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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question Help...I need some feedback please.

I just registered yesterday in hopes of getting some first hand feedback from you all who have experience with Havanese. I have the opportunity of bringing a 7mos. old male pup home and now I seem to be at a crossroads... On the one hand, everything I read about the Havanese is very positive (from many sites, not just this one) with the one exception...potty training. I have two adult girls, 1 8yr old Cavalier King Charles and the other a 4 yr old wirehaired dachshund. Both were relatively easy to potty train. My concern is this that everything I've read indicates males are harder to potty train, especially in the small breeds. How long should it take before we can expect him to become 'reliable'? Marking is my #1 concern as our house is less then 2yrs old. My other concern is for grooming issues but those are the least of my worries (I think). Any advise you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 08:03 AM
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I just registered yesterday in hopes of getting some first hand feedback from you all who have experience with Havanese. I have the opportunity of bringing a 7mos. old male pup home and now I seem to be at a crossroads... On the one hand, everything I read about the Havanese is very positive (from many sites, not just this one) with the one exception...potty training. I have two adult girls, 1 8yr old Cavalier King Charles and the other a 4 yr old wirehaired dachshund. Both were relatively easy to potty train. My concern is this that everything I've read indicates males are harder to potty train, especially in the small breeds. How long should it take before we can expect him to become 'reliable'? Marking is my #1 concern as our house is less then 2yrs old. My other concern is for grooming issues but those are the least of my worries (I think). Any advise you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
I don't think that Havanese are any harder to potty train than any other small breed, and easier than many. I also don't think males are any more difficult than females. Both male and female dogs mark, and both need to learn that marking in the house is not appropriate. (this is a separate issue from "potty training") That said, assuming that you plan to neuter your pup, whether male or female, it is unlikely to be a problem one way or the other. Kodi didn't even lift his leg for the first time until he was WELL over 2 years old, and by then he was well past potty training. It would never enter his mind to mark inside the house! The only times I see him mark is places that many other dogs have marked, like outside at a show site.

At our agility training center, there is a chute that has been marked by many dogs in the past. They've tried, to the best of their ability, to clean it, but you can tell by all the dogs' reactions to it, that there is still a lingering odor that THEY can smell. If Kodi is playing in that ring, I have seen him go and sniff this chute. (he ignores it while working) I don't know whether he would mark it or not if left to his own devices, but I don't give him the opportunity to make the wrong choice… I simply call him away from it.

I think a LOT of what you hear about little dogs being hard to potty train is because there are so many puppy mill small dogs out there in the pet world. If you buy your Havanese from a reputable breeder who has kept the puppies in clean surroundings and has started them on potty training as soon as they come out of the whelping box, (as should be done!) you won't have a problem. They do need to be either supervised or confined so that they make as few mistakes as possible until they are reliable, but that's easy to do… they are little dogs!

