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I have read so many posts of crazy Havanese puppies... everyone says hang in there it will get better... my question is WHEN??? BTW jason.lotkowictz if you are reading this, please tell me things have gotten better with Charlie. Our Lexi could be her sister as you will see in the pics. Yes she is absolutely adorable... like a cute stuffed animal every kid dreams of. She's funny. But she is six pounds of fury! Lexi is 17 weeks now. We bought this breed because we read they don't bark... they are easy to train... NOT THE CASE! She goes nuts on a daily basis.. runs circles in our house and growls, yes it's funny... but... Housebreaking has been VERY difficult. She has suddenly started barking at everything... even when there is nothing there. We live on a lake and now she's barking at boats when she sees them through the window. Not good. When we put her in for quiet time in her pen, she screams like a banshee. And the biting is nonstop. She has plenty of bones, chew toys. My husband is her favorite chew toy. I have tried the "kisses not biting" line someone offered up. Last night I got a sharp sudden bite on my lip before I knew what was coming. Don't get me wrong she has her good moments. But there are more bad then good. We spent two hours with a trainer who thinks she has some sort of PTSD. We got her from Georgia dog club, which had great reviews, but the breeders remain anonymous, which thinking back seems odd to me. It could be she was not properly socialized and kept in a crate or cage. Often, and this is after having her for seven weeks, her first reaction when you go
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to pick her up is to jump back. then she runs away like it's a game. She will not come when you call her unless we have a can of cheese in our hands. We have tried training her in the house to come... but again, no cheese no dice. We have to take her out to go potty on a leash every time. I'm beginning to feel desperate. We've only owned golden retrievers before.... TOTALLY different breed and MUCH easier to train and housebreak. I don't want to give up on Lexi, but we are both at a breaking point with her. ANY advice... and an idea of when all of this will stop, if ever, would be greatly appreciated. I needs some words of inspiration :)
 

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Maturing will solve some of her issues such as the biting. When she gets out of control and biting, she should be going to the expen for some quiet time. And ignore the hissy fit she will keep pulling. She is really too young to expect much from except for basic manners. Someone who knows more will chime in.
After my first puppy as an adult(over 40 years ago), I decided that I would not be cut out for motherhood after those early puppy days! And I never did have children! Puppies can be unruly beasts for the first 6 months, I think. Levi is a real beauty! Write down all of her shortcomings/issues. Maybe take a video of her behavior. Put it away for a month and I'm sure that you will see remarkable improvement.

It does sound like she came from a puppy mill. Sorry to say. I have never heard of anonymous breeders ever. My first puppy over 40 years ago came from what is still known to be one of the worst puppy mills in the US. I bought him from a pet store(yes, I know better now.) He was crazy wild. He did go to obedience school. That helped. Once the teething stage was over, things were so much better. I crate trained him and he howled every night for hours for a couple of months. He did turn out to be a wonderful dog after all though. Lived to be over 18 and healthy til his final last year. His name was Casper(Bichon Frise). RIP, my first boy!
 

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Thank you for your reply Tere. And I am sorry for the loss of your baby although that was a good long life to live. We lost our golden at 13. Interestingly enough the owner of the Georgia dog club contacted me today after I wrote a scathing review and admitted the breeders for this litter had issues. The wife has cancer and she was always the one to raised the puppies so it was left her husband and it seems he didn’t do much so I was right about my suspicions. Thankfully they were honest about this and are offering to send her to their trainer who specializes in behavioral issues for two weeks in North Carolina. I have to give the owner of Georgia dog club major credit for this. Hopefully they can fix her because the poor thing is clearly broken 😕
 

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That was a nice, long life for a Golden! They are such sweet dogs.
At least they are going to try to help. I hope it works for Lexi(I called her Levi above, sorry I didn't notice my typo). Some of my neighbors have sent their wild puppies for intensive training and they felt it really helped. These were mostly Goldendoodles.
This Georgia dog club sounds alot like someone who used to deliver puppies down here to Florida. One of my neighbors got a Havanese from them about 5 years ago. I wish I could remember the name of where they got it from but they sold multiple breeds, too. Makes me wonder if it is the same people.
When is this going to happen for poor Lexi?
 

