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Rockhurst Havanese / Questionable Breeder

3 112 Rockhurst RoadWakefield, Qu├ębec, Canada Review updated:

We just had an awful experience with a Havanese Breeder in Ontario called Rockhurst Havanese. Everything was going smoothly until our visit to the breeder to see our 6 week old puppy. We arrived with our two small children and were greeted by 16 dogs which was fine but I simply asked in a casual way "why do you have 16 dogs"?. Beth (the breeder and owner) immediately became extremely angry and defensive and told me that I was here to meet my puppy, and not to ask questions. If I had questions to email them to her. An immediate red flag went up for me. Her reaction to one simple question was so over the top, angry and defensive that I could only assume she had something to hide. I tried to calm her down by being light hearted (because quite frankly she was scaring my children and we were there to meet our puppy), but the damage was done for her. She was very upset that I had asked her why she had 16 dogs and for the rest of the visit she was terrible to me and my children - rude, angry and nasty. What was supposed to be an amazing and happy experience for my family turned into a mess from me asking one simple question. My husband and I were silent for most of the visit because we were shocked by her over reaction and wanted to keep things calm for my kids. My kids left feeling scared and upset and asked why the lady was so mean. I would be careful when dealing with this woman. There is definitely something off here.

Sep 21, 2015
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  • Je
      22nd of Sep, 2015
    -15 Votes

    This breeder is only interested in making money and lots of it. She is cranking out 5 to 6 litters a year (or more) and breeding each of her females every time they are in heat. Her house was FULL of dogs EVERYWHERE and two litters side by side. She knows that her practices are questionable and that's why she doesn't like questions about what she is doing. Where there is smoke...there is fire.

  • Ma
      22nd of Apr, 2017
    -4 Votes

    @JessL Hello Jess.
    I have the highest respect for you sharing your experience with Rockhurst Havanese.About 5-6 years ago, heart broken, facing the imminent loss of my beloved Coton de Tulear, I found Elizabeth Obrecht's Havanese webpage.Always having had a soft spot for the little Cuban dog, I wrote an email to ms Obrecht, explaining my sad situation, asking her advice, when puppies would be available, etc.The reply I received was stunning.Within her first sentence, she pointed out how expensive her puppies are.No compassion, no kind words of any-kind...Stunned, I let her know my Coton wasn't an inexpensive breed either, She agreed, and said, as long as I knew/realized, her Havanese cost a bundle.Throughout the whole exchange she was arrogant, patronizing, unpleasant, high and mighty.Fortunately being quite sensitive to peoples' characters, I have not been in touch with her since. I am truly sorry for you, and your young family.There's so much joy, hope, excitement involved in acquiring a new "baby"into the family.Ms Obrecht destroyed all that for yours.As these lines relate, my encounter with the owner of Rockhurst happened many years ago, yet, unfortunately, it still reverberates in my mind.With*Best*Wishes.

  • Dm
      21st of Nov, 2015
    -11 Votes

    Puppy mill distributor or money gouging breeder. Either way not a reliable breeder.

  • Ch
      4th of Jan, 2016
    +17 Votes

    I recently purchased a puppy from Beth after doing a ton of research and speaking to several other breeders both locally in in the US. Her dogs are very well trained, healthy and socialized. She is a very respected breeder in the Havanese breeder community. She has 16 dogs because some are retired, some are her breeder dogs. Did you notice the number of awards she has in her puppy room? Her dogs win countless awards in competitions locally and internationally. She is certainly not a puppy mill or an unethical breeder. Since picking up my dog we have exchanged countless emails as she is always interested in how she is doing. Please do your homework before attacking someones credibility.

  • Do
      14th of Jan, 2017
    +8 Votes

    @Chris Purchs "Her dogs are very well trained, healthy and socialized." ..."Please do your homework before attacking someones credibility." Agreed.

  • Je
      10th of Feb, 2016
    -5 Votes

    Having lots of show awards does not make you an ethical breeder. That assumption was my first mistake. There were many red flags that went off in dealing with Beth and I wish I had listened to my gut. I have since found another breeder and what a difference! Transparent, friendly and not in it for the money(:

  • Do
      26th of Feb, 2016
    Best Best Advice +22 Votes

    Quite frankly I think your reaction is a little over the top JessL.
    If your "kids were feeling scared & upset" why did you stay?
    Your post is copy and pasted with your exact verbiage here & at the Havanese forum where there are several happy owners of her dogs that had the exact opposite experience as you describe.
    I am currently negotiating getting a pup from Beth and she is nothing but wonderful, honest, communicative, happy to answer my questions, and shows concern for the pups she places her retired beloved pets & her breeders. Good breeders will often offer to board dogs they have placed while their new families travel, so that could also be going on. I do not see her breeding females in back to back heats- where is your proof?
    While you think your question was "casual' perhaps it didn't come off that way and sounded more accusatory?
    You trying to slander her character and calling her "unethical" has done nothing to to make me reconsider. I can judge for myself.
    If you chose not to get a dog from her based on you interaction with her, that is fine, but slandering someone's character is not.

