Scared Hav :-( - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Scared Hav :-(

Hello, my little Havanese 'Ivy' has become quite scared of people, especially when they come to the house. She firstly barks and then hides. If the person tries to go near her to say hello she either growls and runs away or barks at them. I am so upset she is such an adorable thing and so loving to me, husband and children, I wish she could be the same to others. She is nearly 12months old. My vet has given me some Adaptil tablets to see if that relieves any stress. When I have guests come over is it better to keep her away or not? Any advise anyone has would be so helpful. Thank you so much Issy
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:24 PM
Dave T
 
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I would recommend a trainer, at a year old you need some guidance. If you don't introduce people in a positive way ,you may do more harm than good. Let me know if you'd like me to look for you , I have connections in UK Welcome to the forum.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:42 PM
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yeah, you need a professional to help you.

I'm curious is she the same meeting ppl outside the house? starbucks?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:53 PM
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Hi Issy. The advice to get some professional help is right as this seems a sudden and fairly extreme problem.

I had a slightly different problem with my puppy. After going for walks quite happily around where we live, he suddenly became scared of people, particularly workmen - not good as we live in a new build area and there are workmen everywhere. So I became famous for giving them a handful of treats to give to Charlie - think I'm known as the dog treat lady now.

Anyway it worked and now he's happy to meet anyone when we're out and about. So maybe in the meantime you could try giving any visitors a few treats and asking them to help you. I found that everyone was more than happy to crouch down and feed a cute puppy.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 07:59 PM
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You should probably find a good, local positive based trainer to help you with this. It sounds like she did not have enough good, early socialization. That doesn't mean you can't improve things now, but it will be more work.

For starters, people who come into your house need to be told ahead of time not to even LOOK at her, and under no circumstances should they try to touch her right now. It will only scare her worse. For first steps, you could give each willing participant a handful of small treats. Have them sit down with you and converse, totally ignoring her. If she moseys around, (she probably will) have them gently toss the cookies out to her, one at a time. They can talk to her gently as they do this, but they still shouldn't touch her.

Over time, as she shows a more positive attitude toward visitors, you can EVENTUALLY let people offer their hand, but ONLY when she comes over to make friends first. If she shows any sign of hesitance, you are moving too quickly. She may always be a dog who is "slow to warm up", and may not ever feel comfortable being handled by strangers, but you can certainly get her to a place that she is not stressed out by visitors.

BTW, alarm barking when people first come to the door is TOTALLY normal "dog behavior"... they are just telling you someone is there. But you eventually want her to understand that you've got things under control. Kodi barks when someone comes to the door, but as soon as I let the person in, and tell him it's OK, he stops. He does this even though he's friendly with EVERYONE one they're in the house... I swear, he'd show a robber where the silver is!


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your help. I love my little Ivy and want to help her. She is usually much better at meeting people out of the house, its inside the house where the main problems occur. She has also become fussy-some people she is fine with but others (mostly men) she's fearful. She practically goes everywhere with me and has done so since 8 weeks, this problem seems to have gradually come about :-(. Thanks for your advise about a trainer I will find one to help. She finished her first season a month ago and my vet thinks this could be a factor and gave me Zylkene tablets (not adaptil) and the adaptil plug in. I was thinking of getting some of the adaptil spray - do you know if any of these treatments help? and do you think she will be better once spayed in September? Thank you all again
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 12:54 PM
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It's common for dogs who have a problem with people to have more of a problem with men.

I would be very reluctNt to use medication to "control" a problem with socialization. I'd want to work to solve the problem through training. But that's me.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 06:04 PM
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I agree with Karen , that drug is fine but for long term anxiety ,you need some behavior modification, esp. socialization.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 09:21 PM
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Can you describe what your pup is like out in public when she meets a stranger?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'm looking into trainers now. I had some visitors stay over last night, and she was a little better, as long as she approached them and she would let them stroke her if I was holding her. They had a 6year old with them and Ivy had no problems getting to know her, she gave lots of hav kisses ;-)
When we are out she is fussy with people. I can't figure out the reason why she is ok with some people and scared/barks with others. Thank you for all your help x
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