Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 3 Times in 3 Posts
So we brought Ginger home on Ground Hog Day. She was 9 weeks old and so sweet even from day one.
**Tip Number 1: Listen to the breeder about temperament and which puppy fits your family.
When went to pick the puppy up, I wasn't sure if I would even get one of the pups. But as you can imagine, as soon as we met the puppies we knew we wanted one. The breeder had multiple females to choose from, so we played with them for a while before deciding which one we wanted to take home. Even though I was drawn to the colorings of another girl, the breeder recommended our Ginger for our family. She felt she was more laid back and could handle having our two girls attention. She was so right. From the very beginning, Ginger has been so tolerant and accepting of the abundant love that my girls give her. Mom and Dad are constantly having to remind them to give her space, but Ginger never seems to mind. Your breeder has observed the puppies for many weeks, so remember to get their insight into the personality of the puppy. They really do know best.
I was prepared for Ginger's arrival and had a crate, toys leash, collar - all the essentials. We even purchased bells for our door to make sure Ginger would have an easy way to tell us when she wants to go outside. I had everything we needed to get us through the first few weeks, but I did get and expen a couple of days later, since I needed a better place to keep her when I couldn't watch her other than my laundry room.
From day one, our new Havanese girl was a joy to be around. Not too jumpy or over excited. House breaking has gone very well so far, and I can say that so far, it has been because of our diligence. We don't leave her unattended except for when she is napping, and we take her out every hour and after every sleep. (Let me mention, that I am fortunately between consulting projects currently, so I am not having to manage house breaking with a full-time work schedule. I realize that this is not a typical scenario with most owners.)
Sleeping/crating has also gone extremely well. I was prepared for our first few nights to be rough, but I was so surprised. We had only a few minutes of whimpering the first night, and that was it. For the first few nights, we put Ginger's crate in our living room and I slept next to her on a couch. (I wanted to lessen the disruption to my husband's sleep.) If she started to cry, I would tap her crate and tell her "No". After the second night, I haven't had to make any corrections at all. She goes in her crate and goes to bed. We have had a few nights where I have had to take her out in the middle of the night, and I have had a few nights where she has slept from 10:00 to 7:00. Amazing, right? After a a couple days of doing well, we moved her crate to our bedroom at night. Still no crying. She really is doing well. My mother would tell you it's because we are using "a special puppy".
**Tip Number 2: Have a stuffed puppy friend for your new puppy.
This tip I get from my Mom who used to breed Shelties. Get a stuffed puppy and get either your scent on it, or the scent of the puppies Mom and litter mates (even better). At bedtime, put the stuffed puppy in the crate. My mother also recommended having a ticking clock outside the crate. I did both, and our nights have been great!
So things are really going pretty well. Only real problem is the puppy biting. I know it is completely normal, but oh my her teeth are sharp. We are doing all of the recommended strategies and having a toy to give her to bite on is probably the best. She has gotten both my oldest daughter and me with those teeth. This will be our biggest growing pains I think.
Last edited by raeshan; 02-12-2014 at 07:50 AM.