  • Su
      20th of Jun, 2016
    -10 Votes

    Hi Jess,

    I see that this comment will be coming quite a time after your horrible experience, but I wanted you to know that I, too, had an equally horrible experience with Beth at Rockhurst. Afterwards, I was convinced that she seriously needed professional help given her over-reaction to the question my husband and I had about the puppy we'd waited for for over 10 weeks, and were just about to pick up. She informed us that our puppy was having a bad case of diarrhea, and it'd been going on for a few days, and he wasn't himself. She said that it might be Giardia, but she wasn't sure. Since our son, who lives next door to us, also just adopted a new puppy - same age - we were concerned about passing something on that would cause them expensive vet bills. So we asked if she could get a definitive diagnosis, not because we wouldn't take our puppy; we were so excited about getting him no matter what the issue. However, she flatly refused to get the test done for us, and when we asked her again, and told her we'd be happy to repay her any costs associated with getting the diagnosis, she simply wrote us an email saying she's sorry it didn't work out! HUH?!?!? What didn't work out?? We wanted our puppy, and begged her not to take him away from us, but she simply eTransferred our money back to us and wrote that the reason we weren't going to get our puppy was because "we weren't on the same page" as her, and further that she "wasn't worried about Giardia, but we were"!! Who cares if she's not worried; we're the new owners. Isn't she in the business of helping and supporting new owners?? So yes, we were concerned, but only to the extent that we wanted to know for sure if it was Giardia so we could consult a vet as soon as possible when he came home with us. And further, since she doesn't offer any health guarantee (for a $3K dog!!), we wanted to know if he had something else that might be even more concerning. We guess that her OVER-REACTION was due to either: 1) she didn't want to have an official test done that would highlight her breeding program was associated with Giardia, or 2) there was something more seriously wrong with our puppy and she didn't want us to know, and therefore, lose the money. If those two theories are wrong, there's a third: she's lost it. I've never had an experience like that in my life. Someone who was so cold-hearted, harsh, uncompromising, and frankly, completely unreasonable!! She should be ashamed of herself for behaving so incredibly immature and unprofessional.

    A red flag had gone up earlier, perhaps a few weeks before our experience that should've warned me that she wasn't working on with all cylinders. One of the other new owners had asked Beth if she wouldn't mind sending a pic of her new puppy so she could get her 'fix', and Beth tore off a strip in an email addressed to all of us that she was sorry that someone wanted a FIX, and that she'd been doing everything she could to keep us up to date with the puppies progress, but she had A LOT going on, and we'd just have to basically manage our curiosity. (It was worded way worse that that, but really, do you honestly want your customers to see you so unhinged?? Keep it in the family, please!!)

    So no, awards do NOTHING to reflect the integrity of a person; Beth is a perfect example of that reality. I'm sorry that you had the experience that you did, Jess, but I'm sure between us, we're not alone. My guess is that there are many others out there!



  • Li
      28th of Oct, 2016
    -8 Votes

    Well, I should have heeded all your warnings. I just had the same thing happen to me with Beth from Rockhurst Havanese. We put our names down for a puppy back in August 2016. She asked for our detailed information about our lives. I explained everything to her and it looked like everything was fine. The mother then had her babies in September 2016 and we got to choose and name our puppy. We were so excited. Then we got to visit and hold our puppy for the first time before we thought we were bringing him home. During the visit I mentioned how our current dog at home had a lot of pain in her bum area from a burst anal gland and was sometimes aggressive with us when we tried to clean her bum area. So we decided to be responsible people and brought my cousins puppy in for 2 weeks to see how it would go. Not once did our dog try to hurt the puppy. They got along really well and actually our dog was sad to see my cousins puppy leave. Even though we explained this to Beth, she sent us an email that night at 11pm telling us that we couldn't have the puppy because our dog was too aggressive from her pain. I was devastated! And then when my husband tried to call her a couple of times, she took the phone off of the hook. She had the nerve to say to me in the email to not take it personally. How could I not take it personally when she is accusing my dog of hurting a puppy. She also had the nerve to send us the pictures she took of us with the puppy. Wow, that was cruel. In hindsight, it was a blessing. She had two litters going at once. Her house stunk and there was urine in the puppy pens. She had all the adults locked in crates for the hour we were there. One of her seven dogs was trying desperately to climb out of the pen so I asked if I could pick her up. She said yes but seemed very put off by this (this was before the conversation about our dog). Everything happens for a reason and I am glad that fate was watching out for us that day.

  • Ha
      30th of Oct, 2016
    +14 Votes

    Beth is a wonderful breeder. She responds to questions promptly and provides excellent advice.We adopted a puppy and a retired adult dog from her. She sent pictures of our puppy and his siblings multiple times a week. She checked in with us on a regular basis to see how both dogs were adjusting to their new homes.

  • Do
      14th of Jan, 2017
    +8 Votes

    @Havanese lover "Beth is a wonderful breeder. She responds to questions promptly and provides excellent advice."

