Havanese Puppy Photo Updates

Our little Havanese puppies are really playing together now. This is the beginning of their socialization…a very important phase and so much fun to watch.

I hope I have the names straight, though! They are 4 weeks old now and about to start on real dog food. They all need pedicures and will be moving soon into their “Big Puppy” pen!


Albert & Abby

Albert and Abby

Albert, Abby & Ariel

Albert, Abby, Ariel & Arthur

Aloha & Alvin

Arthur & Alfi

Arthur & Alfi Again

Arthur & Alvin

Arthur & Alvin

Arthur & Alvin

Arthur & Alvin

Ariel & Anni

Ariel & Anni Again

Ariel, Aloha and Alvin


Nine days old!

Pups are gaining by leaps and bounds! Their noses are beginning to blacken and they are pretty mobile though they don’t quite get up on their wobbly legs yet. Here are some photos. No names yet and some are not the greatest pix but I’ll bring out my good camera for the next ones. I’m giving you their coloring and weights as well though it has little bearing on their final size, I’ve learned.

Puppy #1 is a female. Weighs 11 3/4 ounces. She has a small black spot on her side that you can see better in the group photo below.

Puppy #2 is a black and white male. Weighs 10 1/4 ounces

Puppy #3 is a black and white female. Weighs 11.5 ounces.

Puppy #4 is a male Irish Pied. He weighs 11 ounces.

Puppy #5 is a tan and white female. She’s 7.5 ounces but strong as ever!

Puppy #6 is a female with sable and white coloring. She weighs 10 5/8 ounces.

Puppy #7 is a male, black and white. He weighs 10 ounces

Puppy #8 is a female with sable/white coloring. She weighs 8 7/8 ounces.

Yes, they are all in here, nursing to their heart’s content. You can see the spot here on the middle one, Puppy #1.

We Have Puppies

Maxi whelped a wonderful litter of 5 girls and 3 boys on Monday. We are all still very busy with changing linens, nursing, weighing puppies and feedings for mom but thought we’d post a few photos to get the ball rolling!

Yesterday afternoon

Yesterday morning


All nursing well!

Hours old

Personality Testing is Complete!

My friend Stephanie helped me with the personality testing yesterday. The test is most successful if the puppies do not know the tester. It was so much fun for me to stand back in a secret corner and watch the pups interact with her. She has two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and loves dogs…so she was a perfect choice for this delightful task.

Stephanie testing Oreo’s reaction to an uncomfortable position.
Hershey and Marli

For better or for worse, there isn’t much extraordinary to say about the puppy’s personality testing. All six are basically very laid back, relaxed, happy and playful puppies. There are a few differences.

The first test is for Social Attraction. Here I take the puppy into the testing area and disappear as quickly as possible. Stephanie takes it from there and, crouching, coaxes the puppy to her in a direction away from where I dropped the puppy off.

For this test Twizzler, Taffy and Snickers all scored a 6, which means they weren’t terribly interested. On the other hand, Hershey, Twix and Oreo all scored a 3, which means they came to Stephanie readily, their tails up!

Oreo watching Lily use the doggie door

Test 2 is for Following. Stephanie stands up and walks away from the pup. Not following indicates the pup is more independent. Twizzler, Taffy and Snickers did not follow Stephanie…rating a score of 6.  Hershey, Twix and Oreo all scored a 3, meaning they followed her readily, their tails up.

Stephanie reading her notes for the next test.

Twizzler ready to pounce!

Test 3 tests the pup’s Reaction to Restraint.  For this test Stephanie crouches down and gently rolls the pup on its back and holds it there for 30 seconds. It measures the degree of dominance or submissiveness in the pup as well as how it accepts stress when physically (and socially) dominated. The scoring is from 1 to 6 with 1 being the pups that struggled most fiercely and 6 being no struggle at all.  Twizzler scored a 6. Taffy, Hershey, Twix and Snickers scored a 5. And Oreo scored a 3.

