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Grooming places in my area offer drop in feet grooming to trim the hair and nails because the need to trim feet between full grooms is so common. Sundance used to slide on our hard floors if the hair became too long, but sadly at this age if the hair is too long he just won’t initiate play unless we’re on the carpet. So I would never wait until I see these cues that the hair is too long before trimming.

I think context is part of the problem when considering development and the activity level of a pet Havanese. Veterinarians are not being asked these questions in context. The advice to walk dogs every day from trainers, and vets, comes from the fact that it is a very simple way to give dogs of any breed structure, stimulation, physical activity, and training exercises, and any person with any level of dog experience can do it without any kind of guidance. If someone does not ever walk their dog or give them these things in another way, lack of socialization, stimulation, general health, and even potty training, causes harm and then it begins to outweigh the risks of joint problems and arthritis at an older age. A lot of advice has been given over the years to prevent the lesser of two evils, but we now have access to more data and an enormous amount of training resources, and this is changing. Advice to walk dogs for long periods will continue, and it’s one way to meet needs, as long as someone understands the risks. Since there is clear evidence that doing so can cause problems, and considering many Havanese puppies do have hip dysplasia or crooked legs, I think knowing the risks in order to make a decision is helpful. It isn’t particularly common knowledge among pet owners, but related issues are known in many breeds. It also doesn’t mean living in a bubble without the normal experiences of owning a dog. There are lots of ways to protect them, such as walking on grass. Even if someone doesn’t have access to a yard or parks with grass to take their puppy to play, walking on concrete isn’t the only way to provide exercise. What risks to take is of course a personal decision - one of mine is dog parks, and the travel system I use is not the safest option (so I wouldn’t recommend it to others), but I made those decisions carefully based on my own life. I think it’s more about sharing ideas so that someone doesn’t feel trapped into walking their Havanese because it’s popular advice. Of course each environment is different, too - if I had tile floors I might be more vigilant about keeping the dining chairs pushed in, but I have wood floors with a dining rug and pad, and there are more important things to ask of my kids every day, like keeping the lid on the bathroom trash :) Sundance found a clever way to climb the chairs onto the table when they’re pushed in and occasionally gets stuck and just waits there silently until someone finds him, so I’m not too worried about him jumping down. Other Havs are less cautious, so individual temperament is a consideration, too.

I notice Sundance never gives signs of being tired, even when he should. He’s a huge pleaser and is so excited to be on an adventure with us that he will keep going no matter what. I have also found that walks don’t have much impact on his behavior, although walks are often suggested to manage behavior of dogs with separation issues. Maybe it’s better than nothing, and I understand why people do it, but I have found ways to get better results in the same amount of time. Sundance can come in from an extra long hour walk and should be exhausted but immediately has zoomies. In contrast, 10 minutes of outside play (or a short walk) and 10 minutes of training games in our family room completely satisfy him to the point that he will put himself to bed.
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