Things i should know before buying a Havanese. - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Things i should know before buying a Havanese.

I am still in the process of researching Havanese. I was wondering if you could tell me the things you all wished you knew before you bought one or the things that surprised you about them. I just want to be sure I'm picking the right breed for my family. Some questions that I have are:
What does everone mean by calling them Velcro dogs? Does that mean they just like having their owner around or will I be tripping over my dog all day?
Will I ever be able to leave the dog and give her free rein of the house or will I always need to put her in one room, a crate or and x-pen?
How long is too long to leave her in the crate while she is being crate trained? Do you always leave them in the crate with water?
I am a stay at home mom and am home most of the time except to run errands and visit friends. I realize I will be really tied down for a while when I first get my puppy and I am more then okay with that.

This is a lot for one thread but I really want to know as much as I can and to be as prepared as I can before I decide if this breed is right for my family. The internet has so many contradicting answers.

Thanks so much for your time!
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 04:29 PM
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Here are some things that people don't think about:

These dogs are called velcro dogs because they want to be with you all the time. They are specifically bred to be with people. If one works long hours, they should consider a dog walker. I don't leave my guys alone for more than 4-5 hrs at a stretch. They have a dog walker who comes for an hour on the days I work more than 5 hrs.

They need grooming! I keep my guys in a puppy cut, which makes it easier. So you have to consider the expense. If you don't keep them in a puppy cut, they require a lot of combing etc.

They changed my life. I always have to arrange for them before I commit to vacation or a night out.

They can get separation anxiety.

When they are pups, they are a handful. Housebreaking is a tough road......

All that being said, I wouldn't trade them for anything. If you are a stay at home mom, I think this breed would be good for you. Try to find a breeder who will match the pup to your family and your needs. All pups temperaments are different. Some are explorers, some calmer, some hyper, some alpha etc. I always asked for the most laid back pups.
Also, please read the thread about what to look for in a breeder. You have to be careful. There are a lot of bad breeders, puppy mills out there. You might be buying a Hav, but if not bred well, might not act like a Hav.

I always preferred an x pen over a crate. It's been a long time since my guys were confined, so another member can help you out there. I always took my guys out every 45 min as pups. At night I would get up in the middle of the night to take them out. I also put a bell on their collars, so I could hear when they were moving about.

I have 3 havanese and they have full run of the house. Once they were housebroken, they were free to go anywhere

Oh and I wish I got my pups more addicted to toys when they were pups. Dave Gabby has a great article on that.

If I think of anything else, I will be back! Good luck

Thought of something else. People don't consider the expense should your dog get sick or need surgery. I've spent thousands in surgeries, so you should consider pet insurance from day1.

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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 04:33 PM
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My puppy is 10 months old. I work outside the home and she is fine at home. She is usually not alone for more than 4 hours a day and gets lots of exercise and attention when I do get home. She's in her crate with water and is fine. On the weekends when i'm home she's out of the crate most of the day (except when i go to the store etc). I let her have limited free rein of the house for short periods now with no issues (but i have to make sure the house is puppy-proofed so she doesn't destroy anything).

They are velcro dogs because they are always underfoot. Usually not in an obstructive way. Today I did laundry. She followed me to the basement and sat quietly while i put the wash in the machine. Then when I went up stairs with the laundry she followed me there. Then followed me room to room as I put stuff away. When I did my ironing upstairs she sat on the floor in the corner watching. Sometimes I go looking for her and find her right behind me!

Other things I wish I had known:

Not much! They are basically the perfect little dog. Rugged, loves their people, fairly low maintenance, quiet, good with kids, etc. Coat takes some work if you want it to stay long, but you can clip them short and it's fairly low maintenance.Not a good watchdog. Takes longer than average to get housebroken, those are about the only negatives I can think of!

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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 05:55 PM
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"Sometimes I go looking for her and find her right behind me!'

So true!
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 07:26 PM
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I wish that I had known about this forum -- and how to pick a breeder. I didn't do much right! I truly lucked out with Beau! He is everything I wanted in a dog, he's healthy, he's happy and spreads it around continuously, he's a best friend, and he puts a smile in my soul!!!! Still, it would have been nice to to "do it right."

They're not my dogs -- I'm their person
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 07:29 PM
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They're like potato chips. Almost impossible to have just one!