  • Li
      30th of Oct, 2016
    -1 Votes

    Just sharing our experience. I am sure there are those who have had good experiences with her but we did not. Our little puppy was refused to us without good reason. She based her refusal on our current dogs aggression issues with having her bum wiped which is required for a medical issue she has. We have another puppy now and everything is wonderful between the two dogs. NO aggression issues. The breeder we have now is amazing, came to the house to see where her puppy was going to be living and met our other dog. The two of them get along famously. Everything happens for a reason.

  • Do
      14th of Jan, 2017
    +12 Votes

    @lindan1 "Our little puppy was refused to us without good reason." Here's the thing... until a contract is signed and the money changes hands & registration is changed to your name, it is NOT your puppy. I understand a person's heart gets attached at the thought of a certain puppy especially one that it seemed would work out; but speaking as someone who was working with multiple quality breeders where things didn't work out, due to either MY reasons or the breeders reasons(keeping for show), I can say any breeder, including Beth has the right to change her mind about what family to place any particular puppy with weather you agree with their decision or not. Breeders have a right to chose what homes their dogs' prodigies go to; they are the best decision maker as they know the puppy's temperament better than we would and the best homes for them based on the information they acquire during the process. I am glad you found the right puppy for your situation in the end. Everything worked out that way for a reason.

  • Di
      28th of Sep, 2018
    +1 Votes

    I'm getting a puppy from Beth and I've had nothing but wonderful emails about the puppies She only has 2 dogs breeding now and the one of the Moms she had recently give birth, she won't use again because the Mom is too nervous and irritated and she has to give it s lot of love cuddles and watching
    My puppies Mom is a beautiful Havanese
    Beth has provided us with many sites to read up on for having a new puppy and training equipment etc
    I can't say enough about how nice a person she is
    Her dogs look very healthy My puppy is gorgeous and all gaining weight
    They do Neuro Stim on the puppies starting at day 3 to help them develop into well adjusted pets
    She gave us the article to read on what it is
    She's particular about where puppies go to
    All I know is that you need to be communicating with a Breeder all through the before visit to see and then to buy
    Have you seen pictures of her Puppy room It's huge
    She only is Breeding Doll and Ros and only 2 litters
    That's not a puppy mill
    She's in agility races with other dogs she owns so perhaps those were the dogs you saw
    A Breeder isn't going to have 2 dogs
    I saw a bad Breeder pictures and the blankets are dirty with spots of stuff
    The dogs have feces on there bums
    Her puppies are on Sherpa padding and all so clean
    Gaining weight She sends photos weekly and more
    Everyone will have an opinion but I just don't see that attitude in Beth She even asked about my Granddaughters and how they were as they were sick
    Good Luck in getting a healthy puppy
    She also told me that I could get my deposit back if I pulled out for any reading
    You won't find many that will do that

  • Ma
      1st of Oct, 2018
    0 Votes

    I am asking those who had a "bad"experience to really think about what actually went on during your visit with children ? Perhaps you were the one who showed disdain for her many dogs, thinking it a puppy Mill.The lady who wrote that these were for her agility and other activities she does with ythe Havanese .She is on the Board of Havanese Fanciers who provide information to all Havanese owners and I doubt that they would allow a puppy mill operator to be on their board.
    I had a very weird experience with a Master Breeder in BC Her site looked amazing but she could not be trusted as when there wasn't a colour that I wanted .all of a sudden she had a dog just that colour coming from some other person.
    This is to warn people to steer clear of getting a puppy so far away.You have no idea what will be shipped to you .
    As for Beth, she is a constant source of good info on my new puppy.She takes great care of them.
    She had been breeding dogs for a long time so of course if some are good as a show dog she isn't going to sell all of them .
    It's too easy to destroy a person's reputation by repeatedly putting a really bad review everywhere you can think .
    Get on with your life .If you two didn't click then that's too bad because she's been nothing but wonderful in my emails and soon visit.
    I had a bad interaction with a BC so called Master Breeder and subsequent weird emails from her when I said that I didn't want a puppy from her and she refused my deposit back .
    This BC breeder knows who she is .Maybe others get ok puppies but if you can't see it before you pay then don't connect with any BC breeders.She was listed in Canada Dog magazine as a v good Breeder but has since only been online and not on any board.
    Kudos to Beth at Rockhurst Havanese!!

  • Re
      18th of Dec, 2018
    +1 Votes

    I have been in email conversation with Beth of Rockhurst Havanese since mid October 2018.
    I find Beth to be highly knowledgeable, very helpful, and very professional.
    Emails are always answered, questions are addressed in an intelligent and fact based manner.
    I echo all of Diva’s comments about Beth ( Divas, September 28 2018).
    I urge all who wish to welcome a Havanese into their hearts and home to disregard the negative comments and to engage in a conversation with Beth. You will see that she truly is a professional who stands behind her breeding program.
    I so look forward to welcoming my puppy in March. Thank you, Beth, for being so scrupulous, and for doing your best to make sure that all your puppies will go into loving homes.

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