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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Havanese owners!

I come seeking advice. My wife, 10 year old son, and I are thinking about getting a Havanese puppy from a reputable local breeder.

A bit about us for context: we've owned a dog before (a wonderful lab who died 3 years ago). I am home a lot, and my wife works from home all the time. Our son is mature and responsible and is looking forward to doing his part to raise a puppy.

Based on our research (including a lot of time spent reading these forums), there's a lot that we love about the breed--its cheerful, playful, loving demeanor; its adorable looks; its snuggly size.

But we do have a few concerns.

1) We've read that Havanese tend to bond strongly with ONE member of the family. Does this mean that they ONLY like that member? Or that they love everyone in the family, but have a special favorite? I am worried that we'll end up with a dog that loves my wife (since she's home the most), but won't give me or my son the time of day. I am especially eager to get a dog that will play with and love my son.

I guess what I'm asking is this. Do Havanese pick a 'special person,' and if so, what does that mean in practice? How does this favortism show up in the dog's everyday behavior?

2) Separation anxiety/general neuroticism. Do Havanese, in your experience, tend to be anxious dogs? Obviously if you leave them alone for like 8 hours they're not going to do well. But can you leave them for, say, 2 hours to run errands?

I really appreciate any thoughts you are willing to share!
 

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Arf! Arf!
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1) We've read that Havanese tend to bond strongly with ONE member of the family. Does this mean that they ONLY like that member? Or that they love everyone in the family, but have a special favorite? I am worried that we'll end up with a dog that loves my wife (since she's home the most), but won't give me or my son the time of day. I am especially eager to get a dog that will play with and love my son.

I guess what I'm asking is this. Do Havanese pick a 'special person,' and if so, what does that mean in practice? How does this favortism show up in the dog's everyday behavior?
Generally, your Havanese will bond tightly with all members of your family but will depend on one person to provide his basic needs. For example if your wife feeds him in the morning and your son feeds him in the evening, your wife will be his favorite person in the morning and your son will be the favorite in the evening. Same goes for potty breaks, playtime, games, etc. Havanese are equal opportunity employers, always looking for the best deal. I think your family is well suited for a Havanese. But that they tend to be much more energetic than a Lab and do not shed as much, if at all.
2) Separation anxiety/general neuroticism. Do Havanese, in your experience, tend to be anxious dogs? Obviously if you leave them alone for like 8 hours they're not going to do well. But can you leave them for, say, 2 hours to run errands?
Yes, it is good for a Havanese to be alone for brief periods of time, the sooner you start that training the better. Every once in a while we leave Ricky alone for 4 hours at a time as an adult. My experience is that Havanese are not "anxious". They are happy-go-lucky dogs that are always looking for someone to play with. In general, they are not big barkers, other than ocassional alert barking (and at times it can be high pitched) when someone comes to the door but they quickly settle when they see there is no threat.

I encourage you to give a Havanese strong consideration.
 

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Generally, your Havanese will bond tightly with all members of your family but will depend on one person to provide his basic needs. For example if your wife feeds him in the morning and your son feeds him in the evening, your wife will be his favorite person in the morning and your son will be the favorite in the evening. Same goes for potty breaks, playtime, games, etc. Havanese are equal opportunity employers, always looking for the best deal. I think your family is well suited for a Havanese. But that they tend to be much more energetic than a Lab and do not shed as much, if at all.


Yes, it is good for a Havanese to be alone for brief periods of time, the sooner you start that training the better. Every once in a while we leave Ricky alone for 4 hours at a time as an adult. My experience is that Havanese are not "anxious". They are happy-go-lucky dogs that are always looking for someone to play with. In general, they are not big barkers, other than ocassional alert barking (and at times it can be high pitched) when someone comes to the door but they quickly settle when they see there is no threat.

I encourage you to give a Havanese strong consideration.
Thanks for your reply--it's very helpful and reassuring!
 

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1) We've read that Havanese tend to bond strongly with ONE member of the family. Does this mean that they ONLY like that member? Or that they love everyone in the family, but have a special favorite? I am worried that we'll end up with a dog that loves my wife (since she's home the most), but won't give me or my son the time of day. I am especially eager to get a dog that will play with and love my son.

I guess what I'm asking is this. Do Havanese pick a 'special person,' and if so, what does that mean in practice? How does this favortism show up in the dog's everyday behavior?
From our experience, ours love everyone in our family (and even some close friends that were over often when they were puppies). Like the above, they do tend to have a "favorite" based on who provides for them. Each member of my family is a favorite for something unique - whether it's training, feeding, playing, etc. If one person does most of those things, they do tend to favor that person, but in my experience they still love everyone. They simply love attention and anyone who gives it to them :) My new hav puppy did bond with me right away, but still loves and plays with and seeks attention from everyone else in the family as well.

2) Separation anxiety/general neuroticism. Do Havanese, in your experience, tend to be anxious dogs? Obviously if you leave them alone for like 8 hours they're not going to do well. But can you leave them for, say, 2 hours to run errands?
We have one that has generalized anxiety, but does not suffer from separation anxiety. We started the training really young for them to be fine being alone for periods of time. Mine are typically fine for 4 hours at a time - I'm sure they'd be fine for up to 6 hours but we typically don't push it. As a breed, I would say they don't tend to be anxious, and we just happened to get a pup with an anxious personality. We have two from the same litter - one is completely laid back and the other does have some anxiety. Her anxiety is more triggered by unknown places/people rather than by being safe in her crate so we haven't had any issue there!

Havanese make wonderful family dogs, and I would also strongly encourage you to consider the breed. They are the perfect combination of playful, sweet, cuddly, and smart, and really want to make you happy. We got ours with children at a similar age - one 11 yo and one 13 yo in the house and they have been the best dogs in the world, both then and now!
 

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From our experience, ours love everyone in our family (and even some close friends that were over often when they were puppies). Like the above, they do tend to have a "favorite" based on who provides for them. Each member of my family is a favorite for something unique - whether it's training, feeding, playing, etc. If one person does most of those things, they do tend to favor that person, but in my experience they still love everyone. They simply love attention and anyone who gives it to them :) My new hav puppy did bond with me right away, but still loves and plays with and seeks attention from everyone else in the family as well.



We have one that has generalized anxiety, but does not suffer from separation anxiety. We started the training really young for them to be fine being alone for periods of time. Mine are typically fine for 4 hours at a time - I'm sure they'd be fine for up to 6 hours but we typically don't push it. As a breed, I would say they don't tend to be anxious, and we just happened to get a pup with an anxious personality. We have two from the same litter - one is completely laid back and the other does have some anxiety. Her anxiety is more triggered by unknown places/people rather than by being safe in her crate so we haven't had any issue there!

Havanese make wonderful family dogs, and I would also strongly encourage you to consider the breed. They are the perfect combination of playful, sweet, cuddly, and smart, and really want to make you happy. We got ours with children at a similar age - one 11 yo and one 13 yo in the house and they have been the best dogs in the world, both then and now!
Both of my dogs are very laid back and do not have anxiety issues. However, a couple of times my yorkie did show some anxiety which seemed unrelated to anything. I discovered that the problem is that he is EXTREMELY sensitive to fragrances. For example, I have to use shampoos without fragrance and I cannot use any fragrances in the house or on him or me, or anything like natural flea tick sprays. Not sure if this could have anything to do with your dog’s anxiety, however I thought I would mention it. This is something people rarely think about.
 
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