Welcome to Elfin Havana Silk Dogs. Each of our adult dogs is a Certified Havana Silk Dog™. So, you ask, just What is a Certified Havana Silk Dog™?? The Havana Silk Dog is a re-creation of the original dog of Cuba, developed through careful selection, of dogs that are phenotypically correct and who have passed all required health-testing and evaluations. Although all Havana Silk Dogs descend from the Havanese gene pool, the Silk Dogs have evolved into a separate and distinct breed. The Havana Silk Dog is a rare breed, NOT recognized by AKC, and is registered with the Havana Silk Dog Association of America. Only dogs registered with the HSDAA can be 'certified' Havana Silk Dogs. These dogs are delightful by design...the true designer dog!
Havana Silk Puppies
On June 26th, 2016,Patty became the youngest Silk to ever earn enough points to complete a Grand Championship. But, since she won't be 2 until Nov, she has to wait for it to be official as the show rules stipulate that a dog must complete a Championship before being eligible for a Grand Championship. In HSDAA we want to be sure that our dogs actually merit a title once they mature, so a Championship cannot be earned until after age 2. In other organizations, a puppy can finish a championship at 6 months and keep that title even if it does not fulfill its potential as it matures. Still, very proud of my girl... Go, Patty!
9/9/16 Dance's Defenders arrived! Go check out the Nursery to watch them grow!
Poppy's deck (see in "about us") is being transformed into an all weather room so the Elves will have an additional cool place to hang out and watch the world around them (lots of windows.) Updated photos to come this fall!
Puppy Preview - 09/08/16 Click on photo to go to the nursery
Click on the photo to go to Patty's page.
Patty - August 2016
The following video is from Oct 2015 and shows mother, Pekoe (the blue dog) and puppy nanny, Patty (black/wht dog) interacting with Pekoe's puppies at 10 weeks of age. This is the age when puppies begin leaving home and when the mother dog helps prime them by both teaching them manners, and making them grateful to be leaving. Pekoe is particularly hard on Ada, her '1st daughter' who may be staying on here so in extra need of being taught her place which is generally known as 'lower than pond scum' in the pack order. Note that while it seems rough, Ada keeps coming back for more. The Squeaks are a combination of protest and defense mechanism. No puppy was hurt during this video.
A Certified Havana Silk Dog™ is small, hypoallergenic, drop or spaniel coated, minimally shedding companion dog that has met the requirements for full registration with the Havana Silk Dog Association of America; a younger dog can receive provisional certification after passing preliminary requirements. To be eligible, dogs must pass all health testing required to receive a CHIC number (visit Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for more information on CHIC) and, in addition, must pass a conformation evaluation by an evaluator certified by the HSDAA, have DNA on file, and be certified chondrodysplasia-free by soaped pictures. For breed history and details, please visit the Havana Silk Dog Association of America.
We are proud founding members of the Havana Silk Dog Association of America.
We have been involved in breeding and showing sound, healthy, top winning show dogs and well loved pets since 1992. With our Elfin Havana Silk Dogs we are committed to continue breeding dogs that conform to original Cuban type, with soft, silky coats and free from chondrodysplasia. For more information on the Havana Silk Dog Association and our mission, please visit the HSDAA website.
Who's There?? The Elfin Silks greet visitors!
Why Havana Silk Dogs...
There's a fair amount of discussion on the internet about Havana Silk Dogs, and many puppy buyers are understandably confused. There has been a concerted effort by Havanese breeders to co-opt the Havana Silk Dog name by asserting that the Havanese and Havana Silk Dog is the same breed. This is simply not so. The original Havana Silk Dog was part of the heritage of the modern Havanese but they were never the 'same' dog.
THE HAVANA SILK DOG IS NOT A HAVANESE.
Cuba's resident expert on the Havanese, Zoila Portuondo Guerra, states in her book Bichon Havanese, that the Silk Dog was a progenitor and not the same as the Havanese. It's important to understand that "Havana Silk Dog" is merely one of many old names used in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe to describe the little dog of Cuba, and probably the most descriptive,which is why the HSDAA chose to use it. The Havana Silk Dog and Havanese standards describe entirely different dogs, from coat to outline.