Taffy (in front) and Oreo romping

Test 4 is another test of the pup’s Social Dominance tendencies. Here Stephanie lets the pup stand and gently strokes it from head to tail until a recognizable behavior is established. The pups options are to jump up (a display of dominance) or walk away (a display of independence). Every one of our pups simply stood there and let Stephanie pet them. In other words, they are all snuggle bugs!

Test 5 is for Elevation Dominance. Like test 3 it puts the pup in an uncomfortable position. Stephanie leans over the pup and cradles its belly with her interlaced fingers and gently lifts it off the ground. The pup is held there for 30 seconds. It offers insight into how the pup accepts dominance when it is in a position of no control.  The scoring is from 1 to 6 with 1 being the greatest amount of struggle and 1 being a pup who freezes. Oreo and Taffy scored a 1. Twix, Snickers, Hershey and Twizzler were a 3 which meant they did not struggle and were very relaxed.

Snickers finds a bone

The remaining tests were more for Training Aptitude than Personality. They are typically relied on with dogs used for hunting, protection and activities such as “search and rescue.” Since our little guys are rarely used for any of these tasks I don’t put much credence into them but still found some of the results interesting.

Retrieving was test 6. Our kids “flunked” across the board. No interest in bringing back the wad of paper Stephanie tossed out. Actually I think they are a bit young for this as they will retrieve a toy playfully. It is a learned exercise, though, for Havanese as it is with most pups. You have to play this game with them frequently for it to become a habit.

Touch Sensitivity was the 7th test. Stephanie takes a front paw and applies a pinching pressure to it for a count of 10 or until the pup shows discomfort. All the pups made it to a count of 2 except for Snickers who lasted until 3! As a rule Havanese don’t like their feet touched. This is why I try to trim their nails regularly, even if it is just one or two, to get them used to this necessary grooming activity. You should do the same. Even if you don’t trim, make sure to handle their little paws several times a week so they get accustomed to it. You’ll thank yourself for this when the puppy reaches adulthood.

Taffy with Marli and Phoebe

Sound Sensitivity (test 8) demonstrates the pup’s sensitivity to sound.  Stephanie places the pup in the center of the testing area and makes a sharp noise nearby with a metal spoon striking a pot. The scores again are 1 to 6 with 1 being the pups who walk towards the sound barking and 6 being the pup who ignores the sound and shows no curiosity. Twix, Twizzler, Hershey and Taffy all scored 6. Snickers scored a 4 and Oreo a 5 (she backed off and hid).

Our last test was for Sight Sensitivity. For this Stephanie placed the pup in the center of the testing area and wiggled and dragged a dishtowel across the floor in front of the pup. It tests the pup’s response to a strange object.  Oreo, Twix and Taffy expressed curiosity and investigated the towel. Twizzler, Hershey and Snickers basically ignored it.

Marli and Max with Twix


My conclusion is that there is not a huge range of difference in these puppies. They are very relaxed and confident for the most part. Even my vet said he was impressed with how relaxed the puppies are when he gave them their first shots yesterday! I know Oreo showed some concern over the banging pot but she is actually quite outgoing so that confused me. She’s the one who is often the last to come in from outside, even for dinner!

I do these tests not because I expect to find some major deviations but to make sure my families get the puppy that is best for them. I don’t see any puppy in this litter that would not do well with any of the families anxiously waiting to bring one home!

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Havanese Pups and their First Solid Meal

We tried a bit of mushy puppy kibble this morning and the puppies really went for it! It has been a busy couple of days. Yesterday, thanks to my daughter Jenny, they got their first pedicure which I am sure Phoebe really appreciated.

I think we’ve decided on a candy theme for this litter. So far we have Snickers, Truffles, Hershey, Peppermint Pattie, Twix, Twizzler, Skittles and Tootsie. If you have any suggestions, drop us a comment!

Five puppies getting a taste of mushy kibble
They might have been kissing….but really they are licking each other’s lips!
A closeup

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