LUV My dogs: socialization

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Showing posts with label socialization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label socialization. Show all posts

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Everything about your Chinese Shar-Pei

Everything about your Chinese Shar-Pei
  Though the Chinese Shar-Pei is the 134th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, the dog breed has been around for hundreds of years. He was developed to guard, hunt, herd, and later, fight, and is known for his characteristic short, bristly coat, loose, wrinkled skin, and devotion to his family. Today, the Shar-Pei mostly enjoys life as a beloved companion.

Overview
  The Chinese Shar-Pei, also known as the Chinese Fighting Dog or simply the Shar Pei, is an ancient breed that has existed for centuries in the southern provinces of China. “Shar-Pei” literally translates as “sand skin” but more loosely means “rough, sandy coat” or “draping sandpaper-like skin.” In addition to their strange wrinkled appearance, they have a characteristic solid blue-black tongue, a feature shared only with another ancient Chinese breed, the Chow Chow. The Chinese Shar-Pei was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1988 as a non-sporting dog and fully approved in 1992.
  The average Chinese Shar-Pei stands 18 to 20 inches at the withers and weighs between 45 and 60 pounds, with females typically being smaller than males. Their extremely rough, short, wrinkled coat is unique to the breed. It should be neither shiny nor lustrous and comes in solid colors and sable. It should be brushed regularly, and the folds of skin should be cleaned and checked frequently to avoid moistness, irritation and infection. Shar-Peis are compact and sturdy, and they normally do not bark unless they are threatened or feel the need to alert their owners.

Highlights
  • The Shar-Pei was once a guard dog and pit fighter. Today he is primarily a companion, though he retains fighting toughness. He can be aggressive toward other dogs or people, so it's imperative that he be socialized and trained from an early age.
  • Due to his short nose, the Shar-Pei is prone to overheating. Keep him inside with fans or air conditioning during hot summer months. Like other short-nosed breeds, he tends to snore and wheeze, and makes a terrible jogger.
  • Like the Chow, the Shar-Pei has a dark tongue. This is considered normal, even desirable, by dog show enthusiasts.
  • Frequent bathing isn't necessary for the Shar-Pei, but when you do bathe him, dry him thoroughly. The wrinkles and skin folds are an ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
  • Though devoted to his family, the Shar-Pei can be willful and stubborn. He must learn right away who the pack leader is or he's likely to compete for the job.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The name Shar-Pei means "sand-skin" but translated more as “sand-paper-like coat.”  No other breed shares the short, rough coat of the Shar-Pei.
  • A Shar-Pei is a poor choice for a novice dog owner.
  • A Shar-Pei housetrains earlier than most breeds because of his natural cleanliness and ease of training. 
  • The Shar-Pei enjoys and does well in obedience, agility, herding and tracking. He would rather be with people than other dogs.
  • Those famous wrinkles need to be looked after carefully to prevent skin infections. They should be wiped out with a damp cloth and dried well to prevent infection.
  • Like other flat-faced breeds, the Shar-Pei can easily overheat.
Breed standards

AKC group: Non-sporting Group
UKC group: Northern Breed Group
Average lifespan: 9 - 11 years
Average size: 45 - 60 pounds
Coat appearance: Horse or brush-coat
Coloration: Sandy with black muzzle
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Large with wrinkled skin; blue-black tongue; dark, almond-shaped eyes; rounded, triangular ears; large muzzle with dark coloration; thick tail
Possible alterations: May have lighter eyes based on coloration
Comparable Breeds: Chow Chow, Great Pyrenees

History
  The Chinese Shar-Pei originated in the southern provinces of China where he was valued as a hunter, herder, guardian, and fighter. Some historians believe the Shar-Pei is an ancient breed, though there is no definitive evidence to prove this. Statues that look a lot like the Shar-Pei have been dated to the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.), though these statues also resemble the Chow and Pug.
  Following the creation of the People's Republic of China, the dog population in the country was practically wiped out. A few Shar-Peis, however, were bred in Hong Kong and Taiwan. If not for the efforts of one man, Matgo Law, of Down-Homes Kennels in Hong Kong, the Shar-Pei might be extinct.
  Thanks to him, a small number of Shar-Peis were brought to the United States in 1973 and breed fanciers formed the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, Inc., in 1974. The first National Specialty show was held in 1978. The Shar-Pei was accepted in the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1988, and recognized by the AKC in 1991 as a member of the Non-Sporting Group.



