Gender combinations for 2 puppies: female/female, female/male; male/male? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Question Gender combinations for 2 puppies: female/female, female/male; male/male?

Hello All,

I will eventually be seeking to add two Havs to our family and I have learned from the forum that it is not a wise idea to have two puppies (same age) from the same litter. Most of the the research that I have done seems to support that position. And a year apart seems to be the minimum advised?

Does anyone have any perspectives he or she would kindly be willing to share regarding gender combinations for a two, Hav household? Female/female; female/male; or male/male? I was reading on a humane society website that two females can have a tendency to "fight" as adolescents and/or adults. This was not Hav specific information, but I would be most grateful for some input if anyone would be willing to share.

Last edited by smemft; 02-26-2017 at 02:48 AM. Reason: Clarification
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:27 AM
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In general, Havanese are pretty mild mannered, and it really has more to do with individual dispositions than anything else. That said, The surest bets are either two neutered males or a neutered male followed by a female. MOST two girl households are fine, but I do know a couple of Havanese households where, as the dogs got older, they have needed to be kept apart, or they fight fiercely. In those cases, however, at least one of the pair was an intact female, so hormones probably play a part in the dynamics.

I have an older boy and two youngish girls. The middle girl gets a bit snarky with the other two upon occasion, and it is almost always resource guarding. But even at its worst, it's just a bit of snarling... no actual fighting, and within minutes they are playing again. (And again, one of my girls is intact, and feelings run highest when she is in heat (though she is rarely the instigator).

The MOST important thing is to have your breeder help you choose a laid-back second puppy who is likely to let the older one take the lead. If your first is a boy (which I would advise if you plan to add a second) the girl will USUALLY end up, eventually, being the "boss of him". But in most cases, he'll be fine with that. Havanese boys, in general, are lovers, not fighters. . Kodi backs down whenever either of the girls challenges him for a toy or a particular bed. He WON'T back down over food, but even then, he won't fight about it... he is just very, VERY persistent.

No matter what you choose, the VAST majority of Havanese get along very well, especially in households where they are all either neutered or spayed.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:31 AM
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I have a Coton-cavalier mix male, who had just turned two when I got Lola. My dogs get along great, with the only issue being Watson is super protective of Lola to the point of being a jerk in public. When i first got her, he would stand on top of her and growl at other dogs and sometimes people. Though not Havanese, I know a few folks from the dog park with dogs from the same litter. It's mixed as to how they get along.

I personally have found it difficult to train two dogs at one time, but am glad Watson had the basics down before I got Lola. I'm guessing if there is more than one person in your home, it will be easier.

I saw in another thread that you were looking to get chocolates. I know two people who have chocolates that held their color, but most, like mine, lighten significantly. Just wanted to give you the heads up.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 10:01 AM
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I think a 2-2.5 year span is better than a 1 year span between puppies. Honestly, at 1 year you still have to be very vigilant to reinforce housetraining and other behaviors. You really want the first one to be solid in all house and social manners as young dogs learn very quickly from each other - both good and bad behaviors. I have 4 dogs - 2 non-Havs and 2 Havs; 3 males and 1 female. The female is basically the boss of all. Leo and Rex - the Havs - are separated in age by 2.75 years. They play like young boys - wrestling, chasing, stealing toys from each other, tugging on toys full out and then they sleep. Leo is now 4 yrs old and has always been cuddly. Rexy is a little whirlwind. They get along splendidly. Leo is noisier in play in that he will make play growly sounds and sometimes bark. Rexy never does that when playing. Rexy only really makes noise when his food is being prepared and he is in his expen and I and the other dogs are in the kitchen then he makes a shrill bark/whine. I am beginning to allow him in the kitchen some of the time when i prepare food but he had to get to a place of respecting the other dogs food so they didn't take it on themselves to teach him a lesson. He is much smaller than the older two and 2 lbs smaller than Leo. Better safe than sorry so mostly I still confine him to his expen when its mealtime.
Anyway, my girl, Becca, will resource guard a bit with a chew bone. Just a soft growl and the boys all move away and let her chew in peace. If my oldest and largest dog, Porter, plays too hard (not so much any more as he is 8 yrs now) Becca would turn on him with vicious sounding growls (never bites or any injuries but very noisy) and Porter would back off. Then Becca would sulk and not play with him sometimes for a couple of days.
The boys never do that. They play hard but there is never any sulking. Just shake it off and go back for more.
Matching temperaments is important. You wouldn't want an ever ready bunny like our Rex with a wallflower.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pucks104 View Post
I think a 2-2.5 year span is better than a 1 year span between puppies. Honestly, at 1 year you still have to be very vigilant to reinforce housetraining and other behaviors. You really want the first one to be solid in all house and social manners as young dogs learn very quickly from each other - both good and bad behaviors. I have 4 dogs - 2 non-Havs and 2 Havs; 3 males and 1 female. The female is basically the boss of all. Leo and Rex - the Havs - are separated in age by 2.75 years. They play like young boys - wrestling, chasing, stealing toys from each other, tugging on toys full out and then they sleep. Leo is now 4 yrs old and has always been cuddly. Rexy is a little whirlwind. They get along splendidly. Leo is noisier in play in that he will make play growly sounds and sometimes bark. Rexy never does that when playing. Rexy only really makes noise when his food is being prepared and he is in his expen and I and the other dogs are in the kitchen then he makes a shrill bark/whine. I am beginning to allow him in the kitchen some of the time when i prepare food but he had to get to a place of respecting the other dogs food so they didn't take it on themselves to teach him a lesson. He is much smaller than the older two and 2 lbs smaller than Leo. Better safe than sorry so mostly I still confine him to his expen when its mealtime.
Anyway, my girl, Becca, will resource guard a bit with a chew bone. Just a soft growl and the boys all move away and let her chew in peace. If my oldest and largest dog, Porter, plays too hard (not so much any more as he is 8 yrs now) Becca would turn on him with vicious sounding growls (never bites or any injuries but very noisy) and Porter would back off. Then Becca would sulk and not play with him sometimes for a couple of days.
The boys never do that. They play hard but there is never any sulking. Just shake it off and go back for more.
Matching temperaments is important. You wouldn't want an ever ready bunny like our Rex with a wallflower.
Thank you! Really helpful information to know! I am curious about any marking issues with your boys?
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:15 PM
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I have always treated marking as a housetraining issue so I haven't really had a problem. Typically as the boys get into adolescence and start to mark outside they will give it a try indoors. If you interrupt/distract when they show ANY interest in vertical surfaces, run them out and praise appropriate marking and/or urination they will quickly catch on to where they can mark and where it isn't permitted. When we go to another house or building, I supervise really closely for a time and "anh, anh" if they show any interest in vertical surfaces. Over time my boys have come to understand that marking indoors anywhere is unacceptable but that trees and other outdoor things are usually ok. If we are outdoors and there are things I don't want them to bother I just "anh, anh" and they leave it alone.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:27 PM
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Wow! You are such a wealth of information! Have you written a Hav book? Are you plannng to? If so, please let me know. Thank you SO much! I was looking through old forum posts last night but none put it as you just did so I really appreciate it.