As far as grooming is concerned, there is no doubt that a Havanese coat is more work than a short haired coat. It goes with the territory and is part of their charm. Silky coats are much easier to care for than curly coats, so if you are concerned, buy from a breeder who genetically tests for, and breeds away from, the curly gene. I love the long hair of my Havanese, but there are many people who choose to keep their Havs in a short puppy cut, and, of course, this makes grooming MUCH less of an issue.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 09:13 AM
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I have a 9 month old male Havanese, Leo, that hasn't been neutered yet. He came from a breeder that started the puppies going outside rather than on an indoor option and I continued that as I have 3 other dogs and I didn't want to confuse them about appropriate potty places. I have an expen set up in our den where we and the dogs spend most of our time when home and an expen in my office at work. When Leo came home, he was in the expen unless 1) I had seen him pee and poop outside and knew he was empty and 2) I had time to focus solely on him and 3) could commit to running him back out every few (5-10) minutes especially if he was playing and active. At night he slept in a small ( think cat size) crate on a table by my bed so if he needed to go out I could hear and take him. A lot of work - yes! However, Leo has lived with us since he was 10.5 weeks old. He has had 1 peepee accident in the den (hubby and I got to talking and didn't pay attention) and 1 peepee accident in his expen (he tried to tell DH but DH didn't react quickly enough). There has been no accidents at my office and no poop accidents. At 8 months Leo graduated to sleeping in our bed. He has asked to go out twice (once last night).
Monday night we attended a small dog play session at our training facility. The room was secured and the dozen or so dogs were off leash to play. Three or four had accidents that evening but Leo didn't. If he would start to sniff a chair leg or edge of a cabinet ( where marking is a temptation) I would call him away and he would return to play. The session was an hour and Leo played hard. I took him out once during the hour for a potty break.
At 6 months Leo started lifting his leg outside. He has an older furry brother so he modeled this behavior early on. That said neither Leo (not neutered) nor my older male mutt (neutered) lift their legs inside. That is a no no and the way they have been taught.
Leo has begun going to the door sometimes if he is loose in the house but hasn't yet hit on his signal to tell us he needs to go. It is our vigilance that ensures that Leo is potty mistake free and will be until he figures out a tell for going out. I don't really consider a dog housetrained until that happens very consistently. I have had many (18) dogs over the course of my long life and some figured out the housetraining including the "tell" as early as 9 or 10 weeks of age. I have found that smaller dogs seem to take longer. It is your vigilance and willingness to CLOSELY supervise, and confine when you can't, that will play a big roll in how reliably housetrained your puppy is as an adult.
If your puppy comes from a breeder that teaches an indoor option beginning at about 3 weeks and keeps the space where the puppies live VERY clean, you can continue that indoor option which could provide a bit more freedom earlier than Leo has had. However, ALL the work your breeder puts in can be undone quickly without close supervision and accident prevention.
Havanese are a delightful breed and the time and effort put in during their first year or so to establish good house and social manners will pay off with a truly wonderful little companion.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 09:59 AM
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Brody will be 3 in February. He still squats to pee and he's never marked inside or outside. So far, he's just not been a marking sort of boy. I don't recall potty training him being incredibly hard. We had our challenges very early on, but once I found a treat he really liked and he realized he'd get treated for going in the right spot, things totally clicked and he basically never looked back. (there was the occasional backslide, but nothing major). Any doggy stains I have on my carpets are from yellow bile and not potty accidents.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 10:27 AM
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7 months is not a young puppy; so habits, both good and bad, will already be established. This means you may need to retrain on potty and on some other things. Aren't Cavalier King Charles also a small breed?

Nickie is my 7th puppy and has been by far the most difficult to housebreak. The others were all dependable within a few weeks at the most and remained so throughout their long doggy lives. Nickie is the only really small dog I've had. Our older dog is a very big sheltie (30 lbs, but not overweight). The others were three Siberian huskies, a collie, and an Australian shepherd.

Nickie is also by far the most difficult to groom. The others were a breeze in comparison. Our sheltie goes into the groomer for a bath monthly and looks great without my doing anything. I thought ok, shelties don't actually need daily grooming, so Havanese won't either. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Once a day almost isn't enough.

I will say that Nickie is the second least destructive of my dogs. The collie never tore up or chewed on anything.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 10:54 AM
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Forgot to mention that our Havanese Nickie, almost one, and the sheltie, age 8, are the only two males I've had. Both are neutered and neither marks inside. Nickie does't lift his leg and the sheltie does a modified leg lift. I don't see much behavior difference between neutered female dogs and neutered males. The two males play together very well.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 02:23 PM
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Brody will be 3 in February. He still squats to pee
Gibbs still squats. Dana likes it that way, and I wish he'd lift his leg.

We had "Man to Pup" talk about how males are suppose to go potty. He just tilted his head to side and gave me kiss. I don't think he understood.

John




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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 03:02 PM
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Gibbs still squats. Dana likes it that way, and I wish he'd lift his leg.

We had "Man to Pup" talk about how males are suppose to go potty. He just tilted his head to side and gave me kiss. I don't think he understood.
You're like my husband! I had my two sons trained to SIT on the potty to pee when they were little. It worked great. No pee anywhere but IN the toilet. Then my husband came along and convinced them that "big boys" stand up to pee. Then I ended up cleaning the bathroom much more often… like DAILY!

What is it about men?!?!


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 03:36 PM
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You're like my husband! I had my two sons trained to SIT on the potty to pee when they were little. It worked great. No pee anywhere but IN the toilet. Then my husband came along and convinced them that "big boys" stand up to pee. Then I ended up cleaning the bathroom much more often… like DAILY!

What is it about men?!?!
LOL
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 04:13 PM
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Gibbs still squats. Dana likes it that way, and I wish he'd lift his leg.

We had "Man to Pup" talk about how males are suppose to go potty. He just tilted his head to side and gave me kiss. I don't think he understood.
LOL Well Brody uses the Ugodog so I'd prefer he not pee on the wall! ha ha Squatting is good!

Tracy and Brody


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