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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2021, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for a first-timer!

So I'm still a ways off from getting our puppy (on a waitlist since early december), but I thought it could be fun to pose some questions to you seasoned hav owners. My future havanese puppy will be my first dog ever, so I've been trying to do as much research and prep as possible. Here are a few things I'd love to get insight on:

1. Our ultimate goal will be to have the pup sleep in the living room, not our bedroom. With that in mind should we crate train our puppy overnight in the living room from day 1 or is that too upsetting for a (probably 10 week old) puppy and is it better to start with the crate in the bedroom during nighttime and slowly/gradually move it further away to its desired location?

2. My significant other and I both work from home and on top of that we live in NYC so it's not like our apartment is, uh, particularly huge. If our pup's crate and ex pen is set up in the living room during the day, we're pretty much gonna be in his/her line of sight constantly. Should we practice going to another room or leaving the apartment from the beginning? I get that havs are velcro dogs which is totally fine by me, but I don't want to induce future separation anxiety issues

3. We live on the 15th floor of an elevator building so it's quite a journey to get outside. I was thinking of solely continuing the puppy's litter box training for the first 6ish weeks with us until he/she gets the rest of his/her shots (there's all manner of garbage on nyc streets...sometimes even literal crap...plus every area is a highly trafficked dog area). Is this a good idea? After my pup is fully vaccinated should i do a mixture of litter box/outside pottying before transitioning to solely outside? What’s the best way train a pup to go mostly outside but once in awhile (like if it’s just a freezing, rainy, terrible weather day) use a litter box that i put down?

4. We live near a raised railtrack by the williamsburg bridge. The train periodically goes by (not constantly but maybe like once or twice an hour during the day and once every few hours or less at night). We're immune to it and barely notice at this point, but I'm assuming this noise could be jarring for a puppy. Any ideas how we could help acclimate a pup to this noise?

5. Any recommendations for like a sling or backpack or carrier type thing? I want take him/her outside before they have all their shots to work on socialization with all the sights/sounds of the city.


6. What size/type of crate and ex pen do you all recommend? What about litter boxes? Would love any supply recommendations (for literally anything!)

7. What should I bring/what should i do for a 7-8 hour car ride during our ride home from the breeders? My significant other will thankfully be driving back so i can fully focus on making sure the puppy is comfy and his/her needs are met.


Once i actually get my puppy i’m sure i’ll have a lot more questions as new things come up! Would love any insight the fine folks here have for inexperienced first-time dog people! =)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2021, 09:37 AM
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1. I would start with it in the living room on day one but be open to sleeping in the living room the first night or two. Or, since you mentioned your apartment is small, starting with the crate in line of site of your bedroom if you can, then moving to it’s permanent position as he acclimates.

2. Definitely! You’ll have to make a point of it. But it could be fun, finding ways to get out of the house together, when you’re working from home. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, you can go get coffee or get the mail.

3. You might want to look at the indoor potty training threads and pine pellets. I’d really consider indoor potty year round. An indoor trained dog will still go potty outside. In fact, if you indoor train you could continue to use the indoor potty first thing in the morning and take your puppy outside the rest of the time and he’ll maintain the skill for winter weather and travel. It’s not just putting a pad down and hoping for the best. It’s clean, it isn’t confusing for the puppy, and I don’t live in an apartment but desperately wish I had been more diligent about continuing indoor training.

4. I would think he’d get used to it pretty quickly since you’ll bring him home in that early socialization window that makes them adaptable to a lot. But someone might be able to offer specific suggestions. Exposing him to as many sounds, sights, tactile experiences, etc. will make him more adaptable long term.

5. I don’t have one, but there was a thread on this, during the spring/summer, when Melissa Woods got her puppy.

6. I’d personally start with an inexpensive, Midwest type ex-pen that’s easy to adjust in size, especially if you have a small space and you’re tucking it in a corner or something. I don’t remember crate sizes but my puppy did better with one on the smaller side.