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Thank you for your reply Tere. And I am sorry for the loss of your baby although that was a good long life to live. We lost our golden at 13. Interestingly enough the owner of the Georgia dog club contacted me today after I wrote a scathing review and admitted the breeders for this litter had issues. The wife has cancer and she was always the one to raised the puppies so it was left her husband and it seems he didn’t do much so I was right about my suspicions. Thankfully they were honest about this and are offering to send her to their trainer who specializes in behavioral issues for two weeks in North Carolina. I have to give the owner of Georgia dog club major credit for this. Hopefully they can fix her because the poor thing is clearly broken 😕
I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges that you’re having with your sweet pup. It definitely sounds like she came from a not good situation and that is making the ‘normal’ puppy challenges much tougher for her (and you!) to weather. That early socialization is SO critical and I’m so glad you’ve recognized she needs extra support.

Its good that the place where you got her is wanting to help; my only suggestion would be to make sure you look into the training center if you haven’t already and make sure you agree with their practices. I am by no means an expert, but I do know that a dog that is already fearful/dealing with some past traumas could get a lot worse with aversive training methods. Hopefully they focus on building trust and positive reinforcement for behavior modification. If not, I’d recommend looking for somewhere that does and seeing if they’ll pay for that instead. These pups can be super sensitive and would just hate to see it get worse. It could also be worth contacting a veterinary behaviorist, as medication could really help as well. I know we have a number of members in the southeast so maybe someone has a rec— if not, I’d start with any vet schools in your region as they often will have a behaviorist.

Only one other note on the positive reinforcement front— I think it’s ok for a puppy to be getting heavily reinforced every single time they do an important command when they’re young. You can wean off the rewards over time once they’re consistent, but we actually always treat ‘come’ as a huge deal given how critical it is for safety. We ONLY say it when we think the dog will be successful (so rarely when they were young!), and still reward 100% of the time for our 14 month old and 10 year old so it is something that they always will do no matter the situation!

Wishing you the best of luck with Lexi… like i said Im not an expert but I’m sure others here may have some helpful advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges that you’re having with your sweet pup. It definitely sounds like she came from a not good situation and that is making the ‘normal’ puppy challenges much tougher for her (and you!) to weather. That early socialization is SO critical and I’m so glad you’ve recognized she needs extra support.

Its good that the place where you got her is wanting to help; my only suggestion would be to make sure you look into the training center if you haven’t already and make sure you agree with their practices. I am by no means an expert, but I do know that a dog that is already fearful/dealing with some past traumas could get a lot worse with aversive training methods. Hopefully they focus on building trust and positive reinforcement for behavior modification. If not, I’d recommend looking for somewhere that does and seeing if they’ll pay for that instead. These pups can be super sensitive and would just hate to see it get worse. It could also be worth contacting a veterinary behaviorist, as medication could really help as well. I know we have a number of members in the southeast so maybe someone has a rec— if not, I’d start with any vet schools in your region as they often will have a behaviorist.

Only one other note on the positive reinforcement front— I think it’s ok for a puppy to be getting heavily reinforced every single time they do an important command when they’re young. You can wean off the rewards over time once they’re consistent, but we actually always treat ‘come’ as a huge deal given how critical it is for safety. We ONLY say it when we think the dog will be successful (so rarely when they were young!), and still reward 100% of the time for our 14 month old and 10 year old so it is something that they always will do no matter the situation!

Wishing you the best of luck with Lexi… like i said Im not an expert but I’m sure others here may have some helpful advice!
Thank you for the advice Lisa, much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That was a nice, long life for a Golden! They are such sweet dogs.
At least they are going to try to help. I hope it works for Lexi(I called her Levi above, sorry I didn't notice my typo). Some of my neighbors have sent their wild puppies for intensive training and they felt it really helped. These were mostly Goldendoodles.
This Georgia dog club sounds alot like someone who used to deliver puppies down here to Florida. One of my neighbors got a Havanese from them about 5 years ago. I wish I could remember the name of where they got it from but they sold multiple breeds, too. Makes me wonder if it is the same people.
When is this going to happen for poor Lexi?
She leaves tomorrow morning. We figured the sooner the better. Could be the same club, they have a location in Calhoun GA and Charlotte NC. Did you neighbor have a positive experience? Also, here's a question for anyone reading. We noticed our pup has webbed feet. Do Havanese have webbed feet? From what I've read they do not. Wondering if she is even pure Havanese. We are going to do a DNA test. Not that it really matters to us, but we were told she's pure Havanese.
 

