A year later and still a mess! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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A year later and still a mess!

So I rescued a havanese in june of last year. I drove a few hours to get him and when I met him he was very people wary. I sat on the floor and just waited for him to come to me and when he did he seemed to be relieved but he shook like a little leaf in my arms. he was 2 1/2 years old. He was rescued from a breeder's home. The breeder had two other havs and neglected all three. Milo had to be shaved down to his skin and it came off in one large strip. When I brought him home I let him into the backyard to potty and he would not come back inside. My husband had to go round him up when it got too dark. His behavior improved slowly over time but he never really has come out of whatever happened to him. He still has potty issues. He still acts scared (even of me) he runs into my bedroom when people come over even if he knows them pretty well. He does not come when called. He will not eat properly and still has not got up to his vet recommended weight. He bolts when the door opens though he has gotten better about that. The other day he bit me which I never saw coming. The list goes on. I work with him every day on obedience training. I try to build trust with him. I hand feed him so I know he ate. I am crate training him again. I just can't give up. If I did give him up we all know what would happen to him. Words of encouragement and advice are greatly needed here. Anything you got- throw it out to me. Just please know I have tried. This dog is damaged- he has his good days but someone messed him up real good. Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:09 AM
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I am so sorry to hear about your experience. You are truly doing everything you can to take care of this precious dog. Has the vet thoroughly checked him out to make sure that there are no health issues that may be causing some of his problems? It takes an amazing person to rescue a dog. If it makes you feel any better, I've been struggling with some of the same issues and I've had Lucky for about 9 months now. About 2 months ago, Lucky bit the maintence guy at my apartments and left a huge bite mark. (The guy walked into our small mail room and swung a trash can by us). He goes for weeks without an accident in the house and then all of the sudden he poops in the living room and pees on my curtains. I still don't think we really have "bonded" and there are days when I wonder if he even likes me. But I am so stubborn I tell myself over and over that I am going to make this dog like me and obey me and I guarantee you it will be a matter of time before both of our dogs come around. As far as I'm concearned it's a waiting game, and I've got all the time in the world.

Some people might beat me up for this...but do you give her lots of treats? That's really what got Lucky to come around a bit. And if you find a treat that your dog likes, it will probably stimulate her appetite or at the very least put a few pounds on her from eating them.

My heart goes out to you, but please know that you and your husband have done an amazing thing and this dog is so lucky to have you.

What area do you live in?

Last edited by christie6104; 10-10-2009 at 02:12 PM.
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:46 AM
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You are a very special loving person to give your heart to the rehabilation of your Hav. I say yes to the treats! Let your pup be with you as much as possible. Play, play, play.

Time, patience and lots of love and you are that special person.



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"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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I am in the pacific northwest. I should really do my profile. It took a long time to get activated and I got so excited when it came through I forgot to do any profile info!

I feel like you must really get it....what i am going through i mean. I do not think Milo and i have bonded either and some days I think he would prefer if i left and then i come home after hours away and he just craves my attention and I know I will do whatever it takes to save him. I think some people say they 'rescued' their dog the day they took them home from the shelter but I feel like I never will truly rescue this dog. He is so far gone you can see it in his eyes. I wonder what really happened to him in his first two years.......if I ever meet his original owner.....

Thank you for the kind words. I need to hear them.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Havanesesoon......Milo does love his treats....he just doesn't love taking them from me. He takes them like he is scared he will get yelled at even though I gave it to him and then he runs into another room to eat it!
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 02:13 AM
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You are a wonderful wonderful person to be doing this. I have often thought of getting a rescue dog, I go and look at all the pictures of those poor dogs and feel so bad for them.
I am sure he will come around, what a horrible life he must have had to make him feel like this.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 03:40 AM
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Start the treats a little ways from you and slowly work the treats closer to you...it may take some time, but it will be worth it, when your pup takes that treat from your fingers.



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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 07:39 AM
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Wow - what an angel you are to work so hard to help this little guy. As an HRI foster mom, we see a lot of this behavior, very often. Most all of the Mill dogs, have these types of behaviors.
How much time are you with him? Is he alone when you are at work?
I think that the treats is a great idea. Just sit on the floor, toss them to him. Praise him when he takes them. When he eventually comes to you to take them, make it a big party.
Hold Potty parties, and possibly toss treats EVERY time he goes potty outside! I am sure that all of this must be so frustrating!
I also would suggest that you ask your vet about a behaviorlist/trainer who has experience with abused dogs. They may have the best ideas to help you with each of his issues.
Good luck, and please keep us updated on Milo!
Laurie

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(Gigi, Lucas, Dugan, Madeline,Reo,Alvin, Lucky, Lukey, Punch, Colby & Ben-(we will always Love you!!)
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 07:45 AM
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Bless you for taking that poor little guy, and it sounds like you're doing an amazing job. There are several people on the forum who have dealt with challenging rescues very successfully (I see Laurie responded while I wrote this book) , so hopefully they will give you some tips. Also, please contact http://www.havaneserescue.com/ if you haven't already, as they will have some advice on how to help Milo.

I have a dog that I now know came from a puppy mill. I found out later that well over a hundred dogs were found there despite the web site showing she had just one litter of Havanese. He came to me by plane and arrived a very frightened little puppy. He certainly doesn't sound like he's been through as much as Milo or Lucky but he has some of the same problems on a milder level. He has some fear aggression. He tries to bite and growl any dog that comes near us. He has bitten several people including myself, my son and his friend, he has had severe separation anxiety (has improved a little), he hated almost every food for the first year and a half, he still has potty accidents and leaks whenever he's scared or excited. He's always been just anxious and fearful. After being on this forum, I have realized how different he is from all the Hav's that were bred the right way in a loving home. He has definitely improved, but he still has biting issues, separation issues, etc. If you haven't already, I would consider hiring a good behavioral trainer in your area. The suggestions on treats were excellent (boiled chicken and chicken jerky are Marble's favorites). If you can find treats he loves, you can really encourage the good behaviors and make him want to behave. I'm sure you've worked with him by having visitors give him treats, but I think this will take so much longer because he is fearful and had several years of neglect under his belt before you got him. I think the key is that his progress will take a long time, and you need a lot of patience and consistency (which I see that you have). In terms of food, I had to try about 10 brands over the course of a year and a half to find one he'd eat. I finally resorted to a boiled chicken breast/vegetable diet that he loved, but you have to make sure they get the right balance. If Milo was neglected, then he was probably never taught to not bite, so it doesn't surprise me that he bit you. Just yelp and correct him, and make sure you watch him around people.

Christie, I had no idea that you were still dealing with so many issues. These dogs are so lucky to have such patient, dedicated people. I am sure that Lucky loves you, even if you can't see it sometimes. As I said, Marble still has accidents. He's almost three, and I've had him for 2 years and 9 months. Sometimes you may be able to improve it but not completely eliminate it. I do keep him in an expen when I leave.

You are both great to take these guys in and work with them so hard. Things will improve over time. Keep us updated.

Gina

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 09:27 AM
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Thank you for rescuing this poor little dog. You patience will eventually be rewarded. One day he will just come around.


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