Picnic Photos & Details

The picnic date took place on August 19, 2017 from 12pm to 5pm at Yvonne's place in Brighton. Check out the details here. Photos from the 2017 picnic can be found here. 

Grooming 101

Want to see how I get a smooth coat and what equipment I use? I am continually learning and perfecting but I created this video Windows version) and for you Mac apple folks - here's a conversion. - not a professional one, to help you get a head start and perfect your own skill. Got questions? Ask away.

Want to know how to create a bathing machine that will save you time, product and wash your dog better than ever before? Check out Dick and Irma's instructions on how to create your own machine for a fraction of the cost.

Certified Pet First Aid

Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid is a recognized National Pet First Aid Certificate course for dog and cat professionals and pet owners. Talemaker Havanese now has that certificate having taken and passed the course.

Woofstock 2018

Meet us at Woofstock. Dogs are welcomed. We meet at the restaurant across the street from Woodbine park. Here is the location. Meet up happens on May 28, 2016 at 9:30 to 945am. Rain date is the next day. Look forward to seeing your havanese there and the humans too! Don't have your havanese yet? Well join us anyway!

Our Magazine


Havanese Breed Magazine's 37th issue is available in an electronic version. After numerous requests, a new printed version is also now available. Click here

Award Photos
Friends & Associates

New Havanese Puppy Checklist

We believe in allowing mom to educate her pups, letting them develop and learn about correct interaction with other dogs. They also learn a great many things from mom so they get a healthy start in learning social skills. We do not drop the ball and allow mom to handle it all. We also play a huge part in teaching them how to correctly interact with humans. This continues when they come to you.

Here are some items that you may consider when preparing your home for your new Havanese puppy. You may not need everything listed before your puppy arrives, but this list is intended to help you consider all your puppy's needs.


- Metal or Plastic Crate (check with your Breeder to see which your puppy prefers - we prefer plastic if they aren't watched as they can break their teeth on metal when left alone - ouch) Crates should be just large enough for your pup to turn around comfortably and sleep. If given a larger area, they are more apt to soil it. We prefer plastic or metal with bumper pads. Look at what someone created on their own. You can also buy them and personalize them.

X-pen - we use the baby ones from Toys R Us but the latest found at Petsmart has a door which we will acquire as soon as we can. You can often find them on Craigs list cheap without the door. You can set it up when you need to go out or you need a timeout by placing a crate inside, their water dish or device, some toys and a puppy pad. If you have a room with tile or linoluem that you can put down a gate across this will do as well. If you have only capeting buy a piece of linoluem from Home Depot to place as the base under your xpen.

- Old Towels for the Crate or cheap washable crate pads (2-3 will do - one to change, 1 to wash and one just in case) We also like the soft crate pads. But two so you can wash one and line the crate with the other. You can also line any crate early on with absorbent towels multi-layered and put a waterproof pad inbetween. Someone recently bought us a blanket for a baby (2 piece) from Little Miracles called Snuggle Me Sherpa. It's a 2 piece set with a dog attached to a mat and a sherpa blanket. It's perfect for a crate or a sherpa bag and she tells me they only cost $13. We have the one that is a dog but they have a variety of animals from lambs to tigers. To see what the packaging looks like click here. Or do a search on Little Miracles Snuggle Me Sherpa Canada and you will see which animal is available and what they look like. I love them. If I see ones with other animals I wouldn't hesitate to get them.

- A blanket to cover three sides of your crate to create a den feeling if using a crate for sleeping if it is a wire crate. There are also crate covers that people make that are quite fancy. A variety of companies sell stylish crate covers or you can make one yourself. If you are using an x-pen, you may still want a crate inside of it to allow them to have a sleeping area that can transition out of the play yard. Our pups usually sleep on our beds but that's just us. We have wonderful boarders that sleep in their crates at the request of their parents (otherwise they are on the bed with us) and they do rather well in one and see it as their safe haven.