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She leaves tomorrow morning. We figured the sooner the better. Could be the same club, they have a location in Calhoun GA and Charlotte NC. Did you neighbor have a positive experience? Also, here's a question for anyone reading. We noticed our pup has webbed feet. Do Havanese have webbed feet? From what I've read they do not. Wondering if she is even pure Havanese. We are going to do a DNA test. Not that it really matters to us, but we were told she's pure Havanese.
Is your dog registered with AKC as a purebred Havanese or did they just tell you she is purebred? Since her ears are popped up in one picture and looking at what the Georgia Dog club produces I would not be surprised if she is a mix of some sort. My Mia has ears that pop up sometimes but she is half Papillon.
 

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I just have a few thoughts about Lexi.

Even the most wonderful well bred Havanese in the world is unlikely to be reliably potty trained at 17 weeks old. Most potty training issues have more to do with the owner than the dog. I think zoomies are to be expected in puppies. In fact, I would be concerned if they did have NOT have some zoomies. All dogs bark and some bark more than others. Whoever told you Havanese do not bark is not a reliable resource. The wild puppy stage is somewhat normal. A reliable COME command takes tons of practice and is not something I would expect out of a 17 week old puppy.

I am wondering what two weeks of training will accomplish unless the owner there to learn how to continue the training when it is over. I would definitely want to know what they are planning and how you are supposed to carry on when it is over. Also, are you complaining about having to take your dog out on a leash to go potty? I was not sure I understood that part. I have had no fence and have taken my Mia out on a leash to potty for 14 years.

As far as biting, I have a pretty low tolerance for that myself, however many people on the forum have reported the puppy biting stage. I myself did not have much issue with this at all, however many others have so I assume this is a state that many go through.

It sounds like you are ready to give up on this dog. I hope you can be open to having it work out. It would likely help if you could try to have more patience and not be so stressed out which I am sure the dog senses and is only making things worse.

And next time… go to a reputable breeder who tests for temperament. Many of us have made the mistake of not going to reputable breeders. I myself have a puppy mill dog I bought from a pet store who turned out to be one of the most awesome dogs on the planet. So…I would not just throw in the towel solely because she may not be purebred.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just have a few thoughts about Lexi.

Even the most wonderful well bred Havanese in the world is unlikely to be reliably potty trained at 17 weeks old. Most potty training issues have more to do with the owner than the dog. I think zoomies are to be expected in puppies. In fact, I would be concerned if they did have NOT have some zoomies. All dogs bark and some bark more than others. Whoever told you Havanese do not bark is not a reliable resource. The wild puppy stage is somewhat normal. A reliable COME command takes tons of practice and is not something I would expect out of a 17 week old puppy.

I am wondering what two weeks of training will accomplish unless the owner there to learn how to continue the training when it is over. I would definitely want to know what they are planning and how you are supposed to carry on when it is over. Also, are you complaining about having to take your dog out on a leash to go potty? I was not sure I understood that part. I have had no fence and have taken my Mia out on a leash to potty for 14 years.

As far as biting, I have a pretty low tolerance for that myself, however many people on the forum have reported the puppy biting stage. I myself did not have much issue with this at all, however many others have so I assume this is a state that many go through.

It sounds like you are ready to give up on this dog. I hope you can be open to having it work out. It would likely help if you could try to have more patience and not be so stressed out which I am sure the dog senses and is only making things worse.

And next time… go to a reputable breeder who tests for temperament. Many of us have made the mistake of not going to reputable breeders. I myself have a puppy mill dog I bought from a pet store who turned out to be one of the most awesome dogs on the planet. So…I would not just throw in the towel solely because she may not be purebred.
Your reply is quite presumptive. No one is throwing in the towel with this dog, quite the opposite. I was looking for feedback, which you have clearly given. If you read my post fully, I said we don't care if the puppy is a purebred. I just want to know if that is something else the owner of the company or the breeder was not honest about, that's all. This is a very different breed than a golden retriever and my only experience has been with goldens, hence the request for feedback and what is normal for this breed. Just asking for advice... not judgement!
 

