Written by HFC member Heather Warnock (published in Dogs In Canada Breedlines May 2005)
While rural living has its special charm, there are unique considerations and precautions needed when a Havanese is part of the family. The risk of predators is one of these and we have to constantly think of ways to protect our Havanese. Havanese love to dart, run and make sudden turns in play; such actions mimic escaping prey and may attract sharp eyed predators.
Several predators such as coyotes, cougars and hawks may pose a risk to Havanese; especially puppies as they are just the size of their favourite meals of rabbits, and skunks and small rodents.
Coyotes are a year round concern, though conflicts between coyotes and dogs occur mainly between the months of March and April during the time that Coyotes are setting up their den for the soon to arrive pups. Coyotes become exceptionally territorial around these sites in an attempt to make a safe place for their young, as well as looking for easy prey to feed their growing families.
Large hawks and owls are also year round concerns in certain areas of the country. The Great Horned Owl, if hungry and on the prowl can easily take a small Havanese or puppy. The Golden Eagle and large hawks are others that will readily take on small dogs.
The threat from cougars is less and occurs mainly spring to early summer. Cougars have been known to take small dogs or cats but, more than likely, some other animal such as raccoons or mice have led them close to our beloved pets. Ie)We frequently get rabbits running around at night, which attracts predators. Animals such as fox, skunks and mice which can carry disease including rabies are others we want to keep away.
This is why rural owners need to have proper fencing for Havanese, just like the city folk do. High chain link or other similar fencing is what I prefer. A small fenced enclosure near the house keeps my Havanese in as well as keeping other animals out. If you are in an area where large birds of prey are a concern, your fenced area may also need to have an enclosed top.
Other precautions I take are making sure all my Havanese are in at night and during the day when I am away. They are not left outside unsupervised. To minimize attracting rodents which can bring in predators, I do not feed my dogs outside and also make sure water sources are kept at a distance. Garbage is covered and birdseed stations are placed well away from the house. Larger domestic animals are also a consideration to keep in mind when Havanese are around. Some of mine are well socialized around horses and a couple like doing morning or evening chores with me.
Keeping their safety in mind and never leaving them roam unattended, country living can work out just fine for you and your Havanese. All in all, my Havanese love the room to roam, and delight in exploring acres of fields and bush on our outings together.
© Copyright Heather Warnock. All rights reserved. The information contained In this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the author.