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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Older puppy

Hello everyone, I'm new here. Nice to meet you!

I am considering adopting a Havanese puppy and recently found one nearby that is about 4 months old. This is a reputable breeder. I contacted them with my concern that the puppy is older and past its critical early learning stage. Their reply seemed to skirt this issue, not addressing it head on. They invited me to visit the dog and "see for myself".

I did learn this about the pup: she's the dominant pup in the group, has been living and predominantly interacting with her large Hav dog family, and has not been introduced to situations outside of her daily life or had any real training. She is apparently somewhat "vocal". I fear the breeders, with so many dogs, have let her do her own thing.

My concern is twofold. One, I have a lab who is gentle and relatively submissive, and a cat. Two, I plan to take this Havanese with me when I travel to a Bahamian out-island several times a year. I worry she is now too old to train properly to interact nicely with my lab and cat and accept new situations with friendly confidence (such as airline travel, new people and kids, and the ocean).

I'm wondering what others think. Thank you in advance for yor replies!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 08:20 AM
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This is my experience.

I got Momo when she was almost 5 months old. I can say that she was not fully socialized - no cats, big dogs and kids. However, she got over the cat part. My daughter has a dog and a cat who play together. Momo used to bark at the cat until she saw Bear, the dog, start to play with Lily, the cat. As to big dogs, she barks and growls at them - fear aggression, I'm guessing. She sees them all the time at doggie day care but warns them to keep their distance. As to kids, she used to growl but now she just barely tolerates them.

As to travel, we took her with us on Thanksgiving. She didn't make a peep in her travel crate on the plane. She did shake for a while when we were in the airport terminal but eventually calmed down. I think the more we travel with her, the easier it will get.

The point is, get her into a puppy class as soon as possible. I missed the window because when the puppy class started, she was too old at that point. Also, keep socializing the pup. Put the dog into different situations. They are smart (some smarter than others) and can learn. It just may take more effort on your part because the pup is not fully socialized.

By the way, I don't regret getting her. I can't even imagine my life without her now.

Good Luck!

Donnie, Momo and Ume's mom and loving it!




Last edited by Momo means Peach; 01-11-2012 at 08:23 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 10:03 AM
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I took Baxter between 3-4 months from hobby breeders who had had a family crisis and had trouble dealing with that and placing their litter. The breeders were experienced and, as hobby breeders go, good and loving. They had Havs as pets and had competed with them. But, Baxter, because of circumstances (and his role in the litter -- he was the "runt" and definitely shy) was not well socialized. Indeed, our dachshund, Libby, who is two months older than Baxter and also "shy" looks like an outgoing bully next to him. . Baxter has some "anxiety" barking issues that are getting much better. He is shy with strangers --- some more than others. He loves the cats and his big sister,and he is happy to go to and be petted by anyone who lives in the household. He is getting much better at the dog park (we stay in the little dog area), and actually approached some dogs on his own last weekend. On the other hand, he did sort of melt down on his first trip to the groomers. Bottom line -- he has been, I'd guess, a bit more work than he might otherwise have been. But, he is a sweetheart and, like all the Havs seem to be, a joy to work with, mostly because he wants to please and he tries so hard. If you are flexible and willing to adjust your expectations, I suspect it will work great -- and be a wonderful gift to the puppy!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 04:15 PM
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4 months isn't too old. I got my Pip when he was a couple weeks shy of 6 months. He had been returned to the breeder the weekend I got him. He'd been sold as a show prospect and the people who bought him didn't think he'd turn out. I fell in love with him and it took me 4 days to convince the breeder he indeed was show quality and to sell him to me. Obviously he was a bit confused with all the changes in a short amount of time, but it didn't take him long to adapt. He had been around other dogs and people and was reasonably house broken (not 100%). At first he kept barking and the other dogs but in a couple weeks that quit. My original Hav always sat in the chair next to me in the morning and evening and gave that place up to Pip (where he still occupies). He gets along with the other dogs and is gentle with the cat, but mostly ignores him. A plus, 3 weeks after I got him he won his first major and then the 2nd the next weekend I enter him. He finished his championship quickly with limited showing. That's him as a puppy in my avatar

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 04:28 PM
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They are very adaptable, and can learn anything at any age.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 06:47 PM
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I would look closely at this puppy. Yes they can adapt. Some don't do it well. Some don't recover properly from poor socialization and are fearful all their lives. Go to the pounds and rescue shelters and you'll see lots. Just be prepared. This is not a good breeder in my opinion if this dog did not get out there and socialize. No excuse for this BS.

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Last edited by davetgabby; 01-11-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Dear All,

Thank you so much for you replies. They have helped me make my decision. This is a reputable breeder but I have to agree with Dave that perhaps their methods are somewhat lacking. I actually started out thinking I would get a shelter dog and went to visit quite a few, but in the end the socialization issue is just too important to me, considering I will be traveling to the islands with this dog. I've decided to get a young puppy so that I can work with him early on with training. I've found a fantastic breeder close by who comes highly recommended in the breeder forum!

Thanks again to all who took the time to respond!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:55 AM
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My first gut feeling, find another dog that is calmer, not dominant because of your situation at home. I am no expert.



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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Linda, that is my gut as well. It's good to hear other opinions on the matter. Thanks!
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