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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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The toddler factor

I'm new to the forums - sorry if this isn't the most appropriate spot to post this in! (It appeared to be the best option.)

Here's my situation: After much, much research, we've fallen in love with the Havanese breed. But, I have a two-year-old (JUST turned two). So, she's a little too young to be trusted not to step in/pick up puppy accidents, and not yet independent enough for me to be able to take the appropriate time to train and housebreak a new puppy. So, I'd be willing to consider an older dog (with the understanding that older does not necessarily equal totally housebroken etc, but it would most likely be better than going through the puppy stage), however, because I do have such a small child, I'm concerned about an older dog not being socialized around young children, or possible behavioral issues.
Any thoughts or opinions on slightly older dogs and young children? Or is waiting until she (and any potential siblings) are old enough to fend for themselves a bit while we work through the puppy stage the best option?
Any advice is much appreciated!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 01:19 PM
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First, welcome to the group and the wonderful breed. If you're looking at the possibility of an older hav, there are breeders who place their older ones with families from time to time. If the dog was in one home for it's whole life, the owner would know whether that particular dog would be a good fit for your family. You might want to contact some of the breeders to discuss it and see what kind of feedback you get.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 03:19 PM
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As someone who raised a Havanese puppy while alongside a child who was not quite two when Mojo came home 9 weeks old, I can understand your desire to find an older dog! What a wild ride we had!

If you can find an older dog who you know will be bulletproof with a toddler, and large enough to take the inevitable abuse, you might have a good match. In my case, when I wanted an older Hav to keep Mojo company at home I chose a retiree from my breeder, because I knew exactly what the dog's background would be. I knew Libby would be fine with children and large dogs, because she has been around both since she was born, had lived in my breeder's home and slept on my breeder's bed since she was 8 weeks old, AND had the sweetest of temperaments. I would not have attempted it with a breeder I didn't know well, unless I had many, many recommendations and testamonials. Even then, I'm not sure I would have tried it.

I agree that the dog should have lived its entire life in one home. You can't afford to discover any "issues" when you have a child that young.

Happy Mom...
of two Happy Havs
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 04:31 PM
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The other thing that you have to keep in mind is that Havs are small dogs. You will have to be just as concerned about protecting the dog or puppy from the child as vice versa. There are a lot of breeders who wont even place one of their dogs with a family with children under 5 or 6.

I know that there are people who can and will dedicate the time and effort to making it a safe and positive experience for both the child and the dog, but it's something you really need to think about carefully. One leap from a child's arms can end in a serious injury for a small dog.

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