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Your reply is quite presumptive. No one is throwing in the towel with this dog, quite the opposite. I was looking for feedback, which you have clearly given. If you read my post fully, I said we don't care if the puppy is a purebred. I just want to know if that is something else the owner of the company or the breeder was not honest about, that's all. This is a very different breed than a golden retriever and my only experience has been with goldens, hence the request for feedback and what is normal for this breed. Just asking for advice... not judgement!
Sorry, didn’t mean to be presumptuous. I can definitely understand being concerned if they sold you a dog as a supposed purebred Havanese that wasn’t. However, puppies are puppies and this behavior does not sound that all that abnormal to me. Small dogs tend to be more barky and more difficult to potty train than a golden retriever.and some puppies are more rambunctious than others. If puppies weren’t so cute, it is likely many of us would not endure the puppy stage. I hope things work out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is your dog registered with AKC as a purebred Havanese or did they just tell you she is purebred? Since her ears are popped up in one picture and looking at what the Georgia Dog club produces I would not be surprised if she is a mix of some sort. My Mia has ears that pop up sometimes but she is half Papillon.
Agreed, and we don't care. Just want to see if that was something else the company owner or breeder was not honest about. And no, there are no papers, which again we didn't care about because we are not going to show or breed her. We just wanted a family pet. We've been looking at local shelters for some time so we would have happily taken a mixed breed, but there weren't any small dogs with a similar look or personality.
 

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Agreed, and we don't care. Just want to see if that was something else the company owner or breeder was not honest about. And no, there are no papers, which again we didn't care about because we are not going to show or breed her. We just wanted a family pet. We've been looking at local shelters for some time so we would have happily taken a mixed breed, but there weren't any small dogs with a similar look or personality.
Well whatever she is, she is about as cute as it gets. I hope it all works out.
 

