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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Bonding Issues with Teddy

Hi everyone. I have not been on in a while. I adopted Teddy three months ago and he is wonderful (he is two years old). He is very laid back and sweet. We bonded immediately. However, he has not bonded with my boyfriend. We picked him up together, but Teddy lives with me; I bring him to work and we are together all of the time. No matter how hard my boyfriend tries, Teddy is not interested in him. During this past week, Teddy and I have stayed at my boyfriend's house since I have a very long and icy driveway. We go back and forth between houses so he knows his house and neighborhood. Teddy stayed with Paul while I went to work, ignored him, and would not play with him. While working on the computer, Paul had him on his lap and he stayed, but would not move. When I came home, he would jump all over me and followed me everywhere. This has been going on and has not improved, despite Paul giving Teddy treats, speaking to him, petting him, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do Havanese tend to be one person dogs? Thank you for your assistance.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 01:42 PM
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I can offer one suggestion and it is something you are already doing in some form. Paul should allow Teddy to eat the treats directly from his hand. Many small treats is better than fewer large ones. Since Teddy will sit patiently on Paul's lap, it's a perfect starting point. Paul can allow Teddy to eat one treat at a time from his hand. Paul can also pet Teddy, slowly and soothingly from the head, down his back and sides and down his back legs.

John




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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 05:40 PM
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As long as Teddy doesn't seem afraid of Paul then this is a good start. Charlie was the same as a puppy. We bonded immediately, he cried when I went out etc etc but didn't care about my husband. Over time this changed and now, although I'm still no. 1, he loves being with him, they play together and Charlie often climbs into his lap for a cuddle.

So I would say keep doing what you are doing. Definitely get Paul to use the treats more and also to be the one who puts his food down at meal times whenever possible.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 05:50 PM
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You feed, exercise, play with, train, and have Teddy with you far more than your boyfriend does. It is only natural for him to look to you for everything. Your boyfriend should continue to do as he is doing plus maybe take him walking a bit - just the two of them. Give it time and hopefully Teddy will discover that he has another great person in his life and love him also.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses. This is encouraging. I'll let you know as we progress.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 08:21 PM
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Here's my .02 cents worth. The first thing that comes to mind is that your are Teddy's Alpha pack member. You are the leader and he therefore will naturally bond more with you than Paul.

This does not mean that Paul can't have a relationship with Teddy, and one way to do this is to give Paul an enjoyable (for Teddy) job to do with him once or twice every day (Like feeding him, or a ride in the car to a park, or a trick training session. Something along those lines.

I'm retired. My wife still works. I was concerned That our two dogs would not bond with her because of all the time they spend with me. My wife, when she comes home, makes a big deal, gushing over them and takes them immediately outside to "Go Potty" whether they have to go or not. She also takes them out early in the Morning before she leaves for work. Snickers and Snoopy both adore her too.

A final idea is to take a road trip -- you drive - let Teddy spend time with Paul in the Passenger seat. Make Sure Paul is petting, talking and treating Teddy.

Whew!

Cheers!

Jim and Lynda and Snickers and the new P&P machine Snoopy.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 09:07 PM
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Give Teddy some credit. I'm a big dog person, like over 100 lbs, and my little Ollie was my first small dog. I notice that he doesn't like people hovering over him. He prefer to pick his spots to approach people. He's cute, and works for a public school, so he gets a lot of attention, a lot of people approaching him. He doesn't shy away, but more like puts up with it. He's been coming to work (school) with me since he was 8 weeks old. and he has a special attachment to 4 people he spent time with as a pup. he knows which rooms they are in, and will seek them out.

My point is, ya'll just need to relax and he will bond. It's fine for your bf to give him treats and such. Be chill and relax. Teddy will always be more bonded to you than anyone else.

My Ollie, he prefers human and canine females over males. adults that is. no preference for children.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2014, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pucks104 View Post
You feed, exercise, play with, train, and have Teddy with you far more than your boyfriend does. It is only natural for him to look to you for everything. Your boyfriend should continue to do as he is doing plus maybe take him walking a bit - just the two of them. Give it time and hopefully Teddy will discover that he has another great person in his life and love him also.
I'm sure Pucks104 is right, Madelon; Teddy isn't NOT liking Paul, he's liking you more and waiting for you. That he sits on Paul's lap says a lot - neither of my dogs is much interested in anyone's lap, including mine!

The whole 'pack leader' thing is now hugely contested; it's still controversial, mainly because some people cling to disproved beliefs, but the massive accumulated evidence based upon research into what wolves REALLY do (as opposed to our touchy-feely sense of what we THINK they do) says that the whole 'Alpha' leader idea is misplaced and unhelpful. There is NO alpha wolf. There is a breeding pair who are the dominants in a wolf pack. They never go first along a path, for example; they always allow a subordinate to go first in case there is danger. They never eat first for the same reason. There IS an omega wolf, one who appeases, breaks up fights and generally keeps the calm; this wolf could once have been half of the breeding pair, or could become so. He is by no means an underling, he choses his role, does it to the best of his ability and is hugely important for the stability of the pack. All these discoveries have implications, obviously, for domestic dogs and how we interact with them. Read "The Truth about Wolves and Dogs" if you are interested (by Toni Shelbourne); it's fascinating, and also full of training tips based on this new research (she works predominantly with wolves, but owns dogs).
Meantime, it sounds to me as if you and Paul are doing just fine. You've only had Teddy for a relatively short time; he has had another life before you took him on, with relationships that you can presumably only guess at. I've had my Coton, Tycho for all of his 7 years, and he still, given the choice, would rather be with me than with my husband, despite the fact that my husband is the one who walks him mostly, at least of late while I've been training Cuba (my Havanese 11 month old). Paul might just have to accept that he will never be you, but that being second best isn't such a bad thing!!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2014, 07:19 AM
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You don't know Teddy's history and it is possible that he was abused by men or didn't have as much interaction with men. I had a dog growing up like that and she always was timid around men. She eventually warmed up to my dad and brother but was always wary of men (but was fine with women and bonded right away). You don't really know what happened in the first year of his life.

You should make sure your boyfriend does all the feeding. Hand feeding all the kibble is another way for them to bond (he can get right down on the floor and feed it to the dog one piece at a time). Taking a reward based obedience class is another way for them to bond.

It will come with time and patience.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2014, 10:17 PM
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I would also recommend that when you come home that you don't make a big fuss and that you don't greet Teddy first. You need to make your return as low key as possible. -Jeanne-
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