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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
My name is Susan. As the title of the post suggests I am looking for a sturdy small dog that will be happy living with larger dogs, going on all types of Therapy Dog Visits with other dogs. I would like a larger Havanese but I visit family and travel by plane so he/she should be able to fly in an airliner cabin.. It goes without saying that I have to find a breeder that is meticiulous as far as breeding practices and health clearances are concerned. This new puppy will be trained using positive reinforcement, lots of fun, love and all kinds of socialization. I train dogs and I’m a therapy dog trainer and tester. Given all of my requirements for a puppy, is this a possibility? I am also considering a miniature Poodle but there are certain qualities that I’m not sure of. THANK YOU FOR READING THIS LONG QUESTION! OH, I live in the New York metro area.:smile2:
 

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Personally I think a Havanese would be fantastic for what you’re describing, but I have a significant bias towards Havanese. My Havanese loves large breed dogs, and especially where yours are well trained, I imagine the right Havanese would be really happy in your home. One of the pet sitters we love has a lab. Mine has some issues with isolation distress (that I don’t think are specific to the breed and I imagine you’d be able to prevent). The sitter is able to leave them alone together and my Havanese is calm with the lab even though he still has varying levels of stress when he’s alone.

I think since you know what you’re looking for it might be worth it to get to know breeders and see if you can spend time with their dogs.
 

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I agree with what Eva Elizabeth said! :) It’s totally possible. Not all have problems with being alone, and as Eva Elizabeth said, I have no doubt that a good positive trainer would have no problem preventing that. I was very careful making sure that all of mine were used to staying alone (and in different combinations because that happens here too!) but it just took some thought. Like socialization. They are not difficult dogs. While, like all breeds, there is a lot of variation from individual to individual, I think more would make good therapy dogs than not. I picked all of mine thinking more about sports potential, and even totally NOT looking for therapy dogs, 2 of the three could do that job with no problem at all. The oldest one is not trained as a therapy dog but has certainly filled that role with both elderly relatives and small children for years. He is incredibly empathetic to people who are in distress and will gently just go lay his chin on their laps. They often don’t even realize they are patting him as they talk until they look down and notice what they are doing!

One thing I would caution against, however, is “thinking” about a “bigger” Havanese if it is really important for you that the dog travel with you by plane. Guessing the grown-up size of any particular puppy is just as difficult as predicting the size of a human baby. you can certainly ask the breeder to make an educated guess, but from there... they do their own thing! And the size of the puppy when it leaves home is not always completely predictive. My older guy was the largest puppy in his litter, but his parents were not “large” Havanese... they were middle of the road, “average” sized Havanese, about 12 lbs if I remember right. My breeder did warn me he’d be on “the larger side”, and I decided on him for completely different reasons, and have never questioned my decision. But an “airplane dog” he is not.

Conversely, my “middle child” happened to be born within a day of a litter bred by a nearby friend of mine, so the puppies sort of grew up together. Pixel was always a little bigger than her puppies as they were growing up, and my friend kept predicting she would be larger. As adults, Pixel is actually smaller than all the puppies in that litter ended up except for one. She grew earlier, they grew for longer.

“TECHNICALLY” My big boy fits the airline size regulations... he is 11 1/2” tall and 17 lbs, and he is within standard for our breed. But it would be like putting a hotdog in a bun. Yes, he could stand and turn around, JUST BARELY, by playing pretzel (we’ve tried the largest airline approved dog carrier on for size) but it doesn’t look the least bit comfortable for him. It is certainly not something I’d ask him to do with any regularity.

My girls are 10 1/4” and almost 13 lbs, and 10 1/2” and 10 lbs. Yes, you read that right... the taller one is lighter boned, both are in excellent, fit, sports weight. EITHER of them would fit in an airline carry on without a problem. So what I REALLY think you want is a Havanese that is in what our breed standard calls our “ideal” size range of 9 - 10 1/2”. In that size range, you shouldn’t have a problem with airline carry on. If it is a deal-breaker for you if the dog CAN’T fly with you, look for breeders who tend to produce dogs toward the lower end of that size range. (And there are many these days)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,
Since I'm new to the forum, I have to get used to navigating my replies. So far this is the third reply. Hope this works.

Thank you for your prompt answer to my questions. I also wanted to add that a few weeks ago I visited the "Meet the Breeds" event at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. I learned a lot and another reason that I wanted some information about a larger Hav is because when handling the dogs I felt that they didn't have substance. I understand that this is a toy breed but having 2 Labs I was just a little concerned. However, after reading about the breed the description is a sturdy dog I do know that I have to be watchful.

Again, thank you for all your responses.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Hi,
Since I'm new to the forum, I have to get used to navigating my replies. So far this is the third reply. Hope this works.

Thank you for your prompt answer to my questions. I also wanted to add that a few weeks ago I visited the "Meet the Breeds" event at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. I learned a lot and another reason that I wanted some information about a larger Hav is because when handling the dogs I felt that they didn't have substance. I understand that this is a toy breed but having 2 Labs I was just a little concerned. However, after reading about the breed the description is a sturdy dog I do know that I have to be watchful.

Again, thank you for all your responses.
Interesting. I know some of the dogs that were at "Meet the breed", (though not all) and I wonder if you are just not used to handling toy dogs, and Havanese in general. As I mentioned, there can, indeed, be a big difference between two 10" dogs. There is a HUGE difference between my two girls, one of which is much lighter boned than the other. But Havanese, while they certainly have more substance than say, a Chin or a Papillon, will never have the substance of a similarly sized terrier. They are just not the same sort of dog. We all laugh that when you get them wet in the tub, and the hair deflates, they all look like drowned rats! LOL! That does NOT mean they are not sturdy little dogs. Even my lighter boned girl is a wirey, tough little thing and extremely athletic.
 
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