So I am picking my pup up today and have a couple questions.
1. Since there is about 5+ inches of snow on the ground here, should I just focus on training to potty inside?
2. How long do I need to wait before introducing him to others or taking him in public? He has had his first round of shots so far. He is 9 weeks old.
3. Would someone PLEASE help me with a darn name!!!! It's driving me nuts....
I'm no help on names, because I think that's a really personal thing. But…
I would DEFINITELY start with indoor training with a small puppy at this time of year. IT will be SO much easier for BOTH of you!!! Your breeder will probably already have introduced the pups to some sort of indoor potty surface. (or at least they SHOULD have!!!) And, at least for the beginning, it's usually easier to start with the surface they are used to.
A lot of breeders use pee pads, either disposable or washable ones. Even if you start with these, I HIGHLY recommend that you move to something else before long. Many puppies start to play with and or destroy the disposable ones, and many of those who get used to the washable ones start seeing every scatter rug in the house as "another pee pad"!
If you want to continue with pee pads, the best solution seems to be some sort of grate/tray that snaps together and keeps the dog away from the actual pad. UgoDog is popular with a lot of forum members, or you can use the Rascal Dog this way too. Litter boxes with wood pellets are a good, biodegradable option too. (that's what Kodi uses, and the Rascal Dog can be used this way too)
Lots of people think the idea of artificial turf sounds neat… I tried it too. The problem is that vanishingly few people are happy with it after the first few weeks… they start to stink, and it's impossible to get the stink out. There is one person in the forum who is still using a grass mat, but hers seems to be made a little differently, with no backing. She says it doesn't hold the smell… I'd need to be convinced… I have a very sensitive nose!
You can, and should, be exposing your puppy to as many people as possible from the day you get him home. Don't put him on the floor in public places until he's had his last puppy shot. (and this is ESPECIALLY true of the vet's office and pet stores!!!) Also avoid dog parks or other public places with a lot of dog traffic. It's fine to let him on the ground in the typical suburban backyard, as long as there aren't a lot of strange dogs wandering through.
You should also be exposing him to as many safe, friendly dogs that you know are properly inoculated as possible. The more you can arrange for this, the better. You should also get him signed up for a good puppy kindergarten ASAP. The sensitive period for socialization starts to close by 16 weeks. After that, socialization gets MUCH harder, and may never be as effective as those early weeks!!!
Some people, especially those who have small breed puppies tend to be over-cautious about socializing before 16 weeks. The good thing is that Havanese are an out-going, social breed, so many do fine even without early socialization… though you will also read about MANY dogs on this forum that are afraid of large dogs, or react badly to some group of people (like men in hats.
) so early socialization is not to be taken lightly, even with our breed.
The fact of the matter is that dogs who are socialized early, and are friendly and out-going with people and other dogs are MUCH less likely to end up in shelters than dogs who aren't. Is there ANY risk? Of course. Even with an adult dog, there is risk of illness or injury every time you take them out of the house. (and sometimes even in the house!!!) The risks of NOT socializing early are much higher.
Have a wonderful time, and we expect lots of PICTURES tonight!!!