I had it all backwards, again. I am seeking pets so both will be spayed/neutered. I was originally thinking that I wanted two females due to believing that males would likely mark their territory if around a female or another male. I had read on a few breedrs websites that many people prefer females when males are actually more likely to affectionate, owner-centered, and laid back. This information was on some backyard breederish looking websites so I did not give it much credence at the time but mmmmmm.

Based on the wonderful feedback from the forum, I have pretty much now decided to wait at least a year on the second puppy, until the first is reliable, which from the sounds of the forum, might even be longer than a year. That is fine with me as finding the best fit between the breeder, the puppies, and my family is the priority and I am in no rush.
I actually just finished writing (as in it just came out in print) a book on a completely non-dog subject. it was a HUGE labor of love, and I'm not in the mood to start again any time soon!

Many people don't realize that:

1. Females can mark too
2. Marking (or NOT marking!) is something that can be trained, just like potty training.

It IS very hard to train un-neutered boys to consistently refrain from marking if that are intact females in the house. But I even know a NUMBER of male ex-stud dogs, who once they were neutered and moved into a pet home, without intact "girl cooties" around, easily learned that indoor marking was NOT going to be tolerated.

It's REALLY not a problem with pet puppies in pet homes. Kodi NEVER marked... indoors or out... Until he was close to 2 years old. Even then, he ONLY marks outdoors, and only where a lot of other dogs have marked, like outdoors at a show or training center.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:30 PM
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To add to what Pucks said, my middle girl is my big marker. She (fortunately) knows better than to mark in the house (she was my easiest to potty train; basically doing it herself) but she's a HUGE outdoor marker. She follows the others around and has to overwork EVERYWHERE one of the other pees... Even if she can only force a drop or two out!
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:21 PM
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The MOST important thing is to have your breeder help you choose a laid-back second puppy who is likely to let the older one take the lead. If your first is a boy (which I would advise if you plan to add a second) the girl will USUALLY end up, eventually, being the "boss of him".


My first is a boy, and second a girl. Sassy became the boss of him from nearly the day we brought her home.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:32 PM
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Our first Havanese Sparky was 14 years old when we got Scout. Scout was only 1.5 years old when Sparky went to doggie heaven, but they did get along well. Scout would always jump and terrorize Sparky, but he would only growl occasionally. When Scout was 1.5 years old Truffles arrived at eight weeks old. Scout is neutered and very sweet. Truffles was spayed at one year. Truffles has been a bossy little girl from the day she arrived. She has always loved to growl and attack Scout. They are best buddies and play endlessly. Their temperaments are completely different. Scout always quiet and peaceful. Truffles high energy!
Truffles was a very dark chocolate puppy. She is still definitely brown, but much lighter. I still don't understand the silvering, but I guess that is what has happened.
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