7. Our long drive was easier than I thought. We couldn’t really entertain him, and he didn’t really sleep deeply, but he did settle in and rest for most of it. The biggest thing is to try to plan ahead potential places to stop so you can avoid typical rest stops. The forum suggested not feeding him, to prevent car sickness.

I was a first time dog owner, too. The first few weeks are the biggest adjustment, but it’s also so much fun. Take lots of pictures and remember potty training doesn’t last forever! But, don’t believe anything that suggests potty training will be over in 2-3 months. It’s not intense the whole time, and you’ll probably have an easier time in a smaller space, but plan to supervise and accommodate his potty needs for up to a year, knowing he may be reliable earlier. When people say training a small dog is harder, I don’t completely agree. They’re smart and they figure out the concept quickly, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to be free in the house yet. The other thing I suggest is to read as much as you can to be prepared, but be most prepared to adapt
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2021, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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There's a long winding hallway separating our bedroom (in the back)/kitchen/living room (in the front) so I don't think he could be in living room while still being in my line of sight from the bedroom (thank god tbh. definitely do not miss those nyc studio apartment days lol). I can definitely sleep on the couch in the living room the first couple of nights though, i hadn't thought of that!

Yeah - the indoor pottying thing seems very intriguing to me. I never considered it before reading here but it seems like a good idea. I'm just a bit hesitant to have a litterbox in my apartment permanently. I'm wondering if it's possible to put it in storage when the pup is an adult and just take it out when it's a terrible weather day rather than have it out 24/7...or if that'd be too confusing lol.

So for the long car ride, it's best to just give him water then feed him when we finally get home? I was thinking of maybe packing a litterbox and when we pull over putting that on the ground and just allowing him to stand in that for potty.

Thanks so much for your help and insight!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2021, 11:26 AM
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I felt the same way, which is why I started indoor potty a little bit late. I was really lucky he took to it right away, because he’d been indoor trained by the breeder. Unfortunately, when summer came I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with the skill.

A litter box with pine pellets doesn’t smell, so from that perspective, it’s not disruptive to a small home where you can’t have it in a back room. As far as appearance, I think there are ways to make them unobtrusive, because that was huge for me. I wouldn’t want it to look like I had a big cat litter box in my living room! But there are styles that are low profile, like trays, and it helps when the color blends in with the floor. It really depends on your long term setup, too. If you plan on using an ex-pen permanently, you won’t notice it at all. If you need to find a corner for it, it might take time to find the potty tray that’s the least conspicuous and works best for your home and Havanese, but I do think it’s possible.

The great thing is you can always decide to stop later. If you only indoor train for the first 6 months or year, it will minimize your early morning potty trips and get you through your first winter, and there’s no rule you have to continue. I personally think that convenience is completely worth even the ugliest potty tray in my front room for a short time. I hate the cold! I didnt mind taking my puppy outside, but that first early morning potty that is always urgent, was the hardest for me.

They do lose the skill if they don’t continue to use it, though. That’s what happened with mine. I can put him on it and tell him to go, which is better than nothing, but not the same as being able to leave him for an extended time in an emergency or something and know he’ll seek it out. It wouldn’t be a problem to put it away if you’re having guests or something once he’s trained, as long as you take him outside. But to continue to seek it out, he’d have to use it periodically. Mine used it once a day for a while when we started taking him outside, then we just sort of forgot.

You have time to decide! It’s not for everyone. I’m really big on it, mostly because you can stop indoor training any time. But it has to be taught early, and if someone changes their mind later, it can’t be taught to an older puppy.