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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 07:58 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Havanese!!

I was a stay at home mom when we were in the research/planning/puppy stage of our hav. I researched for a year and just kept coming back to the Havanese breed, over and over again. Finally I started calling around and found an amazing breeder and champion of the Havanese, Katie Say at MopTop Havanese who was more than willing to let us come visit her pups so we could 'meet the breed' and see if this was the breed for us. We meet 4 different breeds that weekend. (all 3-4 hrs away from us) and unanimously agreed that the Havanese WAS the breed for us! They truly are everything you read about and so much more.

As for the velcro part, they just want to be with you. next to you, in the same room, near you... Tillie has this awesome way of shadowing me where I don't even realize she is there!! In fact I have paniced more than once because I didn't know where she was only to have my kids bust out laughing pointing at my feet. and there was Tillie. Looking at me like I was crazy.
Anywhooooo, my kids were 5 and 8 yrs old when we got Tillie so I was very ready for another "baby" in the house! I was very succesful in house training Tillie within a fews weeks by training her to ring the bell to go out. AND being a stay at home mom I was WITH her most of the time. Although after the first few days I started leaving her in the x-pen while I went to get the mail or ran across the street for a few minutes... after a week or so I started leaving her (always with a yummy filled Kong) while I dropped off and picked up the kids, then slowly built up to leaving her while I did grocery shopping, etc. At this point (2 1/2 yrs old) I can leave her for up to 6 hrs a day if I HAVE to, but typically I don't. I work now, but only 3 hrs per day (at my kids school!) and Tillie runs to her crate for her Kong (still) and seems to really enjoy her daily nap. lol
how old are your kids?? I highly recommend this breed (from an ethical breeder), Tillie ADORES kids and the fact that she has her OWN kids is pretty awesome! I frequently take her when I pick the kids up and she literally gets mobbed by kids and she just wiggles and licks and loves the kids so very much.

Tammy and Tillie
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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I love all of these stories! You guys are making me fall even more in love with this breed. I really appreciate all of your advice. I don't mind at all to have a dog being with me all day. I have four boys they are 11, 9, 2 1/2 and 6 months. I won't be getting a puppy for a bit because I want to be able to devote myself to house training and teaching the dog when I get one. Plus i'm potty training my 2 1/2 year old right now.
I really want my dog to do his business only outside. Can you do that using an x-pen? I kind of got the feeling through my research that you should crate train them then.
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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 09:59 PM
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Things I wish I'd known before I got my 1/2 hav:

1) That I'd want a full hav (other half is shih tzu)

2) tough to potty train, not because they aren't smart, but because they are smart and have a mind of their own. My little guy doesn't like going out in the rain or when it's cold, like butt cold. even if the door to the backyard is wide open, he'll just stand there, at the open door and look at me, like 'for real?"

3) they are madly entertaining. he makes me laugh everyday.

4) super smart and super food motivated aka, easy to train.

5) How much I'd fall in love with him. my first little dog, and he has changed my life.

So, I'm gonna tell ya a little story. I have 3 dogs, two anatolians, one 1/2 hav. I work at a public elementary school. One of my parents, she's not a dog person, but her two daughters, and DH (darling husband), had been begging her for one. she vowed never.

Then, a local breeder, had cancer, and needed to find homes for 3 hav pups, about 7 months old. she got one. JJ. He's changed her life, and she is so so so in love with him. I saw her husband 3 months after they got him, and he said he lost his wife to a havanese, ha! Now she tells me she'll never get another breed.

take caution, it's true, they are like lays potato chips...
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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 11:27 PM
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I have had a lot of trouble house training one of my two Havanese. I guess I failed at being consistent. I was at home the majority of the time but even after wiled enthusiasm and treats and offering the out side any time of day we still have accidents. I have never liked kenneling them so maybe that's the problem. Tammie here on the forum got her Tillie trained so fast I was jealous. I spend at least 4 hours a week grooming I find their coats to be a lot harder than other breeds.
The Havanese are the most wonderful dog I have ever had. I love them like they are my kids. If you have the time they are extremely smart and can be taught so many different tricks. I think a stay at home mom is perfect for a Havanese. I hope you decide to get one or two!

Maddie at 5mo old
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