Personality
  The large head and wrinkled face of the Chinese Shar-Pei has oven been compared to the head of a hippopotamus. They are independent and willful dogs, but when exposed to confident, consistent leadership are respectful companions and clean housemates. Their ever-present scowl coupled with their alert nature, makes them an imposing looking guard dog. The Shar-Pei's tenency toward independence them good companions for single people or working families with older children. They don't require much attention or exercise to keep them happy, and can entertain themselves with lots of chew toys or sun to bathe in.

Health
  The Chinese Shar-Pei, which has an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years, suffers from minor health issues like lip and skin fold pyodermas, otitis externa, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, allergies, and amyloidosis, and minor problems such as entropion and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, eye, knee, elbow, and thyroid tests on the dog.
  Megaesophagus is sometimes seen in this breed. The Shar-Pei is also prone to fevers, and although its cause is unknown, it often occurs with Shar-Peis suffering from swollen hocks .

Care
  The Shar-Pei lives comfortably in the city or country. He does well in a limited space, such as an apartment or condo, as long as he gets daily exercise. A backyard is not required, but he does appreciate getting out and stretching his legs. In general, the Shar-Pei is fairly happy just hanging out with his owner, wherever he may be.
  Begin training and socializing your Sharpei the day you bring him home, and commit to continuing the process all his life. He'll need the constant reinforcement since he's not naturally friendly to other dogs. He can also be stubborn and owners must be consistent and firm in order to establish leadership. He is generally eager to please, though, and responsive to training.
  The best kind of socialization exercise is to take your Shar-Pei with you everywhere — to puppy classes, outdoor events, busy parks, friends' homes — and as often as possible. This will help prevent him from becoming overly shy or overprotective. Since this breed can be aggressive toward other dogs, the Shar-Pei should be kept leashed in public.
  The Shar-Pei is classified as a short-nosed, or brachycephalic breed, similar to the Bulldog, Boxer, Pug. Their short noses make them highly sensitive to heat, which means they make lousy jogging companions. To prevent heat stroke, these dogs should be kept inside with fans or air conditioning in hot weather.

Living Conditions
  The Chinese Shar-Pei will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
  The Shar-Pei is sensitive to warm weather, partly due to the wrinkles on its head holding in the heat.
  On hot days shade should always be provided. Water should be available at all times. Provided they get enough exercise, they will be very peaceful indoors.

Training
  The proper training and socialization of a Chinese Shar-Pei from a young age is very crucial in its development. Because it can have a higher propensity to territorial aggression and can be a little worried around strangers, it should get used to the idea of other humans and should be able to realize that being around them is safe. Training will also require a good degree of patience. If you’re a first-time dog trainer, the Chinese Shar-Pei is not the ideal dog to “cut your teeth” on.

Activity Requirements
  Despite their large size, the Chinese Shar-Pei does not need a lot of vigorous exercise to maintain good health. Several walks a day will suffice, making them good city dogs. It is recommended Shar-Peis, despite their watchdog capabilities, not be raised on a farm. Their natural instinct to hunt means they can take off into the wild blue yonder after deer or other wild animals.

