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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Shy havanese

I am now taking care of a very shy havanese, very undersocialized. She has been with our family 6 weeks and now is finally relaxing around the family but when friends visit and want to hold her she looks at them like she's saying "don't eat me". We're patient people in my family and the other dogs love her as she loves them, however she needs to get over her fear of people. I welcome your suggestions. Do you all think I should hire a behaviorist? When I take her for car rides she trembles unless she is crated and when we go for walks around the university near my home (Miami) she becomes visibly afraid when strangers approach. I've even given treats to friends and have them pose as strangers, she won't take the food and just gets very low to the ground. Yet we persist and hopefully she'll snap out of this some day.
Paula

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With love from Coral Gables, FL

Last edited by Gableshavs; 02-25-2008 at 08:28 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gableshavs View Post
I am now taking care of a very shy havanese, very undersocialized. She has been with our family 6 weeks and now is finally relaxing around the family but when friends visit and want to hold her she looks at them like she's saying "don't eat me". We're patient people in my family and the other dogs love her as she loves them, however she needs to get over her fear of people. I welcome your suggestions. Do you all think I should hire a behaviorist? When I take her for car rides she trembles unless she is crated and when we go for walks around the university near my home (Miami) she becomes visibly afraid when strangers approach. I've even given treats to friends and have them pose as strangers, she won't take the food and just gets very low to the ground. Yet we persist and hopefully she'll snap out of this some day.
Paula
Do you think she gets carsick or is just nervous about going places? Oliver would get carsick and nervous in the car. Thankfully that stage is over!

Sally,((Oliver)) Comet and Pennie too!
The best things in life are not things!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 09:21 PM
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Paula,

I think you are doing the right things. Taking her places, maybe a dog carrier, so she feels secure being close to you, yet others don't seem as monsterous when walking by. Crating in the car is not a bad idea. Just in case she gets sick or if in an accident. I would keep doing that if she if fine with it. I think with time, she will open up.
 
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 09:26 PM
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You did not mention how old your puppy was. My dogs exhibit distinct personalities. Brutus is very outgoing with people and dogs. Roxie is nervous around other dogs but loves strange people. She was socialized as a pup and gets better every day with other dogs. Keep up the good work!!!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 09:51 PM
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From my experience, which isn't with a dog as shy as you describe, it just takes a while. Dusty was somewhat on the shy side and has gotten much better with time. We haven't worked all that hard at it, but it has just taken much longer than a few weeks. A trainer (trainer/prof. handler for 30+ years in our area) I met just recently at a pet store saw some of Dusty's shy-ish behavior and took the leash and just wouldn't let her back away. She didn't force anything else-didn't insist she be friendly, or try and pet her, she just didn't let her run or hide behind me and pretty much ignored her and just talked to me. By the end of the brief conversation, Dusty was already doing better. Maybe this kind of thing would help your girl.

~Joelle
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 10:31 PM
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A behaviorist is a good idea, but either of her parents are shy and/or fearful, it may just be part of her personality, and that will be hard to break. You can do thinks to make it easier on her, but she may never be as outgoing as other Havs are. That's why it is so important that people do not breed Havanese with the incorrect temperament - it's the most heritable trait.

I don't say that to discourage you, but to arm you with information that it may just be who she is.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 10:38 PM
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My Dora is a shy girl. You guys all see videos of her being extremely outgoing but she is only like that with her family. She would never be the type to run and jump on your lap. What has helped is tons of socialization. Also her having Belle, she will run up to people with Belle and then she just stands a foot away while Belle just jumps all over them. She has came along way though. She is just more of an observer when it comes to other people. But not with us-she is over the top. I would just suggest, as much socialization as possible, walk her with an outgoing dog if possible, and the behaviorist isn't a bad idea.

Keep us posted,
Amanda

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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I called the trainer who trained me to train Dorie, my CGC/therapy dog. She suggested more of what I was already doing. A little history about my Belle. This girl is 5 and came from a breeder who needed to find a home for an adult dog, she was crated most of her life. I am trying to get her "out of her shell". At first I was babying her, until she began to trust my entire family she prefers to keep away from everyone else. Now it's long walks around the lake at the university where we sit on the bench and watch the people and ducks. I just wish she'd enjoy the outings more. Belle is a foster dog and I am working with her so she's less traumatized when people come to visit, she has to learn that from now on she's getting a taste of the good life. It's like she get's in a trance when fear takes over and she just gets low to the ground and shakes, or else just hides. As I said she loves my family and our dogs but still keeps at a distance around my friends. I think I'll call the behaviorist today.
Paula

Paula

With love from Coral Gables, FL

Last edited by Gableshavs; 02-26-2008 at 04:27 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 08:33 AM
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Oh the poor thing---I thought you were talking about a puppy.
People can be so mean!
Best wishes and let us know how it goes!

Sally,((Oliver)) Comet and Pennie too!
The best things in life are not things!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 09:27 AM
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In our basic obedience class there is an extremely shy toy poodle. She would just sit and tremble during class. If her owner was out of her line of sight she cried and howled and was miserable. With time, she has really improved. Our final class was last night and although she still shakes a bit she actually walked up to my dog to check out her treats (this poodle is NOT food motivated) and she even walked up to me. Her owner was able to be out of her sight for a couple of minutes and she stayed quiet. We had six weeks of classes and she made amazing progress. I doubt she'll ever be an outgoing dog but at least she is learning to be a bit more comfortable with other dogs and people and with being out of her element and away from her sisters. There is always hope. There will be shy dogs just like there are shy people (sort of like me!). Good Luck!!

Susan

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