- We use soft blankets to cuddle with. We have some from Petsmart that are cheap and can be often found in the cat or dog department for under 3 dollars depending on size but the cheaper they are the more they tend to wear out fast. We find them sleeping and cuddling up to them at a variety of times in and out of the carrying case/crate. Unless it's important to be stylish, old items - baby blankets etc., can be used. Many consignment shops sell used baby items and that includes bumper pad sets for bassinets that would be perfect for a crate. Baby shops also sell used toys that are great for dogs as long as they don't have parts to break with teeth. Use common sense but they love baby toys. Lamaze makes wonderful toys. You can find used ones on Craigs list or new ones at Baby stores or Winners. The best part about the Lamaze toys are they are safe and you can hang them on crates, xpens etc.

Please realize your dog loves to den and when it is surrounded by something that is familiar with them, they often settle down. We also give them tons of love so snuggling with you will also be a calming moment for them.


- Food bowls should be stainless steel or ceramic. You can buy inexpensive stainless steel bowls at Dollarama (any dollar store most likely) that are dishwasher safe and pick up a few for the price of a ceramic one. We give you one in our puppy pack to travel with. Only purchase high quality glazed ceramic as some poor quality or unglazed bowls will leech lead and therefore be a heath hazard. Never use plastics unless they are coated as bacteria can flourish in them. Water bowls should be large and heavy. If you are going to be away for a few hours, we highly recommend a watering device that circulates the water if you are away for periods of the day. If travelling try to get collapsible bowls as they are just too easy to clip to the crate so you can water and feed them at the appropriate times and go flat when not in use. If you use a wire crate, you can also use these.  I personally love the Frosty Bowlz and your pups are used to them as we have 5 of them. The benefits of these are they literally keep the water cold all day. I will be buying a couple more for outdoors at the pool. If you do buy them buy 2. One insert you keep in the freezer and the other one is an extra for outdoors or if you forget about freezing at night. A unique but great way to add water to a crate is a bottle feeder

- Treats should be of high quality to enable you to get your dog to work for their treats. It can be as easy as a come, sit, stay but no free treats - well rarely – (we humans can't help ourselves). We use chicken strips and benny bullies but we do so sparingly. You will get a sample in your puppy packs. I highly suggest a place called Bio Paws or your local Global. Biopaws just has some unique but safe chew items. They especially adore the kangaroo tendons.


Cotton balls for cleaning ears and placing in the ear to keep them dry during the bath. usually they fall out so I use them just to dry the ear after. Although Havanese rarely have ear issues, if left wet, they can. I use an ear cleaner on a cotton ball that dries out the ear drum. You can also use a qtip gently on the ear to dry it outjust don't force it in or put it in too deep. It is a superficial way of drying the ear. Cotton balls cut in half work much better. I use a variety of ear drying agents but PPP makes one that works. This is only one brand.

Your dogs will have had a number of baths before it comes to you but still may squirm when grooming. Be persistent and hold firmly but do not get upset. Your dog feeds off of your emotion and will react to it. They are rather intuitive. You will NOT hurt him/her by holding firmly but they may try to get you to believe that. End a grooming session with a treat or massage or both. I also do baths, clean feet, private areas etc if you need one

We tend to groom watching TV, massage, groom and end on a treat. They do get used to it and look forward to the time if done right. As in humans though, there are always those that are the exception that buck the system but you can even manage to make it more enjoyable for them too. We are a tad unorthodox and often put on our suit and take our dog into the bath tub to play to create a fun experience with water. We have a pool and therefore positive experiences with water is a definite goal with us. We also use the laundry tub that does include a tether.

We, well actually me daily use a brush and comb on the pups to get them conditioned. They don't need it at first but this is part of the process we go through to make it easier for you and them.

You can also get a professional groomer to bath and clip the belly areas, under the arm pits and around strategic areas that keep them clean. I can also clean up tummies, clip nails, clean pads for a nominal charge if you require.