Grooming
  Grooming requirements depend on the individual Shar-Pei. Weekly brushing can meet the needs of both the “horse-coated”  variety and the “brush-coated” type , but some Shar-Pei of either type can be prone to skin problems. Shar-Pei with skin problems may need weekly bathing and daily brushing.
  All Shar-Pei need regular wrinkle care. The wrinkles must be wiped out with a damp cloth and then dried thoroughly to prevent infection. Do not oil the skin.
  Shar-Pei have small, tight, triangular ears that predispose them to chronic ear problems because there isn’t enough air circulating in the narrow ear canal. Although it’s not as easy to clean the ears of a Shar-Pei as it is for most breeds, regular cleaning should be done to help prevent recurrent yeast or bacterial infections.
  Bathe the Shar-Pei as you desire or only when he gets dirty. With the gentle dog shampoos available now, you can bathe a Shar-Pei weekly if you want without harming his coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Brush the teeth for overall good health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  The Shar-Pei is a devoted family dog who is protective of his family, including children. To best teach him to get along with kids, he should be raised with them; if he doesn't live with them, he should be exposed to children as he grows up. Because he is such an independent breed, he's best suited to families with children 10 and older who know how to treat a pet respectfully.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  In order to provide the best chances for getting along with other dogs and animals, the Shar-Pei should be raised with them from an early age. Since he tends to be aggressive with other canines, supervision is essential.

Is this breed right for you?
  A good guard dog, the Shar-Pei does not require much space, making him a great fit for apartment life. For exercise, a daily walk will suit this pet just fine. Doing well with children and cats if raised with them, this breed bonds well with any and all immediate family members. Aloof and rude to strangers, he will need to be socialized well. In need of a dominant master, the Chinese Shar-Pei requires a good leader to avoid any untoward behavior. A clean breed, he doesn't shed often and requires only brushing and regular bathing.

Did You Know?
  After teetering on the brink of extinction, the Chinese Shar-Pei made a comback: in 1983, the Neiman Marcus catalog chose the dog as its his-and-hers fantasy gift, offering a pair of Shar-Pei puppies for $2,000 each.

A dream day in the life of a Chinese Shar-Pei
  A simple breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei will be happy to wake up in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by family members. Enjoying a nice, brisk morning walk, the Shar-Pei will return ready to guard his home from any possible dangers or strangers. Partaking in a bit of play and yard-romping, the breed will end his day sleeping at the foot of his master.


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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Everything about your Norwegian Lundehund

Everything about your Norwegian Lundehund
  This odd bird, er, dog is an energetic contortionist with a complex personality. He has the look of a typical Spitz breed — prick ears, wedge-shaped head and furry tail that curves over his back. His double coat ranges from beige to tan to reddish brown with black hair tips and white markings or white with red or dark markings.

Overview
   Also known as the puffin dog, this unique and acrobatic canine was discovered on a remote island in Norway, where he was used to scale cliffs and rob puffin nests of their eggs. With six toes on each foot, including two large, functional dewclaws, and an exceptional range of motion in his joints, he can climb just about anywhere in your house or yard and squirm through the narrowest of passageways. Heck, you might even see one trying his paw at Half Dome someday.
  Cheerful, inquisitive, and mischievous, this is a dog who needs close supervision to keep him out of trouble. He's a primitive breed who's difficult to housetrain and loves to bark and dig, so keep that in mind before deciding that it would be really cool to have a dog who can bend his head backwards, splay his front legs out to the side, and close his ears to keep out moisture and dirt. Provide him with plenty of early socialization to prevent shyness and noise sensitivity. And if you're a bird lover, well, just keep in mind this breed's original purpose.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Norwegian Lundehund’s thick coat is fallow (pale brown) to reddish brown to tan with black-tipped hairs and white markings or white with red or dark markings.
  • Lundehund vocalizations include barks, yodels and howls, with the occasional scream thrown in. It can be unsettling until you get used to it.
  • The Lundehund’s unusual anatomy makes him capable of getting into hard-to-reach places that most would not expect a dog to be able to go.
  • Lundehunds often enjoy collecting shiny objects and hiding them.
Breed standards

