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Hi, me and my partner are considering having a hav. However, we’re really concerned about the “fact” that these cuties cannot stand being left alone. I wonder if there are any hav parents (both) in this forum who work 9 to 5. If yes, could you please share how you handle their alone time?
 

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Hi, me and my partner are considering having a hav. However, we’re really concerned about the “fact” that these cuties cannot stand being left alone. I wonder if there are any hav parents (both) in this forum who work 9 to 5. If yes, could you please share how you handle their alone time?
They do really prefer being with you, and if you are away from home for more than a few hours at a time, it’s definitely work (and expense) to make sure their needs are met. When my Charlie was a puppy, I worked from home sometimes and my husband was in grad school, so he wasn’t ever home alone the whole day— probably 5-6 hrs tops, with a dog walker coming to take him out in the middle. It’s particularly tough with puppies because they have to pee a lot, and they need to get out that puppy energy! When he was older and house trained, he started coming to work with me a 2-3 days a week, and my husband or I would work from home 1-2 days a week as well. On days that wasn’t feasible, we’d have a walker. Charlie (now almost 9) definitely can go a full work day, provided we have a walker come. Well, he could before COVID, but after a year of both of us home all the time, I think it would be very tough to get back into that kind of schedule for any of us! We’ll likely trade off working from home/taking him to the office (and we’re planning to add a second, so that will complicate things too!) We are lucky to have that flexibility, which I kno definitely isn’t feasible for everyone!

All that is to say, it’s definitely possible, and lots of people do it. You should definitely be prepared to spend a lot of money on dog walkers if your work isn’t flexible, and lots of time training when the dog is young to get it comfortable with short absences at first, and then working up to longer, as I don’t think being alone for a full day is really feasible for puppies.
 

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ShamaMama and ShamaPapa are both school teachers and own a Havanese and will tell you it can work. They've always had someone come in during the day to play with and tend to Shama. When she was a puppy that person/persons came in two or three times a day. Now that's Shama is older one person comes in. It's my understanding those Doggie Helpers spend a good amount of time with Shama.

Since they are school teachers they may not leave very early and may get home before 6 p.m.

During those important early puppy months I don't know what they did.

Hopefully, ShamaMama will reply to this thread.
 

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ShamaMama and ShamaPapa are both school teachers and own a Havanese and will tell you it can work. They've always had someone come in during the day to play with and tend to Shama. When she was a puppy that person/persons came in two or three times a day. Now that's Shama is older one person comes in. It's my understanding those Doggie Helpers spend a good amount of time with Shama.

Since they are school teachers they may not leave very early and may get home before 6 p.m.

During those important early puppy months I don't know what they did.

Hopefully, ShamaMama will reply to this thread.
Also, because they are teachers, they have more time off than many 9-to-5 type workers do... They also make Shama a REAL priority when they are not working. In a way few other people do. I think this is one of the MAIN reasons it works so well for them.
 

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Hi, me and my partner are considering having a hav. However, we’re really concerned about the “fact” that these cuties cannot stand being left alone. I wonder if there are any hav parents (both) in this forum who work 9 to 5. If yes, could you please share how you handle their alone time?
Hello - I'll jump in here because I was able to make this situation work. I think it all comes down to priorities and understanding that Havanese NEED to be with their peeps. I was single and working full time when I got my pup 8 years ago. Stretches of 4-5 hours was about the maximum time he'd be alone after he got a little older. I was fortunate enough to have a somewhat flexible working environment that allowed me to pop in to see him during the day. I also got lucky with a very reliable, paid dog walker who stuck with me for alot of years and walked him during the week. Outside of working hours, just about all my time was spent around the dog. After work activities got scaled back, either by outright turning stuff down or putting myself in situations where the he could join. The dog did great. He's doing even better now that I can work from home. Getting a pup was definitely a life style change but totally worth it imo. If you aren't ready to fully commit though then I'd choose another breed :) .
 

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Hello - I'll jump in here because I was able to make this situation work. I think it all comes down to priorities and understanding that Havanese NEED to be with their peeps. I was single and working full time when I got my pup 8 years ago.
In my opinion, I think this is the best, most comprehensive answer to this specific question I've heard. @Mackattack I know you must be busy balancing work and devotion to your Havanese, but you need to post more often when you can make time.
 

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In my opinion, I think this is the best, most comprehensive answer to this specific question I've heard. @Mackattack I know you must be busy balancing work and devotion to your Havanese, but you need to post more often when you can make time.
Hah. Yes an unimpressive post total to say the least. At least I have my first one out of the way now. I have been an avid reader though. This forum has been a treasure trove of information for me over the years. The OP's question is the same that brought me here in the first place.
 

