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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Our new family member...

Hi.. New to the forum.

Our family recieved a very special and cute Havanese pup on Christmas. Very timid at first but has really opened up his personality and is very fun. He's now 17 weeks old.

He's also started some bothersome habits and I'm looking for advice and or comfort if it is normal behaviour.

1- I'm top dog - if I'm around he's always at my feet and doesn't leave my side. He will play with my wife and two boys but only if I'm not around. If I'm there he will gravitate to me and just follow me around the house.

2. - He's growled at my youngest son (6yo) a few times. We've reacted with a stern no and held the muzzle the first couple of times. This last time my wife yelled at him NO and he seemed fearful for a few minutes but has since done it once more.

3. He stays all night in the crate from the first time he got home with no potty problems or much wimpering or crying... With Christmas break over for the kids and my wife (teacher) - today is the first day he spent 7 hours during the day in the cage - again no potty problem but I'm wondering if it's too much time in the crate? he's been free around the house since this afternoon and we've walked him 3 or 4 times since we got home and let him play and run in the yard for about 20 min or so...

Anyhow sorry for the long post, but we are first time pet owners and want to do the right thing and provide a proper home and environment for our PUP

Thank you!

Mojito & Family

Last edited by gocanes; 01-08-2008 at 08:12 PM. Reason: add info...
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 08:49 PM
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Hi! Do you have a name we can address you with? I have a hard time knowing how to talk to someone when they don't post a name...do I just say
"HEY" ???

Anyway..welcome to the forum..You have definitely come to the right place for help, support and all the yakkity-yak stuff!

I found the best way to un-stick a dog from one person is for others the offer little treats..feed them their dinner, or take them out.

As for the growling part, that usually occurs when a puppy hasn't learned
"who" is in charge...Correcting him with a sound "no" is good..

Personally, I don't think I could crate a dog for more than a couple of hours.
I have read though, that the dog should have enough room to be able to stand up and turn around in the crate.

No doubt you will be getting alot of helpful suggestions here shortly..

Do you have any more pictures to post of your cute little guy??..I love the name Mojito!
post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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name is Tony


Mojito & Family

Last edited by gocanes; 01-08-2008 at 09:09 PM. Reason: add info
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:08 PM
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Hi, Welcome! Congratulations on your new puppy.

I believe that a set up of an ex-pen is very comfortable and safe for the puppies. Ex-pens are available at Petco, PetSmart and other pet stores as well as on the web.
You can keep a piddle pad (for peeing and potty), a water bowl, a food bowl, your puppy's crate and a couple of toys in the ex-pen. You can crate the puppy at night and leave him in the ex-pen when you can't watch him all the time or when you go out.

I found the book "The Havanese" by Diane Klumb very useful since I too like you was the first time pet owner and wanted to make sure I understood the breed well to nurture a happy, well-adusted puppy. The other book I recommend is " How to raise a puppy you can live with".

Good luck! Look forward to seeing more pictures.


Best, Poornima
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:20 PM
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HEY.. Tony

It would be great if you could add your name to your signature...

I also wanted to tell you that from what I can see of Mojito in your avatar..he looks very adorable!
post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:32 PM
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Tony--Welcome to the forum. I love Mojito's one black eye.

1. Let the others participate in Mojito's care such as feeding, walking etc.
2. Even a 6 year old can help with some basic training such as sit. Let him give the reward treat.
3. Make sure the child knows how to approach the puppy.
4. I agree that you need an expen for work days or other times when you are away. It gives the puppy more room, a chance to go potty on a pad, and a chance to play, eat, drink. You can connect the crate to the pen for sleeping.
5. I like to take my dogs for a good walk prior to leaving for work.

Tony, keep coming back. Bring more pictures and stories of your new family member.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:38 PM
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You're smart to stop the growling at people. (I don't mind growling at playmates if they are dogs, but I don't let them growl at people unless it was deserved.)

