A 'New Friend' For Buddy - Will It Help? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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A 'New Friend' For Buddy - Will It Help?

Hi Everyone!

I'm completely new to the Havanese Forum (we have nothing like this for Havanese owners in the UK) but love the site!

I am fortunate enough to have a 6 year old male Havanese (called Buddy) who I got from a breeder who had finished using him as a stud dog, when he was 3 years old. He had been in a pack of at least 20 other Havanese (happily so) and found coming to live with me (and the cat) quite an unnerving experience (bless him, he just didn't know what to do.)

After a lot of patience, training and TLC, he has now transformed into a happy, confident dog who I love to pieces. However, since growing in confidence, he has now begun to suffer from separation anxiety whenever I go out (barking, howling and recently throwing himself at the kitchen door - all of which the neighbours tolerate but only just.

Over the last 12 months, I have tried just about EVERYTHING to rid him of this problem (for his sake as much as the neighbours!) but nothing has worked, so I've finally decided that a 'new friend' to keep him company might just do the trick. I made contact with the breeder that I got Buddy from, who has a 5 year old bitch (Heidi Havanese) who she is having spayed at the beginning of March, who she says I can have for a month in April to see if having some company will help. If it doesn't work, she says she's more than happy to take her back.

My question to you all is this - DO YOU THINK IT'LL WORK?? (I already can't bear the thought of sending her back and she's not even here yet but 2 barking, howling Havanese doesn't sound like such a good idea - I might have to move house! )
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 11:45 AM
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Welcome to the forum! I don't have any advice myself but I'm sure you will hear from many here who are more knowledgeable on the subject. Good luck and I'm so glad you decided to join us!

Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 11:52 AM
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Victoria stilwell had a good episode in training a separation anxiety dog, which was aired on animal planet, maybe search that on their site, or private message some of the experts through here, you'll get great advice/help!
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 12:18 PM
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Welcome! I don't have any advice, but it sounds like it would be good to try, since you already have a good relationship with your breeder, she knows your dog and the female, and would let you do a trial.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 02:06 PM
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It has made all the difference for my dogs for many, many years. I always had at least two so they had each other when I went out. It is far less stressful for them and I feel far less guilty. I don't think I'd ever just have one again. I'd say go for it, with the plan for it to be permanent. Don't think of it as a temporary trial. It will probably take them a little while (up to two weeks in my case each time I added one) for them to get comfortable with each other.

I'm with you 100% on this.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 02:10 PM
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I'm curious how this turns out--please update when you find out! And share pictures if you can!

Sounds like you have a great breeder and the "trial run" is fabulous! That sounds like it'd be a win-win situation either way!

Vincent-Quincy's playmate

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjewel View Post
It has made all the difference for my dogs for many, many years. I always had at least two so they had each other when I went out. It is far less stressful for them and I feel far less guilty. I don't think I'd ever just have one again. I'd say go for it, with the plan for it to be permanent. Don't think of it as a temporary trial. It will probably take them a little while (up to two weeks in my case each time I added one) for them to get comfortable with each other.

I'm with you 100% on this.
I completely agree with this. I'll never have just one dog again, either.

I also agree that you should do this with the idea of it being permanent. It might take longer than two weeks for them to adjust. Remember how difficult it was for your male to go from 20 dogs to none? It's going to be that difficult for the new dog, as well. So they really may not start to get to know one another for several days (or possibly weeks). I would say this is a good idea, but if you must have a trial period, it needs to be MUCH longer, maybe 6 months.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 05:16 PM
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I'm not sure what your routine is with Buddy for leaving and returning home, but we have had a routine with Guapo since he was an itty bitty puppy that seemed to stave off separation anxiety, which is fairly common in small dog breeds. I'm not sure how it will work with an older dog already set in his ways, but it can't hurt.

Originally, Guapo was in a pen when we were out (he was very young and not potty trained). Just before leaving he got some extra special treats and when we came home we did not greet him until he was calm and sitting in the pen. Now that's he older, it's not such an issue when we get home, he is reasonably, but calmly excited to see us BUT he still does get some extra special treats just before leave for the day and we always put these treats inside toys that he has to work at to get to the treat.

From a behaviorist perspective, this makes the dog associate your leaving with a special treat instead of the anxiety that he experiences at your leaving. The "pleasure" supposedly wins out and the anxiety extinguishes over time as he learns the routine. If this is not something you're doing, or have tried, it might be worth a go.

Good luck! Sadly, I can't convince my husband we're ready for a second dog so I have no advice on how the second will work out.


Michelle (pic of Alan and Guapo)
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"When you feel lousy, puppy therapy is indicated" - Sara Paretsky
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 07:32 PM
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Welcome Bramther to the Forum, I don't think any dog should be alone, but have no advice, please keep us posted.

Sandi, taking a new road with Smarty and Galen
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou all for your kind comments and advice. I'll keep you posted (she's hopefully coming at the beginning of April and already I can't wait!) I'm hopeful that it won't be quite so hard for Heidi to get the hang of things here (I'm sure that Bud will be happy to show her the ropes.) Am SOOO hoping that this works out - for Buddy, for the neighbours and for me too! x
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