AKC group: Non-sporting
UKC group: Working
Average lifespan: 11 - 13 pounds
Average size: 12 - 30 pounds
Coat appearance: Short and rough
Coloration: Red, reddish-brown with black tips
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Small, wedge-shaped head with deep brown eyes and double-jointed neck; ears are able to move back and forth, flip from side to side and close up; strong and flexible hind legs and shoulders; six toes on each paw and two dewclaws; tail curls onto back
Possible alterations: Older dogs may be darker in color
Comparable Breeds: Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Buhund

History
  The breed has a long history. They are the most ancient of the Nordic dog breeds, scientific research indicates that the breed has been in existence since before the last Ice Age, surviving by eating fish and sea birds. It is thought that the Lundehund is actually a descendant of the primeval dog, Canis forus, rather than the domesticated dog breeds, Canis familiaris. The Lundehund was a valuable working animal, essential in hunting puffin birds along the Norwegian coast for food as well as the commercial export of puffin down from the Viking Age through the 16th and 17th centuries. Its flexibility and extra toes were ideal for hunting the birds in their inaccessible nesting locations on cliffs and in caves. Interest for the breed declined when new methods for hunting puffins were incorporated and a dog tax was created. Around 1900, they were only found in the isolated village of Mostad , Lofoten. The breed was nearly extinct around World War II when canine distemper struck Værøy and the surrounding islands. In 1963, the population was further decimated by another outbreak of distemper. This time, only six dogs survived, one on Værøy and five in southern Norway, Hamar. The latter five were from the same mother. This created a population bottleneck. Due to careful breeding with strict guidelines, there are now an estimated 1400 dogs in the world (2010), with around 600 of the population in Norway and ~350 in the United States.
  The breed is being tested in Tromsø airport by the Norwegian Air Traffic and Airport Management as a solution to airplane bird strikes. The dog is used to search for bird eggs around the airport for disposal.
  The Norwegian Lundehund Association of America, Inc. is recognized by the AKC as the Breed Parent Club for the USA.

AKC recognition
  The Norwegian Lundehund was approved into the American Kennel Club's Miscellaneous Class on July 1, 2008, after a unanimous vote by the AKC Board of Directors on November 13, 2007. The Lundehund made its AKC conformation debut at the Roaring Fork Kennel Club show in Eagle, Colorado on July 12, 2008. It made its introductory premier at a major US event at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California, on December 13 and 14, 2008.
  On February 12, 2010, the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club voted to accept the Norwegian Lundehund into the AKC stud book on December 1, 2010. On January 1, 2011, it became a part of the Non-Sporting Group.



Temperament
  Lundehunds are cheerful, alert, inquisitive, watchful and sometimes stubborn little dogs that make wonderful companions when placed into the right homes. Long-time Lundie owners treasure the breed’s intelligence and playfulness. These are free-thinking dogs that can be quite independent. Some Lundehunds are wary of strangers, although they are not known to be aggressive even when challenged. Generally, they are fun and easy to live with. Lundehunds get along quite well with children and other animals, especially when they are well-socialized from puppyhood.
  Early and extensive socialization is important for this breed. Lundehund puppies should be exposed to loud noises, unfamiliar people, animals of all ages and types, unusual environments, cars, motorcycles, new and potentially scary situations and as many other stimuli as possible starting at a young age. Lundehunds that are not well-socialized tend to become shy, hypersensitive to sounds and easily stressed by unfamiliar situations. It can be difficult to undo these traits once they become ingrained.

Health Problems
  Prone to Leaky Gut Syndrome, Lymphagetasia, Lundehund Syndrome (a series of digestive problems). This unique syndrome renders the lifespan of a particular dog almost unpredictable if not fed properly. It is reported that it is not a disease but an inability to digest grains of any sort. Fed a diet with no grains, the dogs do not get sick. They need only the same care that any dog should get and they live a long life. This syndrome or allergy is under research.