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Hello - I'll jump in here because I was able to make this situation work. I think it all comes down to priorities and understanding that Havanese NEED to be with their peeps. I was single and working full time when I got my pup 8 years ago. Stretches of 4-5 hours was about the maximum time he'd be alone after he got a little older. I was fortunate enough to have a somewhat flexible working environment that allowed me to pop in to see him during the day. I also got lucky with a very reliable, paid dog walker who stuck with me for alot of years and walked him during the week. Outside of working hours, just about all my time was spent around the dog. After work activities got scaled back, either by outright turning stuff down or putting myself in situations where the he could join. The dog did great. He's doing even better now that I can work from home. Getting a pup was definitely a life style change but totally worth it imo. If you aren't ready to fully commit though then I'd choose another breed :) .
Exactly... a dog isn’t a pet... it’s a way of life! If you are not ready for that, you are better off with a hamster!
 

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ShamaMama and ShamaPapa are both school teachers and own a Havanese and will tell you it can work. They've always had someone come in during the day to play with and tend to Shama. When she was a puppy that person/persons came in two or three times a day. Now that's Shama is older one person comes in. It's my understanding those Doggie Helpers spend a good amount of time with Shama.

Since they are school teachers they may not leave very early and may get home before 6 p.m.

During those important early puppy months I don't know what they did.

Hopefully, ShamaMama will reply to this thread.
From ShamaPapa:

We got Shama during the summer so we were able to spend everyday, for four weeks, with her before school started again. For that four weeks we were all about Shama. Outside potty breaks every 2-2.5 hours, even over nights for the first couple weeks (she started sleeping through the night pretty quickly, which was very thoughtful of her). Lots of playtime with Papa (Mama is not as big a playmate as Papa). And since Shama was TINY (1.9 pounds when we brought her home), we had a lot of "Where is she now?" and "Don't step on her!" because she could fit into tiny crevasses and under furniture as well as suddenly show up under foot, unexpectedly (Shama is quite stealthy!).

Once school started we would leave around 6-6:30 AM. I would return around 4 PM and Mama would return around 5:30 PM. We hired a "dog walker" to visit with her everyday while we were in school. They would be with her for at least an hour at a time. They didn't actually walk Shama. They just pottied her and played with her.

We were sure to "train" the walker to do exactly what was necessary to make sure Shama learned to behave (such as: Shama should be ignored for at least 10-15 minutes upon arrival, Shama must settle down and sit before being allowed out of her pen, she must sit at the the door before taken out, she must sit at the door before being let in, she should be ignored again for 10-15 minutes prior to leaving, etc. The ignoring ritual was to prevent separation anxiety and worked great for us.) We leave a clicker and a dish of treats available to the walker.

Our current Shamacare person usually spends 2 to 3 hours with her during the day. She is only paid for one, but she loves Shama so much that she stays and plays.

For the first two years, everything revolved around Shama to make sure she was getting enough attention and training as a pup. If you work full-time you can make it work. Just be sure you understand that for the first few years (just like having a human baby), your world will revolve around your havi pup. However, it is so worth it in the end.
 

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From ShamaPapa:

We got Shama during the summer so we were able to spend everyday, for four weeks, with her before school started again. For that four weeks we were all about Shama. Outside potty breaks every 2-2.5 hours, even over nights for the first couple weeks (she started sleeping through the night pretty quickly, which was very thoughtful of her). Lots of playtime with Papa (Mama is not as big a playmate as Papa). And since Shama was TINY (1.9 pounds when we brought her home), we had a lot of "Where is she now?" and "Don't step on her!" because she could fit into tiny crevasses and under furniture as well as suddenly show up under foot, unexpectedly (Shama is quite stealthy!).

Once school started we would leave around 6-6:30 AM. I would return around 4 PM and Mama would return around 5:30 PM. We hired a "dog walker" to visit with her everyday while we were in school. They would be with her for at least an hour at a time. They didn't actually walk Shama. They just pottied her and played with her.

We were sure to "train" the walker to do exactly what was necessary to make sure Shama learned to behave (such as: Shama should be ignored for at least 10-15 minutes upon arrival, Shama must settle down and sit before being allowed out of her pen, she must sit at the the door before taken out, she must sit at the door before being let in, she should be ignored again for 10-15 minutes prior to leaving, etc. The ignoring ritual was to prevent separation anxiety and worked great for us.) We leave a clicker and a dish of treats available to the walker.

