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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Joys of a New Puppy

Thought I'd like to start a thread to share how things are going with our new Havanese puppy Ginger. I will try to come back every few days to give an update on how this are going.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Week 1

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.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Ginger and the Cat

I haven't mentioned yet that we have an older cat that has never been around dogs before. Our biggest concern about getting a dog was how the cat would respond. Has anyone else had to introduce a puppy to an older cat?

Of course our cat isn't happy that the puppy is here and she stays upstairs in our house most of the time. The puppy is mostly not the downstairs, main floor. e have allowed them to interact through a gate, and the cat swats at the puppy to tell her to stay away.

I sure hope they will be able to coexist happily.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 01:46 AM
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It sounds like you have a smart little girl and that you're doing the right things. I introduced Manny to my neighbors cat and he seemed to like the cat, but he's terrified of dogs! Go figure.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 07:37 AM
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I have two cats, they are sisters and turned 8 this past December. The pack has it's moments but everyone sleeps in our bed together very peacefully. I do crate the dogs when I feed the cats and I also have a cat tower that they hang out on when we're all downstairs together. They cats used to sleep on the couch until I bought stairs and now the dogs are up there. They aren't the best of buddies but I don't think anyone is unhappy about coexisting. Just be careful that Ginger doesn't corner your cat in a moment of playfulness. Mae is much more annoying to them then Tim ever was but we're working on "leave it" when she gets rambunctious and so far so good.

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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House Breaking Thoughts

So Ginger has been with our family for a week and a half. She is 11 weeks old today and this are some things that I have observed.

1. As long as crate is small enough it works. We bought a crate that she will likely out grow, but we haven't had any accidents in it. My neighbor who has a Shi-poo one month older than Ginger used a larger crate, and her pup started peeing the corner of the crate.

2. Ginger will hold it all night in her crate, but goes every 30 minutes in the morning. I will take her out as soon as she gets up. If she doesn't poop at that time, she will need to go out again within 15mins. She then will need to go at least 3 or 4 times in the next couple hours. I guess her system gets moving after she eats breakfast, and she has to keep going out frequently.

3. Once we get past 10am, she can seem to get back on a every hour trip outside. We also take her out immediately after she gets up from a nap.

As long as we are diligent, she doesn't have accidents. If we slip, she slips. Fortunately, she is having her accidents in her expen that has a floor, so cleanup is easy. I guess if she is going to go inside, that is the best place.

We are teaching her to ring a bell to go outside and when we take her out, she rings the bell, but she isn't yet going to the bell on her own. I guess that will take more time.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 09:27 AM
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When they are young puppies it can feel as if you'll ALWAYS be running them out every few minutes. I found with Leo that 4 months, 7 months and about 11 months yielded significant advances in the amount of time that he could go between potty trips. At a year he now tells me very clearly when he needs to go out so I don't worry about giving him free reign. This does take time and preventing accidents really helps them understand where their appropriate potty place is.


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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raeshan View Post
1. As long as crate is small enough it works. We bought a crate that she will likely out grow, but we haven't had any accidents in it. My neighbor who has a Shi-poo one month older than Ginger used a larger crate, and her pup started peeing the corner of the crate.
That's partly crate size, you are right, but it's also partly early training. It sounds like you got Ginger from a reputable breeder, who, most limey, already put some time and effort into potty training, and who SURELY kept their area nice and clean for them.

By definition, a "Shi-poo" came from (probably) a puppy mill, or at VERY best, from a backyard breeder. She was probable raised being allowed to pee and poop anywhere she felt like it. So she has no concept of keeping her bed clean the way Ginger does.

It is entirely possible that your friend will have a longer, more difficult imd training her puppy than you will with Ginger.


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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:40 AM
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Following you stories!

Hi,

Thanks for the updates! I am following your stories so we can apply all your lessons learned when we hopefully get a puppy in the spring/early summer.

Thanks,
Peggy
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ginger will be with us 2 weeks tomorrow and i just have to say that I am so happy with this breed. She has met all my expectations and is just the sweetest puppy.

We had her in the second class of puppy kindergarten today, and she has mastered everything they have asked. She is surrounded by larger golden retrievers, labs, boxers and German shepherds, and is calm but not timid. She is really one of the stars in the class. She sits for greeting, walks with a loose leash, sits, lays down...all at only 11 weeks old.

She has been great with kids, other dogs and every person she meets. She is just so sweet.

When I researched breeds and told my husband the cost of a Havanese, he was shocked at how expensive they can be. He is now telling people what a great dog Ginger is and how she is worth the cost. I couldn't agree more.





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