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!