CARING FOR THE PUPS BEFORE THEY GO TO NEW HOMES
We try to give the puppies the best possible start before they go to their new families. All puppies are born and raised in our house. I am retired now and spend most of my time with my dogs and the puppies. The first couple of weeks they are in a quite room with their mom, but we still go in and handle them often. They are then moved to a play pen where there is a bed and an area to go potty. The play pen is in our living room so they can get used to the sights and sounds of everyday life. The older they get, the bigger the playpen gets and the further away the potty area is from their bed.
Most people report that the most difficult part about bringing a new puppy home is potty training, especially with toy breeds. Havanese are very smart and loving, but they can be stubborn when it comes to going outside. In order to do our part and make it easier to potty train your new puppy, we have started using an area specific method. New puppy families will still need to do their part in completing the process, but they should be well on their way to accident free. Keep in mind that the puppies are still young with very small bladders and it is not good for them to hold it for a long period of time. It may also take them a little time to let you know when they need to go out.
The puppies have to learn that there is an area for sleeping, playing and going potty. At first, the paper is spread throughout the play pen and as they learn to only go on the paper, the play area gets bigger and the potty area gets smaller. I do not use pee pads because they start to associate your rugs with the pee pads and it is very difficult to break them of the habit of doing their business on the rugs and carpet. As the puppies get older we start taking them outside on a regular basis, weather permitting.
The crate where they sleep has to be kept free of urine and feces smell so they won’t associate their bedding with a place to relieve themselves. This means the bedding has to be kept clean at all times. I put the crate in the play pen so that they get used to being crated at night. This makes their crate a good place to be and not scary or unfamiliar.
We also get the puppies used to being groomed. They are put on the grooming table and brushed, face cleaned and nails clipped. We bathe them at age appropriate times.
At 7 weeks old, our vet will administer their first set of immunizations, deworm them and perform a thorough exam. In the event they are with us longer, they will receive age appropriate vaccinations. Most puppies go home at 8-9 weeks old, no sooner. I prefer to keep them until they are 9 weeks in order to have more time to work with them and learn from their litter mates.
We would love to have potential families visit the puppies, in fact we encourage it. Many times someone has a particular puppy in mind for their family before coming over and end up choosing a completely different puppy after meeting them. I thoroughly believe the puppy picks their person and not the other way around. That being said, there are times when it just takes the puppy a little time to warm up to you. Before entering the house, we will ask that you remove your shoes, not visit any pet stores or kennels before coming over and please do not bring other pets with you. Our puppies are still vulnerable to Parvo virus and other diseases.