Here are a few tips for when you take your new Havanese puppy home!
- Your puppy may have an uncomfortable first night since he is use to the sounds and smells of his littermates and the other dogs in our house. We will give you a blanket or toy with all the smells of his family to take home with you for the puppy. You should feel very comfortable about putting the puppy in his crate. I find that for the first few nights having the crate near where I am sleeping works best. If the puppy wakes up and cries, simply place your fingers through the wire, which is usually enough reassurance that he will settle and fall back to sleep.
- Don’t worry about putting the dog in a crate when you cannot watch him, or at night, since this is where your puppy will feel the most secure and where you will know he is safe. Havanese are very athletic and inquisitive and can get into all kinds of mischief when left alone.
House Training Your Puppy
- Consistency, crating, and taking your dog outside regularly, especially after every meal, are the most important elements in house training. Do not allow your puppy full access to the house for at least the first year. A healthy dog will not soil where he sleeps (crate) but the hallway does not seem like part of his den if he spends most of his time in the kitchen. Crate your dog whenever you cannot watch him. We can discuss this more fully when you pick up your puppy. Go outside each time with your puppy and reward with a treat as soon as they go, and then have a little play session.
- Havanese are considered non-shedding, but will blow their puppy coat somewhere around nine to twelve months of age. Anesthesia may also be a factor in hair loss. During these times there may be more hair in his brush as well as daily knots. This WILL pass but during this time please brush daily or it will quickly get out of control. Get your new puppy use to grooming time as well as the brush and comb by massaging him with the brush and gentle combing his hair even when he doesn’t need it.
- If there are knots in your puppy’s coat, gently pull them apart and then brush with a pin comb or slicker if absolutely necessary. You may want to put conditioner or corn starch directly on the knot to make it easier to pull apart. There are also special detangling sprays you may want to use. When bathing your puppy make sure that all the shampoo is out and then rinse once more. Left over shampoo will cause extreme itchiness. Next, apply conditioner and rinse lightly. Conditioner inside the ears may cause dirt to accumulate and result in ear infections so be careful not to get the conditioner in the ears. You may want to put cotton in the ears during the bath. Be sure to blow-dry the coat completely. Even a little dampness can cause knots to form. Be sure to check the ears for excessive hair and clean if necessary. I rarely pull hair from the ears since that can cause irritation to the skin and set it up for infection. Some dogs do have extremely heavy hair in their ears and then I do pull it out or cut it. The important thing is to make sure there is no wax buildup.
- When bathing your puppy, wet them thoroughly and use shampoo all over the body and lather well, but without twisting the hair. Be sure to clean the hair around the ears. Once you are sure that all the shampoo is out, rinse once more. Left over shampoo will cause extreme itchiness. RINSE thoroughly. Next, apply conditioner and rinse lightly.
- Conditioner inside the ears may cause dirt to accumulate and result in ear infections so be careful not to get the conditioner in the ears. Blow-dry the coat completely. Even a little dampness can cause knots to form.
- There are many causes for tear staining, but if you allow the hair at the corners of the eye to grow out fully, the staining may stop once the hair is long enough to lay flat. When the hair is cut, it will continually grow up and into the eyes to cause more tearing. If left alone, the hair will eventually fall downward and away from the eye. You may use KY Jelly or Vaseline during the growth stage to keep the hair out of the eyes. Sometimes an alkaline system can cause staining so putting about 1/2 tsp of cider vinegar in or on a treat or food each day may help.
- Teething is another cause of tear staining and you may find the staining stops when the dog reaches eighteen months and all their teeth have come in.
- GROOMERS WILL WANT TO CUT THE HAIR OUT OF THE INSIDE CORNERS OF THE EYE! TELL THEM NO! If they don’t listen to you find another groomer. Ask the groomer if you can stay to watch. If they have a closed-door policy you may want to find another groomer.
- When your puppy is about six months of age start watching the teeth closely. Sometimes toy breeds have a tendency to retain teeth, which means that the adult teeth grow beside the baby teeth, rather than under them, thus they do not push the baby teeth out. Since this can cause the bite to go off or the adult tooth to rot you will need to have the puppy teeth removed. Most of the time this only happens to the canine teeth. Your vet will be able to tell. If the tooth (teeth) need(s) to be removed, you may be able to have this done at the same time as neutering or spay thus avoiding unnecessary anesthesia. Be sure that the puppy has very hard Kong type toys or bones to chew on. I like using the deer antlers.
- To keep the teeth clean I give my dogs bully sticks, plus a good daily brushing with Petzlife, which is available at many pet stores. I apply the Petzlife along the gums with a cotton swab and then rub the teeth and gums with the small pads that are used to remove makeup.
Coprophagia (eating feces)
- Some puppies will eat their own feces or feces from rabbits or raccoons if they have access to it. After your dog has gone to the bathroom clean up immediately. This also helps prevent parasites. There are many theories about why dogs do this, but no one knows for sure. My opinion is that it is a natural instinct to keep the den clean and, believe it or not, dogs like the smell.
- Some puppies will get diarrhea when changing food, water, or environment or when stressed. In cases of mild diarrhea, give them Pedialite (unflavored) and canned pure pumpkin and this should help firm up their stools. If diarrhea is severe, there may be another problem and you should take your puppy to the vet.
- It may help to leave treats and a toy in your dog’s crate each time you use it, but please remember your puppy is much safer in a crate when left alone. Even if you are home every day, make sure that you leave your puppy for at least thirty minutes or longer each day. It is essential that you do not make a fuss over your dog before leaving, and if you must speak to your dog, use a matter-of-fact tone of voice and do not fuss over your dog. When you return put the dog outside immediately and do not make a fuss over him. Make sure your dog gets regular walks and socialization both of which help create a confident dog and confident dogs are less likely to suffer from separation anxiety. You may also want to regularly put on your coat, shoes and jingle your car keys without actually leaving the house. This will prevent the dog from associating these activities with your leaving.