-You can get mini clippers to clean the pads or these would work as well. There are really cheap ones. They don't work as well but for years I used one and still have one in my drawer as a backup.TSC sells them and so does Rens.

- Shampoo and conditioner (high quality does make a difference and one with whiteners keeps the white hairs bright) I have my favourites and you will too. Some of my favourites are my old stand bys but I tend to find new things that work and hold on to the older stuff that still does what I need. Lately I have been buying from Deboers or Just Gifted. We also furnish you with enough for that first month (shampoo, conditioner and grooming spray) I love everything from Pure Paws Forte Shampoo and Conditioner to my all time fave these days is Nature's Specialties Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoo and Natures Specialties Oatmeal Creme Rinse. For puppies the Pure Paws Oatmeal Aloe Shampoo and Conditioner is wonderful.

- I adore the following grooming sprays - Panegenics Grooming Spray (I adore the smell and static control as well as how good it is for the skin). I have also been known to use Plush Puppy OMG. I sometimes use them together, separate etc depending on what I want. I also use Show Sheen ONLY after a fresh bath while wet to create a shine and finish that repels dirt and keeps them knot free longer but NEVER use it on a dirty coat or it will create damage - only once after a bath. It can be found in TSC in the horse department - yes the horse department. 

- Nail clipper and Quik-Stop Powder or you can also get a version from most any pet store or styptic pen to stop any bleeding from an ooops. When the pups are small, you can use baby clippers.

- Good quality small comb (Greyhound or other professional brand) or one with movable teeth such as the comb for cats available at Global Pet Food stores. A face comb is perfect for cleaning around the eyes but I use a parting comb as when theit hair gets longer, this works for both. If you have any drainage during teething, just a dab of corn starch will stop it from reoffending. You can also use whitener to remove old stains. Tearing usually stops after teething has finished but can occur due to stress, diet etc. a dab under the eyes each day dries that area out and stops any new stains. Some don't leak at all when adults. We add a food supplement that does dry the area out for the most part. We also found a new one that really works well called L-lysine and cranberry. This one works perhaps the best as it solidifies the tearing making it easy to remove. 

- High quality brush with pins (I prefer the short type for daily brushing and the longer tines for blow drying and lifting and fluffing out the hair when it is long) either Greyhound Teflon covered comb,Vellus, Madan, or any other professional type pin brush. Do NOT buy a brush with balls on the ends of the tines as it will break the hair causing knots. A combination boar bristle/nylon brush is excellent as well for finishing but is not immediately necessary. For a special luxury the Mason Pearson bristle/nylon brush is wonderful and good for your hair as well as your Havenese.

- A soft slicker is another type of brush you may want to use but only on the feet. It does break the coat and can produce more mats unless you close the ends by conditioning them with a good finishing spray. I tend to only use it on feet. They only blow coat once in their lives when they can get mats more easily and a slicker will take them out but also tends to give the appearance of split ends and will ruin the coat. If the dog is not a show dog, after this stage, you can always do a trim or cut him shorter in a more manageable cut. You can also cut shorter during this stage and take him to a groomer. See our Grooming Conditioning file.

Stomach Adjustments:

You will be sent home with food. We currently feed our dogs Fromm's grain free but be aware grain free food you must feed less or they will pack on the pounds when adults.

We buy it from Eva at Global Pet Foods on 1070 Major Mackenzie Drive E. Richmond Hill, Ontario (corner of Major Mackenzie Drive and Bayview on the north east side). We also add Missing Link as we have had good results with their coats staying shiny and believe in making sure they have balanced and complete nutrition. The health of our dogs matter to us greatly! Two additions are salmon oil that reduces any scratching especially in the winter dry heat of fireplaces and furnace heat and a drop of vitamin e once a day in their food. I am not a 'try anything you can' type but the salmon oil and vitamin e produced results on Fiona who had dry skin after losing a lot of her body nutrients to feeding puppies. It helps the hair and the skin. Just make sure is is WILD salmon oil. You will be getting a 5 lb bag of food in your puppy pack.

