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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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I just recently found your board and am learning the ropes.

We live in SW FL and only recently adopted our Sammy and immediately fell in love with this breed.

We suspect he may have been from a puppy mill and do not know how to go about finding out if this is so. We are only interested in having this person checked out and closed if this is the case. Can something like this be reported if 'only a suspect'?

Sammy is a chewer, especially hard plastics. We provide him with 'plenty' of chew toys etc, but he will look for plastic coat hangers, anything metal etc. He is 18 mos old now. Do they grow out of this stage?

Thank you and I hope I am not asking the same questions others have asked over and over again.

Sammy's Mommy
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:26 PM
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One good hint would be if you got him from a pet store.
Do you have his pedigree?

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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No, Jan, we purchased from an individual who met us at a hotel. Her website stated she only raises Havanese. Things just did not seem to come together and we became suspicious. My sister then found she had two other websites, one stating they raise only Maltese and another something else. The vaccination records were not official records. Our Vet called and spoke with her and he hung up looked at us and said, 'she is a nut case, I don't believe anything she said'. Sammy had discoloration on his ears, feet and body that she told us he was white with buff. The vet said 'no, it is stain', which it has turned out to be. She told us he had been raised in their home etc and yet he did not know what a toy or chew toy was and his true personality is only beginning to surface.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:47 PM
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Congratulations on your new doggie. Unfortunately it does sound like Sammy's background is questionable at best and usually in these instances your gut is right. You had a phone number, can you do a reverse search to get an address and then call the ASPCA?

If a wire and plastic cage is all Sammy knew for the first year and a half of his life, that is what he would want to chew. Treat this little guy like a rescue doggy. Assume he needs lots of positive direction and behavior modification. Usually that means lots and lots of praise and rewards for the right behavior and diverting him from the wrong behavior to the right behavior and no harshness.

Usually these dogs will poop or pee where they sleep and eat and be very unsure in situations like car rides, leash walking, cars driving by on a walk, meeting new dogs, sometimes even meeting kids or men.

Give Sammy a big hug from me and keep us up to date on him. Good luck with your efforts, I do hope you keep at it until you know she is or is not a mill.


There is also a Havanese rescue society with members on this forum. They might already be aware of this 'breeder' (aka puppy mill if that is indeed what it is). They would have very good advice for you on how to hopefully shut this person down.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Meeka, he is so very special and it breaks my heart to think of what he might have gone through.

He has had some problems with house-training, especially in the early evening hours. He still does not let us know when he needs to go outside. In the evening, he may go out and pee and then pee again in the house within the hour. But it is only the evening hour that we have the problem. He doesn't even wet or mess during the night after we go to bed. He just snuggles between us and settles in until morning.

I had not thought of him chewing on metal and plastic because of his only having a cage to chew on. That is really sad, he is just so special and we love him so much.

I have a file of information on the woman we purchased him from. Thank you for your information.

Margel ie: Sammy's Mommy
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:08 PM
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Welcome Margel and Sammy!

It sounds like Sammy is probably from a puppy mill or at the very least a backyard breeder. Unfortunately, neither is necessarily illegal, only if the animals are actually being abused or severly neglected so you may be frustrated in trying to do anything about her.

This will definitely provide you with additional challenges but with patience you'll do just find. Hiring a trainer/behavioralist for a private session might help you through some of the most frustrating aspects (like chewing and housebreaking).

There are a number of people (Laurief and Eva come to mind immediately) who foster rescue dogs, they may be able to help you. Both of my dogs (a Hav & a Coton) are rescues.

We look forward to hearing about Sammy's progress and antics. And if you haven't noticed - we love pictures!

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Jill and you are probably correct in that it is very frustrating to try and do something. I may just go ahead with a report anyway, for my own satisfaction.

Will have to get some pictures up for all. Overall, he is a very good puppy, he can not stand for me to be out of his sight. He is like having a typical two-year old, always looking and getting into something.

He has his own baby stroller, someone asked why not a doggie stroller. Well, he could not see me in the doggie strollers. So DH has fixed his leash where he can not jump out and yet still be able to stand and see me and lay down with his blankie when he tires. There's plenty of room for his water dish and bottled water in the bottom.

Thanks you again.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:29 PM
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Hi and welcome! Sounds like you're in love with Sammy already so he's much better off with you, anyone who rescues dogs has a heart of gold!!!

Maybe try some Flossies or Bully Sticks to get him to chew other things because they'll taste good and offer him chewing time. We've learned lots of things the hard way but I can tell you that they respond much better to positive reinforcement than to being scolded.

Where are you in FL?

We need !

Ann-Scooter, Murphy, & Gracie's Mom

Last edited by Scooter's Family; 03-10-2009 at 05:48 PM. Reason: sp
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:45 PM
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Welcome ! We are going to want to see a pic of Sammy in his converted baby stroller.
Hope you're all having fun.
woof from Henry!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:48 PM
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Welcome Sammy's Mom!!! Yes, my Biscuit loves hard plastics and I have to keep them away from him. He is 2 1/2. I caught my 6 month old puppy eating GLASS one day. Also a live stinging BEE. Sheesh. . . .

and HEATH-Y, TOO !
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