Is a Havanese the Right Dog for Us?? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Is a Havanese the Right Dog for Us??

My family is considering adopting a Havanese puppy. Both my husband and I love dogs but are somewhat concerned about if it is the right time and the right breed for us. I'd love some owner opinions to help!

About us:

* We are a family of 4: Dad (43), Mom (44), Daughter 1 (6) & Daughter 2 (4)

* My husband works from home and travels about 8 days a month. I work part time: 2 days a week, but I am about to take a 3 month break between project work, so am considering adopting after the holidays to coincide with this break. Puppy would be 6 months old before I would return to my part time schedule.

* My daughters love dogs and have been taught to be gentle with our cat - who is approx. 10 yrs.

* My husband and I have both owned dogs before, but they have been larger dogs. I had a Chocolate Lab.

When doing research into good small dogs for families I saw the Havanese. They sound like great dogs. I am specifically drawn to the following traits:

* Small
* Non-Shedding (I only want 1 shedding animal in my house)
* Non-Yappy (is this true??)
* Gentle
* Good with Kids

My main concerns about the Havanese:

* I have seen people who say house breaking can be difficult
* I have seem site that indicate they can't be left alone.

The great thing about my timing is that I will not be working for a few months after the puppy would come home, so I would be able to dedicate time to training. I also don't foresee any times where the puppy would be required to be alone for extended periods of time. I would have plenty of neighbors who could help with the puppy, and my sister has already volunteered to care for the dog if we are ever away for extended periods of time.

So...any thoughts?? Is the Havanese a good choice? Has anyone regretted their choice of a Havenese?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 03:21 PM
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Well, your family sounds very similar to mine and it is working out well for us. I don't have a part-time job but I am gone for stretches just about every day. I love the breed although this is my first experience with one. He amazes me every day how smart, funny (I mean it - he has a sense of humor) and loving Ludo is.

I don't find Ludo (mine) to be "yappy" per se but he is very vocal. He honestly tries to talk to me. He'll growl if he wants something. He'll bark if he wants off of the couch. He also has a surprisingly LOUD and gruff bark. He barks when he hears someone coming outside or when something startles him. He basically barks when dogs are supposed to - He is not quiet/silent but his bark is not "yappy" and for the hell of it.

As for your "cons" - I have to be vigilant with Ludo's potty training or he will have an accident. I don't think, to date, he's given me any REAL sign he has to go to the bathroom. But when we go outside or are outside he will go on command (example - this morning it was pouring and we went out the garage to a patch of grass by the fence and I told him to go and he went - very simple!). He makes it all night long in his crate and has never had an accident and has only woken me up twice the whole time we've had him to go in the middle of the night.

I don't regret Ludo for an instant. I regret I didn't discover the breed sooner. LITERALLY every time I am out in public with him or have people over he is fawned over and people adore him and very few know the breed until they see him and they fall in love. They are wonderful, sturdy, smart, loving, good with kids (mine is very self-aware and gets out of the way if he senses he might get stepped on by one of them!), and just overall the greatest. Good luck to you. I say go for it!!

Traci & Ludo


The dog becomes your dream come true, the very thing you wanted.
- Maurice Sendack

Last edited by tra_po; 11-18-2013 at 03:22 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 03:45 PM
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I say yes get a Havanese puppy! Mine are fine left alone. Mine only bark for a reason. They are a lot of maintenance as far as grooming compared to your lab. Your kids will have to go threw the puppy stage with biting but that would happen with any puppy. I've owned several different breeds of dogs and Havanese are the best.

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 04:19 PM
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I won't repeat what Traci and Suzi said but it is all true. If you want a breed of dog that makes your heart smile every day, this is the one.

Ron (and Colbie and Scarlett)
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 05:00 PM
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I'm smiling, thinking about the look on her face of your 4 y/o. I have a 4 y/o friend who loves my Lola to death, would gently pet her for hours. Hav's are a very fun breed. You'll see pure joy when they're running and playing. Always had large breeds before and love the Hav's size.

I think it's great you're putting lots of thought into planning for a new family member. And you're really blessed to have friends who will come by if you have to be gone for an appreciable time.

Lola barks when the doorbell rings and when she hears noises outside the fence she can't ID. Love both of these actions.

My life is so blessed since I adopted her in April.

Hope someone will give you more info about the Havanese Rescue which is something you might want to consider.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 05:14 PM
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Mine is a barker. I wouldn't say he is "yappy" because he doesn't bark just for the sake of barking, but he does bark at every noise he hears - he's an alert barker. Also, he will bark at people when he's greeting them. He's a vocal guy. I was sort of hoping for quieter, but I still love my boy.

I will mention that when I was a kid (I'd say I was around 12 and my brother 9) that we did end up having to re-home a dog (a German Shepherd) because between my parents' jobs and our after school activities (soccer, hockey, etc.) the dog was left alone far too much and our family felt it wasn't fair to the dog. I'm not suggesting this will happen to you, but it is something to consider as your kids gets older and more active.

Tracy and Brody

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
- Josh Billings
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 06:09 PM
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I haven't regretted my choice of a Havanese in fact I just added #2. My two year old was a breeze to potty train and my 12 week old is doing amazingly too. Your schedule sounds great, by 6 months you should have a great schedule in place to make an easy transition. Timmy is a watch dog barker, but I wouldn't say he's yappy. I have teenagers but both my pups LOVE children and we visit the bus stop every morning to visit them.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I am actually getting quite excited about adopting, but my husband is 100% sure it's the right time. Even though I am eager, I know that it only makes sense if we both are ready. So, I just hope that when he falls in love when we go meet our breeder to meet the puppy and her parents.

If all goes well, we will bring her home around the new year.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 10:40 PM
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My biggest recommendation is to carefully pick your breeder. If you search How to Pick a Breeder or similar words there are excellent things to watch for. Havanese are getting more popular, unfortunately, which means there are more disreputable breeders out there just in it for the money or for fun, not for the breeds' best interest. That choice can make all the difference between a well-bred dog with a great temperament, and a challenge with potential not-so-good traits.

It is great that you are considering all things carefully. These little guys can live for 15-16 years. I am so thankful for mine.

Here is one link:

Sheri, Tucker's Mom

Last edited by Sheri; 11-20-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 11:15 PM
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Ditto to everything others have already said. They are so delightful that it's hard to have just one, similar to a potato chip.

Havanese are wonderful breed.
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