If you decide to change the diet of your puppy then you must do so slowly and over at least a 7 day period of time. Failure to do so can cause stomach upset and occasionally diarrhea. Be sure it's a quality food. There are a lot of good quality grain free foods available now with some made in Canada that are seeing great results. Just do the transition slowly.

100% Pure Canned Pumpkin from the baking aisle of your grocery store helps loose bowels or constipation as is a good source of fiber. Do not get pie mix. There is a difference. When your puppy has diarrhea or constipation, a tablespoon or two with every meal for several days should help alleviate the symptoms. Freeze any excess in an ice cube tray for future use.


- Baby Gate(s) Try baby supply stores - or pet stores sometimes they are available at resale baby consignment shops or even try Craigslist.

- x-pen if desired with puppy pads (if you want to use the holders for the puppy pads, as we do, you can usually find them at Global). We will be using pads and gradually moving them outside to urinate/defecate depending on weather. Many of our apartment dwellers appreciate the pads as they use them on their decks or in an area designated close to their crate/sleeping/play area as time is a factor in successful training. As the puppies’ bladder increases, so will the time that they can hold it. Ask Nathan what brand he is using. We have tried all but some are not worth the $$ and will shred and not hold the urine.

- Cord protectors (Home Depot sells tubing you can place over your cords that are exposed and they work rather well. We learned how effective these were when one of our daugfhters raised rabbits who are notorious chewers.

- Plus: Bitter Apple (bitter taste deters dogs from biting, licking, and chewing) This will help them and you through their teething stage. You can use frozen soothers to help them and or buy baby oragel. Puppies do grow out of their teething stage. During this time, bones and soothers are a benefit.

Ooops Mistakes:

Puppies are not 100% potty trained. We strive to get them the knowledge and we are diligent about getting them to understand but with a new home, new changes, it will take time and you being aware and consistent. By the time they leave our homes, they will be pretty accurate to a pad and partly accurate to outside. Our goal is to make the transition for both the pup and you an easy one. We also believe in getting the pup to sleep through the night by extending their feeding time and having very active play sessions just before bed. You may want to do the same at first to help them sleep soundly. As their bladder grows, their sleep pattern grows naturally but play sessions for us is just a part of loving interaction. This crew is doing rather well in the night time sleeping department.

Reduce the space they are in and do not expect a 100% trained dog if you leave your puppy longer than it's bladder can hold it. Don't get angry. If you do not see the ooops when it happened, clean it up and watch for the opportunity to educate. Be sure to praise correct behavior by an uplifting voice of 'good boy' or whatever you want to use. Look for solutions. Call us for ideas and you will get there. For the first little while, you will have to take your little one out to show them where to go. This is a new environment and it is up to you to lend them guidance and to know the rules, limitations and boundaries in a positive way. Be patient. Allow them to sniff and do their duty. If you use the same words of praise each time, they will understand.

Initially you may have to leave the odor in the area that you want them to go in order for them to get the idea. We often leave pads that have a little urine on them to attract the others to the pad. It works. Also, walks are needed and desired by your little one gradually working up the distance as they get older. They will go on walks if they need to go. Many people use a walk as a way for them to release their energy but also to go. Therefore you cover two needs at once. A walk creates a healthy mind and body and helps your little one totally bond to you. If you haven't already 'got' it, we are advocates of walks and we do manage to walk twice a day with all of them. When your little ones get older, we will place a collar on them and a leash several times before they come to you so they get used the experience at least to a some extent.

If you are away at work, find someone to take your little one out mid-day or come home and use an x-pen set-up like we have. Your pup will feel comfort early on and as it gets better at 100% hitting the pad, you can expand its exposure to the rest of the house when you are away.