Last edited by EvaE1izabeth; 01-07-2021 at 11:30 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2021, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAMuggle View Post
So I'm still a ways off from getting our puppy (on a waitlist since early december), but I thought it could be fun to pose some questions to you seasoned hav owners. My future havanese puppy will be my first dog ever, so I've been trying to do as much research and prep as possible. Here are a few things I'd love to get insight on:

1. Our ultimate goal will be to have the pup sleep in the living room, not our bedroom. With that in mind should we crate train our puppy overnight in the living room from day 1 or is that too upsetting for a (probably 10 week old) puppy and is it better to start with the crate in the bedroom during nighttime and slowly/gradually move it further away to its desired location?

2. My significant other and I both work from home and on top of that we live in NYC so it's not like our apartment is, uh, particularly huge. If our pup's crate and ex pen is set up in the living room during the day, we're pretty much gonna be in his/her line of sight constantly. Should we practice going to another room or leaving the apartment from the beginning? I get that havs are velcro dogs which is totally fine by me, but I don't want to induce future separation anxiety issues

3. We live on the 15th floor of an elevator building so it's quite a journey to get outside. I was thinking of solely continuing the puppy's litter box training for the first 6ish weeks with us until he/she gets the rest of his/her shots (there's all manner of garbage on nyc streets...sometimes even literal crap...plus every area is a highly trafficked dog area). Is this a good idea? After my pup is fully vaccinated should i do a mixture of litter box/outside pottying before transitioning to solely outside? What’s the best way train a pup to go mostly outside but once in awhile (like if it’s just a freezing, rainy, terrible weather day) use a litter box that i put down?

4. We live near a raised railtrack by the williamsburg bridge. The train periodically goes by (not constantly but maybe like once or twice an hour during the day and once every few hours or less at night). We're immune to it and barely notice at this point, but I'm assuming this noise could be jarring for a puppy. Any ideas how we could help acclimate a pup to this noise?

5. Any recommendations for like a sling or backpack or carrier type thing? I want take him/her outside before they have all their shots to work on socialization with all the sights/sounds of the city.


6. What size/type of crate and ex pen do you all recommend? What about litter boxes? Would love any supply recommendations (for literally anything!)

7. What should I bring/what should i do for a 7-8 hour car ride during our ride home from the breeders? My significant other will thankfully be driving back so i can fully focus on making sure the puppy is comfy and his/her needs are met.


Once i actually get my puppy i’m sure i’ll have a lot more questions as new things come up! Would love any insight the fine folks here have for inexperienced first-time dog people! =)
Welcome! We've had Finley for just about a month now. I'm far from being an expert, but I can tell you what we did/do for some of your questions.

1, 3 & 6: Finley's expen (inexpensive 3'x 3' Iris pen from Amazon) has been in our main floor family room since the day we brought her home. Our bedroom is upstairs. The first few nights, she cried a little when we first put her to bed, but since then, she's almost always quiet through the night. She doesn't usually cry in the morning until she knows we're up, and there were a few mornings over Christmas that we slept in fairly late!

The pen has her crate (open to the rest of the pen), her litter box with pine pellets, a drip water bottle, and a few toys. I just ordered a Richell pen, not because there's anything wrong with the Iris, but because it's going to fit better in our odd family room layout. I didn't want to start with the more expensive Richell until I knew how she would do in an ex-pen. The Iris has been great; I'm glad we have it, I highly recommend it, and we'll still use it if we need to travel with her or if we have her in a different part of the house.

Finley uses the litter box at night, and almost never 'misses', although throughout the day, we have some work to do on the potty training. The pine pellets are great in that there really is no noticeable odor.

You may have read other posts that talk about a snuggle pup. Finley loves hers; we had it in the car with us when we picked her up, and it's in her crate all the time now. We activate the heartbeat and put in a new heat pack before she goes to bed at night. I don't actually know if it helps her, but she does seem to like it and gets very interested when we get it ready every night.

4. I would think your puppy will get used to the sounds of the train pretty quickly. He/She may startle the first few times, but if it's a frequent occurrence, I doubt it will take any time at all for the puppy not to notice the sound for long.

