Any of your Havs afraid of dogs? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
Gryff and Jinx Mommy
 
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Any of your Havs afraid of dogs?

I took Gryff to a Dog Show today and he was terrified. I had to hold him the whole time and he was drooling all over me and shaking. He's such a total wussie. I keep bringing him around dogs hoping that he will get used to them, but he just doesn't seem to open up. He's fine in smaller groups (much smaller - like his obedience class) and he's good one-on-one as long has he's had a chance to go for a walk witht he other dog.

Any suggestions? I'm curious if anyone has experience with this and was able to help bring their dog around.

While at the dog show, I saw somebody there with an ex-pen of Hav pups. They were so adorable.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 04:47 PM
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i have the opposite problem, django sees a dog and immediately thinks he's gone from a havanese to a pitbull and barks like a mad dog! trying to stop him before he gets in the zone. do you baby him when he begins to shake or do you ignore it? i know in the past when django had a fear of something, my first reaction was to take care of him hold him and pet him, that was the wrong thing to do, i was reinforcing his fear, now if i don't make an issue out of something, like thunderstorms, he's not phased by it, also, gryff might be picking up on your anxiety and it feeding off that.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 05:08 PM
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Dog shows can be terrifying for some dogs - there are so many smells, different breeds and tons of uptight exhibitors that it really isn't the best place for many dogs. As long as he does well in class and one-on-one, I'd try and keep him away from the huge get-togethers.

Also, I agree with not babying them - you are actually reinforcing the behavior. So a gentle, "come on" or "let's go" command is much better. Any time you see your dog with severe anxiety it's best to move on to a place that's more manageable for him.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 05:27 PM
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Dog shows are hard they can be loud and very scary to a little guy. We took Tito to a few dog shows before we started showing him and I kept him in the stroller and gave him treats the whole time, trying to make it as positive as possible. At first he was scared then he got the idea, hey this isnt such a big deal. Before that, the very first time we took him to a dog park he was TERRIFIED. So we did some short trips, lots of puppy preschool, and now he is a social butterfly. If there is ever a situation that is scary/bad do your best to manage it and dont force him to be right dead in the middle. Do what Lisa says and find a better spot for him. You have to try to make every experience a good one.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 05:36 PM
and Murphy & Gracie too!
 
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I have the opposite problem, Scooter barks like crazy at other dogs and I'm afraid he's going to hurt by a bigger dog, he's the smallest in the 'hood right now! We haven't done any socializing classes but perhaps I should consider it.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 05:42 PM
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Ivy, was it an indoor show or an outdoor show? Indoor shows are the worst because most of them are in fairground buildings that aren't built to muffle sound and actually magnify & multiply them. In addition, some of the lighting can make it dim so when they suddenly see a bunch of dogs, especially big dogs, that's a bit alarming. Add all the smells of intact dogs and the hormones going around, and it can be intimidating.

All of my dogs do well around other dogs, but they start going to dog shows and classes with big dogs at a very early age. They are always around Danes, Rotties, Mastiffs, Shelties and Samoyeds in addition to many smaller breeds. One of mine got spooked with indoor dog shows, but she was attacked twice (months apart), so her fear was reasonable, but she outgrew it with a little time and patience. I kept taking her back even when I wasn't showing her so she would get used to it. No babying and no cuddling. I still carried her because I think it is unwise to walk Havanese around all the big dogs at crowded shows, but I did make her have to endure the duration on the floor ringside or in a chair or in the stroller, but not in my lap.

Yesterday, I took Cookie (Galleta) over to a relatives house to be introduced to a Golden Retriever since she hasn't been around a lot of bigger dogs yet. She is still just a puppy at six months old. She wasn't afraid, but she was curious and unsure. I wish I could have videotaped her reaction. She kept bouncing from the front to the back of the Golden with all four feet, constantly in motion making sure that she could assess the WHOLE dog and get a good look at her before the Golden began to chase her. LOL

Is there any way that you can get Gryff used to bigger groups of dogs - either through bigger classes or even the dog park? Can you start by working on some of his obedience training with just a few dogs around and then go when there are more and more?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 05:44 PM
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Ann, a lot of dogs bark out of fear. Can you tell if he is trying to engage them in play or if he is trying to warn them off? If it is the latter, make sure you jump on that socialization as soon as possible. Fear aggression is one of the worst problems a dog can have, and fear can easily escalate to biting.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havtahava View Post
Ann, a lot of dogs bark out of fear. Can you tell if he is trying to engage them in play or if he is trying to warn them off? If it is the latter, make sure you jump on that socialization as soon as possible. Fear aggression is one of the worst problems a dog can have, and fear can easily escalate to biting.
I'm a different Ann but............. how can you tell the difference in the two types of barking? The other day at Pet Smart one of the workers came up and spoke to Roxie, and leaned down to pet her. Roxie started jumping around (like the hav with the golden in the post above) and making a playful stance (but up, paws down) but she also seemed a bit scared and kept running away from the girl. This is the first time Roxie had acted this way... usually she paws the air at them.

~Ann and Roxie
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 08:49 PM
and Murphy & Gracie too!
 
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Hi other Ann! I was going to ask Kimberly the same question. I have no idea if he's barking "please play with me" or barking "get away or else" but he seemed a bit scared himself.

Ann-Scooter, Murphy, & Gracie's Mom
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Kimberlly - it was an outside dog show. He was fine walking on the pavement away from the action, but cowered and pulled on the leash everytime he saw another dog.

I am trying to expose him - for instance at Laurie's playdate where he spent the entire day under the deck and in the bushes.

We have this obnoxious Weimeraner down the street and when we first got Gryff, Lucy came charging at Gryff to "play". She has done it many times and I grab Gryff and hold him over my head so Lucy can't hurt him. I think it has done permanent damage to my dog's psyche and I'm super peeved.

As for dog class, he has done really well with the last class we were in. His girlfriend Maggie from down the street was in the class and she is a really good example for him. It took almost no time at all for him to start playing with the Cavalier and the Cocker Spaniel. He was also trying to get close with some of the bigger dogs. We have an enormous German Shepherd down the street Gryff likes to play with and he will be staying with my friend and her Rottweiller when we go on vacation next month.

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