Puppy pads (we will be sending you home with a couple)

*we are getting good results early on from Simple Solutions Jump Start Puppy Pads. They are new and seem to attract the pups.

Puppy Pad Holders (if desired (Simple Solutions) It stops them from ripping them apart)

Stain/odor neutralizer

Pooper Scooper & bags

Doggie door (but you will have to train them to use it as we only have a screen door doggie door)

Simple Solutions Pee Post (we have heard good things about this for the boys if you only want them to go in one area)


Storage bin for dry food.

Adjustable snap-on collar.

6 foot (1.8 m) leash for training, Not retractable. Use a retractable if you want them just to play but you have control, for instance in a park. Do not let then off leash until they are fully trained and under your control which means that they have a solid recall. You yell "COME" once, and they stop whatever they are doing and come running back to you. That is a solid recall. Remind us when you are here and we'll demonstrate with our little Treasure.

I.D. Tag (Petsmart, Global and a variety of other places sell them depending on how fancy you want)

Travel Crate for car until puppy is big enough to wear a car harness and or car seat so they can see out or perhaps you will choose to always have your puppy travel in your Sherpa bag or whatever you get. We buy the large sized Sherpa bag not the medium.

Bell to hang by back door (helps at times for alerting you they need to go out). This is the best place - http://poochie-pets.net/

Doggie door (only use when they have a safe place to go to that is fenced etc) You should consider going out with them early on to help training and it will also help you to know if they have a stomach issue. We always go outside with our dogs.

Soft doggie bed usually with a bumper around so it can rest it's head called a donut bed or a bed that acts like a tunnel. We have both that the dogs adore.

Fun Things:

Toys: (See our file on this) - We adore toys that create interaction and stimulate minds. We advocate putting toys out in small quantities and exchanging them every few days to keep the mind stimulated while avoiding boredom. Plus don't forget about the houses and the fish, sharks, mice beds that you see in our videos. This woman makes them in a variety of colours of your choosing plus she will embroider their names on the houses. 

Additional Things:

Buy books on puppy training, care etc. or go to your library or we can lend you books. An excellent book to obtain is Citizen Canine. We can also offer a number of other topics. Just ask.  If you want to keep up with anything new regarding the Havanese, just make a point of visiting our site on a regular basis. If it's new and good, we'll be talking about it. You can also subscribe to our Havanese Breed Magazine.

Visit Your Vet:
Your Havanese' health matters to us. Be sure to visit your vet. Get the required tests (see our contract) and shots (minus Lepto) and make this a positive experience by finishing each visit on a positive note.

Find a good obedience training center. We suggest using Who's Walking Who http://www.whoswalkingwho.net/ if you are in the Toronto or Ajax area. They can start puppy classes at 12 weeks and we feel strongly that no matter how familiar you are with training inside and out (we can always learn), and a class is a must. It is good bonding time, socialization, and other important things such as learning a proper Meet N Greet behaviour in a controlled environment. These are three excellent reasons to take classes.  They also often have new puppy owner seminars that we really feel strongly help new owners get a similar and positive way of dealing with their new additions and any questions you may have.

One of our faves is their Total Recall Seminar when your dog gets older. It's fun. It's interactive and the dogs enjoy it. It also allows your dog exposure to other dogs in a safe and controlled environment. Always select a positive training center and not one which uses negative ways of dealing with issues that crop up. You end up with a better dog with a reward based system.

Do write and send photos, videos etc.  We know that the dogs will have found new forever homes but we still care. We want to hear about anything you want to share, photos, stories etc and we hope to see you at our yearly picnic we hold each summer.

Lots of Love and patience will give you an amazing dogs. There is nothing like the Havanese. They are endearing and tend to make you fall hard in love. Watch it - nothing better than two. heh

© Content published on this page has been a collaborative effort and provided by, and copyrighted by Darlah Potechin and Nathan Potechin (talemakerhavanese.com). No unauthorized reproduction or re-publication in any medium whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission.