Join Date: Jul 2015
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Great article, Dave! We had two breeders tell us they wouldn't sell us a Havanese puppy because we are gone for work from 6 AM to 4 PM during the school year. That was despite us telling them we'd be having a dog walker take Shama out and play with her mid-day during our absences. Luckily, we met a breeder who is a retired educator who thought we would be good Havanese owners. All that to say that we knew that this breed loves to be with its people and is prone to separation anxiety so we took steps to alleviate SA from the beginning. Our comings and goings are without excitement. It's hard (for us), but we don't even say goodbye. We just disengage/ignore for a while then exit. Shama just stays in her 2x6-foot ex pen. When we come home, she's excited to see us, but we ignore her for a while then give her attention only when she sits. We're happy that she seems to be well adjusted. She doesn't make any noise when we come home. Our dog walker (a graduate student at a nearby school) was a rock star this year too. She'd come in (Shama quiet) and make her lunch and eat her lunch and eventually greet Shama and take her outside then play with her. Before leaving, she'd put Shama back in her pen and putz around for a while before not saying goodbye and leaving. It's counterintuitive to not make a big deal out of coming and going, but we think our dog is healthier for it. Barbara, I think the article Dave recommended would be a good starting point for you. (I should add that we've been surprised that now that we're giving Shama more freedom - access to the whole house when we're home, including doors open that used to be closed - she doesn't always want to be with us. She moves about from spot to spot in the living and dining rooms, lying on the dining room floor to look out the sliding glass door, lying at the top of the stairs to look at the front door, lying in the hallway, etc. We thought she would be clingier than she is.) Current photo of Shama attached. Good luck with Loki! He will be happier once he gets it that he's OK when you leave because you will always return.