Be careful in how you correct. These guys are soft and he is young. You will get very frustrated if he starts submissive urination. I think the males are much more likely to get into that and it is not fun to change. Try to do as much positive training and distraction from bad behavior instead.

Yes, I think 7 hours is an awfully long time, especially at such a young age. If you can give him a break in the middle of that or leave him in a safe, confined area like an exercise pen (x-pen or ex-pen), that would be better.

Welcome to you and Mojito! I look forward to hearing more about his life with you guys.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:46 PM
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I also agree with the ex-pen for extended away-time. I like crating my puppies when I leave the house, but I never leave them for more than an hour, maybe 3.5 longest.
I also have an ex-pen (short for exercise pen!) set up. You can put food, toys, small crate and puppy pads all inside and it's just peachy to leave puppy there for seven hours. One worry: if you have a jumper, they may figure out how to jump on crate and jump out of ex-pen! It's also a fab idea to give the dog a great AM walk before leaving.
I also agree with having the kids share with the care! My 9 year old walks the dog in the morning and all the kids take the dogs out back to potty, they all give treats, feed and water the dogs.
One little fun tip: as a family, we sometimes sit down to watch the Dog Whisperer at night. The kids learn simple tips (and so do we!) about being calm assertive pack leaders. It is time well spent! And the kids just love, love Cesar!
Good luck! Enjoy your CUTIE!
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 09:49 PM
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I read the mentioned book, and I'm not a part of the breeder world, but when I mentioned Diane Klumb at a Havanese Open House I got dagger looks from the breeders present. I guess she's part of the Havana Silk Dog controversy according to my breeder. Whatever. I am not into all of that, but I must say, it really was a helpful book and she didn't go into any of the Havanese vs. Havana Silk Dog bologna in the book. I skipped all of the "way the legs should be formed" chapters because I was confident in my breeder...I guess that would be the most controversial parts of the book.
She mentions the ex-pen, which I totally agree with and would have purchased if I would have ended up with a younger pup, as I originally thought. I also really enjoyed her chapter on the "what will I eat today" picky Hav eater, as I have one of those. I've basically just trusted my instincts and figure, as I did when breastfeeding my children, that if they're eliminating regularly, and full of energy, and growing that they are getting what they need.

I have a seven and a half year old boy and a three and half year old girl. They have both been raised with dogs, including a great dane, but I ALWAYS supervise their dog contact. So far, Posh has growled at my three year old twice in the last two months. Both times Posh has been chewing on her "bully stick" and my daughter Violet has put her face way down to Posh's. I have been right there and said "no" and grabbed Posh's cheeks. I have also told the kids that Posh's crate is COMPLETELY off limits. Both of my children feed Posh treats and make her sit and gently take them. They also play fetch with her. One thing my breeder suggested, and I hadn't thought of this was having daily "quiet" time with the puppy, cradling her on her back like a newborn and speaking softly to her, and definitely including the kids so she doesn't think of them as "playthings."
I think it really boils down to dogs are dogs and kids are kids and you must supervise contact, especially in the beginning so that the relationship grows and blooms positively. I think having a great dane has really hammered it home to me how important a well trained dog is...same goes for the wee ones.
Also, Posh likes me best so far...but I think as time goes by, she will form unique bonds with each family member for different reasons. I can already see this happening, as the first month we had her she would stay in her crate, even with the door open the whole time I was gone, waiting for me to come back and wouldn't even pee for my husband...that has completely changed.
Sorry this was so long...I'm good at giving unsolicited free advice.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 10:01 PM
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We played a game with our dogs that would probably work for you. We played Hide and Seek. It was a great way to teach the dog his name and get him to come to others. Hold the dog in the middle of the room and have the other family members hide (not too hard because you want the dog to be able to find them. We played at night with a lot of the lights off. Once they are hidden, one of the family members calls the dog. If they need help, go with them to find the person. When the person is found, the dog gets a treat. Then the next family member calls the dog and so on.
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