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I have read so many posts of crazy Havanese puppies... everyone says hang in there it will get better... my question is WHEN??? BTW jason.lotkowictz if you are reading this, please tell me things have gotten better with Charlie. Our Lexi could be her sister as you will see in the pics. Yes she is absolutely adorable... like a cute stuffed animal every kid dreams of. She's funny. But she is six pounds of fury! Lexi is 17 weeks now. We bought this breed because we read they don't bark... they are easy to train... NOT THE CASE! She goes nuts on a daily basis.. runs circles in our house and growls, yes it's funny... but... Housebreaking has been VERY difficult. She has suddenly started barking at everything... even when there is nothing there. We live on a lake and now she's barking at boats when she sees them through the window. Not good. When we put her in for quiet time in her pen, she screams like a banshee. And the biting is nonstop. She has plenty of bones, chew toys. My husband is her favorite chew toy. I have tried the "kisses not biting" line someone offered up. Last night I got a sharp sudden bite on my lip before I knew what was coming. Don't get me wrong she has her good moments. But there are more bad then good. We spent two hours with a trainer who thinks she has some sort of PTSD. We got her from Georgia dog club, which had great reviews, but the breeders remain anonymous, which thinking back seems odd to me. It could be she was not properly socialized and kept in a crate or cage. Often, and this is after having her for seven weeks, her first reaction when you go
View attachment 178880
to pick her up is to jump back. then she runs away like it's a game. She will not come when you call her unless we have a can of cheese in our hands. We have tried training her in the house to come... but again, no cheese no dice. We have to take her out to go potty on a leash every time. I'm beginning to feel desperate. We've only owned golden retrievers before.... TOTALLY different breed and MUCH easier to train and housebreak. I don't want to give up on Lexi, but we are both at a breaking point with her. ANY advice... and an idea of when all of this will stop, if ever, would be greatly appreciated. I needs some words of inspiration :)
First the puppy is adorable! I’m sure it’s hard having a new puppy that is doing so many things you are not used to.
I wonder if u spend any time- maybe at least an hour -at least 15 min at a time several times is better- throughout the day- just sitting quietly on the floor near her after she has just gone potty ect and can have free time in a room with you? Often it is good, in my opinion, to have quiet moments. Let the puppy approach you and gently praise. Move a toy around squeaking it and toss a short distance. Just spending time like that with a higher strung puppy may settle it some. If it starts using u as shark bait pick up put in pen walk away. Do not scold keep breathing relaxed. The puppy does not really seem to know what’s expected maybe?
Also, I think some new puppies, for whatever reasons, don’t like to be picked up.
Maybe it scares them or they have come to think it a game as u said. Instead of picking her up from a standing position, I would try sitting on floor w treat or toy and just say the name. Hi puppy in soft highway voice.
I would never use the come command when they are young without knowing there would be compliance-for example if she were ok w her harness and tether u could call and gently encourage w leash but I wouldn’t work on that too much or at all at this moment.
Lola was a people lover as pup (still) and she wanted to be near us when she had her free time. We would hide (not very well) and if u we saw puppy looking around for us we would say “where’s Lola?” In a singsong playful voice. She came running every time!
To this day. She’s 2 now and knows come - I will still sometimes say”where!s Lola?” I swear she gets a silly look on her face and runs to me like she did as a baby.
But I don’t think growling and biting are good at all. I have a zero tolerance- I would never physically correct a Havanese ( yes I used leash corrections on my 200 lb plus mastiffs while training) but there are many experts on here who know about working with that.
Neither of my pups growled or even nibbled once. So…I’m hesitant to give advice on that except that sometimes dogs seem to know the reaction they are causing in their humans. U just can’t think that behavior is cute-she may pick up on that.
It’s good that you are receiving help but it is scary to think of a young pup that age being away when it is not entirely adjusted to your household. Maybe you could work on stuff at home and send her when she is older? I personally would never send a young dog especially a toy breed away to a training camp. It could help and if you do it I hope it does. But it could backfire.
My dogs are never off leash outside. It only takes a second..
People don’t probably believe me but Lola never once had an accident since she was 8 weeks the day I got her. Any accident she had would have been my inability to know when she had to make and ensure she was in the appropriate place at that time. (I never said I had a life 🥲and yes I do spend that much time w them when they r little) They should be ex penned when not 100 percent under your eye. It’s xtra work in beginning but worth it.
it’s after waking after napping after eating after zoomed. Basically spending time and learning her schedule. That may not be your situation- perhaps u work or something that requires time. There is lots of info how to house break puppies if u have work ect but u really just need to never give her free rein unless she has pooped and peed and then she could run around for maybe15 min but only under 100 percent supervision. Or keep her tethered. When they sniff in that way bring her outside or put in pen w pee pad. Watch. If she makes( I always tell my dogs “go make” while they are making) and you can bring her back out of pen. Remember to let her finish. Sometimes it’s more than pee. I never use food as reward for potty. There’s a lot of reasons but I know some people do that.
Training some puppies are just more work. It was nice of the breeder to explain the situation to you and offer help. I agree w the post that said perhaps they could pay for a closer trainer. That could be ideal!
I feel for you and kow that u are trying to make the best choices u can. Lots of good luck💕
Debbie
 

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You might want to do a search here about DNA testing, there have been several discussions. I "think" that most Havanese have Maltese DNA if I remember right.
I am going to investigate further about the neighbor's dog. They have moved but I do run into them occassionally and seen their Hav a few times over the years. He was a beautiful puppy but he is very big and very long. They do keep his hair very short so it is not the most attractive look. As a young puppy when they still lived here, he was a pretty normal puppy. He loved to be held and was very sweet. His one fault was that he got very carsick. The night he was delivered, he had been in the car in a crate with several other puppies being delivered. He arrived covered in everything you could imagine. It was his first car ride apparently. He never did recover from his first car ride and still gets very carsick.
I had looked at the website for the place they had gotten this dog from as I had just lost my Romeo. It had a very similar feel with many breeds just like yours did.
I have the feeling it is the same breeding establishment.
 

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Most of what you are describing sounds like normal puppy behavior to me. The Zoomies, backing away when you try to pick her up are just puppy games, and totally normal, IMHO. Puppies need to be walked and need playtime to burn off the energy. I initiate the Zoomies, just for the fun we share. The walks also help with the potty training. Be patient, they grow up to be dogs all to soon. :)
 
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