Hello! We got our male havanese puppy 3 weeks ago, at 8 weeks of age. You can see a photo gallery of him here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orestis...7635211046364/
(no recent pics, those were all taken during breeder visits).
We were so lucky to be within 30 minutes of driving distance of the breeder - we visited weekly before he was even born.
He fit in to our home very quickly - he doesn't cry at all at nights in his crate, housebreaking has progressed rapidly, he hasn't destroyed anything (yet!), we've been socializing him a lot with people, places etc.
It is my first dog so I have a few worries and questions I'd like to get some feedback on. I didn't find anything relevant on the forum, because most of you lucky people have a yard, while we live in a 4th floor flat (very common in greece).
1. Housebreaking - we are confining Mucho to one half of the living room, where we spend all our time these days. We have puppy pads on the balcony, separated via a glass sliding door. When he wants to pee/poop he will go and stand by the door and look back at us, we'll get up and open, he'll go out and do his business on the pad - that's great! However, if we are not in the room he will stay there silent and sometimes he can't hold it and goes right there (poor guy!). We tried hanging a bell but he got very confused so we removed it. Is there anything else we can try? He definitely *wants* to go out, but has no way to alert us.
2. Housebreaking 2 - our vet said that it's going to be another 2 months (!) before he can venture outside to do his business. There are a lot of strays (cats and dogs) in Greece so that makes sense. However I am worried about the transition from going on the pad whenever he likes vs holding it in until we get him outside.
3. Playing - again, the no-going-out decree from the vet has us confined in the house for playtime. We haven't put the carpets down yet (and probably won't for another couple of months until we are confident there won't be accidents). We have tile floor that is quite slippery - he does run like hell sometimes but you can see it frustrates him. We are trimming the hair under the paws to help him, but it's not enough. We play fetch (he doesn't actually bring the toy back to us, but he goes to a couple of specific places and tries to "kill it"), a bit of tug, sometimes put his morning meal in kongs and a puzzle ball. I can't help though thinking that he has extra energy to burn off. We visited his breeder last week and he was running out in the yard non-stop with another puppy there (old friends!). Are there any other energetic games we can play indoors?
4. Alone time - I work from home, and my girlfriend works out of the home only part time, so Mucho hasn't been alone yet for more than 5 minutes (we did a little experiment). He is very attached to us - just now he whimpered because I went to the bathroom and he got stuck in the living room. We plan to start leaving him alone in the house for small amounts of time to work up to 2-3 hours. I'd like to really confine him in his pen properly and not in the living room because he really likes chewing the sofa, and there a lot of exposed cables that he could chew during a stressful time (he doesn't care for them now). Any tips on how to best do that?
5. Alone time 2 - Again, working from home has advantages - I don't think we could get housetraining/accident rate that good if we left him alone - but sometimes I really need to settle down and work on the laptop. Of course Mucho doesn't really like that and he tries to get my attention (mostly by chewing the sofa). Eventually after some play he goes to sleep (he sleeps right now next to my feet) and I can then work. Are there any tips on how to get him to settle down? He has a lot of toys but he loses interest after 5-10 minutes and goes back to trying to get my attention.
Phew! That was a long post. Thanks for reaching to the end!