Havanese and big dogs? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Havanese and big dogs?

How sturdy is this breed? I know they are a toy breed but I've been reading about some people owning a bigger dog and a Havanese. Can the two different sizes play together? I have a standard poodle a little over a year. Not sure how they will play together, and if they are even able to. My poodle is used to my two cats, but he knows he is not supposed to play with them. They rule the house anyway so he knows better. Just for reference, my poodle did great when we babysat a 4 lb pomeranian. He did get rowdy but I corrected him and made sure she was safe (placed her on the sofa or I held her). They did great together on walks and hanging out chewing bones. But of course, their sizes made it unsafe for any kind of involved playtime. My poodle is friendly, loves other dogs, and not resource possessive.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 10:47 PM
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Some like big dogs and get along fine with them. Some don't like them at all. Just another part of the selection process.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Tom King, your Havanese are beautiful! To me the breed looks bigger than they are - maybe it's all that hair?

The Babies!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 06:59 AM
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This is such a good question. Our little Havanese (joining us in two weeks at ten weeks old) will have visits from our kids' big chocolate labs. I had thought the sooner the better, that if they were acclimated early, they would get along fine. Would love to know others' experiences and tips for making it work. The labs both do doggy day care and "play nicely" with other dogs I'm told. Appreciate any insight and to tokipoke's question of sturdiness. Can playing with a big dog be dangerous for a Havanese? Thanks.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:36 AM
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Nessie is an Aussie mix and weighs around 45 lbs. When Jack was little, I really monitored their outside time. They would play chase and Nessie would bowl Jack over. She never hurt him but I tried to stop the play before it got to that point.

Now that Jack is older and can judge Nessie better, the outside play is good. It is funny to see a little Hav chasing after an Aussie. They even play tug with each other.

Jack is a big Hav at 17 lbs. I don't think if he was little, I would let them play as rough. I definitely don't allow Jack to play with other big dogs without supervision. One misplaced foot or grab could hurt him. Puppies are especially delicate.

This is an instance when you would treat your dog like a little human baby. You would never left a baby or kid alone with any dog. Same thing applies to your Hav puppy.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 08:11 AM
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I have a 17 week old 2lb puppy who loves to visit with my sisters 75lb Weimaraner. Its hysterical to watch them play as my the weim will drag himself on his belly to be on her level and she jumps all over him.
However not all dogs are as considerate so I would keep a close eye on introducing any dog to your pup regardless of size.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:39 AM
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It makes me nervous...I know there has recently been a post on HF about this subject and the outcome has not been good. True only one post...but I personally prefer to have dogs the same size, or close to it. There are so many other things to factor in the selection process that I prefer to err on the side of caution and keep the same size dogs.

Sir Winston sez "Non Basta Una Vita.”

Flynn, lady-in-waiting to Sir Winston and Lady Mia
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:53 AM
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I think that besides the disposition of the Hav, it also depends a lot on the big dog. Kodi loves ALL dogs, UNLESS they purposely bowl him over, or come at him, slapping with their front paws, even in play. But his BFF is a GSD that I trust completely with him. Buddy will let Kodi take his food bowl and drag it around the house with him. When they play outside, they run together, but Buddy doesn't try to knock him over or make contact. That seems to be the kind of play Kodi likes best.

When he was younger, and we did puppy classes and "graduate" puppy classes where there was off leash play, Kodi was really leery of the Retriever and Boxer pups, all of whom seem to play by batting with their front feet a lot. OTOH, there was a Great Dane puppy who was afraid of KODI, and I'm sure it was because he didn't understand the boisterous, running around type of play that Kodi likes.

But the bottom line is that when two dogs are really mis-matched in size, things can go wrong, even "in fun". One of the forum members recently had a very bad experience between her 1/2 Hav and her Anatolian Shepherd. Even though the two are usually the best of friends, the Anatolian was having a bad day, the little one was bugging him, and the larger dog grabbed and shook the little one. After intensive treatment, the 1/2 Hav is going to be alright, but has probably lost all vision in one eye. So if you have two dogs badly mis-matched in size, you really need to keep an eye on things, even if they seem to get along great.


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Last edited by krandall; 02-16-2012 at 09:57 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 10:25 AM
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I have found that, like the others have said, it really depends on the individual dogs and how early the 'big dog' socialization begin. With Sonic he met his 'cousins' (a year old 35 lb English Spring Spanial, a 2 year old 85 lb lab mix, and a 4 year old 90 lb Great Dane) by the time he was 10 weeks old and has been playing 'rough and tumble' with them and any other big dog he meets as if he's just as big. I think the key is to keep a close eye on them, especially in the beginning , and be ready to step in if it does get out of hand. His puppy socialization play group included a couple lab puppies, a boxer mix and another Havanese and he wanted to play with the big dogs while the other Hav was very timid with them at first, but warmed up after a few visits. We haven't had much time with Aries yet, but she seems to just follow big brother in whatever he's doing..

Linda, Sonic & Aries' Mom

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 10:26 AM
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There is a beginner class before Misty's class and there is a woman who watches her husband with their Aussie and she wants a small white dog and she is always trying to get me to see if Misty will be ok with her dog, one of our trainers had a "talk" with her about her Aussie, it is very prey driven (it tracks all the small dogs even when they are not running), she explained that some breeds do better and an experienced owner will have a better chance of selecting the right small dog and making it work. As this woman and her husband are first time owners and their dog has developed quite a few problems, they need to work with it for awhile, the woman thinks her aussie just wants to play and no one is giving it a chance...glad the hubby is not of the same mind. I guess it is selection and experience.

Robbie, Boo Boo, Yogi, and Misty's human.
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