Help. Should we return? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Help. Should we return?

We picked up our 7 month old pup from a breeder. We were initially worried as he growled at me for a long time as we were getting to know him. My husband carried him home and we thought all was fine. However, he does still growl at me occasionally, and has already tried to bite our other older dog while all of us were sitting and watching TV. Our breeder is willing to switch him out for another younger puppy as she insists this is so rare and wants us to love the breed as much as she does. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 03:29 AM
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We picked up our 7 month old pup from a breeder. We were initially worried as he growled at me for a long time as we were getting to know him. My husband carried him home and we thought all was fine. However, he does still growl at me occasionally, and has already tried to bite our other older dog while all of us were sitting and watching TV. Our breeder is willing to switch him out for another younger puppy as she insists this is so rare and wants us to love the breed as much as she does. Any suggestions?
I'm not qualified to answer your question, but am wondering why your breeder hadn't already sold the puppy before 7 months? Or was it that you'd chosen him but couldn't take him till now? My worry would be that so much of his early experience will have been with the breeder, and unless you know how much time was spent socialising him and all the other things that need doing in the early windows of training/socialising opportunity it's difficult to understand what might be causing any behavioural issues. You should be able to talk to the breeder about all of this - is she/he easy to discuss things with? This sort of thing is exactly why it is important to have a good relationship with your breeder - I do hope you have, and can ask a lot of questions? How is he with other people/dogs? By 7 months he will need to have been really well socialised or you have a problem on your hands - not an insoluble one, but potential hard work. Or have I misunderstood your story, and you've had him for some time already?

Last edited by Lalla; 09-09-2013 at 03:31 AM. Reason: realised I might have misunderstood something crucial!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for you quick response. Here is the story. The breeder sold Mango and his sister to an older women who had the dogs for 3 months. The new owner then got a full time job, couldn't keep them and returned them to the breeder, where he remained in a great outdoor setting with 10 other Havanese puppies and adults. We really have no idea what happened during those few months with the older woman.
The breeder is in contact with us daily, and is willing to do whatever we want.
Another situation is, Mango has bonded so closely in 3 days to my husband, I am wondering if he is trying to bite/growl at me thinking he is protecting my husband. We really want to keep him, but certainly don't want to have an unsocial dog.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 07:14 AM
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Bother, I wrote a long reply to you, stopped to try and find your profile and see where you lived (and your name! sorry, don't know it!) and lost the reply! Hope it didn't end up attached to some other thread!! Take two:

The gist, anyway, was that I'm sure there will be others with more knowledge and advice to give, but it seems to me that you really need some professional help - it would be tragic to have to give up on your puppy before finding out what can be done. Poor little thing, he's been handed to and fro already, and that alone could be the cause of behavioural problems; OR it could be something more serious. At least you are in touch with the breeder - might she be able to talk to the first owner? I can't see why, if the question is put in a non-confrontational or accusatory way, she shouldn't be able to elicit some information and find out if something DID happen to him? I do hope you manage to find some help - you don't say where you live, but if you did, then perhaps others on this forum might know of local recommendations for a good animal behaviourist? It would be SO worth it if your puppy could be rescued from behaviour that might end in your having to take him back to the breeder for a second time. Good luck! Keep us posted.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:06 AM
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The whole thing sounds bad to me. WHY would any reputable breeder be keeping Havanese in an outdoor setting?!?!? At 7 months, the strongest period for good socialization is long past. Not to say he can't get better, but he may never be the outgoing, friendly dog that a Havanese properly socialized from a young age would be.

Honestly, I would take him back. My first, gut, reaction is that you should just ask for your money back. If that's not possible, I'd at least get a MUCH younger puppy from the breeder. 7-8 WEEKS, if she's not going to socialize her dogs properly, and letting them run with a group of other dogs outdoors is NOT proper socialization.

Sorry to sound harsh, but this sounds like a back yard breeder situation, and one where you could end up committing to 15 or more years with a dog that has a less-than-optimal disposition. I know your husband has started to get attached to this puppy, but EVERY puppy is cute. How much more heartbreaking would it be to have to get rid of him in 6 months because he is snapping at children who visit you?


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:10 AM
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Sadly, I think you are probably right, Karen. It's not a good start. I just worry about that poor puppy and what will become of it....
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:16 AM
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Sadly, I think you are probably right, Karen. It's not a good start. I just worry about that poor puppy and what will become of it....
I know, but that's a project for someone who KNOWINGLY decides on a rehab, not for someone who is looking for their first, sweet, Havanese puppy. That puppy is going to take a LOT of work, and will probably never be a great representative of the breed. And it's NOT just the fault of the person who first bought him... The breeder has had him for 4 of his 7 months. What has SHE done to rectify the situation? It sounds like not much, other than throwing him into an outside run with a bunch of other dogs.


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:17 AM
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This must be so tough. I hate the thought of the puppy being passed around (therefore perpetuating if not worsening whatever problems he has) but you have to look out for you and your family. You could give it some time and get a professional to help but there would still be no guarantees. I'm so sorry. I wish you strength in making the right decision for you.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:20 AM
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You are, of course, completely right, Karen. Cindyma, you are new to this site, and Karen is one of the wisest people on it, in my experience, so I really think you should take her advice seriously, no matter how awful the immediate outcome might seem. It could potentially be far more awful down the line.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Oh my. You are all talking us into returning the puppy to the breeder who is willing to give us our money back. My husband is already so attached to Mango, however, I am the real dog lover and for some reason I have no feeling for this new puppy. Though I am sad for the return, I know that we will be able to find a better match soon.
Thanks for everyones advice.
Cindy
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