Adolescence/reality check/are we doing the right things? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-03-2012, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
almostdogowner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 27
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
Adolescence/reality check/are we doing the right things?

Hi everyone!

So, Flynn is 7 months now and is exhibiting many of the classic signs of "teenagery." I've read alot on this forum and in Ian Dunbar's writings, so at least i know it's normal! But I would realllllly appreciate any input on how best to handle some issues.

The two biggies for us right now:

1) Fear/nervousness over the mundane: my husband or i walk down the steps from downstairs into the living room where Flynn is... he seems not to recognize us and barks. He seeks a backpack on the floor ... won't approach it, or will bark at it. Just generally afraid of random stuff. Does this pass naturally? Is there anything I can do to help it pass? We've just been remaining calm and saying "It's OK Flynn, it's just me/backpack/DH etc"

2) Sudden fear/anxiety around strangers: Flynn was very well socialized by his breeder and by us after we picked him up at 8 weeks. Lots of friends over, lots of walks (during which we see lots of people/strangers); two rounds of puppy class (he was the BEST at pass the puppy... LOVED everyone in the class.... both our dog walker and the trainer thought he'd be a fantastic therapy dog).

Suddenly, though, he is very nervous about anyone but our family, the babysitter and dog walker. We take him on a walk with us every morning when I walk my daughter to school. Recently, he tries to hide from and/or barks at just about anyone we see -- the crossing guards, other parents, runners, random passersby. He never used to bark at anything.. now he barks at almost everything/one. And the squirrels... oh how he wants to chase them!

Sometimes, as we walk, he'll act like he wants to jump toward a person passing by (in what seems like a friendly jumpy/greeting), but if they take any slight motion toward him (even if being friendly), he then hides behind me, and barks and gets all worked up.

We took him with us to a holiday gathering for Christmas Eve and he did OK, but pretty much would not leave my side and was hesitant about letting others pet him, etc. ((The one notable exception to this is KIDS. He LOVES children and never barks at them and is happy when they pet him. We have a 5 y.o. and he adores her and even at gatherings and in puppy class, seems to gravitate toward the kids. Maybe b/c they are small?)

In any event, this is the big one that I'm not sure how to handle and is obviously very important. Lately, I have been picking him up when we come across a stanger who is willing to take some time to try to get to "know" him (i.e., the crossing guards all love dogs and keep treats with them for pups). But he even squirms to try to get away when I try to hold him, even if the person is trying to give him a treat. I am gentle about it, but if he's squirming and freaking out, I step back a bit. But I don't want to give up. We're even headed back to puppy class for a 3rd round (the wonderful trainer isn't charging me... she is happy to help me try to socialize him through this period).

He hasn't really ever been super comfortable playing with or being around other dogs -- he tolerates it, even enjoys it if the other dog(s) is/are not too big or rough in their play (unfortunately, some of the dogs in puppy class are bigger and he is more hesitant with that). He's definitely not aggressive about the other dogs -- just not eager to engage in fellow doggy play -- previously would rather find a human to pet him. This part (his attitude toward other dogs) hasn't really changed with adoloscence).

Any advice would be appreciated.. Also -- how long does it last?!? If we are consistent, will it pass? I miss our social pup who was happy to greet anyone, esp if they were willing to give him a belly rub! The nervous nelly who has replaced our social butterfly needs to hit the road!

SOrry for the long post... .Thanks in advance!
almostdogowner is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-03-2012, 05:48 PM
Senior Member
 
TilliesMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,278
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 36 Times in 36 Posts
just curious, but why are you picking him up when he meets people? I would think if the person actually WANTS to meet him/get to know him, the person needs to come down to the pups level and offer the treat...? just my thoughts...

Tammy and Tillie
TilliesMom is offline  
Old 01-03-2012, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
almostdogowner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 27
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi and thanks for your reply! I have been pickign him up b/c he is usually scrambling all over and/or hiding behind me on his leash, so he's nearly impossible to approach .. he just scrambles all about. And a person would have to get down literally on the cold sidewalk to even attempt to get near him, which is likely more than even the most affable stranger might be inclined to do.

Plus I thought my holding him would make him feel safer (I usually speak calmly to him throughout the encounter while I hold him, thinking it might help to show him that "it's ok").
almostdogowner is offline  
 
Old 01-03-2012, 08:16 PM
Senior Member
 
TilliesMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,278
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 36 Times in 36 Posts
interesting... well I hope some of the experts can chime in and help you out soon!!

Tammy and Tillie
TilliesMom is offline  
Old 01-06-2012, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
almostdogowner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 27
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Tammy

Just bumping in the hopes that someone might have some insight. He's been doing just a bit better the last 2 days during the morning walks... even going up to greet a few fellow parents he knows well from our visits. So I am hopefully that our persistence will pay off and this phase will pass!

Much appreciated!
almostdogowner is offline  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:35 PM
Senior Member
 
TilliesMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,278
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 36 Times in 36 Posts
sounds good, just keep getting him out there for postitive experiences!!

Tammy and Tillie
TilliesMom is offline  
Old 01-07-2012, 05:56 AM
Member
 
becks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 55
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
My boy is almost 2 and at about the same age (7mths), became very cautious and wary around strangers. Unfortunately he had very little socialisation prior to us getting him at 4mths old, so you were certainly streets ahead of me as far as that goes. Do not try and force Flynn to approach strangers on the street, try and work with him in a more familiar surronding where he feels safe, and I would definitely not hold him while strangers pet him, I think this would make him feel trapped, not indusive to a relaxed happy puppy. I believe the link below has some helpful information.

Today Boz is still guarded around people he doesn't know but if they are patient and let him approach them rather than the other way around, he is fine. Usually by the second or third meeting he is exuberant and often "over friendly".


http://k9domain.org/fearful.aspx
becks is offline  
Old 01-07-2012, 08:27 PM
Dave T
 
davetgabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 10,757
Submit Photo: 3
Photo Submissions 112 Times in 110 Posts
Sounds like he's regressed ,and yes it's normal for adolescence. Glad you like reading. Good stuff. Just thinking , whether a vet visit would be prudent. I would recommend getting a trainer in to show you some techiques. But the best site I've found for general guidlines on this is http://fearfuldogs.com/ And since you've read Ian's articles, here's one by Cindy http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/su...troubled-teens

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 01-07-2012 at 08:45 PM.
davetgabby is offline  
Old 01-08-2012, 04:57 AM
Senior Member
 
Lsprick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 255
Submit Photo: 16
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dave is the expert here, but have you considered other classes beyond puppy class? My dog benefited from group obedience classes through a skilled trainer who understood how to help me help Gracie feel more confident. From there she suggested agility, which has been a good fit for her and has built up her confidence. She's also benefitted by having more exposure to other dogs in a controlled setting. I would never have thought of agility but now I've found a new hobby and fun way to bond with my Hav!

Leslie, Mom to Gracie (Noblegold Saving Grace) and Angie the HavaShih Rescue
Lsprick is offline  
Old 01-12-2012, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
almostdogowner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 27
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks so much everyone for the great advice! And for the extra articles, also! I will definitely read them asap.

The idea of other types of classes is a good one... will look into it!

Much appreciated!!!
almostdogowner is offline  
 

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Thread Tools



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome