders need to learn the standard, and learn correct structure and how
to tell if a dog is put together correctly. Coats are what need the most improvement and a better understanding. I think
everyone needs to have a better understanding of a 'correct coat' in good Condition. Many Havanese have a nice coat, but
not all Havanese get the same level of coat care at home, this is something that we all have to learn and it comes easier
for some. It also depends how much time one puts in and the advice that some are given.
Some Havanese, have correct coats texture wise, but they are coats in poor condition. A Havanese coat is a double coat it
will matt if not brushed and combed. Also, a correct Havanese coat will cord. This is 100% FACT and a corded coat is just
coat presentation, not a faulty coat. Every one of my Havanese will cord if I stop brushing and hand groom and separate the
matt’s as they form. An uncombed havanese coat will felt over, if left unattended. Coat presentation can be dried naturally
and that is the coat we see on most pet Havanese along with puppy cuts. Coat presentation we see most often in the ring is
blow dried to a polished straighter look, like we would do our own hair. The major health faults today, I would say are
luxating patella’s breeders need to start certifying the patella’s annually not just once at a year old, especially when
the stats show, there are more cases of patella issues in our breed at 24 months, than at 12 months.
Many breeders are advertising that they health test, but they do not certify or share the results. Breeding an affected dog
to a non affected dog and calling it selective breeding in this breed, I feel is not acceptable and just breeding in
problems, rather than breeding the problems out.
What do you believe to be the best dog you have bred?
A very difficult question this changes as we continue to
proudly breed new dogs. MistyTrails Catreeya By Emmy, and her sister Emma, mother of REO, and Eddie, and Grandma to many
of our Top dogs was definitely a turning point in our breeding program. Once we had Catreeya, we were on a new path
heading in a positive direction. Eddie and REO would be ours, and most everyone’s favorites.
What dog of your breed would you have loved to own?
I do not have a dog in my breed other than the ones I
have bred, that I would love to have owned. Our breed is a new breed, and there are not a lot of dogs to look back on.
However, I went after the top bloodlines that caught my eye over the years, paying double for stud fees to get the lines
I was most drawn to, and importing top bloodlines. There were a couple dogs from before our time that I was drawn to
when looking at pedigrees, like Mucho Bravo Wild Willy.
How many dogs do you normally have in your kennel?
We have 5 males, Reo and Misty who is 16 and our foundation
My girls all live with friends, family and other breeders. They either come back for a litter or have puppies at their
new home. Havanese are companion dogs, and would not do well in a kennel set up, I have placed dogs with many different
people that enjoy working as a team and we have lots of fun. My kennel is a village or community of people.
How many litters do you have in a year and what is the average size of your litters? This depends we have several
litters as there is quite a large group of us working together. Because our puppies are kitchen raised, potty and crate
trained prior to leaving, we like to only have one or two litters at a time so we can socialize and train every puppy
well. Our litters range from 1 to 9 puppies, but the average size is 5-6 puppies from our dams. I think the average
for the breed is 3 or 4 pups per litter.
Are you having trouble selling or placing your puppies?
No, our waiting list is always longer than puppies
How many Canadian Shows do you attend in a year?
We do about 15 weekends a year, we generally stay in B.C and
only do our local shows.
Do you attend your Breed’s National Specialty Show in Canada & the U.S?
Distance is always a factor, some are
hard to get to, we will attend both the AKC and CKC National Specialties in 2014. We won Best of Breed at the 2012
Havanese Nationals, but were unable to attend the 2013 Nationals.
Thank you Bev & Emily Dorma for sharing your love of Havanese with the TopDogWeekly.com Family! We wish you continued