Care
  The Norwegian Lundehund is known to shed a great deal, requiring daily coat brushing with a firm bristle-brush. It can also tend to be a shy breed, so the dog should be socialized at a young age. The Norwegian Lundehund enjoys just about any outdoor activity and is very energetic. A large yard is best for this dog breed; however the intelligent Lundehund is good at escaping, so a secure fence is suggested.

Living Conditions
  The Norwegian Lundehund would do best living in a house with at least a small, fenced-in yard.

Training
  The Norwegian Lundehund is intelligent, but can prove to be stubborn when it comes to training. For the best results, use positive training techniques. A common complaint with the Lundie is house training, so this is not a dog for the novice owner. You’ll find that introducing crate training early on will help curb this problem. In fact, crate training can prove to be easier with this breed, as it likes to be in cave-like spaces.
  Because the Lundie is so agile, you should consider enrolling your dog in agility training courses. It’s a great form of exercise and it will allow them to use their natural agility abilities.

Activity Requirements
  Lundehunds are high-energy animals that love to participate in almost any outdoor activity. Lundehunds are especially happy when they can play and explore outside, with plenty of opportunities to find and proudly retrieve unusual treasures for their owners. They enjoy taking long walks and trips in the car. They like romping in the park and strolling along sandy beaches. They love to explore new terrain. Lundehunds are athletic, active and extremely agile, making them excellent hiking and backpacking partners. They excel at canine sports that require speed, intelligence, discipline and precision. Lundies can be escape artists, which makes a safe, secure, well-fenced yard an absolute requirement for owners of this breed. Regular exercise and a loving home environment are important for the Lundehund’s long-term physical and mental well-being.

Grooming
  This is a Northern or Spitz breed with an undercoat that sheds heavily twice a year. He also sheds small amounts daily.
  Brush the Lundehund’s double coat once a week to keep it clean and remove loose hair. During spring and fall shedding seasons, daily brushing will help keep hair under control.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every 3 to 4 weeks or as needed. You may also want to clip the tufts of hair between the toes, but other than that, the coat needs no trimming. Brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath, and keep the ears clean.

Puppies
  The Norwegian Lundehund puppy is a challenge to house train. You’ll have to keep a close eye on this little fellow when he’s not in his crate. Keeping up with a consistent routine will help the process go smoother, as will crate training. As well, early socialization is important to ensure he learns proper dog manners when meeting new people and animals.

Is this breed right for you?
  A loving and cuddly breed, the Norwegian Lundehund loves people of all ages and sizes and being very close to them. Kind, he is likely to love with all that he has. Requiring a yard to play and romp in, the breed is not ideal for apartment life. A natural-born hunter, the Lundie enjoys sniffing things out and is easy to groom. The breed does have an incredibly hard time becoming housebroken and will require a lot of patience and intelligent training. In addition, a Lundie needs a human who is able to provide leadership and discipline to avoid behavioral problems. In need of a lot of socializing, he is a watchdog and barker.

Did You Know?
  The Norwegian Lundehund is also known as the Norwegian puffin dog.

A dream day in the life of a Norwegian Lundehund
  Given the opportunity, the Norwegian Lundehund would wake up next to his owner and stay in bed with her all day. But if this is not an option, the dog will instead poke around the house looking for affection and play. After a few fun games of fetch, he'll head outside for a romp. Sniffing out any questionable smells, this natural-born hunter may chase a bird or two. As the day ends, the Norwegian Lundehund will love more cuddles and play before snoozing off to dreamland with his best friend at his side.





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Friday, May 2, 2014

Everything about your Havanese

Everything about your Havanese
  The Havanese dog breed has won many admirers with his long, silky hair, expressive eyes, and cuddly size. Bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, he's earned the nickname "Velcro dog" because he sticks so closely to his owner's side. But don't write him off as just a lapdog; the Havanese is trainable and surprisingly energetic, and has excelled in dog sports and canine careers ranging from circus performer to assisting the handicapped.

