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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Questions before deciding on a Havanese

Hi everyone! I am so thrilled that I found this board - I have learned so much! I am very close to deciding on a Havanese, but I wanted to throw out a couple of questions before I take the big leap. A little background: We had a wonderful, 14-year-old Sheltie who died this past summer of kidney failure. When we were ready to again add to our family, I started researching breeds again. I love Shelties, but this time I thought I would like to have a dog that didn't HAVE to have all the exercise that she did, especially now since our kids are away in college. I had seen pictures of Havs a few years ago and thought they were adorable. In reading about them now, I think they would be a perfect fit for us. I have only a couple of reservations that I hope some of you can help me with. I have read many, many posts about the "potential difficulty" with housebreaking this breed. Training my Sheltie was very quick and very easy, so I realize that this new dog will require more work, which I am prepared to do. My question is, once your dog has been trained, did the training "stick" to the point that it was no longer an issue at all, or is this an area that will require constant, ongoing diligence? Secondly, I got my Sheltie from a breeder, but I am planning to adopt a rescue this time, so this part is new to me. For those of you that also have rescue dogs, could you tell me what your experience has been in terms of the dog's temperament and ability to bond? Any information that you could pass on in either of these areas would be a great deal of help. Thank you so much!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 10:42 AM
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Hi Jayne. Sorry to hear about your sheltie. I love them-they're so pretty.
As you know, all dogs are different, but I potty trained Pixie very quickly. She's 1.5 years and has never had an accident except when she had a UTI. I'd say that she's completely reliable, even at my moms house. I'm home with her all day so I was able to keep an eye on her 24/7. I got her from a breeder, so I have no input on the rescue question. Many here have rescue dogs and can answer that. I believe one of our members even has both a hav and a sheltie, so , maybe she can compare them for you.

Beth, Pixie Puff and MiG too
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 10:59 AM
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We got Copper from a rescue group. He was advertised as 1/2 havanese, 1/2 ****zu. He is NEITHER! We have determined that he is a Tibetan Terrier mix. However, if he would have been advertised as a TT, we would have never found him. I love the TT breed as much as the Havanese breed. He came to us at 6 months completely poddy trained (we lucked out). Miley, the purebred Hav, took longer to poddy train, but is pretty reliable now. If you buy from a breeder, choose one that has done the basics of poddy training Tom King. If I were to get another Hav...that's where I'd consider getting one...even if I have to fly. But that's no guarantee you won't have poddy training issues....that guarantee doesn't come with ANY dog. However, there's a lot of good advice on this board to help you with the process of poddy training.

Renee, Miley, & Copper too!

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 11:01 AM
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Hi Jayne, Welcome! I am sorry to hear about the loss of your sheltie.

I have two havs both of which I got as puppies. Brady was so easy to housetrainl, it was almost scary. He got it and never regressed. Dugan was a little tougher, but still not hard. He was a rescue that I got when he was 15 weeks old. I still keep him confined to the kitchen and den since the last time I tried giving him more space (a few months ago) he had an accident in the dining room. He is a little over a year now. I think confined space is key to housetraining these guys. Also, they do need to go out more than a sheltie. My boys are in and out all day long.

It is wonderful that you are considering a rescue. An older rescue may be a little more of a challenge to housetrain though. My mom has a havanese that she adopted from a breeder when he was a year and a half. They bonded immediately. He took a few months before we saw his true playful ways and he got completely comfortable, but he sure is comfortable now. She has had him about 8 months, I think.

**Karen, Mom to Brady, Dugan, and Devon
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 11:04 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

My first Havanese was 9 weeks old from a first time breeder. She was easy house at house train and it did stick no accidents with her. Our second was a 5 month old rescue, from a small puppy mill. She has been hard to house train. She just doesn’t totally get the concept, no matter how many times she goes out. It is getting better but she will still go in the house and we have been working on this for 5 months.

The Havanese are a great breed, they keep you laughing.

Sandi, taking a new road with Smarty and Galen
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 11:11 AM
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Hi Jayne~~Welcome , and I'm so sorry about your beloved Sheltie.

I think a Havanese is an excellent choice for you. I cannot begin to tell you how much joy our 2 Havs bring us. We never had dogs at all until 3 yrs ago (we're older empty nesters married over 40 yrs). These guys are smart, sweet, funny, loyal, and, you will be free from shedding/odor/allegens.

I personally think the foundation for housebreaking is laid very early by the breeder, and also depends on personality. Biscuit came from a very small breeder and was easily trained and is flawless. They really worked on having him go on pee pads before we got him.

The other breeder has lots of pups and used a different technique. Heath has never truly gotten it and he's a year old. He's fine on a strict schedule if we take him out. . . .but still forgets if we do. He's brighter than Biscuit but kind of a free spirit. Frustrating. However, he is the funniest, smartest, cutest guy and worth his weight in entertainment value alone.

Mine are adaptable & not nearly as high energy as a Sheltie~~can be active outside or just love to lie around & sleep.
Good luck & I would carefully explore a rescue because I do think they come with so many unknowns. . . .

and HEATH-Y, TOO !

Last edited by Amy R.; 10-26-2009 at 11:19 AM.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 11:31 AM
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Riley is 16 months old and still has a couple of accidents a month. He either has to be contained or attended and we aren't always diligent about doing that. In spite of his housebreaking difficulties, he is still the best dog I have every had. He is so sweet, loving and entertaining that I can live with a couple of accidents here and there.

Debbie and Riley
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 02:15 PM
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Winston is over 2 and every now and again will poop in the house if left unattended. It's frustrating but so rare. And usually because he's alone and stressed. If he goes poop before I go out for an hour or two he even can have run of the house.

He hadn't had any accident in months and we got BRAND NEW carpet....we were all running around busy as can be upstairs when my son announced 'Winston is in so much trouble'.

Seriously they hadn't even laid the carpet, it was just spread out in one of the girls' room...he pooped. Oy.

But it wouldn't have been so bad if my son had not run all over the room SMUSHING the poop in before he noticed 10 spots!!!

Hubby laughed and said 'well now you can test that stain resistance....'

But he probably sat by the door for awhile [he doesn't bark to go out but sits patiently by the door].....and then came upstairs and thought...hmmm this is 'grass-like'...LOL.

Winston's Mom, Trish
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TnTWalter View Post
Seriously they hadn't even laid the carpet, it was just spread out in one of the girls' room...he pooped. Oy.
Winston was just "initiating" your new carpet!! It must have smelled too new....needed something "stinky"....and he was there to oblige...

Renee, Miley, & Copper too!

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 02:38 PM
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Hi Jayne...

First, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. I had a similar loss just this past September. My 17 year old love passed away.

As those on this forum know, I adopted my Casey from HRI. He was fostered for three weeks by Amanda, a terrific foster mom who volunteers for HRI, so he was almost 7 months old when he came to me. For the first 2-3 weeks, he'd have an accident every so often but not incessantly. Now that he's been with me for almost 2 months, we have no accidents and haven't had any for some time. He has the run of the house when I am here and stays in his crate when I am gone (which isn't for hours and hours on end). I was worried about the crating at first since I've always had dogs and never crated before. My vet told me dogs like to 'cave' and Casey is testimony to that. He came to me crate-trained and seems to love it. answer to you is that I have a rescue; he's house-broken and he's an absolute joy. Not a day goes by that he doesn't make me laugh...and I mean out-loud. There are no guarantees in this life but if Casey is an example of what can happen for us then I say go for won't be sorry! In fact, I was told that I'd probably want another Hav within a year. I thought that person was a little crazy but know what? I'm thinking about it already
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housebreaking , rescue

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