A Certified Havana Silk Dog™ is a rare breed which has been registered with the Havana Silk Dog Association of America, a voluntary and independent group of breeders and owners dedicated to preserving the original looks, robust health, and temperament of the breed for the future.
In order to be certified with HSDAA, a dog must provide documentation (through OFA) that it is free of congenital deafness, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, heart defects, and heritable eye disease, as well as a DNA profile to guarantee parentage, all of which simply represents good animal husbandry and should intelligently be expected of all responsible breeders. In addition, all new certifications will require DNA to be banked with CHIC OFA so assure a store of DNA for research material that may be used by scientists working to understand and improve the health of dogs. This dedication to health is one of the hallmarks of Havana Silk Dog breeders and fanciers.
But more importantly, to obtain certification, a dog must pass a physical examination to determine that it displays physical soundness and acceptable breed type,as well as freedom from osteochondrodysplasia, a form of skeletal abnormality common in the Havanese breed and shown to be associated with cataracts, heart problems, and liver abnormalities in the breed. (To read more about this research conducted over several years by the Murphy lab at TAMU, and results of which were published in the Journal of Heredity in August 2007, please click here: Hereditary Evaluation of Multiple Developmental Abnormalities in the Havanese Dog Breed
The ability of breeders to utilize cutting-edge scientific research to make decisions in their own breeding programs which will ultimately result in healthier purebred pets is increasing daily, and is surely the best argument breeders have in the battle against the Animal Rights Movement's campaign to end the deliberate breeding of dogs. Those breeders who refuse to take advantage of it, for whatever reason, ultimately imperil the future rights of all of us to own and breed dogs.
Rather than be part of the problem, the members of HSDAA have chosen to be at the forefront of the solution.
In a climate where PETA has publicly stated that there "are no responsible breeders" and that purebred dogs are often selected for a certain "look" which predisposes them to serious health problems, the HSDAA has taken the opposite approach - breeders can, if they are willing, select for a physical type which predisposes the dog to a longer and healthier life.
Along with their HSDAA registration application, the owners must also submit soaped photos of their dog demonstrating soundness and proper proportion.
Dogs displaying bowed or abnormally short forelegs would be ineligible for HSDAA certification, as the organization is dedicated to rigid selection away from the osteochondrodysplasia.
It is important to understand that a dog with a short or bowed front can have a current CERF and OFA-certified hips and patellas and, unfortunately, many do!
Only straight/equal front legs are acceptable in HSDAA.
If a breeder refuses to provide soaped photographs of a puppy or its parents, the prospective buyer might intelligently wonder why. They cannot afford to waste the shampoo, perhaps? Their camera is broken? Or... just maybe... they don't want the puppy buyer to see what is really under the coat????
An AKC championship unfortunately affords no guarantee that a dog is free from osteochondrodysplasia or its associated problems. The pretty Havanese bitch pictured below easily achieved an AKC championship, and subsequently developed cataracts before the age of three.
And by AKC's rules, had this bitch been bred to an AKC registered Havanese male, the resulting offspring would have been automatically eligible for AKC registration. (Unlike the HSDAA, the American Kennel Club has never required proof of health-screening as a condition of registration.)
Used with permission by Diane Klumb
We are what we eat!
Elfin dogs eat a variety of wholesome, high quality foods, all of which are grain free and most of which are essentially raw type food. We include frozen, dehydrated, & freeze-dried raw foods, fresh cooked meat, and a minimal amount of quality kibbles in the daily diet. In addition, dogs get daily egg yolk, sardine oil, NuVet supplement added to their food. We never use any treats or foods made in China!! Our preferred foods include Darwin's Natural Selections, Primal freeze dried, dehydrated diets by Grandma Lucy and the Honest Kitchen, and kibbles by Pawtree (kibbles custom designed based on your dog's profile.) (www.pawtree.com/elfinhav )
All our chewies and treats come from www.bestbullysticks.com, which is a great company, based in Richmond, which carries products either from the USA, South America and/or New Zealand. They ethically refuse to carry products which are sourced from China or are not 'natural' products.