History
  The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family of dogs. The progenitors of the breed are believed to have come from Tenerife. Ship manifests from Tenerife bound for Cuba list dogs as passengers brought aboard, and these dogs were most probably the dog of Tenerife. Some believe the entire Bichon family of dogs can be traced back to the Tenerife dog, while others theorize that the origins are in Malta, citing the writings of Aristotle, and other historical evidence of the early presence of such dogs in Malta. Whatever the actual origins of Bichon dogs, these little dogs soon became devoted companions to the Spanish colonists in Cuba and were highly admired by the nobility.
  As part of the Cuban Revolution, upper-class Cubans fled to the United States, but few were able to bring their dogs. When American breeders became interested in this rare and charming dog in the 1970s, the US gene pool was only 11 dogs.
  With dedicated breeding, and the acquisition of some new dogs internationally, the Havanese has made a huge comeback and is one of the fastest growing breeds of dogs in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Breed standards
AKC group: Toy
UKC group: Companion
Average lifespan: 14 - 16 years
Average size: 8 - 13 pounds
Coat appearance: Soft and silky double coat
Coloration: White, black, chocolate, gold, cream, silver and blue
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Dropped ears; large dark eyes; scissor bite; body is longer than dog's height; long tail; strong legs and neck.
Possible alterations: Longer coat may resemble dreadlocks; some are born with a shorter coat, causing them to be non-hypoallergenic; chocolate-colored dogs may have green or amber eyes.
Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Papillon
Overview
  The Havanese shines his affectionate personality on everyone, including strangers, children, other dogs, and even cats. But his family will get the lion's share of his love; given the choice, he'll stick like glue to his owner's side. The potential downside to all this devotion is that, when left alone, the Havanese can become anxious. This is definitely a housedog, and a Havanese who's left in the backyard — or anywhere away from his family — is not a happy dog.

  His Velcro personality isn't so surprising, considering he was bred to keep the wealthy families of his native island of Cuba company. Since then, however, the Havanese has proven that he's good for much more than warming laps. Havanese dogs are quite trainable, and they've worked as therapy and assistance dogs, sniffed out mold and termites, and shown off their clownish antics as performing dogs.

  They've also got a surprising amount of energy for their size, and for the family looking to compete, the Havanese will happily tackle such sports as agility, freestyle, obedience, and flyball.

  As with many small dogs, it's common for adoring owners to overindulge their Havanese. They'll probably regret it — bad habits, such as eating only people food, can form very quickly. This breed is a sharp con artist, and you may find that your Havanese is training you, rather than the other way around.
  In spite of his quirks, or maybe even because of them, the Havanese is a wonderful and versatile pet.

Is this breed right for you?
  Sweet and loving, this loyal watchdog makes the perfect companion for singles or families with children. Getting along with other pets, especially other Havanese, the breed is very social and enjoys constant companionship with his family members. Curious, he's likely to check things, and is easily trained. Great for apartment living, he does enjoy playing indoors but will need a good amount of regular exercise. Requiring regular grooming, he does best with a family that can give his coat much-needed attention. With good brushing, he is unlikely to shed. A good watchdog, he'll greet every guest that walks through your door.

Personality
  The Havanese is a gentle and affectionate breed that thrives on human companionship. Your Havanese will often follow you from room to room throughout the day, and he can get very anxious when left alone.
  He's intelligent as well, and will enjoy making you laugh with goofy antics, or simply sitting on your lap watching the world go by.
  Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.
  Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Like every dog, the Havanese needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Havanese puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Health
  Havanese are generally healthy and sturdy with relatively few serious health issues. They typically live 14 to 16 years. Havanese organizations, such as the Havanese Club of America, monitor genetic issues to prevent propagation within the breed.
  Havanese suffer primarily from luxating patella, liver disease, heart disease, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Havanese sometimes tear and may develop brown tear stains, especially noticeable on white or light coats.
  The Havanese Club of America developed a system to encourage widespread participation of seven recommended tests for eye disease (CERF), congenital deafness (BAER), patella luxation, cardiac diseases, hip dysplasia, hip joint disorder (Legg-Calve-Perthes), and elbow dysplasia. The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) program promotes testing and reporting of health test results for the Havanese breed. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Testing required for a Havanese to receive a CHIC certificate includes OFA BAER, OFA Hips, OFA Patellas, and annual CERF exams. This provides an outstanding research tool for performing searches on individual dogs and also links health testing results of the dog's related pedigree information (parent, offspring, and sibling), when those related dogs have been health tested.