5. We had a 4 hour drive back with Finley. She cried pitifully for the first hour, give or take, and then calmed down. She was on my lap the whole trip, although since then we've bought a travel carrier that gets strapped in with a seat belt. Along with her snuggle puppy, we had a few small toys and a little bit of her kibble that I would use to distract her if she got fidgety. We had some pee pads with us we would lay down at rest stops on the sidewalk, so we could avoid the high-traffic dog areas. We also had a water bottle that has a sort of bowl for the lid, with a straw going down the bottle. Squeeze the bottle, and water comes up through the bowl top. It fits perfectly in the cup holder, and she figured it out pretty quickly.

Hope this reply isn't too disjointed. I kept going back to fill in things I'd forgotten - kind of a rambling!

So exciting to be getting ready for a puppy!

Marion

Marion

Last edited by MMoore; 01-07-2021 at 10:26 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2021, 11:02 PM
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I know the others will give you good replies. I just wanted to say welcome!

Here are some resources for you.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2021, 11:10 AM
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Welcome! I am a new puppy owner myself but I can tell you what we did for Gooby.

1. To get him used to it from the start, I I would probably crate him in the area you want him to sleep in. But like EvaE1izabeth said, you will definitely need to be there with him the first few nights to make him comfortable. I've read about keeping the crate in the bedroom and slowly moving it out, an inch or two every night until it's in the living room. We move his crate from the ex pen into the bedroom every night so he can sleep with us.

2. Absolutely! We live in an apartment too and as long as he had been fed, pottied, played - we feel good about leaving him for a bit. We have a gym downstairs and we've gone for 30 mins and come back to a quiet dog just sitting calm in his little donut bed.

3. We did indoor potty only the first 2 weeks and it is set up in a section within his ex pen. He had a few accidents but we expected that and it was our fault for not paying attention to his schedule and his behavior. Once we took him out, he immediately knew what to do on the grass and did his thing! I agree it's good to have them indoor and outdoor trained, especially for apartment living in NYC and even for vacations/hotels. Now he goes out for his morning potty before breakfast and understands the 'go potty' command way better since we started bringing him out. So now when we put him on his indoor potty he actually gets it.

4. He should get used to the noise. It may scare him a bit at first but you'll be there to reassure and calm him and give praise for not flipping out.

5. I use a Sherpa Deluxe carrier. I kind of want


cos Gooby loves to see all the action.

6. My breeder recommended a 19" x 24" crate and 2' high by 16' ex pen. He adapted easily to the full size crate, so we had no use for the divider though I do recommend it just in case.

7. We had a 2.5 hr ride back but we experienced him whining a bit and then napping. Since my husband was by his side he was able to reassure and comfort him in and out of his carrier.

The thread with the resources ShamaMama shared was so helpful for me (the before and after you get your dog PDFs). They are written by Ian Dunbar who is like the father of positive reinforcement dog training and highly regarded.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2021, 10:01 AM
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TIPS FOR INDOOR POTTY TRAINING

Puppyhood and indoor potty training is a relatively recent memory. Below are a few tips I learned along with all the good advice you’ll get on this forum.


• Place your ex-pen in a room that is gated off, confining the puppy to one room, where the family routinely gathers so when the ex-pen door is open the puppy can roam in and out.

•The room needs to be Puppy Proof meaning there should be no hidden places where he can play or hide from view.

• If the room is carpeted consider purchasing a piece of vinyl to lay over the play area until the puppy is considered 100% housebroken.

• When the ex-pen door is open someone should have EYES on the puppy.

• In the beginning when your Tiny Puppy is only weeks old and is adjusting to a new home and ex-pen there should NOT be a lot of play area in the ex-pen. The potty tray should be only a couple of puppy steps away. Once the puppy figures out how to get to the potty tray the area can be expanded. In a large ex-pen, two potty trays side-by-side takes up room.

• Treat and Praise the puppy EVERY time he potties on the tray.

• Place the puppy’s food and water bowels, bedding and toys in the ex-pen along with the potty tray. Make this area your puppy’s Favorite Safe Place.

