So, you have picked out the perfect puppy to join your family...
PLEASE don't race to Petsmart and buy everything you see!
You will leave our home with the following:
AKC Registration Form
Contract of Sale
Copies of Mom and Dad's Pedigrees
Veterinary Record, including 1st vaccinations
AKC Pet Healthcare Plan
Toy and cloth that have the "smell of mommy" to help with the sadness of being away from the litter.
Small bag of food,
Texas puppies (Member's Mark (Sam's Club) Chicken and Vegetable-Grain Free-High Protein),
Arizona puppies (Nature's Recipe-puppy, lamb meal and rice)
Our puppies have been eating solid food three to four times daily when they leave us. They have all or close to all of their teeth.
Something to chew...nylabone, chew hoof, antlers are best, or other approved item. We strongly recommend these items, and we follow a strict NO RAWHIDE rule; our first puppy was lost to rawhide injestion, swelling, and bowel obstruction. Please-never, ever give any rawhide product to one of our babies.
WHAT TO GET BEFORE YOU TAKE THE BABY HOME...
Food and water dishes-we recommend separate dishes; puppies love to "play" with their food, and when in an attached dish-this becomes a nasty MUSH!
Soft, small, snuggly, INEXPENSIVE bed. The baby will want to feel comforted, but will also most likely chew up their first, and possibly second, bed.
Harness and leash. We recommend the stretchy mesh type harness. Collars are able to snag on tree roots, furniture, and other animals' feet during play. The collars stay on and cause the Havanese hair to mat underneath, while the harnesses only go on when going out, so they don't cause matting.
Big bag of food. We feed dry food only. Giving dogs table scraps is not only very disruptive to their digestive systems but also creates beggars. If you do not give them human food life will be much happier for you and the puppy.
Approved chew toys. Please stick to nyla-bone, chew hooves, or kong/rubber type things. Stuffing-free toys are best since Havs consider stuffed toys as a challenge. They will un-stuff, consume, and poo stuffing in no time! Ours really like the "crinkly" plastic inside the flat fabric critters. The ropes can be fun but the strings that can be swallowed are dangerous, so I suggest you avoid them. We have braided felt strips and those work great as a tug toy and a great replacement for the Havanese love of "Dad's used socks" (gross! blech!!).
OTHER INFORMATION AND SUGGESTIONS
The puppies will have their first set of vaccinations when they leave us. They will need two more sets before they're safe from deadly things like Parvo Virus. Please do not allow the baby to come into contact with possibly contaminated areas, especially ground, where other animals may have deposited "cooties". When you go to the vet, hold the baby in your arms, and no matter how much other folks would love to-don't allow him to be touched or held by anyone other than the vet.
Heartworms and fleas are easily prevented with a monthly chewable medication. Our puppies have never had worming (typical with other breeders), because as our vet says, "our kennel (AKA, living room!) is clean"!! In other words, our babies don't get worms!
A professional groomer will know to remove the hair from inside the ear canals. We recommend keeping the puppy in a "puppy cut". If you take him to the groomer each quarter, that should be good for maintenance. Buy a "pin" type brush so you can keep mats to a minimum with twice-weekly brushing. Nail clippers are also handy just in case you need to trim more frequently than quarterly.
We have a doggy door. The baby will be following the "big dogs" in and out when they leave; this does not mean they will be potty trained-please don't assume that! We highly recommend you consider installing one. The pups are little, so their bladders are little, and we have discovered they love to shred piddle pads.
The Texas parents are 17 and 12 pounds, so the puppies will probably be somewhere in between. The Arizona parents are 10 and 14 pounds, so those puppies will probably be somewhere in between.
Havanese are extremely acrobatic. They love to jump onto the back/top of furniture. They walk on hind legs with ease and will chase a ball, frisbee, or another dog with absolute glee. They are insistent upon you playing with them, so please be prepared to do so!
When teething, the pups will need something to chew on. Afterwards, chewing is recreational but not destructive as with some breeds. Ours love their Denta-Stick or Greenie after dinner. They love to shred paper. Newspaper, toilet paper, used tissues, or printer paper. They all love this, and I believe there is something genetic...odd, but true.
Unlike Beagles and Terriers, Havanese do not "need" to dig. They are not really interested in getting under a fence or rooting out a skunk (thank goodness!).
Having an "intact" male dog has been a challenge. His nature is to claim everything by placing his special calling card on it. We have eliminated carpet, furniture with cloth at his level, and use plenty of bio-enzyme digesting cleaners frequently. Our puppies go home with a firm expectation of their being spayed or neutered at the earliest time your vet considers safe. Avoid unwanted issues by heeding this advice.
Ours are split down the middle in terms of loving the water. Carma prefers not to get her toes damp. Cracker will poo on the patio rather than get her hiney dampened by the grass. Tink, on the other hand, will climb over burning coals to get into the pool with Sarah (our human daughter). I suggest you make sure that if you have a pool they can access you teach them where the steps are. Maybe make a special mark or something so they will be safe.
When travelling in the car, ours do best when not crated. I think they feel anxious in the box versus being out and able to see. Of course, you need a second person in the vehicle to hold the baby.
Kids and Havs are like Peanut butter and Jelly; i.e. they are meant for each other. I suggest the family plan for care-taking and training as a group so everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations. For example, if Dad gives the puppy table scraps and Daughter has poo clean-up duty, this can cause trouble-for everyone.
Havs love other animals. Mom had a 90 pound Doberman before getting her two Havs. They all get along fantastically. If introduced properly, I cannot imagine one of our puppies having trouble with another family pet...maybe not hamsters, or other snack-sized animals, but other pets...should be good.
If you have never had a dog before I recommend you look into a puppy kindergarten class or other introductory training. I know the Hav is smart enough to train, but knowing the proper motivations and family interactions is great for the humans in the group.
I believe I have blabbed on long enough. Please never hesitate to contact either of us to ask about care of our babies. They are our babies forever, and we will be happy to hear from you and get photos, too. Havs make a happier family, so just feel the love!
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO FOLLOW THIS LINK AND REVIEW THE LIST.
I WAS VERY SURPRISED AT GRAPE JUICE BEING SO DANGEROUS!