Once Upon A Havanese

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Training Tips

GENERAL INFORMATION:  Your puppy should be kept at home for the first week to help in the adjustment period.  Puppies are very smart and learn very quickly, but without potty training, exercise, basic training, your time and attention they will get into trouble. Walking them everyday and playing with them is a requirement.  They learn quickly with positive reinforcement.  They get into trouble when unsupervised and bored. They do not want to be left outside while you are inside.  They want to be part of the family.  If you put them outside all the time without attention they will be wild and you won’t want to spend time with them.   If they get into trouble it is your responsibility and not the dogs.  If things are left on the floor and they eat them or play with them it is your responsibility and not the dogs for leaving them on the floor.  If they potty in the house, it is your responsibility and not the dogs because you were not watching them 100% of the time.  If they tear up the furniture or destroy things than it is your fault and not the dogs because they were left unsupervised before they were fully trained.  They are like babies that do not know what is right or wrong until you teach them.  If you leave them in the yard and never give them attention or make them part of your family then they will be wild, jumping on everyone, and barking, and this too will be your responsibility and not the dogs for not spending enough time with them.  Getting them in a puppy class and training class is vital and will make the puppy years easier.   You can keep the puppy on a loose leash when in the house so you can catch them if you need to.

SAFE PLACE:  The puppy cannot be trusted alone in the house for quite some time.  If you cannot watch the puppy 100% of the time then the puppy has to be in a safe area where they cannot get in trouble and it will be okay to potty there.  This can be a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, gated area, crate, outside (anywhere they will be safe and not potty somewhere you don’t want them to).  If they are not in a safe place when you are busy then it is your responsibility and not the dogs they got into trouble.  You can put their crate with the door open in this area, toys, food & water, and newspaper or puppy pads for going potty.  Make it a pleasant and safe place for the puppy.  

FEEDING:  I feed my puppies Nature’s Domain puppy formula that I get at Costco .  Any good dog food with meat as the first ingredient will be good.  Petsmart’s “Authority” is a good brand Nutra also is a good brand.  Your puppy should be fed 3 times a day until its 4 months old and then twice a day until its 1 year.  Keep your puppy on Small Breed Puppy Food until it is one year of age and then you can change to small breed adult food.  Start with about 1 cup per feeding of food and increase or decrease based on the puppy’s weight. 

DIARRHEA:  Puppies get into lots of things they shouldn’t and can get diarrhea.  I use Bentonite clay 1/8 tsp mixed with warm water with the food to help clear out anything they may have picked up in their new environment. If that doesn’t work, you might want to take a stool sample to the vet to have it examined. Sometimes, puppies get parasites due to eating things they shouldn’t. 

POTTY TRAINING:  Puppies have to go potty after eating, sleeping, and playing.  The first couple of days you need to take them out on a leash about every hour (during the day), after sleeping, and eating to where you want them to go potty.  I usually say, “go potty” but any word will work, after a couple of days of doing this the puppy will go potty right away at the key word and right back into the house.  After a couple of days you can gradually extend the time you take them outside to potty. If you don’t catch the puppy in the act of going potty you cannot scold the puppy.  They do not understand scolding or yelling later.  If you catch them, then immediately take them outside while saying no.  After they potty outside say good puppy with lots of praise.  If you want, weather permitting, after the puppy understands going outside to potty, you can leave a door or slider open a little and then they will go out and in as needed to potty.  This works well until you both understand your puppy’s signs it wants to go outside to potty.  If you are very consistent they should be trained within a few days (with you watching for the signs).

 You could also tie the leash to your belt loop so you can keep a close eye on him, this also helps him learn to read your moves.

FIRST 2 TRAINING ITEMS:  (1) Puppies bite because biting is how they interact and play with their siblings.  To correct this problem, hold their mussel gently while firmly saying “NO BITE’ every time they bite.  After a couple of days of consistently correcting them, they should stop biting and will soon stop entirely.  Once they understand this command, you can use it when catching them eating or getting into something they shouldn’t.  (2) If they jump up on you, you can say “OFF” cross your arms and turn around and walk away.  This will tell your puppy that you are not interested in playing with it when it jumps up on you. 

CRATE TRAINING: Purchase a crate that will fit them when they are full-grown not a small one that fits now.  They grow very quickly and it is a waste of money to purchase different sizes for them as they grow.  They should be able to stand up and move around inside the crate.  I put the puppy in the crate the first night with an old towel (they will relieve themselves the first couple of nights until they get the idea), toy, blankie that went home with them.  Do not put any food or water in the crate at night.  I use the crate for sleeping only, but some people use it for additional training.  Last thing before you go to bed let the puppy out to go potty.  The first think in the morning let the puppy out to go potty.  They will cry and wine the first couple of nights so you might want to put the crate somewhere in the house that is away from you until they get used to it.  This usually only lasts a little while and only a couple of nights.  The crate should not be used for punishment.  

TRAINING:  Consistency is the most important part of training.   I cannot express enough the importance of training your young puppy.  Most areas have puppy classes that get the whole family involved.  If you cannot find an independent trainer, there is always Petsmart.  If you cannot find someone, check with your local vet and they usually know of someone.   These are classes for the 2-6 month old dogs.  It is basic training with learning sit, down, stay, come, etc.  These are important commands to learn. The puppy is a little harder to train with very young children in the home, as the puppy sees them as siblings and wants to play with them like puppies (biting, jumping and knocking them over).  It’s even more important to take your new puppy to training and being very consistent with the training. 

LEASH TRAINING:  When you first put a collar on your puppy they will scratch it and pull at it until they get used to it. When they are used to the collar you can attach a leash for leash training.  I recommend that for the first couple of times you follow them wherever they want to go and don’t allow them to pull at the leash.  DO NOT get the retractable leashes as they teach a dog to pull.    You want them to walk with you, not pull you down the street. 

NEUTERING & SPAYING:  You should spay or neuter your puppy between 5 and 6 months of age.  It eliminates male and female reproductive diseases and cancers. Neutering male puppies can help them from learning bad male dog habits.


Here is my recommendation of a great

 vitamin that I use.  

           It's called NuVet.

When I started using it, I noticed my

dogs to have a healthier appetite and

silkier hair among other things.