Our current Shamacare person usually spends 2 to 3 hours with her during the day. She is only paid for one, but she loves Shama so much that she stays and plays.

For the first two years, everything revolved around Shama to make sure she was getting enough attention and training as a pup. If you work full-time you can make it work. Just be sure you understand that for the first few years (just like having a human baby), your world will revolve around your havi pup. However, it is so worth it in the end.
And it is this kind of devotion to Shama that has made her the wonderful dog she is. We have had other working couples and working singles on the Forum with wonderful Havanese who have been committed to making it work, whatever it too. But that’s the thing. It’s not so much getting a pet as making a (rather HUGE) lifestyle change. ALMOST like deciding to have a kid. To do it right, as you folks did, you have to think everything throgh, plan for care during the day, and plan for emergency back-ups. (Which I know you also have done)

The people who do it successfully are all in, and I don’t think they can even imagine another lifestyle. But it is not something to be taken on lightly. Nor is a dog a pet that can fill in the “corners” of a busy life.
 

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To do it right, as you folks did, you have to think everything through, plan for care during the day, and plan for emergency back-ups. (Which I know you also have done)
From ShamaPapa:

Yep, we have a retired next-door neighbor and a stay-at-home dad a few houses down as our main emergency back-up should something happen to our regular Shamacare person.

Although no matter how prepared, there are always unexpected emergencies. One time our regular person texted at the last minute that they couldn't care for Shama one day. Both of our back-ups were unavailable as well with such short notice. When we finally got someone who could stop by the house, they couldn't find the emergency key and, thus, couldn't get into the house. So Shama ended up alone for 10 hours. She was not happy when we got home as she was not able to hold it and pooped in front of the door to her pen. The look on her face when I got home was "Where were you? I had to mess my pen. You know this is where I sleep, don't you? Clean it up and maybe I'll forgive you!" We can laugh about it now, but at the time it was stressful. We have added a few more people to the emergency list over the years.
 

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From ShamaPapa:

Yep, we have a retired next-door neighbor and a stay-at-home dad a few houses down as our main emergency back-up should something happen to our regular Shamacare person.

Although no matter how prepared, there are always unexpected emergencies. One time our regular person texted at the last minute that they couldn't care for Shama one day. Both of our back-ups were unavailable as well with such short notice. When we finally got someone who could stop by the house, they couldn't find the emergency key and, thus, couldn't get into the house. So Shama ended up alone for 10 hours. She was not happy when we got home as she was not able to hold it and pooped in front of the door to her pen. The look on her face when I got home was "Where were you? I had to mess my pen. You know this is where I sleep, don't you? Clean it up and maybe I'll forgive you!" We can laugh about it now, but at the time it was stressful. We have added a few more people to the emergency list over the years.
And THIS, the emergencies, is when I REALLY value that my dogs are litter box trained. When Dave had is VERY serious heart attack, out of state, and with no notice, I was driving to be with him each day, leaving Kodi and then 6 month old Pixel shut in my office with just some toys, a litter box and a water bottle for 12 hours a day, for several days in a row before I could arrange a dog sitter to start coming in during the day, they were FINE. I’m sure they didn’t love it... NONE of us were having fun. But we all survived, no one had accidents, and they were MIGHTY happy to see me when I got home in the evening! That would be a miserable way for dogs to live permanently, but for a few days in an emergency, ...as I said, we all survived.

Normally, if no one is home for the entire day (loosely figured as more than 6 hours)... day trip, or if I am away and Dave is working, I have a local dog sitting service come in at least once, sometimes twice, to play with them and let them potty outside, even though they DO always have access to their litter box. They still prefer to potty outside.
 

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ShamaMama here ... I also want to let the OP that one way I make up my work absences to Shama is by taking her to class after class after class. (We don't always practice between classes, but whatever ...) We really have quality time together at our classes. ShamaPapa is allergic to other dogs so can't take Shama to indoor classes. Another way I spend time with Shama is holding her on my lap to groom her every other night or so. I think it would be OK with her if I stopped that though - she is not a fan of the "brush monster," as ShamaPapa calls it. OP, be sure you plan on spending a lot of time grooming your Havanese unless you keep it in a puppy cut.

I feel bad for the two dogs on the corner. I regularly see them out in the yard on the end of their ropes tied to a stake. I've never seen anyone play with them, and I've never seen anyone take them for walks. Those people should not own dogs.
 
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