My Boy has ATTITUDE....grrrr! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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My Boy has ATTITUDE....grrrr!

Hi Folks, I wanted to get my question out there even before I put up my profile. My Havenese, Shotzi, can have an attitude at times. MY QUESTION IS: I'm sure I could have socialized him better. But, does anyone else have or had a Havanese with ATTITUDE and how did you help him or her get passed it.He can be very moody. I signed up to this forum because I was beginning to worry something was wrong because his "attitude" was continuous for almost a week and even with me! He has never bitten anyone but he can have his low-pitched growl if he does not agree with the way someone is handling him .... even if they are sincere about it.
Last night for the 1st time in a week he started acting more his normal self. Last night he played with me, finally, I mean really played. one of his favorite things to do is play under the covers. He's always THRILLED and Happy when someone comes into the house.
He is most likely to have an attitude with other people but not with me. So don't ya know I was alarmed when he was doing this to me!! He just wasn't himself for a while and I was beginning to really get concerned. I do inform him that I'm the alpha dog and I constantly work with my 8 year old and explain to her that she has to show him that she is the alpha dog although he knows my daughter is not. Again, he has never intentionally bitten anybody and only snapped once when someone accidentally stepped on his tail .... I'm sure it hurt. ANY ADVISE?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 10:56 AM
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More info, please

How old is the puppy?
How long have you had him?
Where did you get him? What were his conditions like before coming to live
with you?
Are you saying that he used to behave one way, and now he has changed?
If so, has he seen a vet?

Is he neutered?
Any changes in the household?

Also, you might be more specific about "attitude." Guarding the crate or sleeping place, for example, is pretty common and not much to worry about. Same with guarding toys, although you have to work with the puppy on not biting and on giving up things he is not supposed to have.

Finally, you're going to hear from people who are a lot smarter than me that the whole "alpha" dog thing and being the pack leader is a myth. It's not something I ever bought into -- except for when walking the dog. But, on the advice of others here, I abandoned the idea that I had to establish myself as pack leader, and I've had no problems establishing rules (well, no serious problems.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Shotzi is neutered, he's 2 1/2 y.o. By attitude I mean growling, letting us know he really does not approve. The other night I'd had enough and thought I needed to let him know all was ok, so put him next to me in bed gently stroked him until he quit growling. It took him 30 minutes! The next day is the day he seemed better. There have been no changes in our household. Yes, he seems better but I have no idea why. Shotzi acted like someone had abused him and thus would not even let me hug/hold him without the growl. Granted, he was never an overly affectionate dog. For the 2nd day now he seems more himself. We can deal with his "attitude" and he's the cutest of all dogs when he wants to be. I try to socialize him (not enough, I'm sure) as much as possible but I do warn people not to get in his face or swoosh down to pick him up. He will tolerate children when we are out walking. I tell my 8 year old to give him gentle kisses and hugs even with the attitude. It's unfortunate for our 8 year old because we bought our Havanese for her.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 12:55 PM
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when did he come to live with you? as a baby? or when?
We got our hav for our daughter too, but she is mostly bonded with me. LOL
BUT The kids have always played so much with her, she is used to being carried around, hugs and kisses, getting brushed and her hair 'done' by my 6 yr old daughter because she has always known this. I wonder if you got your hav as an older hav who wasn't raised around children or a lot of activity and that has him nervous???

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 02:53 PM
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I think he needs a vet visit. All that growling is not normal.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 03:17 PM
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I agree, all things being equal, if you've had him since he was little and he has suddenly begun growling like that, you should have him checked out. It could be something is hurting. If you've just recently brought him home, and he isn't accustomed to others, then you should think about a trainer or someone to help you introduce him slowly and safely to the family.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybil View Post
Hi Folks, I wanted to get my question out there even before I put up my profile. My Havenese, Shotzi, can have an attitude at times. MY QUESTION IS: I'm sure I could have socialized him better. But, does anyone else have or had a Havanese with ATTITUDE and how did you help him or her get passed it.He can be very moody. I signed up to this forum because I was beginning to worry something was wrong because his "attitude" was continuous for almost a week and even with me! He has never bitten anyone but he can have his low-pitched growl if he does not agree with the way someone is handling him .... even if they are sincere about it.
Last night for the 1st time in a week he started acting more his normal self. Last night he played with me, finally, I mean really played. one of his favorite things to do is play under the covers. He's always THRILLED and Happy when someone comes into the house.
He is most likely to have an attitude with other people but not with me. So don't ya know I was alarmed when he was doing this to me!! He just wasn't himself for a while and I was beginning to really get concerned. I do inform him that I'm the alpha dog and I constantly work with my 8 year old and explain to her that she has to show him that she is the alpha dog although he knows my daughter is not. Again, he has never intentionally bitten anybody and only snapped once when someone accidentally stepped on his tail .... I'm sure it hurt. ANY ADVISE?
Hi Sybil, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "attitude". If there has been a sudden change in behavior (more accurate term) the others are right , a vet checkup is always the first prudent thing to do. Dog's behave the way they do for a reason. Either something physical is bothering him , or something is going on around him. Dog's growl for a reason. And one should not try to discourage it in any way. One thing that you could do to make him more comfortable in general , is to forget the "attitude " that you have to show him who's boss. The reason he is maybe growling has nothing to do with trying to take over the household. If you want to watch a good dog training show on TV ,watch Victoria Stilwell or if in Canada, Stanley Coren. Another term you've used is moody. This is not something dogs do. A better term would be stressed or anxious. They don't do some of the things people do. Thank God. Here's a couple of articles on growling. Be more specific when telling us what is happening. http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/why-growl-good


http://www.4pawsu.com/k9myths.html see Myth no. 9

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 07:27 PM
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I agree that a vet visit is in order. He may hurt somewhere? and therefore be cautioning people to touch him. sudden changes in personality can be a sign of a thyroid condition, or some pain, or it could just be a pup wanting attention. putting him on your bed and petting him in essence rewarded him for growling. it's hard not to though, I know, I have done the same in other situations.




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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 07:34 PM
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"If" you watch The Dog Whisperer" (I know not everyone may believe/feel the same as Cesar Mill) you should reward (pet) a dog if they are doing something you don't want them to.
Don't share affection when your dog is... fearful, anxious, possessive, dominant, aggressive, whining, begging, barking, or breaking a household rule.

Give affection - but at the right time! Remember anytime you give affection, you reinforce the behavior preceding it. Reward stability. Share your love when your dog is in a calm-submissive state.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
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I agree that a vet visit is in order. He may hurt somewhere? and therefore be cautioning people to touch him. sudden changes in personality can be a sign of a thyroid condition, or some pain, or it could just be a pup wanting attention.
And in addition to what Missy has posted here (and I know she has first hand experience with this one too!) a lot of tick-borne diseases can cause what seem to be "personality changes", probably because the dog is uncomfortable all the time.


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