Care
  Although the Havanese is a small breed, he has a fair amount of energy to burn. A lengthy walk or an active game of fetch each day will keep him happy.
  The Havanese does well in a variety of homes, from apartments to large homes with yards — as long as he's an indoor dog. This breed isn't suited for life in the backyard. He is happiest when he is with his family. Although they're not overly yappy, they do bark at passersby, so if your home has noise restrictions, this may not be the breed for you.
  His eagerness to please his owners makes the Havanese fairly easy to train in most cases. Basic obedience, beginning with puppy classes, is recommended. Housetraining, however, can be particularly challenging for a Havanese, so you'll need to be especially patient during this process. You'll get there, but crate training is a must.
  Separation anxiety can be a serious concern for the Havanese and his owner. The best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it altogether. Don't leave the dog alone for long periods of time and, when you do leave, put him in a crate with plenty of sturdy toys to keep him occupied.
  Though he's small and fuzzy, a Havanese isn't a toy. Like all breeds, he needs to learn good canine manners. Don't spoil him with table scraps or by carrying him all the time he'll get fat or become overly possessive of you.

Havanese at work
  Because of the cheerful and readily trained nature, they are used for a variety of jobs involving the public, including:
  • Therapy dogs
  • Assistance dogs, such as signal dogs for the hearing impaired.
  • Performing dogs
  • Mold and termite detection
  • Tracking
Havanese also compete in a variety of dog sports, such as: dog agility, flyball, musical canine freestyle and obedience training.

Coat, Color and Grooming
  The Havanese coat is thick but silky, soft, and light, and it doesn't shed easily. The coat is long and ranges from straight to curly, although wavy is considered the ideal for the show ring. It comes in white, black, black and tan, sable, gray, and a myriad of other colors and markings.
  Many owners clip the Havanese coat short to make it easier to care for. But if you show your Havanese — or just want to look like you do — you'll have to keep it long, and should expect to do a lot of grooming.
  When kept long, the coat needs daily brushing to prevent mats from forming, and frequent baths to keep it clean. In general, it's wise to keep the hair above the eyes tied up to prevent irritation — it looks cute, too.
  Unless you're highly motivated and skilled, you're probably better off with a professional groomer. Owners can learn to groom their dogs, but it takes a dedicated person to keep this breed's coat in good shape.
  Watery eyes and resulting tearstains are common in the Havanese. Keep in mind that excessive tearing can signal an eye problem and should be checked by a veterinarian. However, most tearstains are not serious, and the cause is simply unknown. You can improve the stained look by keeping the hair around the eyes clean (wipe daily with a damp cloth). There are whitening products on the market made specifically for lightening the stains, which some owners find helpful.
  Brush your Havanese's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
 Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep the feet in good condition and prevent your legs from getting scratched when your Havanese enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.
  Begin accustoming your Havanese to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.
  As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Children and other pets
  The Havanese is an excellent family dog who's affectionate with everyone, including kids of all ages and other dogs and pets. But because he's so small, he could easily get hurt by accident, so it's especially important to teach kids how to treat the dog.
  You should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

A dream day in the life of a Havanese
  It is likely that your Havanese will wake up long before you to check the perimeter of your home. Ensuring that everyone is safe, he'll patiently wait for his human pack to wake up before joining them for breakfast. After a well-balanced meal, the Havanese will follow the members of the family, occasionally engaging in a bit of play. Once he has his daily walk, he'll be happy to spend the remainder of the day indoors with the people he loves most.


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