• When the ex-pen door is open someone should have EYES on the puppy. Otherwise, the puppy should be confined to the ex-pen.

• Dogs do not typically potty where they sleep, eat and play and without potty training the will on their own seek out and use a potty tray. However, when the puppy leaves the ex-pen expect accidents until you show train him how to get back to the potty tray in the ex-pen.

• When the ex-pen door is open someone should have EYES on the puppy. When the puppy squats – Clap Your Hands – to try and stop him. Pick him up and put him on the potty tray and give a command: Do Your Job, Go Pee or whatever words you use. For months you’re going to be excited he’s peed or pooped on the tray with Treats and Praise.

• If you’re having trouble with the puppy returning to the potty tray put a harness and leash on him and let him play on leash in the gated room. Dogs typically don’t pee and poop if confined to a small play area. Periodically, walk him back to the potty tray and give the Command.

• After you’re confident he’s got the idea, you can move the training into other rooms. Gate the room off and let him play on leash. Place a potty tray in that room and periodically walk him to the tray. When he potties – Treat and Praise. When you think he’s gotten the idea remove the leash and have EYES on him at all times to make sure.

• Later you will systematically remove and place indoor potty tray/s out of sight and where you want them. I have one under a desk in an office TV room. The other is in our Master Bathroom.

• Your puppy needs to be confined and trained in each room for a long while. Patti was 10 months before I took down gates and gave her freedom to three rooms. It was more months later before she had access to other parts of the house. DO NOT give the puppy the run of the house. Confinement is Key to training.

• Housebreaking a Toy Dog takes longer than housebreaking a large breed dog. Karen’s rule: a puppy needs to go three months without an accident to be considered housebroken and that it takes as long as it takes.

• A dog that has occasional accidents is NOT housebroken. Your home or apartment size and arrangement will make a difference on how long it takes. If you have a studio apartment room, it will take less time than if you have a large home.

• All dogs who are indoor housebroken eventually prefer to go outside. Patti uses the indoor potty trays when the weather keeps her indoors or when we confine her to our bedroom or the house when we leave for the day and she can’t get out.

• My home was an obstacle course for a year. I hated all the gates, crates, ex-pen and puppy paraphernalia we needed while housebreaking and training Patti. Eventually, it ends and all or most of that stuff is removed and your house will be back to normal.

Outdoor Potty Training. Initially, I tried this but found it exhausting and difficult. It didn’t matter if I took Patti out every hour, every 30 minutes, every 15 minutes or right after eating or drinking because she often came right back in squatted and pee on the floor or squatted while playing.

Patti was using the indoor potty tray without any training and I decided to focus on indoor potty training. If you want your dog to use the indoor potty tray when it’s inconvenient to outdoors, Treat and Praise. When you take them outside to play, if they potty ignore them – DO NOT Treat and Praise.

Because all dogs trained to use an indoor potty tray eventually prefer going outside, you might be able to combine the two. Treat and Praise the puppy when they go outside instead of ignoring them. Take them out often to encourage them to go outside but also Treat and Praise when they use the potty tray to prevent accidents in the house during training.

Housebreaking takes TIME and PATIENCE!!!
“It takes as long as it takes.”

Love & Licks from Patti Sweet Lucy
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2021, 10:45 AM
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Hi and welcome. We are new Hav owners to a 13 week old. She came hoe with us at 8 weeks. We live in an apartment (3rd floor) but wanted her to get used to the sights, sounds and feels of outside. We had very few accidents early on and I think spent more time getting ready to take her out and out than in. That said, she is, knock on wood, good about going outside. Not a fan of the rain and snow but such is life -- and the pee pad in the basement got rejected by her super quickly. She is in our room now (and our 2-5 year old rescue is in the LR) but the plan is to move her out to join the other. They are luckily very bonded already, but will both have separation anxiety when we go back to work!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2021, 08:21 PM
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